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How much does it cost to run an electric or hybrid car?

​With sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids increasing year-on-year and the uptake only expected to grow, you might be curious to know why they’re becoming more and more popular. If you’re interested in what hybrid and electric cars have to offer, but are unsure about running costs, look no further than Wilsons for more information – we’ve got the knowledge and industry experience to help you out.

One of the main draws of electric vehicle ownership is how economical they are. They're simply much cheaper to run than traditional cars, especially if you can charge at home. Let’s say your average daily commute is a 30-mile round trip. If your petrol car gives you 43 mpg and you filled up with £50 of fuel, that gives you about 420 miles before you’d need to fill up. Let’s say you work 22 days in a month, drive roughly 660 miles and fill up twice – you’d have to pay £100.

Switch to an electric car, and you’re looking at between £2.50 and £5.00 per  overnight charge, depending on your tariff. This would give you 100 miles to play with, meaning that for your commute, you’d need to charge it six times and pay roughly £30 a month in electricity. That’s £70 off your bill, and a saving of about £850 a year – a figure not to be sniffed at! 

Another major perk of EV ownership is that because they’re greener, they’ll save you money in other areas such as road tax. Most electric cars are exempt from road tax, as they produce zero CO 2 emissions – the only exception are the more expensive models such as Tesla which have to pay a reduced tax fee based on the price of the vehicle.

Electric cars are also exempt from the London Congestion Charge, which costs drivers of traditional vehicles £11.50 a day which can add up to a whopping £1,000 a year. All you need to do is register your car with TFL and you’re good to go. EV owners will also avoid the forthcoming Ultra Low Emission Zone planned for 2019 which will operate in the same area as the Congestion Charge and will cost an additional £12.50.

Hybrid cars have a small electric motor that works alongside a traditional petrol engine. Some models, like the Toyota Prius or Hyundai Ioniq can run for short distances on electric power alone while energy recovering braking and coasting helps to top up the battery. Other Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) like the Mitsubishi Outlander go a step further with a plug socket and charging leads so you can charge the battery via the mains. These models can run in electric-only mode for 20-30 miles.

Driving an Electric Car
Running a Nissan LEAF, Electric Car

With the change in Road Tax laws in 2017, low emissions no longer qualify a car for free road tax. Owning a hybrid car does mean that you'll get a discount, especially in the first year, but from the second year onwards, you'll only pay £10 less at £130 (£440 if the car originally cost more than £40,000). However, if you purchase a used hybrid car registered before 1st April 2017, you will still benefit from £0 annual road tax.

If you think that looking after and charging an electric vehicle is difficult and fiddly, think again. EVs have fewer moving parts than diesel or petrol cars, so not only do you save your hands from getting dirty, you’ll have a car that requires much less maintenance. When it comes to charging, you can do it from home, and most EVs come with rapid charging ability, ideal for those in need of a quick top-up – most rapid chargers can replenish 80% of your battery in just 20 minutes.

Wilsons is open seven days a week, and we’ve got a dedicated EV and hybrid sales team here to answer any more questions you may have about running costs and EV ownership. Simply enquire online, or give us a call today.