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How Much Do Electric Cars Cost to Run: The Facts

The government are taking an active role in helping to reduce carbon emissions, outlining a goal of putting a stop to the sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 in favour of driving electric vehicle sales. With this in mind, we wanted to provide you with the facts about going green with electric vehicles.

In this article, we review all the factors that contribute to how much electric cars cost to run.

Running Costs

Are electric vehicles cheaper to run than a typical petrol fuel car? We provide you with a breakdown of running costs you need to consider as an owner of a EV model.

The initial cost of purchasing an electric car is higher, in comparison to conventional vehicles, due to the cost of the battery used to power them. However, the running costs are considerably cheaper in comparison to its petrol and diesel counterparts. Whilst the upfront expense may seem high, the long term benefits can outweight the cons.

Electric vs Petrol and Diesel Cars


Jaguar I-PACE

Jaguar F-PACE

BMW i3

BMW 1 Series

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen Golf SV

List Price £74, 425.00 £37, 740.00 £34,445.00 £25,045.00 £32,550.00 £22,510.00
MPG 3.2m/kWh 49.6mpg 5.3m/kWh 64.2mpg 13.2m/kWh 67.3mpg
CO2 0g/km 150g/km 0g/km 116g/km 0g/km 113g/km
Fuel Type Electric Diesel Electric Diesel Electric Diesel
Running Costs £425.70 £1,203.50 £262.26 £932.81 £113.20 £1,002.05
Service & Repair £13.20 £13.20 £13.20 £13.20 £13.20 £124.80
Fuel £412.50 £1,190.30 £249.06 £919.61 £100.00 £877.25
Standing Cost £17,906.26 £13,572.31 £15,249.03 £14,369.16 £11,869.05 £13,680.23
Total Cost £18,331.96 £14,775.81 £15,511.29 £15,301.97 £11,982.25 £14,682.28

*figures based on 10,000 miles per annum

Source: The Green Age, Compare Car Running Costs

In the tables above it’s clear that while the initial cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is more expensive than a conventional powered car, once you have the keys, they make for a far more attractive proposition. Low running costs, repair and cheaper maintenance costs, all result in huge savings.


Jaguar I-PACE

An iconic brand on the market, the Jaguar I-PACE comes at around a 50% hiked upfront cost to own than its diesel peer. Its starting £74,425 price tag makes it one of the more expensive in the electric car market. But if you are looking for luxury, the I-PACE is certainly the EV for you. With its aerodynamic design, electrifying performance and high tech, it certainly doesn’t fall short of charisma.

Whilst the initial investment is higher, you’ll be sure to save on yearly running costs, which is £777.80 cheaper than the F-Pace diesel model.


BMW i3

Renowned for its German engineering, BMW offers a premium electric drive at a more affordable price in comparsion to the I-PACE. The BMW i3 will cost 37% more than its regular diesel counterpart, the BMW 1 Series.

With a modern interior, visually appealing exterior and a surprisingly powerful acceleration, the BMW i3 will provide the same driving experience of a BMW, but with zero emissions. Win, win.

Opting for the electric BMW i3 will save you £670.55 a year, equating to £2,011.65 over three years when compared to the BMW 1 Series.



If you are considering purchasing an electric car on a smaller budget, at a cost of only £32,500, the e-Golf is the most affordable of the bunch.

There’s no cutting corners either. Filled with the latest technology, a full body styling kit and LED highlights - you’ll struggle to convince people this car is all electric.

The initial price of the e-Golf will cost you 44.6% more than its diesel alternative, but has running costs of just £113.20 per year and £339.60 over a 3 year period – that’s a £2,666 saving over the diesel model.

Public Charging Points

With an increasing demand for the plug-in hybrids, public charging points have rapidly grown in recent years, from motorways to shopping centres - they can be located through apps such as Zap-Map.

If you don’t have a domestic charging point, they are often the best soltution to top up, especially for long journeys. They offer rapid, fast and slow charges. You’ll find most EV charging points are free of charge, but if you are looking for rapid and fast charges they are likely to require payment.

Cost of Fuel

Free or paid, it’s much cheaper then visiting a petrol or diesel pump to fill up. The cost of energy is far lower than the fuel required to fill your tank.

According to drive-green, it can cost as little as 2p per mile to fuel an electric car, but up to 14p per mile for a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle.

Charging at Home

Charging at home is the cheapest and easiest way to restore energy to your battery. You can use a 3-pin plug, typically taking 6-8 hours to charge. Invest in an electric charging infrastructure and you can reduce this time down to 3 hours, dependent on the power of the station.

They often come in 3 KW or 7 KW, the latter incurring a higher cost due to offering a faster charge.

Grants for Electric Charging at Home

If you are Investing in a chargepoint for your home, it’s worth knowing that a grant from the government can help bring your cost down. You can apply for the grant through the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

If eligible, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) can fund up to 75% towards the cost of installing an electric chargepoint at homes across the UK.

Save on Electricity Usage

Charging at home means you will naturally incur higher electricity bills, so you’ll want to search for the cheapest tariff possible. However, it’s worth shopping around providers as some will offer tariffs that reward you for off peak charging.

You can calculate the cost of how much your electric car is estimated to cost using Zap Maps home charging calculator.


Driving an electric vehicle saves you money in many ways. You are exempt from paying any road tax and are immune from congestion charges in London – both of which you will need to claim back. Additional savings come in the form of discounted or free parking.

However, it’s worth knowing that cars that initally cost over £40,000 incur a £310 surcharge for years two to six of ownership.

For the time being, electric vehicles are exempt from road tax, but as motorists begin to favour electric vehicles over their conventional ones, the government may look to review tax on EVs to avoid a loss of revenue. Nothing has yet been confirmed though.


An electric vehicle is constructed with only two or three moving components, far less than a conventional car. Tyres, brakes and air filters are the three components that require replacing, which makes for simpler servicing and avoids the hefty service costs that conventional vehicles can incur, such as a new clutch or oil change.

The Verdict

Concerns around carbon emissions has been a key catalyst in driving awareness around electric vehicles and is heavily encouraged by the government. Many car brands are already making commitments to be more green, by expanding their electric car offering in ranges.

Both the commitment from the government and brands, as well as the rapid increase in electric vehicles in recent years, clearly shows the industry and many motorists on the road are transitioning to electric vehicles.

So is it worth investing in an electric car?

It’s clear that the initial investment in an electric vehicle is more expensive than buying a petrol or diesel car, but once you have made the transition they have reasonably low running costs. You can also reduce the initial investment by buying a second hand electric vehicle.

If you have already made the leap into buying an electric car, we’d love to hear about your electric experience. Was it worth your investment? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Alternatively, visit your local Jardine dealership for more information on electric vehicles. Our specialists would be more than happy to help you!