How Much Does It Really Cost To Buy And Power An EV Over Petrol In The UK – Video


Just what is the bottom line cost of ownership to buy and run a plug-in vehicle over petrol?  Do plug-ins yet compare to comparable petrol cars?

Nissan LEAFs and e-NV200 at V2G station in the UK

Nissan LEAFs and e-NV200 at V2G station in the UK

Andy Rogerson (aka Electric LEAF Man), who has done a fine job in the past on reporting for us on the state of public charging in the UK (and Ecotricity specifically), gets into the nitty-gritty of the costs of switching to am all-electric vehicle the UK in an informative new spot.

“In this video I explain how much it costs to run an electric car, buy an electric car and then compare it to a traditional petrol/diesel engine car in cost. Do you think EV’s are expensive?”

One immediately notices from the presentation that the cost of gas per liter (around ~£1.15/liter or $1.45USD) in the UK is quite a bit more expensive that in the US.

Doing the currency and metric conversions, a gallon of gas in the UK costs roughly $5.50 as compared to a national average of $2.20 in the US  (2.5x more) – which obviously makes “doing the math” on EVs a lot more attractive in the UK and throughout Europe.

As always, our thanks to Andy for the 411!

Categories: Charging


Leave a Reply

39 Comments on "How Much Does It Really Cost To Buy And Power An EV Over Petrol In The UK – Video"

newest oldest most voted

That would be “doing the maths” in the UK.

Spot on mate!


Yea mate! If you decide to “Buy” the Car the real fun begins when it’s time to replace that “BATTERY PACK” You didn’t Figure that part in your calculations , You may want to Review your Math Mate because that will change everything….Unless the battery Prices really Do Come Down significantly by then , It will be a nightmare…

I guess we Yanks are suffering from cognitive dissonance; “math” is singular, but “mathematics” plural! 😉

…There even are places where English completely disappears. / In America, they haven’t used it for years. — Henry Higgins, My Fair Lady

‘Maths’ is also plural…

The US floods the Petrol industry with fecal-loads of subsidy.
The comparison is not even close.
We’d be closer to $6.50/gal in the US, especially in California in summer blend.

No, US pays about the same price for gasoline as other countries, most of the EU puts very high taxes on fuels. Wholesale is around $1.40 a gallon right now, EU just adds $4 in taxes or so, depending on country.

The way the US “subsidises” oil is through tax breaks and such, for exploration, etc. These are the same sorts of subsidies Tesla is getting from Nevada. The states/feds aren’t paying out money, they are giving up future tax revenue.

See if link works:

Ironically, CA has the lowest wholesale price in the listed area, but highest fuel prices.

The Federal tax breaks the U.S. government gives to Big Oil for oil exploration and other expenses are a few drops in the bucket by comparison to the trillions of dollars, and thousands of lives of American servicemen and -women, protecting and fighting wars on behalf of oil-rich countries in the Mideast.

If the cost of these wars and military support were paid for by taxes on sales of gasoline and diesel, rather than through the income tax on the U.S. taxpayer, then there would be no need for subsidies or tax rebates for EVs, and we would have converted most if not all our cars to PEVs (Plug-in EVs) decades ago.

Not against these types of videos – but comparison with the ‘States’ is more complex….
Firstly, my Canadian Friends tell me although the Imperial Gallon has 5 quarts, the quarts are smaller so the ratio is 6/5 not 5/4.

The other thing is he never mentions how many kwh he is actually using – which is larger than the kwh being drained from the battery. Or mentions how many pence/kwh he is paying.

The other thing: The screw based light bulb in his ‘logo’, although a tighter pitch than the ‘Edison’ Base used in North America, I thought “Proper” Euro Bulbs had Bayonet Bases.

I’m unsure of this since a German Paper cutter my father bought had (albeit metric) screw based indicator lamps.

Petrol is sold by the Litre in the UK and the rest of the world, excluding USA.

but everyone in the UK still uses MPG as the metric for efficiency, which I have always found insane. The UK gallon are totally useless unit that has no relevance in the modern world since nothing is sold in UK gallons.

Just_Chris is correct. Used to drive us crazy on the old TheEEStory forum. When comparing U.S. MPG to UK MPG, you have to convert U.S. gallons to Imperial gallons.

Why the heck the Brits didn’t convert to liters per kilometer when they went to the metric system… well, I guess they wanted to show us Yanks that we’re not the only ones who can stubbornly cling to outmoded units of measurement!

And I’ll repeat my advocacy for expressing all speeds in terms of furlongs per fortnight. 😉

I’m afraid it gets worse. We still use miles for journeys but metric units (cm or mm as the fancy takes you) for bits of string etc but Celsius (or even centigrade) for temperatures – unless you are older than about 60 where Fahrenheit still rules (pity the weatherman!). We still drink pints (of beer) and order things by the dozen (or even butcher’s dozens). Cups have, thank goodness, almost completely died a death (what the hell is a cup? – no wonder no-one learnt to cook here! Its in the genes or forget about it!). Tablespoons, dessertspoons and teaspoons have finally become something approaching a definite volume ie 15, 10 and 5ml respectively. Kg rule (except, again, for the over 60s and confused younger persons with a weight problem – 100kg sounds dreadful! 16 stone… much better). And so it goes on….

It may be sold by the litre, but all those of a certain age(over thirty) ignore that fact and work everything out in miles per gallon.

When I see a litre per kilometre figure, it makes as much sense as monkeys per hatstand to me!

I don’t know what a “proper Euro bulb” is. But I’m European from Sweden and almost all lamps I’ve grown up with have had either the E27 or E14. With about a 4:1 ratio in favor for the E27. (E standing for Edison 🙂 )
I have to think hard to remember if I’ve even seen a bayonet bulb ever. I think I have but I can’t recall when or where. 😛

There are ~50 countries in Europe so I guess it might differ very much depending on where you are.

And for the gallon, the best thing would be to never use that measurement. 😉 Just do everything in liters.

Oh well, then there is the Swedish mile 🙂

I think the french at least use Bayonet socketed light bulbs. Or rather a friend went over to a ‘big box’ store and brought back a pair of 40 watt bulbs. These were Bayonet based.

That’s the thing about Europe: Every country does something a bit different: True, the power is all 50 hz so international shipments are straightforward, but each country has different attachment plugs.

And then there are those UK RING circuits. I was trying to explain to some friends (Other Americans) the rationale for this system (I think its very valid way to do things, but it is unique)..

Everyone I talked to said “WHAT??? !!!” , hehehe.

Generally, in the UK, the bayonet fitting is giving way (has given way) to the ‘E27’ and ‘E12’ bulb fittings for smaller bulbs. It’s all getting a bit moot, anyway, with the proliferation of LED lighting which tends to lean toward more aesthetically pleasing and space efficient GU10 (etc)-type fittings. Incandescent bulbs were ‘banned’ by the EU from sale in 2009 in favour of compact fluorescent bulbs, and now LED ones, due to energy efficiency drives. I gather the same thing has happened in the US.

I’m English, from England. We like to be different, so here we use mostly bayonet bulbs but also screw in, not sure how many sizes. Two I think, plus of course now we have led lights. Low voltage and normal 230v too.

As for your litres, you can bloody keep them!

I swear the ONLY reason the government introduced litres as the unit to sell fuel in, was so it could slip 2p on a litre and hope nobody realised that 2p is the same as 10p on a gallon.

It would be nice to think that a post Brexit Britain would once again sell it’s fuel in gallons…

bayonet bases are basically UK only

Consumers buy on “looks” plus monthly payment as stated by the dealership. They really aren’t going to do the comparison math even if they believe it. They will want prevalent charger ifrastructure and knowledge of the costs to install an at-home L2 EVSE which adds $600-1000 for first-time buyers. Now, many owners do charge off 120V and are fine for the most part but still there is concern that consumers will refuse to do the math until their workplaces and/or public charging stations appear far more prevalent and not ICE’d by ignorant soccer moms wanting to get a closer parking spot.

I would like to know how much he is spending in electricity to charge up the leaf to compared the gas vs electricity. or if they are using solar panels.

In the video he said he spends £24 per month for his Leaf.

Yeah but does he THINK he spends 24 pounds or does he really spend more? I might use 12 kwh in my car, but I need 14 1/2 kwh to refill the battery to the same spot.

It costs me £2.50 per 100 miles of charge at home. 27kWh (flat to full) at 9.8p per kWh.

Thanks for that. Are prices in the UK roughly the same in all locales or do they vary greatly as they do in the States? Also are there any surcharges for specific areas? Thanks in advance.

Varies by company you have as provider and also there is a night time rate you can go on which would would be 5p in the night and 15p during the day or as with this a flat rate of around 10p per kWh.

it’s not hard to find out if you just plug a meter in for your charger socket.

Another Euro point of view

Which gallon are we talking about in this video when comparing costs with ICE ? UK or US gallon ? What about one day joining the rest of us (approx. 95% of world population) and converting to metrics ?

it’ll be the UK gallon

The comparison of various EV is like video version of ev-vin website. Too bad ev-vin isn’t world-wide (yet). If you’re looking to lease EV in US, check out his site.

This is the first Zoe 40 kWh pricing I’ve seen that you can use to compare to the rest of the market (in particular the Leaf which is still a bench mark of sorts). It’s still quite expensive. It’s a shame he didn’t get some quotes on other cars like the Diesel ford focus, VW Golf TDI or a Toyota hybrid of some sort. The only thing I can be critical of is the insistence that EV’s are not suitable as the only car. I really dislike that. The Zoe 40 kWh has a realistic range of 150 miles, for a country like the UK why can’t that be your only car if you charge at home? That would get you from London to Birmingham or Bristol. There are DCFC’s at most service stations, so you could get back with 1 stop which is not the end of the world. Yes it couldn’t be the only car for every single car family but if you live in the South East it is unlikely that you are regularly going to drive 150 miles in a day. As an example if you live in Basingstoke, on a single charge you could drive… Read more »

I have a 30kWh Leaf. Figures aren’t based on just my costs and worked out. I also used peoples calcs from online forums (those who helped getting prices).

Trust me it is accurate for 12k a year.

Using the UK as a whole, (not just London) it isn’t suitable. If I do more miles during the day for work when my wife then goes to work after me (evening) there isn’t always enough for her to do the commute. Plus, you and I know what’s achievable and what CAN work but joe blogs off the street doesn’t want the hassle. Then factor in the millions with no offroad parking. What will they do?

I’m in California and have a 2016 Volt which is a plug-in. I crunched the numbers and calculated that $2.50/US gal is the break even amount for gas v electricity. Elec here is cheap: $.14/Kwh (which is low here). My Volt gets 42 mpg when using gas. Right now gas is about $2.30/gal so now it is cheaper to use gas but gas has been well over $3.00/gal which means electric power is cheaper then. Hope this helps. To do the math you need mi/Kwh, mi/gal, cost of gas, and cost of electricity to calculate which is cheaper.

One thing to consider with gasoline efficiency: An ICE does not run at its EPA rated efficiency until full warmed up. That means all the coolant, oil, engine block, pistons, catalysts, etc all have to be up to operating temperature to achieve the highest efficiency. Whereas with an EV, efficiency is less dependant on such things. Here in Michigan, the ICE in my Volt is mainly used in the winter and my lifetime ICE “mpg” is FAR FAR below the EPA rating.

Ok, then this explains why EV’s are such a hard sell in New York City or White Plains, since 32 cents/kwh would mean gasoline is almost 1/2 the cost.