If you have a business which runs a fleet of cars, are in charge of managing a fleet or drive a company car for work, you’re probably asking yourself if now is the time to go electric. That is, if you haven’t done so already. Here DriveElectric take a look at how EVs compare to petrol, diesel and hybrid cars.
Cost of electric cars compared
Electric cars can represent huge savings when driven for business use. This is because the cost of charging an EV is far lower than the price of fuel, meaning electric car cost per mile figures are significantly lower than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
They’re also much lower than hybrids which have limited range, or regularly travel above their all-electric range on a daily basis. Typically, conventional fleets can cut their fuel costs by around 80% by switching to battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
As there are fewer moving parts in an EV compared to a combustion engine, they have lower maintenance costs which can translate to significant savings compared to petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Company car drivers only have to pay 2% in Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax in the 2022/23 financial year, while there are also savings to be made on road tax, Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and congestion charges. In fact, under plans announced in November 2022, BIK on electric cars will only rise to 5% by the end of 2028. Meaning that benefit-in-kind on electric company cars will remain significantly lower than petrol, diesel or hybrid for the long term.
The Zap Map Journey Cost Calculator is a brilliant tool you can use to compare the cost of running EVs to other vehicles. We’ve run the figures for some popular EVs, ICE equivalents and hybrids below, pitching them against each other to give you an idea of running costs.
Electric Versus… – the shoot out
Data from Zap Map Journey Cost Calculator; Electricity price: 25p/kWh & Fuel price: 150p/litre. Approx. 10,000 miles/year
The cost of electric is increasing…
But so too is the cost of petrol and diesel
While the energy crisis of 2022 has been significant, with the cost of electricity increasing for business and individuals alike, so too the cost of petrol and diesel has been increasing.
In June 2022, the average cost of petrol has increased to over 180p per litre and the average cost of diesel up to 188p per litre, and in some locations the cost per litre has topped £2 for the first time.
Meanwhile, for consumers the picture of electricity pricing is more mixed.
- For people still on a long standing fixed rate energy deals the price of electricity will have remained unchanged through 2022.
- For people out of a fixed rate deal and onto a variable deal then the price of electricity has increased to around 34p per kWh. (October domestic electricity price cap)
- However, there are still variable tariffs in the marketplace for electric vehicle drivers with a home charger. Which means EV owners can still benefit from kWh prices as low as 5p for overnight charging. To put this figure into context a good benchmark for an efficient EV is 3 miles per kWh, which means a 5p / kWh tariff works out at only 1.7 pence per mile.
Additionally, more employers are providing workplace charging options, sometimes free or subsidised, which reduces refuelling costs. And there are also other options such as household solar arrays which converts sunshine into electricity.
It is fair to say that driving an EV allows you to plan and control how and when you refuel your vehicle, instead of being limited to the price on the petrol forecourt.
Therefore, the benefit of switching to an electric vehicle is compelling, even when just looking through the lense of refuelling costs.
How far can an electric car go?
Many electric cars nowadays are capable of covering more than 250 ‘real world’ miles on a single charge. This is usually more than enough range for company car drivers. Take the Tesla Model S Performance Ludicrous – it does exactly what it says on the tin with an astonishing WLTP range of nearly 400 miles. It isn’t just Tesla that can offer premium electric cars with very long ranges – recently BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have all got models out now or coming soon which can travel over 300 miles on a single charge.
Perhaps more typically, EVs such as the Volkswagen ID.3, Mercedes EQC, Hyundai Kona and Jaguar I-Pace fit into the 250-300-mile WLTP range. The Peugeot e-Expert van, meanwhile, has a WLTP range of just over 200 miles, with our ‘real world’ range coming in around the 170 mile mark.
Even if you or your drivers cover higher distances than this on a daily basis, Britain’s ever-improving EV infrastructure means charging your battery on the fly is easier than ever. There are now more EV charging locations across the UK than standard petrol stations, while businesses can receive financial help towards installing on-site charge points. This will help you with keeping your zero-emission fleet on the road all day, every day.
Are electric cars easy to run?
With all of those charging locations, as well as the improved availability of rapid and ultra-rapid charging points, there’s never been a more convenient time to run an electric car. The country, and indeed the planet, has woken up to the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, leading to an enhanced electric motoring experience almost everywhere you look.
This includes the greater prevalence of public charge points at places like shopping centres, supermarkets and even pubs and restaurants, allowing EV drivers to top up their batteries at times most convenient to them – and often for free too. And while you still of course need to keep up with basic maintenance aspects such as tyre pressure, lights and washer fluids, the simpler design of EV engines means less time spent in the garage getting fixed.
Comfort of electric cars vs petrol and diesels
Comfort is often relative to individual models, vehicle size, specs and tuning things like your suspension, but the very essence of most electric cars is based upon a smooth, comfortable ride. This is because you get the best economy when you drive like this, with features such as regenerative braking even allowing you to drive using only the accelerator pedal.
Thanks to their modern design, EV cabins are usually pleasant places to be, with many manufacturers developing fresh interiors for their electric cars. And with more premium carmakers entering the fully-electric domain, comfort levels and luxury are better than ever.
Can you lease an electric car?
In many respects, leasing an electric car is one of the best ways to get into EVs. With short contracts usually lasting two or three years, you can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to driving the latest models as and when they’re released. Indeed, we even offer our unique FlexiHire service to businesses, where you can organise short-term rentals to get a feel for a certain EV, before easily extending or terminating your contract without any fees.
Depreciation of electric vehicles vs petrol, diesel and hybrids
Along with fuel, car depreciation is usually the single biggest running cost associated with motoring. The great news with depreciation of electric vehicles, is that it’s getting better all the time. This is because used EVs are becoming more desirable, helping with residual values (RVs) which depreciation is based on. Petrol cars usually have the worst depreciation, while the poor image of diesel engines has seen their RVs plummet in recent years.
Hybrids are showing promising deprecation levels at the moment, while the upcoming ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars from 2020 is only helping electric cars retain stronger RVs. This is great news if you want to lease an electric car, because monthly payments are heavily based on depreciation, and what a car is worth at the end of the leasing term.
Environmental benefits of electric cars
Aside from all of the cost benefits and other great reasons for going electric, the environmental benefits are the most important. With cars such as the VW ID.3 offering a carbon neutral footprint right through its supply chain and production to use and recycling, fully-electric motoring is crucial to the future of our planet.