I’ve been driving EVs for a few years now – and people often ask me about running costs. I can’t tell you what your insurance, maintenance, or leasing costs will be – but I can show you how much it costs to drive.
Here’s a fairly recent trip in my Renault Zoe:
That’s a mixture of motorways in the cold, and gentle country paths in the summer. Hopefully typical of a mixed driving style.
It takes 971kWh of electricity to move 3,500 miles. So, what’s that in MPG? Let’s work it out the long way.
I pay 13p/kWh for my domestic electricity.
£0.13 * 971 = £126
So the cost per mile is…
£126 / 3,500 = 3.6p/mile
Currently, UK petrol prices are about £1.30 per litre. There are 4.55 litres to the UK gallon.
(4.55 litres * £1.30) / 3.6p/mile = 165 MPG
That’s a pretty good fuel efficiency!
You can calculate it another way:
The 23MPG difference is then the market arbitrage between electricity and fossil fuel costs.
— Eugene Zaikonnikov (@varjag) September 10, 2018
Now, this is just my car and my driving style. But the evidence is clear; electric driving is ridiculously cheap!
At the moment, if you’re getting 50MPG in a petrol car, fuel costs 12p/mile.
(4.55 * £1.30) / 50 = £0.118
The best fossil-fuel cars get under 100MPG – that’s still double the cost per mile of an electric car.
If you can supplement your home charging with solar, like I do, the cost per mile falls even further.