The true cost of plugging in

Recent findings have emphasised the relative cheapness of running electric vehicles, with the general consensus being that the high initial outlay for an electric car is recouped over time.

But further analysis has found that many of our assumptions and the information we've thus far been fed about electric vehicles deserves another look. We assume that Evs emit no CO2, but unless they are using renewable energy, the pollution is just shifted from the city centres to the power stations. Most electricity is produced by fossil fuels and as long as that is the case, then electric vehicles are as much part of the problem as petrol-powered ones.

Electric cars are supposedly cheaper to run. The Nissan Leaf for example costs 1.7p per mile if you charge it at off-peak rates. Using peak rates that figure is pushed up to 4.1p per mile. Still cheap compared with petrol, but then consider that the 9.6p per mile for the diesel Golf includes wacking great VAT and duty costs. Take that away and they're roughly the same. If we all turned electric then the Government would most probably try and recoup the lost revenue from motorists some other way, like introducing road taxing.

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