Autos

Electric cars driven further than petrol models despite claims of … – The Telegraph


Electric cars are being driven 1,800 miles more per year than petrol cars despite claims of range anxiety.

While petrol cars clock in an average of 4,200 miles, battery-powered cars are being driven 6,000 miles, according to research firm New Automotive, using data from MOT tests.

Diesel and petrol cars together average 5,500 miles, the analysis found.

Electric cars are about £10,000 more expensive to buy than combustion cars, but offer considerably cheaper mileage.

Ben Nelmes, chief executive at New Automotive, said buyers of electric cars are likely to be using them for frequent, short trips.

He added: “Range anxiety has been significantly overstated, probably for a number of years. But a few years ago, it was probably more of an issue when batteries were smaller, and the charging network was more sparse.”

Most people charge their cars at home, which industry watchers have said has helped ease pressure on the public network.

Mr Nelmes added: “If you’re able to charge up overnight on your driveway, then even if you’ve got a car with quite a small battery size, then you can do a significant number of miles every day.”

But it also means that a looming limitation on adoption could be on the horizon because of the gap in price between public charge points and home chargers. This makes an electric car less attractive for those who live in flats or other housing that lack charging points.

According to the AA, charging to 80pc at home costs about £21 based on the current price cap for electricity, whereas a fast public charge costs an average £30, but as much as £46.

Charging at home means each mile driven costs 8 pence compared to 14.6 pence per mile for petrol and 13.3 pence for diesel.

New Automotive data also suggests that electric cars with medium-sized batteries with 40-50kwh of capacity, such as the compact Nissan Leaf, travel just as far as the models with the biggest batteries, suggesting there is little concern about small batteries being useful.

“I think they’re being bought by people who need a car that’s a real workhorse, looking for something that is going to save them money. And of course, it saves them money if they do a lot of miles,” said Mr Nelmes.

New vehicle supply is a bigger constraint in the growth of electrics, he said. EV drivers are likely to be benefiting from higher ranges for electric cars, which has risen from around 180 miles four years ago to around 260 miles today.



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