Comparing electric to petrol

Are electric vehicles more expensive?

As a driving instructor, you may be thinking about switching to an electric vehicle (EV). There are several considerations and cost is undoubtedly an important factor. There’s a myth that EVs are more expensive than their petrol and diesel equivalents. But is this really true? Will you be better off making the switch from an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle?

Let’s look at the comparative costs of driving a franchise EV versus driving a franchise petrol car.

Comparing the costs of electric and regular vehicles

Does it cost more to drive an EV than a petrol car?

The short answer is no. It’s likely that teaching in an EV will work out cheaper, by a nose.

Let’s say you trade in your Peugeot 208 GT for its electric equivalent, the Peugeot e208 GT. Let’s also assume you drive an average of 120 business miles a day, 5 days a week, and take 4 weeks’ holiday a year. Your total business mileage will be 28,800 a year.

Right now, your weekly franchise cost will be more expensive with an EV – £219 compared to £169. However, you’ll be spending £22.78 a week to charge the vehicle1, rather than £73.572 on fuel. That’s a saving of just over £2,640 a year. Taking franchise costs into account, you should make an annual saving of £43.16 by switching to an EV.

So, while your weekly saving is marginal, it does add up over time. It’s also worth noting electric cars should become cheaper to run over time as technology develops. 

Electric and regular vehicle comparison table

What are the other benefits of driving an EV?

It’s not just a matter of cost. There’s a significant environmental benefit and there may even be a positive impact on your wellbeing.

Firstly, your tailpipe emissions will be slashed to zero. If you drive 28,800 miles a year, you’ll be reducing your tailpipe emissions of CO2e3 by 5.7 tonnes. Of course, electricity suppliers vary in terms of their green credentials. But, according to the Energy Saving Trust4, charging your car from the UK National Grid will still result in an overall reduction in CO2 emissions of 66% compared with a petrol car. Ultra low emissions vehicles also produce little or no air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide. This means you’ll be contributing to better air quality, in addition to helping the country towards its 2050 net zero target.

Secondly, you may be helping to achieve inner harmony. A 2018 study5 by the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) and the University of York showed that driving an EV could have positive mental health benefits. The quieter environment of the electric car means that drivers are more relaxed and better able to concentrate on the task at hand.

1 Assuming consumption of 32KW, using an off-peak home charger.

2 Assuming an unleaded petrol cost of 146.1p per litre, travelling 28,800 miles at 50mpg.

3 Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) is a measure of several different greenhouse gases combined.


5 (page 23)

Published 22 February 2022 | Author: The AA