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The Telegraph

Electric car drivers are only GBP100 better off after three years than if they buy fuel version

Electric car drivers would save an average of just GBP100 after three years compared to the petrol version of the same vehicles, research has found. The analysis by Halfords found that, while electric vehicles are on average 47 per cent more expensive to buy than petrol and diesel equivalents, drivers would likely still make a saving after three years because of lower running costs. Electric cars are seen as a major part of the UK’s push to reach net-zero carbon emissions, and the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2030.

However, critics have warned that the higher cost of electric vehicles could prove prohibitive for many drivers, although the hefty upfront price tags would be expected to come down over time as more second hand models enter the market. Halfords analysed the biggest-selling electric cars which have a petrol or diesel equivalent, assuming an annual mileage of 10,000. Among the biggest savings after three years were GBP800 for those who bought an electric Mini Cooper Classic and GBP1,650 for a BMW i3, despite costing nearly GBP10,000 and GBP4,000 more upfront than their petrol or diesel counterparts.

However, owning an electric Vauxhall Corsa would leave drivers GBP1,581 worse off after three years than a petrol Corsa, according to the analysis, although this cost would come down with further years of ownership.

Andy Turbefield, head of quality at Halfords, said: “Intuitively we know that electric vehicles can be better value than their nearest petrol and diesel equivalents, but we wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to see it for themselves.” He added: “We’re not suggesting that people should buy electric because of the long term savings, but if people are delaying purchase because of the upfront cost, this should give them pause for thought.” Halfords has launched a calculator for those looking to compare the cost of electric vehicle ownership, including data for 102 electric, petrol, diesel and hybrid models.

In some cases, electric vehicles were more expensive on a total cost basis, although Halfords said there are “numerous” examples where going electric is more economical.