ELECTRIC vs PETROL vs PLUG-IN HYBRID CAR – which is REALLY cheaper?? | What Car?

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Is an electric automobile REALLY more affordable to run than a gas cars and truck and a plug-in automobile? We do a long 280-mile journey AND a short town journey to crunch the numbers and discover.

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73 responses to “ELECTRIC vs PETROL vs PLUG-IN HYBRID CAR – which is REALLY cheaper?? | What Car?”

  1. Matthew Brooks Avatar
    Matthew Brooks

    This uses the price cap for charging whereas most people who invest in an electric car will be paying 10p per kWh on an off peak charge rate. This alters the numbers significantly for the around town driving/short commute, which if is a majority of your use changes the value proposition significantly for the phev and the ev. You should also factor in the savings on servicing or lack of.

    1. Mark Cain Avatar
      Mark Cain

      Dont forget to factor in the extra cost of electricity during the day if your getting cheap night rate

    2. Matthew Brooks Avatar
      Matthew Brooks

      @Mark Cain to make the numbers easier I used 10p as the OVO anytime tariff which doesn’t increase your day rate. As opposed to 7.5 with octopus which does.

    3. Lenzil Veeranna Avatar
      Lenzil Veeranna

      Don’t forget to also factor in the cost increase of purchasing an electric car over the equivalent ICE version….

    4. Mark Cain Avatar
      Mark Cain

      @Lenzil Veeranna yep, £500 for cheap ice, £5k for the cheapest ev

    5. Ian Roe Avatar
      Ian Roe

      @Mark Cain30 p in the day too plus you can use appliances over night on the cheap rate so other savings there!

  2. Mel Jones Avatar
    Mel Jones

    Very interesting video, it shows that you need to think carefully about how you intend to use your car before buying it. I am considering buying a Plug In Hybrid, as most of my journeys are short 10-15 miles or so, using a home charger I think this makes sense, however you have to take into account the cost of purchasing the car as well.

    1. S J Avatar
      S J

      Phev works well for me, there are some older second hand phevs now allot cheaper than new

    2. KK89 Avatar

      But in cold climate the phev will force the engine to run to heat the cabin. So during a winter it won’t make much difference compared to a hybrid.

    3. Lee Goodman Avatar
      Lee Goodman

      I’d personally avoid getting a PHEV, all my work colleagues who had one got awful electric efficiency at around 2MPkWh’s, most good EV’s will get closer to 4MPkWh’s. So you’re better off either biting the bullet and going full EV or just getting a mild hybrid tbh

    4. Dayo Adeosun Avatar
      Dayo Adeosun

      I switched from a Toyota Yaris 2018 to a Toyota Prius Phev 2020, two years ago. I do not regret my decision. my daily journey is about 42 – 50 miles on mixed roads, with varied speed limits of 30 – 60mph. The Phev has a better mpg even when the traction battery is dead. Phev, for me, is the best of both worlds.

    5. S J Avatar
      S J

      @KK89 I manage fine and the cabin can be preheat via app while plugged in

  3. Mike Collins Avatar
    Mike Collins

    Octopus energy currently gives you six hours through the night at 7.5p per kWh. A quarter of the 30p used in the test. Myself and everyone I know with an electric car will charge through the night, off peak. When filling up my petrol car with fuel, I wouldn’t fill it at a petrol station that was 4 times more expensive! But charging your car at independent charging stations is ridiculously expensive and makes no sense.

    1. Mark Cain Avatar
      Mark Cain

      Not everyone can charge at home

    2. James Avatar

      But the EV had insufficient range to use home charging exclusively on the Birmingham trip

    3. Ian Roe Avatar
      Ian Roe

      No but there isn’t any mention of the cheaper charging costs that are available to those who can do it’s a bit of a skewed review and assessment of cost. What about mentioning for those that can and mentioning that there are cheaper public charging points. They’ve filled up at cheapest petrol prices, no mention of how much fuel is on motorways etc.

    4. James Avatar

      @Ian Roe but petrol and hybrid cars have decent range so it’s easy to avoid motorway fill-ups. Not so with BEV

    5. Tarik ait mokhtar Avatar
      Tarik ait mokhtar

      But you can’t take your home everywhere

  4. Whatshisname Avatar

    Wow! Charging prices are extortionate in the UK.

    I’m living in continental Europe and really expensive fast chargers are less than 65c here. My local 50KW charger is about 17c.

    Until the UK gets electricity prices cheaper, electric cars aren’t going to make much sense without a home charger.

    1. Terry Mackenzie Avatar
      Terry Mackenzie

      Yes big oil is pricing EVs out of existence

    2. youxkio Avatar

      Agree! There in the UK electricity prices are quite an abuse!!!

    3. John White Avatar
      John White

      My electric at home is 29p per kW expensive, I stick with petrol car for now

    4. Steve Avatar

      Everything in UK is expensive. When you have a corrupt government, a prick of a London Mayor, and taxes that make sure you’ll never get ahead of the game, we have no chance. The rich get richer and the rest of us suffer.

    5. Paul H Avatar
      Paul H

      ​@SteveYou’re not wrong mate!

  5. OFFtheCHIZANE Avatar

    Interested to know how an eHEV would fare. From what I can tell eHEVs, like the new Civic (which use a petrol motor as a generator and electric motors at low speeds, and direct power from the engine via a single speed transmission at higher speeds) are more efficient since they leverage the two motor types at the peaks of their respective efficiencies; electric around town and ICE on motorway.

    1. John Moonie Avatar
      John Moonie

      Se my report on eHEV Jazz Crosstar – 74mpg.

    2. rippedupno1 Avatar

      My E-HEV Honda HRV has averaged 64.6 mpg over 8000 miles since the beginning of February this year. 80% motorway 20% local trips. My friends Jazz e-hev has averaged 69.4 mpg over 11000 in 18 months 50% motorway 50% local.
      We are both very impressed with the running costs.

  6. 80Y3R Avatar

    Using the price cap is basically like only using motorway services for petrol

    1. Steve Zodiac Avatar
      Steve Zodiac

      You have a choice with a 650 mile diesel of where you buy your fuel ( cheap supermarkets ) With a short range EV you generally can’t on a long run and are caught by the motorway vultures.

    2. Andrew Scott Avatar
      Andrew Scott

      The use of 30p per kWh for home charging is not sensible. Anyone who owns a PHEV or EV and can charge at home should have a EV electricity rate. I have had my Tesla Model Y for a year, done about 12000 miles around 10500 on home charging (7.5p), about 500 on the public network (~75p) and about 1000 miles on Tesla’s Supercharger network (~40p). My energy usage has cost me less than £700 for a year’s driving, it about £2k less that my previous petrol ICE car. My previous ICE car was a lot cheaper than my Tesla, so I’m still out of pocket, but very happy nonetheless.

    3. lucasfunkt Avatar

      Is motorway service petrol 4 times more expensive than elsewhere?

    4. David M Avatar
      David M

      Night rate electricity is less than half the price.

    5. lucasfunkt Avatar

      @David M 7.5p compared to 30p is actually a quarter of the price. Imagine paying 100p per litre of petrol at a motorway services compared to 25p elsewhere, that’s the difference and that’s the margin that this video gets it wrong. It’s either woefully uniformed or it’s designed to maliciously manipulate their viewers.

  7. Chris Daniels Avatar
    Chris Daniels

    It would be good to see someone do an article on how to get the best from your EV. There are lots of people now who are experienced EV owners and their learnings can really help new EV owners. Often, Dealers aren’t actually helping new EV owners. This affects their enjoyment of their new car.

    1. M C Avatar
      M C

      EVs charged at home are very cheap to run. At charging stations you pay much more. Plus you save time as charge is always full in the morning.

    2. First Last Avatar
      First Last

      Having an EV affects their enjoyment of their new car.

    3. Byron Deithrick Avatar
      Byron Deithrick

      One could have went at 55 mph along the A roads and coast n regen into roundabout. That’s 6 kms rolling or regen, distance

    4. Richard Lock Avatar
      Richard Lock

      Get a home charger and use one pedal driving.

  8. Rich Morris Avatar
    Rich Morris

    I disagree with the home change at 30p. I can do full charge at 9.5p per kWh giving me well over 200 miles and it cost about £7. Public charging is expensive but like said it was not necessary to put a full or almost full charge for a remaining 80 miles. There is a learning curve with EV driving which one still try figure out, but if your smart you will reap the benefits

    1. Brian Avatar

      9.5p per kwh? Oooh, that’s pricey. Octopus Intelligent recently reduced it’s price to 7.5p per kwh…..

    2. Billy Heywood Avatar
      Billy Heywood

      @Brian many EV drivers cannot get IO, tell Octopus to hurry up and add support for the Zappi

    3. Rich Morris Avatar
      Rich Morris

      @Brian octopus go my pod point home charger doesn’t support intelligent

    4. Simon Avatar

      ​@Rich Morrisnor my pod-point.
      It does support lots of EVs though

    5. Steve Zodiac Avatar
      Steve Zodiac

      Take depreciation into account and with an EV, you are burning money faster than throwing your wallet on the fire. That is if you can find a buyer to take your battery degraded EV off you at all. They are standing on dealer forecourts for weeks at a time, some dealers will not even stock them now after being burnt so badly.

  9. Calum Thornton Avatar
    Calum Thornton

    I think the big issue with EV running costs are the difference between home and rapid charging. I have one on order and I probably do South Coast to Birmingham once a month. I will be able to charge at home for 7.5p per kWhr and at work for 11p, which makes the journey cost £8.33 for 280 miles

    1. Brian Avatar

      Don’t forget that the cost of using public rapid chargers can be reduced by subscribing to the network you might use the most. The Ionity Passport for example, gets you around 30p per kwh off the cost of using their rapid and ultra rapid chargers. Other networks have their own subscription schemes too…..

    2. Terry Mackenzie Avatar
      Terry Mackenzie

      Is Shell big oil, Ionity owned by big oil trying to make EVs uncompetitive only in the UK

    3. Damien OConnor Avatar
      Damien OConnor

      Yes, this is horseshit. Why would you charge 100% when you could just charge enough for the trip home and then use your cheap home rate?

      Also how often would you need to make a 280 mile journey?

    4. LN57 Avatar

      I could do that trip for £20 in my much cheaper small petrol BHEV. Would never be cost effective to go all electric at that and all the hassle that comes with it. 2 mins max and I’m refilled for another circa 600 miles.

    5. Sarg Fowler Avatar
      Sarg Fowler

      That’s works out perfect for you. Sadly, many ev owners are paying a lot more. It would seem electricity prices have tripled, but fuel has actually come down narrowing the gap.

  10. v795619 Avatar

    I am shocked by the results. I am shocked how you managed to get such terrible efficiency from the BEV and why you didn’t talk about:
    Cheap off peak electricity prices
    Zero road tax
    Reduced cost of serving
    Cheap EVs like the MG4

    1. Mike B Avatar
      Mike B

      Manipulated figures is the answer

    2. Simon Lambert Avatar
      Simon Lambert

      Talk about all of these things then you also need to discuss the elephant in the room when it comes to EVs – depreciation.
      Depreciation for EVs is quite shocking at the moment and will add significantly to the overall cost of running such a car.

    3. Rob Smith Avatar
      Rob Smith

      Not everyone has access to cheap off-peak electricity prices in the UK, the servicing isn’t reduced to a significant amount. MG4 is a cracking car though. My aunt has this Niro PHEV and hasn’t visited a petrol station since she got it – she does really short journeys but likes the thought of being able to do a longer journey every now and then if she needs it.

    4. bikeman123 Avatar

      Doesn’t the zero road tax for evs end next year?

    5. Ian Roe Avatar
      Ian Roe

      @Simon Lambert there’s a clue there ‘at the moment’. I bought new 6 months ago and dealers were selling nearly new ones for not much off list price due to the shortages. We also sold my wife’s petrol mini back to mini for a ridiculous price. There has been a correction but I’d be fairly confident it will level off over time.

  11. Trixie Pickle Avatar
    Trixie Pickle

    I live in SW France in the French countryside, lots of hills and very winding lanes. I use my electric car a new version Dacia Spring Expression for shopping, taking the dog out, visiting friends etc. It costs me €6 for a complete fill at home (box charger on house). But normally I follow the 80% rule. It is capable of doing just under 300 km in the summer on one charge, and far less in our winters which are mild until Jan/Feb. It suits my needs perfectly, the nearest petrol station is about 17 km away, so saves me that. Plus Macron extended the scrapage scheme to the end of this year, so I got €5000 plus €2500 for my very old Toyota Yaris Verso diesel. Job done. Very happy with it. Does 99% of what I want, and for the other %1 I would hire.

  12. Randunufdo Avatar

    This only applies to about 10% of all journeys 90% of normal use is covered by home charging for an average person

    1. First Last Avatar
      First Last

      You know this how? Remember in winter or bad weather the range plunges 20-30% for EVs. Lots of people in city apartments can’t access home charging.

    2. Cacklamity Avatar

      Only for those who have the ability to charge at home, which many people don’t.

    3. Youri van Hien Avatar
      Youri van Hien

      Most people will charge at home or at work. Fast charging is only used for long trips. I’ve rode almost 80.000 km with EV so I can speak from experience.

    4. gingashields Avatar

      @Cacklamityyes I think this will be a deciding factor. If you generally do small journeys and are based out of a semi detached/detached house, EVs will be no brainer currently. Beyond that, it starts to get difficult – or at very least to involve some serious forward planning.

    5. Lewis Standing Avatar
      Lewis Standing

      ​@First Lastpetrol MPG drops by similar on cold engine starts

  13. Joseph Gittos Avatar
    Joseph Gittos

    It just shows how efficient new petrol cars have come.

  14. Elvis Nwaba Avatar
    Elvis Nwaba

    I think Toyota nailed this whole thing with the Prius Prime.. The new one.. That’s what the focus should be.. Cause mining of batteries is another topic.. So as much as we can limit the capacity and plugin charging.. The best.. Toyota has proven it’s very possible.. So let’s focus there..

  15. Ime Avatar

    It would have been great if you had compared it to the cheapest overnight EV tariffs available, some are 7.5p/kWh overnight! Also if you can have solar panels on your house you can really bring the costs down long term!

  16. Robert Harding Avatar
    Robert Harding

    Excellent review and exactly what I’ve found. I’ve been driving hybrid/electric as a company car option for a since 2014 and the only thing that makes the inconvenience bearable is the tax break.

    1. Lewis Standing Avatar
      Lewis Standing

      Met a business man who was 6 months into an ioniq 5 who was very pleased. 15 mins to rapid charge, barely had time to eat his burger king 🤷

  17. Steve O'Connell Avatar
    Steve O’Connell

    Ive owned a KIa EV for 9 months now and have used a public charger half a dozen times during my 8000 miles of use, the cost to charge at home is 7.5p which means i can do a 100 miles journey for about £2.00

  18. A Passion for Tangling Avatar
    A Passion for Tangling

    To be fair a 13 year old Toyota Prius would return over 60 mpg on that run and would only set you back £4k for a good one 👍

  19. Samuel Honey Avatar
    Samuel Honey

    I think the real takeaway here is that you should only charge at home wherever possible. If you are lucky enough to have a solar roof then this could be an even bigger delta

  20. guillodean Avatar

    Really useful test. It would be good to see some additional number crunching to see what the overall cost – taking into account 3/4 years of ownership and depreciation etc – would be. I’ve seen another video where a petrol vs EV VW Golf were compared and the petrol came out significantly cheaper overall.

    1. r adam Avatar
      r adam

      The depreciation cost of an electric must be massive. With the current battery technology few people will want to buy one second hand, 7 or 8 yrs old, when the battery is degraded to a fraction of its peak performance and the warranty is over.

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