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EVs are now cheaper to run than ICE cars per year in the UK

An electric vehicle’s average lifetime ownership cost in the UK is £52,133 ($65,750), compared to £53,625 ($67,636) for an equivalent ICE car, according to a new study from UK insurance company Direct Line.

So on average, based on purchase price and ownership costs over 14 years, an EV would cost £3,752 a year over the course of its life, compared to £3,858 for an ICE car, resulting in an annual savings of £106 ($132) per year.

In the UK, the average EV model costs around £5,000 ($6,292) more than a comparable ICE model. That’s even with the £3,000 subsidy for EVs that cost below £50,000 though the British government’s Plug-in Car Grant.

But annual tax and maintenance costs (including MOTs and servicing) for EVs are 49% lower than for ICE models, while refueling costs 58% less.

However, insurance costs are 25% higher for EVs due to “current production costs and complexities involved in the calibration of computers used in these cars,” according to Direct Line.

Direct Line has calculated that annual running costs average £1,742, or £33.50 per week for an electric car, which is 21% cheaper than the running costs of an ICE car, which is £2,205 per year, or £42.40 per week. (For those of you who aren’t aware, petrol is expensive in the UK — it’s currently running at around £1.24 a liter, or £5.58 [$6.96] a gallon.)

According to the Department for Transport, the UK has surpassed 100,000 registered EVs. In 2019, 99,374 licensed EVs were registered.

According to This is Money:

In 2020, Society of Motor Manufacturer and Trader figures show that 30,957 battery electric cars have been registered by the end of June, which is almost 160% higher than sales in the first six months of last year.

Further, AutoTrader’s secondhand car data shows that a year-old EV only loses 12% of its value, compared to a 24% drop in value for ICE vehicles.

The UK will ban selling diesel and petrol cars from 2035, as Electrek reported in February. Consumers will then only be able to buy electric or hydrogen cars and vans.

The UK currently has 11,000 EV charging stations and is rapidly working to install more. The UK is offering the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which enables individual buyers of eligible EVs to receive a grant for up to 75% (capped at £350) for the cost of installing a wall-box charger at homes. This also includes leases and company cars.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.