Sep 09, 2021  •  10 min read
Electric cars could be cheaper to run than you think – and finance cases have more than doubled since 2019.

To mark World EV Day on 9th September, Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) has released data from our online EV-4-Me tool, designed for consumers to discover how an EV would fit into their lifestyle, which shows that drivers can expect average annual running costs of £866 when behind the wheel of an electric vehicle.

This is a whopping £711 cheaper than a comparable petrol car (£1,577 annual cost) and a substantial £640 less expensive than a diesel car (£1,508 annual cost).

Volkswagen Financial Services UK’s data insights team can also reveal that annual finance cases for electric vehicles are up 128% so far this year compared to the whole of 2019.

Research conducted by Volkswagen Financial Services UK earlier this year found that 63% of all people considering making the switch from combustion cars to an EV look into the running costs, so it is clearly an important topic.

The UK government is due to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 and Volkswagen Financial Services UK’s findings are broadly reflective of the government’s Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR).

Rebecca Whitmore, EV Senior Product Owner at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “It’s great to see the growth of EV adoption in the UK, with more electric vehicles registered than diesel cars for the second month in a row in July this year.

“Our digital tools such as EV-4-Me and the EV&Me app are great places to start researching electric cars.“Our customer research tells us that customers really value the experience of an EV test drive, as of those who took a test drive in a recent study, 95% said that it was important in helping with their decision to purchase an EV. Our try before you buy proposition takes this one step further, giving customers a chance to experience what it’s like to live with an EV before making the commitment to buy.”

How do we achieve more mainstream adoption of electric cars?
As part of the Government’s Road to Zero strategy, all new rapid charge points installed since spring 2020 should provide debit or credit card payment, to encourage greater EV uptake. Up until that point consumers were restricted to charging using the relevant provider’s charge card or app.

Mike Coulton, EV Consultant at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said:“There are more than 25,000 charging points in over 15,500 locations across the UK, but with multiple charge point operators (CPOs) asking motorists to sign up to their individual subscription or membership services to charge their EV, access can be an issue. This fragmented marketplace can make it difficult for individuals and business fleets looking to make the switch to EV, which is why a universal payment app, such as Volkswagen Financial Services Fleet’s Charge&Fuel product, helps to ease this burden considerably.

“When it comes to combating range anxiety, it is worth noting that the all-electric Volkswagen ID.3 Tour with its 77kWh battery can travel up to 340 miles on a single charge on the WLTP (combined) cycle, whilst cheaper variants with the 58kWh battery can still achieve 264 miles on the same cycle.”

Volkswagen Financial Services UK’s research shows this aligns with the minimum mileage people would want an electric vehicle to travel without having to charge en-route to a destination. Volkswagen Financial Services UK data shows that 75% of people would expect their electric vehicle to travel up to 300 miles on a single charge.

Mike Todd, CEO at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “The case for making the switch to electric is getting stronger all the time and some of the anxieties that drivers may have around cost, range and charging are proving to be less of an issue as EV technology continues to evolve at pace. I think a big part of boosting mainstream adoption of electric cars is reminding people of how we actually travel in our everyday lives.

“The average length of each car journey in the UK is fewer than 10 miles, and with public charging stations being installed at supermarkets, gyms and elsewhere, frequent top-ups rather than big weekly charges are likely to be the norm for many, especially those without off-street parking. One analogy I like to borrow is that charging an EV should be approached in the same way we top up a smartphone battery – something that’s much easier if you have multiple chargers dotted around your house.”

For more information on whether switching to an electric car is the right move for you – visit our EV Advice Hub.