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UK ranks fifth cheapest country for EV ownership

Line-up of electric vehicles outside the Houses of Parliament

LeasePlan’s annual car cost index has ranked the UK as the fifth cheapest country in Europe to own an electric vehicle (EV).

According to the Index, the total monthly cost of owning a plug-in vehicle in the UK is £630 (€719), 14% lower than the European average of £719 (€819).

The UK currently places behind Hungary (£524 / €597), Poland (£556 / €634), Norway (£588 / €670) and the Netherlands (£619 / €705).

Norway was revealed as the only country where the cost of owning an EV is cheaper than a traditional petrol or diesel vehicle. The total average cost of owning an electric vehicle (£588 / €670 a month) is lower than the cost of a petrol car (£642 / €731) and a diesel one (£634 / €722).

In the Netherlands, electric cars are cheaper than diesel. Monthly running costs are £727 (€829) a month for electric compared to £755 (€861) for diesel. Petrol costs come in slightly lower at £689 (€785) a month. (Monthly cost based on a VW Golf, over 48 months and 30,000km/18,641m).

The study comes after the Government announced that the plug-in car and van grant will be extended until October 2018, having previously stated it would only remain in its current capacity until April 2018.

Matt Dyer, managing director of LeasePlan UK, said: “Electric vehicles are becoming more viable and cost-effective all the time.”

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) which has seen registrations for plug-in electric vehicles increase by 37% in April 2018 compared to the same month last year (3,858 and 2,821 respectively).

When analysing the breakdown of the UK average monthly cost of ownership for an EV (£631 / €719), the main cost differentiator aside from the electricity/fuel costs, is depreciation, largely due to high initial outlay costs, LeasePlan’s figures suggest.

This accounts for 62% of the total monthly cost of ownership of an electric vehicle (£390 / €444) compared to 41% for diesel and 36% for petrol vehicles. However, by 2024, it is expected that prices will be level for both kinds of vehicles.

Dyer said: “It’s good to see that the costs of going electric in the UK are lower than in most other European countries, although they are still higher than for petrol and diesel and we still have further to go to catch up with the leaders in this field: Norway and the Netherlands.

“It’s also important to remember that cost isn’t the only challenge facing motorists and fleets looking to go green. The charging network is growing rapidly, but a lot more infrastructure still needs to be delivered, to give everyone the confidence that they can find somewhere to plug in.”

LeasePlan’s Car Cost Index looks at the costs of owning a small to medium-size car (B&C segment) in 21 European countries. It factors in all costs that motorists incur in each country, including fuel, depreciation, taxes, insurance and maintenance.

The study also revealed that the average cost of owning a car varies hugely across Europe, from £393 (€448) a month in Poland to £668 (€761) a month in Italy.

The European average is £541 (€616) a month, with the UK average slightly cheaper at £521 (€594).

Weighted for GDP, drivers in Italy, Finland and Belgium have the highest total cost of ownership, while drivers in Ireland, Poland and Switzerland have the lowest.

Furthermore, the costs of electric motoring vary hugely across Europe. They are lowest in Hungary, where the average monthly cost is £524 (€597). In Italy, by contrast, the average monthly cost is £865 (€986), making it the most expensive place to drive an electric vehicle.

Electric motorists also make big savings on fuel. On average across Europe, they spend £34 (€39) a month on electricity on average, compared to £97 (€110) a month for petrol and £68 (€78) a month for diesel.

The 21 countries included in the car cost index are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The car models included in the analysis were: BMW i3, Ford Focus/Focus Electric, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Renault Clio, Renault Zoe, Smart Fortwo, VW Golf/e-Golf and VW Polo. Fuel costs are based on manufacturer fuel consumption data.

The LeasePlan Car Cost Index 2017 is available to download by clicking here

  • Total monthly cost of ownership, by country and fuel type:














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