Electric car’s cost advantage over gasoline rises amid energy market turmoil | Energy industry

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Driving an electric car for a year costs almost £600 less than its petrol equivalent after fuel prices rose more than electricity costs, research from comparison site Compare the Market shows.

Electric vehicles were already cheaper to run, according to figures shared with the Guardian, but the gap has widened significantly amid turmoil in global energy markets caused by the war in Ukraine.

The average annual cost of driving an electric vehicle is £1,264, Compare the Market found, compared to £1,834 for a petrol car.

Running either type of vehicle is significantly more expensive than it was a year ago.

Petrol prices hit record highs in March and have fallen only slightly this month, while the new price cap on national energy bills, which came into effect on April 1, has led to higher electricity costs.

Petrol cars saw the biggest increase in cost, up more than £300 from £1,530, while owning an electric car is £137 more than in 2021. The change means that the cost advantage of an electric car has increased from £403 to £570.

The figures take into account the average costs of insurance, MOT and fuel, as well as vehicle excise duty of £165 for a petrol car, a tax from which electric cars are exempt.

The research was based on a driver driving 6,700 miles a year and paying £1.62 a liter of petrol or 28p per kWh of electricity.

Drivers who benefit from special rates for their electric vehicles will pay much less for charging, so the savings will be even greater.

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Alex Hasty, director of Compare the Market, said: “Despite rising energy bills, motorists who have made the switch will be pleased to see that electric vehicles cost significantly less to operate than an alternative to gasoline.

“In addition to helping the environment, these drivers benefit from fuel, insurance and tax savings.”

Rising petrol and diesel prices are making electric cars an attractive option for many motorists, and sales have soared. Industry figures show UK drivers bought more in March than in all of 2019.

However, they are not an option for everyone. Hasty said: “Buying an electric car and installing a home charging station comes at a significant upfront cost, which will keep many drivers from being able to afford this option.”

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