‘Significant barrier’: Upfront cost of electric cars putting drivers off from switching

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The new data, from Which?, shows two in five drivers are open to switch to electric cars, but around a third said they were put off by upfront cost. The consumer choice company analysed the cost of owning three cars that are available as petrol and electric versions.

These included the Peugeot 208, the Peugeot 2008 and the MINI One.

It found that despite the potential low running costs of electric vehicles, it was still significantly more expensive to own the electric version over three years. 

For each of the cars, the electric versions are more expensive, even when factoring in the 1st year vehicle excise duty and the Plug in Car Grant.

The three electric cars all cost at least £5,000 more than the petrol versions, with the MINI EV almost £10,000 more expensive than the MINI One petrol car.

The average three-year fuel costs are naturally cheaper for electric vehicles, based on annual average mileage, showing electric cars run around £2,000 cheaper.

Lisa Barber, Which? Home Products and Service Editor, commented on the study’s findings.

She said: “Millions of people are expected to switch to electric cars over the next few years to reduce emissions, however our research shows that affordability is a significant barrier and the upfront cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is putting people off.

“We know consumers want to make more sustainable choices and are open to switching to electric vehicles, but more support is needed to ensure they can feasibly make the decision to buy an electric car.”


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All three electric cars had lower running costs after three years by at least £2,150.

But the higher upfront costs make the petrol cars cheaper after a three year period.

The biggest difference was seen for the two MINIs.

The MINI EV after three years cost a total of £27,827, compared to the MINI One (petrol), which came in at just £21,023.

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