The top spec Nissan Leaf has a 62kWh base battery pack, which represents a significant part of the full price.
This drop in price, as well as news the government is planning on tackling the high costs of charging stations, could help make electric vehicles a more cost-effective option for UK motorists – especially those who want to do their bit to help the environment.
If you need to recharge out on the road, prices are unpredictable. A few of the UK’s 10,000-plus public charging points are still free – but others are now so expensive they're pricier mile-for-mile than a diesel car. Ecotricity, the company that manages car charging stations on the UK motorways, axed a £6 per 30 minute charge fee in 2017. It now charges 30p per kWh to charge your electric car using its Electric Highway charge point.
This Ecotricity map – which can also be downloaded as an app – shows Ecotricity charging stations around the UK, though they're clustered around urban areas.
If you buy a new Nissan LEAF model with a 30kWh battery pack, it will be covered for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever you hit first. This protects LEAF owners against capacity loss of more than 25 per cent, allowing them a replacement should this happen.
The average age of a vehicle on a UK road is 7.8 years, according to the SMMT, so many LEAF drivers who buy from new will be covered for the whole period of ownership.
New data shows less than 10 per cent degradation of the energy capacity after over 160,000 miles on some of Tesla’s battery packs.
Your best bet is to do the calculations for your own vehicle requirements. Think about how you use your car and list the costs and savings you could make before making your decision. If you drive in London a lot, an electric vehicle could save you on the congestion charge – but if the charging stations near you charge high rates, you'll be spending more than petrol pumpers.
For more motoring stories from Simon, follow him on Twitter @sheptinstall.
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