One in three motorists cannot afford to buy and then maintain even the cheapest electric car, according to the economic research group CEBR.
That number equates to ten million households, that cannot afford to buy the cheapest electric car. If you do a quick search on Autotrader, the cheapest is a used 2014 Renault Zoe for £4,895 on a battery lease.
And middle-earning households will also struggle to pay for one of the cheapest leased electric vehicles – which is the £170-a-month Skoda Citigo.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) carried out the research and they showed that drivers need to be spending around £2,100 a year on their current car, including fuel, to afford an electric vehicle.
But low-income households that spend £1,800 or less could afford a plug-in car at a squeeze, but those who spend around £1,400 or less a year will have difficult, which is one third of all drivers on the roads.
CEBR economists said the research proves that ‘access to an electric vehicle is a pipe dream for a third of the population’.
The findings are a bit of a blow to the Government plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Motor groups have described the £12billion plan as ‘incredibly ambitious’ when plug-ins account for just 0.3 per cent of vehicles.
[Image: Source Shutterstock, Nov 2020]
High up-front costs and a lack of road chargers have been blamed for stagnating demand; plus, new entry-level electric vehicles are around £5,000 more expensive than equivalent diesel or petrol fuel models.
There is also the hidden cost of servicing and repairs, which is higher for electric cars, and many people rely on the car maker garages because independent mechanics rarely fix electric cars from a range of brands, so costs are usually higher.
Although electric cars have a higher up-front cost, the average lifetime running expense – including purchase – is £52,100, against £53,600 for petrol.
One in six English councils has failed to install chargers on residential roads, even though 2.8million will be needed in the next 10 years.
Howard Cox, founder of the lobby group FairFuelUK, said the plans risk ‘demonising’ petrol and diesel drivers unable to afford the switch to electric. Has the Government asked low income households, families and hard-pressed small businesses if they have signed up to their inequitable green revolution?’
Do you think the Government’s plan to ban new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 was a bit too early? When are you going to go electric, or will you wait for hydrogen cell vehicles?
Let us know in the comments below.
I’m sure 2030 is too early, but my main concern is how long we’ll be allowed to continue using petrol and diesel vehicles after we’re no longer allowed to buy new ones.
I don’t think any government would dare to tell us that as from whatever date we will not be allowed to use a petrol/diesel or powered car. Particularly whilst there are still diesel lorries and trains throughout the country. I for one will never be able to afford an electric car, my diesel Focus, bought when the government were telling us that diesel power was the most environmentally friendly engine to have, is going to have to last me until I’m no longer able to drive.
I will also keep my Ford CMax as long as she goes. Keeping your car for longer reduces the number of cars manufactured, and that is a green solution that I can afford.
Hate to burst your bubble, but if the government can keep us under house arrest for a year, it can easily make it difficult for you to continue to use your diesel car. They will simply price you off the road by a combination of swinging fuel price hikes and/or tax disencentives.
I hope they can happily afford to pay everyone’s benefits when they have been forced out of work? Shift work and a rural area mean no public transport.
Your employer has the power to force you needlessly to travel miles to switch on a laptop in an obsolete building called an “office”. But I don’t hear you complaining about that.
I think it more likely that they will increase tax and vat on fuel. progressively, to make it uneconomical to use petrol or diesel
And then watch the unemployment rise above their projections.
I cannot get to work at 6am 32miles away by public transport. I cannot afford the cheapest electric car or even a hybrid, servicing costs prohibit both.
It’s a dream for the government, but it will never actually happen as it is actually impossible. I live on a council estate, how long do you think these charging points would last?
About a week if you’re lucky.
You raise an important issue about electric vehicle charging points and vandalism, however, the same applies with parking meters and cars themselves being vandalised. Maybe we need to get tougher on vandals, then it won’t be as you put it ‘impossible’.
The government will have to force councils to supply and service more chargers through new legislation, and 10 years is plenty of time for that.
There is a Renault electric commuting/city car that will be retailing for just over £10,000 list price already in sale in China. It should be made available in Europe soon.
Electric cars are cheaper to service because they have less mechanical parts, and the battery pack lasts for 10 years plus.
The future is bright, actually.
This is where you fail to see the issue. £10k is not great value for a car that won’t last more than 10 years. The most I ever spent on a car is £2k on my 06 Yaris. It gives me 45mpg and I did run about 25k miles per year in average until this last week where I have moved positions and don’t need to travel so much.
I can’t afford an electric car period. Without a car I would not have been able to work. A £10k car is not going to do the range needed for the job. So iether pay will have to increase significantly or an alternative must be found. If everyone just gets a wage increase the price of the car will increase. (Simple rules of inflation)
Unless they start making cheaper EVs a lot of us will be riding electric bikes!
Thus creating a 2-tier transport system. Those who can afford a car and those who can’t. Very 1950’s
The issue will be getting petrol and finding petrol stations. By 2033 most will have gone and be very expensive.
No point buying a new petrol car now.
The change is unnecessary when cruise ships and aircraft churn out so much pollution. Small petrol cars cause little pollution. A sensible approach would be to ban the high damaging vehicles
Agree with you. Problem is that very few people would be willing to give up their “right” to have a holiday abroad.
And at what price,govts are bound to raise the fuel duty on it,to try and get more people to commit to electric,even if they cant afford to buy an e.v. in the first place.As usual those who can least affird it,will be the ones that have to pay.
Last time I looked the premium on electric vs petrol VW Golf was £10k.
Granted cheaper running costs, but break even point was about 30 yrs.
Charging point infrastructure is abysmal.
Definitely not for me currently
How many batteries are going to last that long if the car doesn’t fall apart from rust before that?
Last time I checked the premium on electric vs petrol VW Golf was about £10k.
Estimated break even time around 30yrs
Charging point infrastructure currently abysmal
Definitely not for me
The government have a problem. desperate to show that they are green but realizing that the economy will tank if millions of motorists cannot afford to travel in future. Note that most new housing estates are out of town and miles form public transport. But Boris will not be PM is 2030 – may not last very long in fact- so he can promise the earth for his summit next year. I hope there is some back sliding as reality intervenes. I have 15 year old Mondeo estate 2 L petrol works fine will last years yet and 10 year old Piccanto . No way will I buy electric at the prices they are and silly ranges that they have.
At last, somebody realises that a significant portion of people in the UK will not be able to afford an electric car, myself included! Loads of pensioners (of which I am one) and average income families, let alone low income families will not be able to afford the car in the first place and the maintenance of them subsequently. Of course a government made up largely of comfortably off people would be totally “blind” to this fact. In addition their range is still fairly limited, and charging points will become huge money earners by companies sooner or later. This has not been thought through at all.
I am passionate about climate change, recycling, walking when possible but I have realised throughout this pandemic that being stuck in one place because a personal vehicle is out of financial reach, would be the last straw. Unless of course the government is going to fund a complete public transport system, of course! ……………..
I bought my diesel car with advice from the government and have paid through the nose ever since at the forecourt. Will electric be any different, or will they slap an ‘electric tax’ on them afterwards?
At the moment emissions free vehicles pay no road tax.
Either they will be pay by the mile or be paying more than petrol or diesel cars due to the fact that they are much heavier and do more damage to the roads.
Cheap electric and hybrid cars will no longer be cheap.
Cars are NOT the sole cause of global warming, but the easiest target to blame.
Since going “Green” we get more horrendous storms, rubbish summers and warm winters.
Figure it out. It’s a load of rubbish.
Jaguar 3.0 XJ portfolio diesel and 550 miles to a tank driving normally. Drive like Miss Daisy it’s close to 650 miles per tank. Electric range pathetic, fuel up 5 mins. Charge a car for that range 4 hours? Time is money and I’m not interested in wasting my time.
What do you think? Got to fill that tax hole left from Fuel Duty (and the VAT on Fuel Duty) somehow.
I would love to go electric but first cost is ridiculous, can’t see why ice and electric can’t be run side by side. Low cost electric for urban use and efficient ice for longer journeys no need for high powered performance vehicles in this environmentally conscious age.
As a person who does not work due to disabilities, and lives off benefits.
I have zero chance of switching to electric. lol my current car which i bought new is 16 years old as it is.
Im sure things will change very very slowly for electric cars, as technology gets better.
Charging points everywhere.
i will be early 60’s 2030. so who knows what will happen
I’m sure as the years go buy the price will come down and the garages will have charge points that take 2 mins. Everything that’s new has bad comments but it will all work out nearer the time. No need to panic and be so negative now. By the way I love my golf diesel and no intentions of going electric but I exoect one day we all will change over.
I currently live in a back to back terrace house – I have to park my car on the main road about 50yrds from my house. There are no charging points and I couldn’t see how the council could put in enough points for the number of cars that park there (about 8). I have no idea how I could charge a vehicle without dismantling the battery and taking it indoors. Also I wouldn’t be able to afford one at the prices that they are at the moment
The truth is that electric cars will never be a replacement for the existing diesel and petrol vehicles we use today and the government has set another aspirational environmental target (much like the clean air act). There are 2 fundamental issues: 1) the infrastructure required to facilitate supporting 10million + vehicles with charging points/bays etc (you can’t just use an ordinary plug socket at home- they need an uprated power supply and 2) and more importantly for the government – a suitable tax revenue replacement for fossil fuelled vehicles.
The answer is simple – hydrogen… It’s clean and can be moved/refuelled (and therefore taxed) like diesel and petrol. They have already conducted tests on hydrogen powered trains in the UK – refuelling a test train in 15 minutes to give a 600 miles range. Clearly there is much work to be done on making the process safe for motor vehicles and for Joe Public but the same was said about mobile phones in the 1970’s. So hydrogen will in time power all planes, trains and automobiles courtesy of the existing oil companies (or their equivalents).
2045-2050 is a more realistic timeframe to see the demise of fossil fuelled vehicles
In the Times today: Electric cars only greener than petrol versions after completing 50,000 miles. This is due to the greater amount of energy used to manufacture the EV. Reported that, during manufacture, the electric version of one make of car accounts for 24 tonnes of CO2 and the petrol version 14 tonnes of Co2. So, if you want to save the planet, and only do low mileage, buy the cheaper petrol car!
if the government is serious it need to start manufacturing a british brand and make it affordable and bring in a sensible scrap system
that scraps old petrol and diesel cars and make it affordable for the population it got it wrong when it told us all to go diesel because
it was cleaner its time it showed good faith
The problem I see is charging overnight when getting home. How many people can just plug into their home electric supply. Parking down the road or even in another road. Living in blocks of flats with underground parking or outside in bays. Also mobile homes where parking is in a car park. How will they charge them?
Probably never. I can’t afford a new one unless the price drops dramatically.
The range needs to much better at least 350 miles.
Going from Southampton to Dover to catch the car ferry I don’t want to stop and charge up. Similarly I don’t want to recharge once I’m in France.
Electric cars are ideal for short journeys, but if you are doing a serious trip like when on holiday it adds so much time on to a journey, and in turn makes the journey less safe because of tiredness.
It’s OK, you probably won’t be allowed into France soon with your UK registered car!
As usual an ill thought move by the govt. If very few people have cars. their mileage tax will have to be astronomical to make up for lost revenue. That in turn will stop more people driving, which will result in the need to increase the tax etc etc
Good decision as long as the following can be provided: 1.Infrastructure for charging. Including Rural locations. Not just for city dwellers and the Islington set.
2.Electric vehicles at low prices as the average working person cannot afford the high prices of the present range of vehicles
3.High range batteries to stop range anxiety
4. Recyclable batteries otherwise they go straight into landfill
5. Batteries that last longer than 7 years.
6. Ethical mining of the materials required………
And the list goes on.
7. 10 Nuclear power stations to supply the required electricity. This will never happen before 2030 as Hinkley point is 2 years BEHIND and will not be finished before 2030. Only another 9 to go….
Better decision is to switch to Hydrogen Fuel cells. Cheap and an infinite supply. As we all know this will never happen as no one will be able to make money and the government wont be able to charge duty…….Or keep Hybrids, best of both worlds.
I am sorry to spoil everyone’s thunder but electric vehicles are many years away………..
So NOT a good decision then?
Then there’s the argument about people like me, who choose to tow a caravan! Okay, I know, we are demomised for it, and unfairly, and inaccurately blamed for slowing down traffic, the fact is we don’t use aeroplanes, and there is a thriving leisure and hospitality industry supporting the caravan and campers. So, whilst I know that electric cars are quite capable of towing, the range is poor, charging stations are sparse, and the price of an electric car with an MPTLM suitable for towing is eyewatering, and certainly beyond my budget. It will drive many off the road, many will be all to happy about that, but don’t knock it if you’ve never tried it!
I tow a horse trailer and need a good towing capacity to carry the essentials I need to take for both horse and rider. Plus who wants to keep stopping en route to a competition to charge with horses on board, I can do 95% of places I go to on a tank full.
I certainly can’t afford an electric car. I live in a terraced house with no driveway, so the car has to be parked outside the door.
There is no charging point on the footpath. In fact, there are none at all in our housing estate.
If we could afford a charger in the garden, the charging lead would have to lie across the public footpath – which would be a health and safety hazard.
The best option for me would be a self-charging hybrid – but again, this is way out of my price range. And honestly, with the higher servicing costs, the savings aren’t really that high, so for the minute, I am out of the market.
And where does a self-charging hybrid get it’s energy from to charge the batteries, umm the petrol or diesel engine, so it’s all really a con trick and means that you are moving around a set of heavy batteries which takes more fuel this defeating the object.
I was bewildered as to why service costs for EV’s is higher than for l/C vehicles when re are less things to go wrong mechanically. That was soon explained to me by a close friend who runs a garage and informed me that to work any EV one must be Certified. The cost of each individual employees Certificate is in the region of £10,000 ! The Government offer no help or assistance towards this transition to EV’s, so garages recover those costs by passing them on to EV customers. This situation needs reversing, to assist garages and owners/potential owners of EV’S.
The price erosion soon underway. See Citroen 4e and MG Estate. For affordable sticker prices.
2030 ? Easy peasy. In my humble and modifiable opinion.
Tesla battery day showed how the key cost of bettaried will erode and super caps hitting products
will allow charging speeds on a par with current vehicles.
It’s later than we think.
And at a happy price level the specs will improve and the second hand market flourish.
Lets be honest, this is just more virtue signalling. Theresa May lobbed the 2050 hand grenade over her shoulder on her way out the door to spite her successor. Bojo is doing the same. Neither will be in power come the respective dates. No doubt Sturgeon will announce that a newly independent Scotland will ban new sales by 2029 to go one better. We don’t the grid infrastructure to power of these new devices so it would require massive expenditure to build more Nuclear and Wind stations. Even if that could be done in time (not in this country!), the cost will be borne by EVERY electricity user, so expect your domestic bills to go up to pay for it (just like they did to pay for ‘smart’ meters’. Unless they can differentiate between domestic and transport electricity usage (doubtful), it will cost more then than it will now to charge up. Just wait for the outcry when people realise it is costing them more to re-charge their ‘green’ toy than it used to cost to fuel up their ice car..
I personally think 2030 is far to soon as they haven’t even got the councils or the planning authorities heads around where to put or how many charging points will be required or whether the average person will actually be able to afford them , and as for stopping people will stand for being told they cannot use their respected vehicle.
The overall costs are beyond most families, and having just read in the paper that CO2 emissions are must higher in production than the equivalent petrol car you will have to drive approx 50,000 miles before it’s carbon footprint becomes smaller than the petrol car.
Surprisingly perhaps, but no, I do not think 2030 is too early to ban petrol/diesel cars. Most people in nine years time will be using to-day`s hybrids anyway. Question really is, how much toxic fuel is emitted to make electric cars. PLUS it has been said there is not enough colbalt in the world to supply the equivalent number of vehicles that exist to-day.
I may well buy an electric car when I consider the range to be adequate and the price acceptable. However, I do not approve of the ban in any way, shape or form. More state interference brought about by lobbying by interest groups. Remember when they told us — Diesel Bad, Petrol Good?
IF there were more public recharging points available across the country, IF it didn’t take more than 5 minutes to recharge (instead of refuelling), IF the EV’s had better mileage per charge, IF the car insurance wasn’t so extortionate and more expensive than carbon fuelled vehicles and IF EV’s weren’t so expensive THEN I would seriously think about buying one. But there are too many ‘IF’s’ and as I am in my 70’s I think a newish petrol / diesel / hybrid will probably last me for the rest of my life.
I bought my first electric car, second-hand, for £5,000. It paid for itself in the first 3 years, at 10000 miles per year. It’s range was only 70 miles on a full charge which is dropped by about 10 miles in my years of ownership. it is still going and still as much fun to drive. Annual servicing by my local garage is about £60 because there’s little for them to do. The same car now of a similar age can be found on eBay for between £5000 to £7,000. I bought a second one for my wife of a different type for£7,000 which was written off after 3 years in an accident and left me with an insurance payout of £7500 it cost me very little to run in that time so I got another that cost me £4500. So I disagree with the argument that they are too expensive for pensioners like my wife and I as we could have only afforded 1 petrol or diesel car otherwise. We’ve always charged up only on the public network and not at home.
I believe that the major motor manufacturers have not wanted us to have decent electric vehicles and so have not produced them, they should certainly not be subsidised by new vehicles being given a subsidy at purchase which I believe has only encouraged them to keep the price up.
We live in an apartment block and cannot recharge a car so electric motors cannot be a consideration at this time. Many living in flats and apartments will be in the same situation
One of my biggest fears with an electric car is running out of battery power. Caught in a traffic jam for hours in cold weather would soon exhaust the battery. How many times would you have to stop to charge up on a long journey for example from Hampshire to Northern Scotland.
I have therefore just bought a self charging Hybrid which is very economical – it won’t need an electric hookup.
When electric (or hydrogen fuel cell powered) cars are no more expensive than alternatives; they are not city centric i.e. have a range that is practical for rural areas e.g. 400-500 miles plus; and are recharged/refueled in less than an hour then I would be delighted to join the “Green ” revolution.
Equally I would forego a car entirely if, like the continent, public transport i.e. buses and trains were reliable in frequency and timing, available/convenient and reasonably priced.
2030 is not attainable, the grid cannot cope with the electric vehicles currently in use. The councils are not putting in the infrastructure required to ensure this can happen.
I tow a horse trailer it’s not feasible to tow with an electric vehicle for more than one reason.
My husband works for the AA and can do in excess of 300 miles per shift, how many times would he be off the road charging his van?
Electric vehicles have not advanced enough to make it feasible. Besides how long will it be before electric vehicle drivers are demonised like diesel drivers. They’re just as bad for the planet, taking rare minerals out of the ground and what happens after the batteries are life expired? Off to landfill?
I am in two minds on whether to buy a Phev or full Electric car as the electric cars are so much more expensive than petrol diesel or even phev’s . I am semi retired and most of my journeys are 2-3 miles over a steep hill so self charging hybrids are a waste of time as I cannot force them to use the electric power . My next longest journey is 24 miles 12 each way which a Phev should cope with. However if I go fully electric I still want at least 280 -300 miles range so I do not have to stop to recharge. I could charge an Ev 95per cent of the time.
I know phev’s are more expensive than petrol and diesel but they are less than full EV’s but zi can force it to work in Ev mode for 25-30 miles also as phev’s have another engine so no range anxiety but no govt funding . I could then buy a next car in a few years when the infrastructure , Ev range , and costs are lower even though I can afford an Ev.
Can anyone advise on my dilemma?
The above piece is written in support of traditional piston car assemblers. 2030 is the right date target, if government was to spin transition out longer then the legacy manufacturers will sit on their hands longer. The article assumes future electric car users will rent them on the PCH or PCP basis now current. But there is some evidence that a proportion of households have been observing
electrification progress since about 2007, and are waiting for the popular cars at popular prices to hit the market, all the while nurturing their their investment accounts to meet the cost when the time comes; somewhere around 2025.
This looks to me Gov’t advisors telling PM what he wants to hear with no thought for reality. Or indeed it could be his ‘advisors’ are bias ?
Or of course it could be a case of I don’t need a car so why do they ?
Hydrogen cars are the only way to go.
Claiming Electric cars are eco friendly is deliberately missing the point. It uses far more raw materials to produce the car, the batteries aren’t recyclable and they are prohibitively expensive. The rare earth metals they use are in short supply, the methods they use to refine and produce them are appalling and the waste products , polluting the planet far out weigh the eventual green emissions.
But you won’t find those facts in plain sight from the green party.
I don’t think you can simple ban petrol and diesel cars as that is not a free market that our conservative government so dearly loved . The next problem you will have is actually getting on a charger even the fastest ones take forty to fifty minutes so if there are three or four cars in front of you waiting to get on the charger you are going to be sat there for hours on end ,due to the short range of electric cars this is going to be a big problem . Once big oil is gone and you have put all your eggs in one basket you will be at the mercy of the electric companies and demand is likely to send electric prices through the roof as you will have no choice but to use there electric .
I have a diesel 4×4 and tow a caravan like thousands of others in the UK. I have no chance of buying a model x currently the only ev that will tow my caravan. Also if I could afford to buy an older model x the battery will be on it’s last legs and how does replacing that compare to a tank of derv
With the new E10 fuel change, im forced to buy the super premium shell nitro+ grade high octane fuel which gives me backfiring issues in my 1995 car, it’s also much more expensive so a fill-up use to cost me £30 and that now costs me £46, i have no hope of affording or charging an electric car, the government did not think about this at all with how it would afford impoverished and poor families.
Soon it will be too expensive for me to drive to work and as im disabled i can’t walk or cycle to work, no busses operate on the shift hours i work, so what do i do? spend 40% of my income on taxis? how am i suppose to pay rent which takes up 70% of my wage?
Sod this fuel change and sod electric cars.
Yet companies can still use diesel lorries and politicians can still drive M tax band land rovers which chug out more emissions than 100 small cars combined.
Yeah it makes so much sense to put all the emission blame on the individual instead of holding the corporations accountable.
Every oil producer and refiner, every factory and manufacturer is responsible to a much larger extent than the boy racer car enthusiast who replaces his stock exhaust with a spoon big bore system.
The electric cars are not big enough, I need the size of an audi q5 but electric. My Audi A4 sline may be old it goes well and all I can afford unless I win the lottery, I can dream.
Way too early,in order to appease the climate change,and green brigades,wont be able to afford to buy an electric or hydro,cell car,not now,not ever.
i think the governments true plan is to put the working class onto public transport, i have watched them tell us to go to unleaded, then to diesel, now its electric, very expensive cars that are basically junk, charge your mobile and now its charge the car,, i have seen many of these cars burst into flames on you tube, many peoples garages on fire and some people have lost there homes. what ever the government do its the working class who get kicked every time, the uk is now two class country those with and those without.
As a working family with 2 children we can barley get by on our old second hand car. We need our car to get to work i work at 7am and don’t live in the best neighbourhoods there is no public transport in my area that early (not that we could afford it anyway) and it’s not safe to be walking to childcare and work early morning in our area. If these come in and we loose our car it’s an hour and a half walk to work which is about an hours walk from my childrens childcare which doesn’t open till 6.30am there’s only one in my area that opens that early. I’d never make work for 7am I only just make it with a car. Not to mention the safety issues of walking two small children and myself through our neighbourhood at the time of the morning . My husband works a 45 minute drive away so if we loose our car we are both potentially looking at loosing our jobs and putting mine and my young childrens safety at risk plus costing us more. We’d never be able to afford one of these let alone afford to run it. The government needs to do more for working families if they insist on forcing these on us. The governments version of low income is a joke. Prices of normal cars will shoot up we had to save for a year as it was to buy our car. We’d never afford an old car if the prices go up more. It’s a joke. The government will put people like me and my husband in a impossible position.
Are we honestly expected to believe as more electric vehicles come onto the roads. The government will simply kiss goodby to the VAT income on petrol and diesel ? Surely they will simply put the charging costs up to equivalent levels or the rent on leased batteries ?