Historically, electric vehicles have often been perceived as a luxury item; only available for the wealthy. Yet as we head towards the UK Government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, is this still the case? In this final episode of Electrifying Discussions, Grace, Laura, Jack and Charlie discuss whether EVs are truly affordable for all.

If you’re thinking of switching to an electric vehicle, you might have noticed that the upfront cost does typically tend to be higher than an ICE vehicle. However, it’s worth noting that, in most regards, EVs are cheaper to run over their lifetime, which can result in big savings. 

This is due to a number of factors:

Lower maintenance costs

No internal combustion engine means no oil changes required, fewer engine parts to wear down and easier maintenance all around. In short, the simplicity of the electric vehicle parts means significantly lower maintenance costs which can really add up in the long run. 

Cheaper to fuel

Yes the price of electricity is rising, but so too is the cost of petrol and diesel, meaning the running costs of an EV still work out cheaper than their ICE counterparts. If you have a charger at home, you may even be able to take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity prices or charge using renewable sources like solar

Zero road tax charges

Since the amount of road tax you are required to pay is based on the emissions that it produces, another cost-saving benefit of EVs is that they are exempt from it. Admittedly, as EVs become more popular, it is likely that this will change, so take advantage of the benefit while you can!

If the initial upfront cost is still a concern, there are still a number of options open to you.

The second-hand market is growing

Since it’s still a relatively new technology, the number of second-hand options aren’t as great as with ICE vehicles. However, this is changing. For example 2022 saw a 37.5% increase in sales compared with 2021. It’s expected that this number will continue to grow as supply issues with new EVs start to decline, and they begin to filter through. 

Cheaper models are coming

The good news is that with the introduction of smaller and niftier models, the EV market is becoming friendlier to those on a budget. For example, the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf and MG4 are all available new for under £30,000. Check out this list of 2023s most affordable EVs.

Leasing is an option

Leasing can be a great way to test out an electric vehicle without fully committing. In fact, leasing can often be a better option as it means your monthly payments are lower and you’ll typically have a longer warranty. It also means you have the option to return and upgrade your car in a few years, so you always have the latest model with the latest tech! 

They hold their value well

Another important point to remember is that electric cars tend to hold their value much more than ICE vehicles. By their third year, petrol cars will typically have depreciated by as much as 60%, however electric vehicle depreciation rates typically sit at around 40-49%. This means you’ll get more of your money back by the time you go to sell. 

So are electric vehicles just for the wealthy? Maybe they used to be, but certainly not anymore!

If you’re new to the world of EVs, why not check out our other Electrifying Discussion articles for some helpful tips and tricks.

There are also a number of grants available to help you with the purchase and installation cost of a new EV charger. Check out our page for more information.