We’re a far more environmentally conscious society than we once were and our choices in vehicles are finally starting to reflect that. Indeed, in the UK alone, electric car sales shot up by 220 per cent in 2019, proving that the electric market is not only thriving but is poised to eclipse the traditional fuel-based vehicle market sooner rather than later.
For now though, the choice of whether or not to ‘go electric’ is a little more complicated and a lot more difficult to make. Here, we’ll pit electric vs fuel in order to help you draw your own conclusions and decide whether or not to join the electric club.
This one is a no-brainer. When it comes to energy conservation, electric cars will always win hands down and whilst it’s true that they are not completely carbon-neutral (and manufacturing them does generate more carbon than when building a fuel-based car), over their lifespan, the carbon footprint is significantly reduced. Where fuel-based cars have the advantage, however, is in their mileage. Even top-tier electric cars can rarely hold more than a few hundred miles worth of charge, whereas a good petrol or diesel car with a full tank could potentially reach in excess of 500 miles.
Engine maintenance can be a major money sink, particularly as a car ages. There are also so many potential complications to consider — engine oil, coolant, belts and more besides. It can all be quite confusing if you don’t know what you’re talking about and there are a lot of moving parts that can go wrong. Electric car engines, meanwhile, will largely avoid the costs associated with engine upkeep. Owners won’t skate completely on maintenance costs, of course, but they will almost certainly end up paying less over the course of their car’s life than if they were to go the ‘traditional’ route.
Generally speaking, unless you opt for a luxury petrol or diesel model, you will always end up paying more upfront for an electric car, at least for comparative models. However, the tables are starting to turn and there is a subtle balance being found, particularly with lower-cost new electric models such as the Nissan Leaf on the market. Where you’ll really make the savings, however, is in the fuel. The cost of petrol continues to rise, whilst the cost of charging an electric car continues to drop, with more government initiatives and rebates being instigated every year to help bring electric into the mainstream. If you purchase your electric car on finance through a site such as Go Car Credit, you can essentially find the perfect middle ground — an affordable, monthly payment combined with low-cost refuelling.