Is an electric car worth it?

Electric vs Fuel

We’ve all seen and heard about electric cars and how they are great eco-friendly and green alternatives to driving a petrol or diesel car. But we also seem to be wondering when is the best time to invest in one? Should we buy one now or wait until they become more mainstream and cheaper?

With the government’s target of 2040 to phase out the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars, and for the majority of cars to be zero emissions by 2050 – questions surrounding electric cars are rifer than ever.

So, we’ve put together a simple comparison guide to see which car might be the best for you. If you’re a business and are looking to see if your business should buy an electric car as a possible company car, then be sure to check out our other comparison guide that covers the business side of things.

(Car models chosen based on being best sellers in their respective fields and on similar specs)

From this, we can see that the petrol car is the clear economic winner. The electric car does come with its advantages though, mainly the government grant towards the price of the car.

Also, electric cars have gotten cheaper over the years since they first came onto the mass market, and this trend will only continue as battery technology advances and more companies join the electric car market.

However, based on the running costs, the electric car wins by miles. It would also be cheaper to maintain and service as the engine is simpler, and there are fewer moving parts in the car that need replacing over time.

Granted, it definitely does not have the range compared to the other two cars, so would need charging more often. It takes the Nissan Leaf around 8 hours to fully charge.

However, as the electric car would most likely just be charged at home overnight, the time aspect becomes less of an issue. And with the increasing amount of public charging points, getting caught out on charge whilst on longer journeys is also becoming less of an issue.

For now, the electric car might be better suited to someone who is more of an urban/city driver rather than a regular long-distance driver.

For those who are thinking of making the switch to electric for environmental reasons, then the electric car with its zero emissions is the clear choice.

And although the electricity that the car would be using from the grid does not come from entirely clean energy (yet), it would still not be contributing as many emissions as its counterparts.

Plus, the government is pushing for clean renewable energy more and more in recent years, and with the 2050 target for zero emissions on roads, it will only continue to do so.

Overall, the total difference between a petrol and an electric car is just over £7000. We haven’t included insurance costs as that would be dependent on an individual’s circumstances.

The Nissan Leaf would take you just over 8 years to breakeven on it, which is a long time to wait. However, it would save you money in the long term on running costs and maintenance. And not forgetting the environmental advantage!

I’m sure a lot of us would love to buy an electric car now, but can’t really afford or justify the price tag. Therefore, I guess the real question would be – when will electric cars become more affordable?

According to recent reports by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), electric cars will become price competitive and reach the ‘crossover point’ by 2022. This is due to constant advancements in battery technology and the falling price of batteries.

Still, this is dependent on the government having the infrastructure in place to support this uptake in electric cars. Something they are already under way with the recent announcement of doubling the funding for on-street charging points. So, we can remain optimistic for the future!

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