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Local Authority EV Toolkit

Benefits of moving to EVs

In this section we will outline some of the core messages to use in any activities or campaign intended to promote and highlight the benefits of EVs. They can be categorised into financial, environmental and social benefits.

Kia Niro EV

Lower Running Costs

EVs have lower running costs and lower total overall costs of ownership – despite a slightly higher purchase price (currently). The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles forecasts that the purchase price will be similar to petrol and diesel vehicles by the mid-2020s.

Running costs are lower because the cost of a full charge, if charged at home, is significantly less than the cost of a tank of petrol or diesel, even taking into account the recent volatility in energy prices.

Our advice is to never quote a ‘pence per mile’ figure; there is too much variation in this figure depending on where you charge, how often you charge, your drive cycle etc. It’s better to focus on the cost of recharging the vehicle battery to full in different locations (e.g. home, local public chargepoints or on local rapid chargepoints).

The service and maintenance costs of an EV are also a lot cheaper. Electric vehicles are designed to be as efficient as possible and there are generally three main components powering the vehicle: the onboard charger, inverter and motor. This means that there is far less wear and tear with fewer moving parts susceptible to damage, therefore servicing costs are less frequent and cheaper.

Key Point: The lower running costs, both on fuel (power) and servicing/maintenance costs, help to reduce the total cost of ownership of the vehicle, so it is important in any promotional campaign to get past the initial purchase price and ask businesses/consumers to consider the full cost of the vehicle. The Energy Saving Trust second-hand vehicle calculator can do some of the maths for you in the used car market (


Better to Drive

EVs are easier to drive than internal combustion engined cars. They are all automatic and have more torque (pulling power) available at lower speeds so are effortless to get moving from stationary. A study by the University of York and LEVC suggests electric vehicles are less stressful to drive than diesel equivalents and could have positive mental health benefits.

Key Point: Some users may feel nervous about getting behind the wheel of an EV but they are proven to be less stressful and are easier to drive. We would always recommend offering test drives as a way of showing the real-world benefits. The Energy Saving Trust is also able to offer a range of advice on eco and EV driving.


Penalty-free Access to Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones

Electric vehicles are exempt from financial charges in Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones across the UK, meaning businesses can avoid significant penalties for driving dirtier vehicles into the zones which would have a significant impact on their business costs.


Air Quality and Climate Change

The death of the nine-year old girl, Ellah Kissi-Debrah, was attributed to air pollution and is a stark reminder that improvements in air quality must be made in our towns and cities. EVs have zero tailpipe emissions and therefore can contribute to local air quality improvements. Like other vehicles, EVs can generate particulate matter from brakes and tyres, but this is at a very low level compared to tailpipe emissions from diesel vehicles.

There are many reports that conclude that the overall lifecycle CO2 impacts from electric vehicles are lower than those of petrol and diesel equivalents, despite the manufacturing stage of EVs being more carbon intensive, primarily due to battery production (significant research is currently being undertaken into the production of more sustainable batteries).

Key Point: The UK Government has committed to phasing out the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 and plug-in hybrids by 2035.


Battery Range Increasing

Early EV battery ranges were generally around 80 to 120 miles but models coming to the market today have significantly improved battery technology and driving ranges of 250 or 300 miles are the norm, with some EVs having even longer ranges. The running costs and the environment impact are also heavily reduced.

At the same time, battery reliability is proving to be much better than many people expected when EVs first came to market. Most manufacturers offer 10 year battery warranties with very few reports of faults or significant reduction in range with age. Increasingly, batteries that have reached the end of their useful life in EVs are being re-used as storage batteries, and this will have a positive impact on the power generation network as it will allow energy to be stored off-grid for charging EVs and thus reducing the demand on the National Grid.

Key Point: Early EV models generally were more suited for second vehicles and shorter trips, but advances in battery technology mean many new models have a 250 or 300 mile range, or more in some cases. Batteries are proving to be reliable and can be re-used as a storage resource at the end of their useful life in an EV.


Increasing Choice

All the major car manufacturers now have, or are about to bring to market, electric vehicles. It is predicted that EVs will have price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles by around 2025.

In addition to passenger cars, more and more commercial vehicles including small and mid-size vans are coming to market. E-cargo bikes are also a viable and affordable option for local trips. The Government is keen to promote these particularly in relation to last mile deliveries, and the Energy Saving Trust is delivering a grant programme on behalf of the DfT offering 20% funding towards the cost of e-cargo bikes.

Key Point: EVs are the future, with choice and availability improving. Purchase costs are also reducing with price-parity expected by the mid-2020s.


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