Electric cars are cheaper to run and own than petrol and diesel equivalents in the UK and five other European countries, reveals a new report.
The new research analysed the cost of purchase, fuel and tax costs of one of the best-selling are in Europe, the VW Golf in its various different variants including the electric version.
When the battery-electric, petrol, hybrid and diesel variants were compared the pure EV was found to be the cheapest in the UK, Germany, France Netherlands, and Norway.
Lower taxes, fuel costs, and subsidies on the purchase price helped even out the higher upfront cost in these markets.
Researchers from the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) stated that cheaper tax is a good way to drive down the cost of electric cars, reports The Guardian.
There are other benefits of this too as mass adoption of these cars could also reduce carbon emissions.
Carbon emissions from the transport sector are one of the biggest contributors to global warming.
CO2 levels have actually been rising over the past two years after they had been falling consistently for 14 years.
The reason for this is due to a reduction in the number of diesel cars sold with petrol being the biggest replacement, and petrol cars typically produce more CO2 emissions.
Norway is a prolific adopter of electric cars and motorists can save huge amount say switching to them there.
In fact, there is around 27 per cent saving between battery electric and diesel cars in Norway due to the tax exemption and incentives.
British drivers have the smallest savings to be made with it being just five per cent cheaper to own an EV compared to diesel or petrol.
One of the reasons for this is due to the recent reduction in Government grants for UK driver buying electric cars from £4,500 to £3,500.
It is followed by Germany, France and the Netherlands which benefit from 11 percent, 12 per cent and 15 per cent discounts respectively.
Sandra Wappelhorst, from the ICCT, said: “Most trips are within an electric vehicle’s range, and it is the battery electric vehicle that turns out to be the most cost effective over four years.
“But if you’re a country doctor, who might have to respond to emergency calls at odd hours in odd places, you’ll have to evaluate a battery electric car differently to a London surgeon.”
Electric cars are expected to become as affordable as petrol and diesel cars within the next five years or so as the technology gets cheaper to produce and public demand increases.
“It will happen, because battery costs are dropping and that means that the initial price of the vehicles will drop as well,” added Wappelhorst.
Currently electric cars still only represent a small market share in the UK.
While sales of alternatively fuelled cars increased by 21 per cent in 2018 they only represent a six per cent share in the total cars sold in Britain last year, and a portion of these sales are made up from hybrids.