A green driving machine can be huge cost-cutter
Lure of electric or hybrid cars stronger than ever – City drivers fed up of fuel prices can save thousands
Families are now spending more money on petrol than the weekly food shop. The AA reported this week that pump prices hit a record high of 142.48p a litre for petrol, while diesel hovers around a peak of 147.88p a litre.
The figures mean filling up a 50-litre family car now costs around £71.24, the AA said. That tops the average weekly food bill of £70.10. Meanwhile families with two cars have to stump up £22 more to fill them both up than they did at the beginning of the year.
With petrol costs soaring, the search for ways to cut motoring costs is becoming crucial. So there was heartening news in the Society of MotorManufacturers and Traders annual New Car CO2 report published this week.
The statistics revealed that new cars are more fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly than ever before. But crucially for the cost-conscious, that means that they are also more cost-effective than older vehicles.
The Society's survey revealed that new vehicles are actually 18 per cent more fuel-efficient than the average car being run in Britain today. And that means major fuel savings can be made.
The report also confirmed the green credentials of new motors over older vehicles, which is crucial to the planet's long-term well-being. It showed that the average carbon dioxide emissions of cars registered last year were 23 per cent lower than in 2000.
Interestingly, diesel-fuelled vehicles now account for more than half of all new cars registered in the UK. But while the cheapest wheels to run – electric cars – achieved record market share in the UK last year, at 1.3 per cent of the market, it's still a negligible amount.
The reduction in running costs of an electric car are astounding. An SMMT report on electric cars published in the autumn, calculated that the average cost of fuel for a medium-sized diesel car travelling 30,000 miles in three years would total £3,374. The cost of electricity for a similarly-sized electric car covering the same distance over the same time period? Just £881.
Free or subsidised parking also increases the savings made by driving an electric car, while Londoners would benefit from not having to pay the Capital's Congestion Charge, which could amount to a saving of £2,278 a year.
There are other financial inducements such as the 25 per cent subsidy towards the cost of an eligible electric car, up to a value of £5,000, through the Plug-In Car Grant. But, of course, there remain several drawbacks to electric vehicles.
Not least is the problem of having to charge up the car and the fact that the charge will only last up to a certain number of miles, up to 100, depending on the vehicle. It limits their practical use for many motorists.
The Government-backed Plugged-In Places scheme will see around 9,000 charge points in place across the country by March next year. That network will increase the prospects of being able to travel greater distances in an electric car.
But that doesn't get over the problem of battery charging time. Typically, electric cars take between six and eight hours to charge fully. However some electric vehicles can use rapid charge points, where they can be charged in half an hour.
But rather than the cheap-to-run pure electric cars, hybrids are more likely to make an impact for drivers in the short term. Plug-in hybrids revert to using diesel when the battery range is reached. But with the range topping 10 miles, they can be perfect for environmentally and cash-conscious City drivers.
In fact the average individual journey length in the UK is currently 8.6 miles, well within the range of a plug-in hybrid.
With electric cars and hybrids currently more expensive than traditional petrol or diesel vehicles, the initial cost of buying a greener vehicle can also put people off. But with the cars using expensive lithium batteries which typically account for 25 per cent of the cost of a vehicle, there has been little that motor manufacturers can do to cut prices.
But there was positive news this week in the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Report. It revealed that battery prices fell 14 per cent in the first three months of this year. Further price falls, and the greenest and cheapest-to-run cars may yet prove a good buy.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000