The Energy Saving Trust also claims
that, as they have fewer mechanical components, it's cheaper to get an electric car serviced. But due to the lack of mechanics and engineers familiar with electric cars, it can be more expensive to get them repaired if something goes wrong. This affects the cost of car insurance
, as specialist mechanics usually charge higher rates.
To tackle this skills gap, the Institute of the Motor Industry has called on the government to invest £30 million in training technicians in specialist electric and hybrid vehicle repair.
Does an electric car retain its value?
Those who adopt new technologies often suffer from price drops down the track, and electric car pioneers are no different. The Nissan LEAF, for example, loses 66.77 per cent of it's value
in the first year. On the other hand, this does mean they're usually much cheaper if bought second-hand.
Before buying any new car
, check how much it costs second-hand to get an idea of its depreciation.
What about the savings in fuel costs?
Like petrol cars, fuel economy in electric cars depends very much on the make, model and driver.
For example, the latest Tesla offers an extraordinary maximum range of 335 miles
, while the Nissan LEAF often needs a charge after around 100 miles
in real world driving.
Just as miles-per-gallon on the road can be less than manufacturers claim, don't expect electric cars to do as well outside the lab. Turn your heater and stereo on, for example, and the range drops substantially.
How much does charging cost?
The cost of a charge varies dramatically, depending on where you do it. The cheapest option is at home with overnight low-rate domestic electricity. It costs only around £2-4 for 100 miles worth of charge
, but more if you use normal tariff electricity.
To charge cars at home you may need a special charger, which can be expensive. However, the government has made grants available
to help, in an effort to encourage more road users to choose electric.