How much can you save by switching to an electric vehicle?
I was pretty surprised at what I found out during my time with an electric vehicle…
How much do you know about electric vehicles? Not much? No, me neither, up until last year that is…
When Go Ultra Low, the government-backed campaign to promote electric vehicles, contacted me last year and asked if I would like to be an ambassador for their campaign, I jumped at the chance to pass on some more no-nonsense money saving advice to the nation.
However, one teeny problem … I can’t drive! I know, I know – but nothing stops me sussing out the latest savings for my fans, and as much as I’d love to be able to drive, I’m not allowed right now as I have a heart problem. Luckily Aaron, my husband, happily offered to take the driver’s seat to help me with this campaign and I was his back seat driver. Think Mrs Bucket – yep that’s me, I may not have a licence but I still know best.
Before I started the Go Ultra Low campaign, I simply presumed electric vehicles were expensive to run, that they would conk out on the motorway and they wouldn’t drive well. How wrong was I?!
Like most families, we use our car a lot. We have three children, one of which is a teenager, so Aaron is often Mr. Taxi for him and his friends. We love going out with the kids at the weekend and I am often dashing off to do last minute TV or radio interviews, so Aaron gets the job of taxi’ing me around too – isn’t he kind!
With all this driving, we spend roughly £200 a month on fuel however, after some research, I found out it costs a whopping 12p per-mile to run a petrol/diesel car, whereas your electric car costs just 2p per mile. I was so shocked … that saving is HUGE, especially across a whole year …!
So, a beautiful BMW i3 arrived for us to test drive for the week. Aaron collected it and when he got back he was so excited telling me how ‘cool’ it is and how lovely it is to drive. I went to have a look and he wasn’t wrong. Not only was it lovely inside, the whole design of the car was amazing. We went out for a drive that evening and we all loved it – and that was BEFORE we realised how much money we could save.
When it came to charging, we charged it in our garage overnight and plugged it into the mains. Within 8 hours it was fully charged and ready to go…
We used it quite a few times throughout the week, including when we went out shopping to a local shopping centre. Once we got there it was running slightly low on charge so we decided to charge it. It was free to plug in and the charge point was a ‘rapid charge’ meaning we would have a near full battery in under 30 minutes. This definitely dispelled my worries. So simple and convenient.
We charged the car every night for around 8 hours and it cost us just £12 per week. Meaning we could charge our car for under £50 a month. That would save us a massive £150 a month in fuel, and while electric vehicles are slightly more expensive to buy, the money you can save makes going electric good financial sense. Plus the government’s Plug in Car Grant will give you up to £4,500 towards the purchase of an electric vehicle.
If, like me, when you thought of electric cars you worried about them running out of juice, don’t be. There are over 9,000 charge points across the UK, including at least one rapid charge point on every motorway service station. By the time you’ve stopped at a motorway to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat and have a toilet stop then your battery will be full.
If you are looking to upgrade your car anytime soon I highly recommend giving an electric vehicle a test drive, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed