Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run, says study
13th February 2019 | Commercial Energy
Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel alternatives in five European countries analysed in new research. The study examined the purchase, fuel and tax costs of Europe’s bestselling ca, the VW Golf, in its battery electric, hybrid, petrol and diesel versions. Over four year, the pure electric version was the cheapest in all places – UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Norway – owing to a combination of lower taxes, fuel costs and subsidies on the purchase price.
Researchers from the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) said their report showed that tax breaks are a key way to drive the rollout of electric vehicles and tackle climate change and air pollution. Carbon emissions from transport are a big contributor to global warming, but have been rising in recent years in the European Union. Vehicles are also a source of much air pollution, which causes 500,000 early deaths a year in the EU.
Electric cars offer the biggest savings over diesel in Norway (27%) as the battery-powered vehicles are exempt from a heavy registration tax. The ICCT analysis was updated for the Guardian after recent cuts in the UK’s grants for electric car purchases. It shows British drivers see the smallest saving – 5%. In Germany, France and the Netherlands, the saving varied from 11% to 15%.
Sandra Wappelhorst, from the ICCT, said, “Most trips are within an electric vehicle’s range, and it is the battery electric vehicle that turns out to be the most cost-effective over four years. But if you’re a country doctor, who might have to respond to emergency calls at odd hours in odd place, you’ll have to evaluate a battery electric car differently to a London surgeon.”
Wappelhorst said financial incentives for electric cars would not be needed when purchase prices fall to that of fossil-fuel powered cars, which is likely between 2025 and 2030. “It will happen, because battery costs are dropping and that means that the initial price of the vehicles will drop as well,” she added.
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