Petrol can be cheaper than electric – if less than £1 per litre

The average electric car remains cheaper to run than an equivalent petrol car despite recent claims that suggest otherwise. Jordan Brompton of myenergi has her say.

Despite the average price of petrol falling below £1.50 per litre for first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, the average electric car driver can be reassured that their vehicle will remain cheaper to run, unless fuel prices fall below £1 per litre – something they have not done for nearly 14 years.

These figures from myenergi, supplier of one of the UK’s best-selling home charging points, come in the wake of new UK electric car registrations exceeding even the motor industry’s own expectations in 2022, with almost 25,000 (or 7%) more registered last year than had been forecast by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Jordan Brompton, co-founder and CMO of myenergi, said: “The vast majority of electric vehicle charging happens at home and often overnight – and that remains significantly cheaper than fuelling a petrol or diesel car. While some public charging costs have risen noticeably in recent months, very few drivers rely on the rapid or ultra-fast chargers on the public charging network for their everyday charging needs.

“That’s good news for existing and prospective electric car drivers, since not only can those with home charging take advantage of Time of Use home energy tariffs with cheaper overnight electricity, but an increasing number will have the ability to charge for a marginal cost of zero, using their own renewable generation in the form of rooftop solar panels.”

Under the government’s Energy Price Guarantee, the average dual fuel unit price for electricity on standard variable tariffs with direct debit is limited to 34p per kWh. For an electric car averaging just over 3 miles per kWh, this equates to a cost of 11p per mile. With fuel at £1.50 per litre, a petrol car averaging around 45 miles per gallon will cost 15p per mile – and would only become cheaper to run if prices fell below £1 per litre.

Electric car registrations in the UK since 2010 reached a cumulative total of more than 1.1 million by the end of 2022, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders forecasts that an additional 1.1 million will be registered by the end of 2024.

Brompton continued: “Far from waning demand, we are seeing interest in electric vehicles absolutely booming. While some models are more readily available, the average lead time for a new electric car is around nine months – far longer than the lead time for a new petrol or diesel car – underlining that this is still very much a supply-constrained market.”

Want the latest Electric vehicle news in your inbox? Sign up to the free EV Powered email newsletter...

Jordan Brompton

Co-founder and CMO of EV charging company, myenergi.