UK motorists could save an average of £306 a year in garage bills by switching to a new electric car, according to research published today by the government and industry-backed Go Ultra Low campaign.
Every year, the average motorist forks out £400 for servicing and maintenance for their petrol or diesel car – more than four times the equivalent £96 per year cost for an electric vehicle. The findings from Go Ultra Low’s study of UK drivers reveal the extent of savings that ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) offer compared to petrol and diesel cars.
The collective annual average of £400 servicing costs adds up to a whopping £13 billion per year spending across the country for drivers of petrol and diesel cars. Cumulatively, if every motorist in the country switched to a pure electric car, it would free up £10 billion in extra cash.
The gap in running costs becomes even greater for some. In the same research, it was discovered that more than a third of petrol and diesel car drivers are currently paying significant additional service and maintenance costs, with 36% of respondents saying that they paid further sums of between £101 and £200 per year for unanticipated costs.
There are wider implications of having a car off the road for servicing. 36% of those surveyed claimed to have lost between £100 and £250 of income due to the inconvenience of their conventionally powered cars having to be kept and worked on in a garage.
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, said: “Pure electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than cars with an internal combustion engine. This means that there are fewer things which require maintenance, and servicing is simpler and cheaper to complete with fewer consumables. Drivers dread unexpected large repair bills, but as more motorists switch to electric vehicles, these killer bills are becoming a thing of the past.
“It’s time that the British public realise just how cheap electric vehicles are to live with – and it’s not just the cut-price servicing. Fuel and running costs can be as low as 2p per mile and plug-in vehicles benefit from the lowest rates of tax, offering the average driver significant cost savings.”
Last year, Go Ultra Low revealed that motorists could cut £750 on their annual fuel bills by going electric. However, today’s research highlights that further awareness on the money-saving potential is required, as over a quarter (26%) of respondents mistakenly said electric cars are more expensive to run and almost as many (17%) incorrectly thought they were more expensive to service.
Only 20% of car owners surveyed in the study correctly identified the low fuel costs of ULEVs – which can be run for as little as 2p per mile.
Plug-in electric car sales continue to rise at a rapid rate, with more than 28,000 ULEVs registered in 2015 – more than the previous five years combined. The 2015 plug-in car market growth almost doubled 2014’s total, surpassing the previous year’s 14,532 registrations total by 94%. Almost 50,000 Plug-in Car Grant-eligible EVs have been registered since the initiative launched in 2011.