16 mars 2023

Counting the cost of electric motoring

EV Editorial

With the rising cost of living, consumers are increasingly needing to balance the wish to reduce their carbon footprint against the need to make household budgets stretch that little bit further.  

In a recent ONS survey asking about the issues facing the UK today, 93% of adults reported the cost of living as an important issue, compared to 66% being concerned about the environment and climate change.  

And we are not alone in this. The recent COP27 Conference highlighted that, even at an international level, there is a delicate balancing act to be achieved between saving the planet and the monetary cost of doing so, and that lack of finance is a major barrier to reducing carbon emissions with the pace and urgency necessary to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. 

Financial considerations are also becoming increasingly important for drivers making the switch to electric motoring which, with road travel accounting for close to a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, is a vital component in the transition to a fossil-free society.   

A recent YouGov survey conducted for CTEK reveals that, lower running costs are now the main reason for purchasing an EV, with more than a third (34%) of European EV owners giving this reason, followed by 25% citing environmental benefits. In the UK, environmental concerns actually remain the top reason for EV purchase (33%), but lower running costs still come a close second at 31%. 

Given this increasingly delicate balancing act, EV drivers will be encouraged to know that driving an EV can deliver financial savings, as well as reducing their carbon footprint. Based on an average annual mileage of 10,000 miles, and despite escalating electricity prices, an EV owner charging their car at home is currently saving around €1,465 a year on fuel compared to petrol, and €1,290 compared with diesel.1  

EV drivers may also be able to realise even greater savings if they’re able to take advantage of an off-peak EV charging tariff, which are available from some energy suppliers. And if you have solar panels fitted, you can produce your own energy and use it to charge your EV in a totally carbon free way. Solar panels and electric cars often go hand in hand - and this really takes the cost of charging your vehicle, and your carbon emissions, to a completely different level. 

Over its lifetime, an EV releases 50% less CO2 into the atmosphere compared to a similar sized petrol or diesel vehicle, and in countries like France and Sweden2 where renewable energy is used the most, EVs can produce up to 70% less CO2.  

Based on an average mileage, an EV driver is making a personal carbon saving of around 2.2 kg a year. And while this may not seem much in isolation, with almost 600,000 EVs now driving on Britain’s roads3, that’s an overall saving of 1,328 tonnes of CO2 every year. 

It would take around 53,120 trees to absorb this amount of carbon4, so EV drivers can rest assured that they’re doing their bit to help save the planet, while saving the pennies too. 

1. Source: RAC Fuel Watch, Ofgem  
2. Source: Department for Transport (average petrol or diesel car produces 221.4gm of CO2 a mile) 
3. Source: SMMT 
4. Source: Ecotree.green