Saturday, 10 January 2015

Petrol vs Electric

Back in 2013 I had two cars - Golf GTI Edition 30 and Land Rover Discovery.  Both cars needed money spending on them; the Golf was at 110k miles and needed some planned but expensive maintenance work, and the Land Rover, at 15 years old, needed lots of things fixing and replacing.
I couldn't afford both and had to choose which one I loved more.  So, the Golf was sold.
In its place I picked up a Citroen C2 VTR, a car intended to do running about and the 222 round trip commute to the office once each week.
In the 603 days I've owned the car, I've logged the figures for each time I've filled up (odometer reading, litres of fuel added, cost of the fuel and price per litre) - yes, I'm a geek and I like the numbers.  I can feel happy that I can come up with numbers like these:

  • Total spent on fuel - £5,725.91
  • Miles covered - 35919
  • Best/avg/worst MPG - 45.38/37.80/31.27

Nerd-tastic!

In 2014, fuel has cost me £2,923.  Not a huge amount (not least, compared to what it would cost to do the same miles in the Land Rover), but still, a decent chunk of hard earned cash.

I have frequently pondered whether buying and running an electric car would be "better".  Electric cars need to be charged (vs filled with petrol/diesel) but the cost in tiny.  On the other hand, buying an electric car is at least ten times more than I paid for the Citroen.

Would buying an electric car compare with running the Citroen?

In terms of running costs, then yes, easily.  Charging an electric vehicle ("EV") would be simple using pence of household electricity from the home supply.
According to energysavingtrust.org.uk:
A full charge will cost approximately £2 to £3 and will give a typical range of 100 miles. Driving 100 miles in a petrol or diesel car will cost around £12 to £18 in fuel. The cost savings will be greatest when owners have access to an overnight low rate electricity tariff.
So my petrol cost of £2,923 for 2014 (at £3 per full charge) would provide 974 full charges, or, just over 97 thousand miles.  Whoa.
Looking at it the other way round, the 19,004 miles I covered in 2014 would cost around £570 in electricity - 80% saving.

Deducting £507 from £2923 leaves £2,416.  If I add in other costs for the Citreon, such as servicing and road fund license (aka "road tax"), I'd estimate around £500; would £2,916 be enough to buy or lease an EV? Let's assume it's a three year thing - £8,748.
No, not for a new vehicle.  Personal Contract Hire get closer, as the monthly payments would comes in at less than £2,416 / 12.  Bu the deposit is a killer, so not an option.

What about used? Close, but not close enough.  The cheapest vehicles I can find are still over £10k. That's before trying to pull together £10k up front (rather than over three years).

Hey ho.  As much as I like the idea of an EV, it's not going to happen.  At least, not yet.



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