The future of driving and the affordability of electric cars


It is now cheaper to purchase and run electric and hybrid vehicles than regular diesel or petrol vehicles.

A study by the University of Leeds has calculated that the cheapest type of vehicle to run is a pure electric car.
They examined car ownership statistics in the UK, Japan and two states in the US, and the report found that the reason for the low cost is government subsidies on environmentally friendly cars.

Currently in the UK, customers who buy eco friendly hybrid or electric cards can receive up to 25% off of their purchase, capped at £5,000. This incentive is aimed at encouraging more people to consider greener travel. However, the price for the relatively new technology is still extremely high, and out of the price range for many households.

The study found that most electric cars were purchased in affluent areas such as California, which has been reported as being the sixth wealthiest economy in the world. The state also holds many residents who advocate for green living and saving the environment, further encouraging hybrid car purchases.

However, the UK has not been left behind. There are now over 30 models of roadworthy electric or hybrid cars on our motorways, and over 104,000 vehicles are registered in Britain, a huge increase from the 3,500 registered 4 years ago.

The most popular model on the market is the Nissan Leaf. It can be purchased from £21,680, a steal compared to the Tesla Model S’s £105,000 price tag.
In June of this year; Nissan reported that 20,000 sales of the Leaf have been made in the UK alone, making it the world’s best selling electric car.

The increase in popularity in electric cars has ensured that there are now over 7,000 publically located electric ports to charge your car in, whilst you’re out and about. This is an excellent move, as fuel is the highest operational cost in owning a car, and with rising gas prices, this figure is set to soar.

Another cost is the depreciation of a car. In the first 3 years of its life, a car will depreciate up to 60% of its original cost. Unfortunately the study did not get a clear result about whether electric cars depreciate faster or slower than conventional petrol or diesel engines.

Cars are an expensive commodity, whichever way you look at them, but with government subsidies for eco-friendly models, and a boom in sales in recent years, production costs for hybrid and electric cars are predicted to fall in the coming years, offering a truly viable green solution for many more households.


Vicky is a third year journalism student studying in Brighton, UK. She enjoys writing about local news, opinion, and lifestyle issues such as mental health, feminism and student life.