New petrol cars could cost drivers £700 a year more to run compared to EVs

New petrol cars could cost drivers £700 a year more to run compared to EVs
According to a new report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), drivers of the top 10 selling petrol cars of 2023 are paying around £700 more a year more to run their vehicles compared to the electric vehicle (EV) equivalents.

More than 300,000 EVs were bought in the UK last year – with the number set to rise again in 2024. However, according to the ECIU, those opting to buy a petrol rather than an electric car in 2024 will pay an estimated £10,000 more in running costs over the lifetime of the vehicle, compared with an electric car.

The ECIU research used data from the top 10 most popular cars in the UK and compared the running costs of the petrol models with their electric rivals. The price of fuel compared with charging an electric battery was the main reason for the cost difference, followed by servicing and road tax.

Research by Goldman Sachs in 2023 predicts EV battery prices to fall by 40% over the next two years, with the cost of the raw materials predicted to drop. As a result, the price difference between petrol and electric cars is expected to reduce.

ECIU’s data highlighted that ‘over the course of their lifetimes, these EVs will generate a total of £5.6bn in savings for their owners, compared to their petrol equivalents’. However, the petrol cars sold in 2023 will cost their owners an extra £7.6bn, compared to their EV counterparts.

Colin Walker, Transport Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: “With drivers being hit by a £700 petrol premium, a switch to an EV will see a quick return on the investment made.

“Electric car sticker prices are falling, with analysts at Goldman Sachs expecting price parity to be reached by the middle of the decade.

"However, since less than 20% of car sales in the UK are for new vehicles, it’s the growth of the second-hand EV market that is critical if more families are to be able to access the cheaper driving than comes from EV ownership.

“With the ZEV mandate coming in to force next year, more new EVs will be sold which, in turn, will result in more EVs making their way on to the second-hand market in the years to come.”

Following the release of the ECIU report, Rod Dennis, RAC spokesman, said: “For many drivers, the idea of considering the total cost of running a car throughout its life, rather than just thinking about the upfront cost, might seem like a strange concept, especially for the majority of people who acquire used rather than new cars.

“But as this study shows, when you do the sums, electric vehicles can be so much cheaper to keep on the road, and of course there's also the huge environmental benefits of driving a car that has no tailpipe emissions.”

What do you make of the report findings? Leave your comments below.

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