So are ULEVs really expensive?

Everyone knows electric cars are expensive. They are the preserve of the super-rich, demanding a huge investment with a payback over years, a little like solar panels. For many of us, a quirk reserve for those that have the wealth to demonstrate their green credentials to appear a little more human, and perhaps a little more superior to their friends. All of this is regularly reinforced in the press, on radio and in discussions over a charge point where the curious spy a car on charge. In fact, so well founded is this opinion that I only have one issue with it; it’s complete and utter tosh!

I want an electric car, but is it affordable?

Are people right about ULEVs being expensive? In short, yes. At the luxury end there are some expensive examples, but let’s take a couple of more useful comparisons.

Recently, Kia launched the Niro SUV in electric form; quite a game changer with a range of 280 miles on a single charge! That may lead you to envisage a high price tag, but let’s compare. The top spec Kia Niro petrol will cost you £27,500. This compares to £36,500 for the electric version but take off the £4,500 government grant and you have a difference of £4,500. It’s a difference, yes, but bearing in mind that the electric version will save most motorists £100 a month in fuel, it doesn’t take long to make it back; maintenance and service costs are lower too! In fact, if you bundle it into a salary sacrifice scheme through your employer, you can get the monthly cost of an electric Niro down to under £350 a month, below the costs of the petrol version retail when you factor everything in.

It’s a similar story with the Golf and others, even across brands compare the Nissan Leaf to a similar spec Ford Focus. Again, a slightly higher purchase cost is overcome, which could be achieved from day one via a salary sacrifice scheme. Actually, the costs even stack up against older cars. According to money advice service figures, it would cost more to run a 5-year-old Citroen DS3 than any one of the electric cars we have listed through schemes such as ours.

So, how do running costs stack up?

Well, let’s ignore the fact that many places offer free charging and assume you have to charge at home; charging on off-peak electricity tariffs, you’ll pay between 4 and 11 pence per ‘kilowatt’, a kilowatt will get you around 4 miles. So, speaking most efficiently, it can literally cost a penny per mile driven. Even the most efficient kinds of petrol and diesel will cost at least ten times that amount.

The choice is yours. You can have a polluting, 5-year-old car and spend thousands keeping it on the road, or a new electric car saving you around £100 each month. Source it through us and we’ll even throw in a traditional diesel, for those odd days when you need more range reassurance. Believe us, charging is pretty easy, but that’s our next blog.

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