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Electric vs Petrol ownership costs

Electric vs Petrol ownership costs

 Electric vs Petrol ownership costs

Electric vehicles (EV’s for short) are the coming thing in motor transport; some of the major
manufactures such as Nissan with their Leaf model have made serious inroads into the private vehicle sector and in the next two years all the big manufacturers are planning to release a range of fully electric vehicles.


In this article we are going to take a look at the average costs associated with owning an EV priced against the average amount of money customers pay for a new car in the UK (£33,559) using PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) over three years, which is currently the most popular method of financing a new car in the UK.


To start with, it is worth stating that electric cars are more expensive like for like than equivalent petrol or diesel model. As an example, the base model Nissan Leaf starts at £27,995 whilst an equivalently specified Nissan Qashquai starts at £19,995. Volkswagen completed a survey of the public in 2018 and one of the public’s concerns was the initial outlay required to purchase an EV. However, as more manufacturers get on board with manufacturing EV’s the cost will be driven down to become more in-line with more conventional vehicles.


To make things fair we are going to take two vehicles one electric and one petrol, priced the same on a 3 year PCP deal covering 10,000 miles annually. It’s important to note that at the end of the three year period, the vehicle will be worth a pre-agreed amount that takes into consideration the value of the car at the time you started the agreement and the value at the end of the agreement. You normally have two choices at the end of the agreement, which is to either pay the final payment or continue with a lease on a new vehicle. Now different vehicles will depreciate a different amount over their lease period, but to keep things simple we are going to assume that they have depreciated the same amount, so the final payment is the same


The initial value of the car is £29,000 and we are going to put a deposit of 10% down, the dealer is going to make a contribution of £1000 towards the deposit and our final payment is going to be £19,000. There is interest applied to the amount borrowed during the lease period, on average this is 7%. In total this leaves us with £6100 to be financed over the lease period. This would leave us with monthly repayments of £299.


So far our cars are both costing the same each month. However, the petrol car is of a higher spec, it has a better interior trim level, sporty alloys with low profile tyres, parking assist and a heads up display – the EV doesn’t have any of this as I’m paying for the technology that’s involved in making the EV a viable driving alternative to the petrol.


Based on just the figure above, when looking at what you get for your money, the petrol car is so far coming out on top. The next thing we are going to look at is running costs, starting with tax. Now tax varies depending on the CO2 emissions of the particular vehicle. My petrol car sits in the middle of these bands. This means for the first year I pay a fee of £165 and every year after that I pay £140. This means my total over three years is £445.



My EV however produces no CO2 emissions; this means that my tax is £0, which is an immediate saving.


Cost of fuel is the next thing most people think of. My petrol car consumes fuel at an average of 38 mpg, which is about normal for a modern mid-sized petrol engine covering the 30,000 miles over the three years in my lease; this is going to cost me approximately 12p per mile or £3600 total over the three years.


My electric car has an average range of 150 miles on a full charge. To fully charge my car at home cost approximately £6.60, or 3.5p per mile. Over the three years of the lease and covering the maximum 30,000 miles this is going to cost a total of £1050.


All in all I have saved £2550 in fuel by using an EV.


Insurance is the next consideration. Here is where EV’s lose out to more conventional vehicles. Because the technology is new and the numbers are still small compared to petrol and diesel cars, insurers do not have a huge bank of information regarding repair costs etc to draw upon, as a result EV Insurance premiums can sit around 25% more expensive. In this instance my petrol car has cost me £475 per year to insure, giving me an overall cost of £1425 for the three years. My EV is 25% more expensive so costs me £593 per year, totalling £2375 over the 3 years.


Servicing costs also need considering. My petrol car cost me an average of £550 in servicing costs per year over the three year period for a total of £1650. My EV costs £300 per year over the three year period for a total of £900. This cost saving is down to a mixture of parts and labour saving with the EV. The EV doesn’t use the same amount of consumables as the petrol car such as oil and filters.


There is one additional cost to owning an EV that is worth considering however and that is a dedicated charging system for your home. The advantage these have over using a conventional domestic socket circuit and a charging lead is the speed with which they can charge the vehicle. Using a normal circuit it can take up to 13 hours to charge a Nissan Leaf for example, from empty to fully charged. A dedicated charger can reduce this time down to as little as three hours. The cost of installing these can range from as little as £300 for a basic charger installed into a property that requires no remedial work to getting on into the thousands of pounds if your property is in need of an electrical upgrade before an installation can be completed. The government offers an incentive scheme called OLEV for which you may be eligible. If you are eligible for this scheme and use an OLEV registered installer you can claim 75% up to £500 back off of the installation cost.


So, which works out cheaper? Petrol car total cost per mile – 59p per mile EV total cost per mile – 50p per mile


At first glance 9p per mile doesn’t look like much of a saving, however after over 30,000 miles and three years that’s a total saving of £2700.


This article was contributed by independent writer Annie Button. Find out what else she’s been up to on Twitter: @anniebutton1994




Find your Electric Vehicle Solution in 2019 

Find your Electric Vehicle Solution in 2019 

Find your Electric Vehicle Solution in 2019 

2019 is the year to start getting excited about switching your diesel or petrol vehicle to electric, as the electric vehicle revolution continues to gather momentum. Over the last few years electric cars have become more affordable.

We’re seeing new models rapidly being developed by car manufacturers such as Tesla, BMW, Hyundai, Nissan and Volvo. The electric vehicle drive is backed by government initiatives to improve air quality and to build all new homes with charging points. They’ve also had a mention in the Queen’s speech too.




Making the EV switch has to be beneficial to you as a driver. Doing your research into how this could work for you and the costs involved is key! The benefits to the environment and the people around you may be key to your decision making. As we can all do our bit to ensure the air we breathe will be cleaner.



So, what research does you need to undertake? All drivers want to know all different things as we all have different driving needs, priorities and habits. This is where CleanCar are here to help. As you want to know if making the EV switch would personally save you time and money and our CleanCar system has been developed to help you do just that.





Don’t be the last one to find out if an electric vehicle would suit you…

Switching to a EV is a daunting prospect for all of us. Stories of short battery life and lack of charging points are ones we’ve all heard. We all regularly share bad news rather than good. However, what if the savings and environmental benefits could really impact your life and those around you?



Carrying out impartial, risk-free research will allow you to explore any potential benefits and come to your own conclusion. The conclusion being whether this is something that work for you based on your current mileage and driving requirements. So, have we mentioned that CleanCar have a tool to help you do this?



The CleanCar calculator has been developed for this purpose. It will identify if EV’s could work for you. Our calculator will also provide an insight into which type of vehicle would be most suitable for you.





>> Check out our calculator today <<

CleanCar will help and guide you on the route to becoming an EV driver. However, it’s only if the EV switch suits you and saves you money.


So don’t just think about it, have a try. Use our calculator and then contact CleanCar. The easy and risk-free way of finding out if switching to an electric vehicle could work for you. What have you got to lose?





 Try our calculator 


Once you’ve used the calculator and peaked your interest we’ll send you a device. The CleanCar device gathers data from all your journeys and will automatically upload this data to your personal CleanCar portal. We’ll answer the following questions for you:


  • Is an EV suitable?
  • Which EV would be the most suitable vehicle for my needs?
  • How much money will it save me?


If you’re now interested in exploring an electric vehicle we’d love to chat with you so email us on or call us on XXX and we can answer any questions you have and arrange for a device to be sent out to you.




Here are a few questions that you could need answering…


How does the CleanCar device work? In more detail…

The CleanCar device is an incredibly smart piece of kit, but for this FAQ, we will keep it simple.


  • The CleanCar device has been designed to record GPS coordinates of your location while you are driving.
  • It will do this every 10 seconds or 100 metres or 25-degree change in direction so on a winding road it takes more coordinates and on a straight one less.
  • The device saves these coordinates and every few minutes it connects to the mobile network via an onboard sim and uploads these to the CleanCar portal. It will store around ten days of driving if for any reason there is no signal.
  • Once we receive the data, we store it up, and while most people are asleep in the early morning, our servers and algorithms convert it into journeys and statistics.
  • The following day you will be able to log in see your stats.
  • CleanCar aims to help users like you to make the switch from your internal combustion engine to an electric vehicle


Who are the team behind CleanCar?

CleanCar is owned by The Virtual Forge and run by Alex Baker. are a company who design exciting and innovative software systems for some of the worlds best-known companies and they also analyse lots of data. With over 100 employees based all over the world, with offices in the UK, Portugal and the USA. Our founder Alex Baker would love to hear your views, drop him a line on


Please find us on social media @cleancarsystem and give us a follow!