Costs and taxation
A look at the likely costs and taxes of buying and running an electric vehicle.
At present the majority of EVs qualify for a government grant that will reduce the price by up to £3,000 for cars and £8,000 for vans. This 'Plug-in Grant' is included in the price offered by the vehicle dealer.
Once you have made the switch, the cost of fuelling your vehicle should decrease. Charging an EV is currently far cheaper than filling a fuel tank with petrol or diesel. For example, if electricity costs 15p per kilowatt hour, you could home-charge a Nissan Leaf to 100% for a mere £3, compared to £15 in a petrol car. A motorway fast-charge will usually cost around £6 to bring the batteries up to 80%.
Pure EVs are in many ways a lot simpler than conventional petrol or diesel cars. This can make servicing easier, helping to keep maintenance costs to a minimum. In theory, your annual maintenance bill could be up to £300 cheaper, but until local garages get up to speed with EVs, you may have to take your car to a specialist dealer.
Due to the zero- or low-level of CO2 emissions emitted by EVs, practically all models are categorised in Tax Band A and are effectively exempt from paying road tax.
In addition to government tax incentives for EVs, it’s likely that the government’s anti-pollution drive will lead to more towns and cities across the UK imposing an air quality zone. This could lead to more tolls for conventional petrol and diesel vehicles, from which electric vehicles are likely to be exempt.