An electric car can save you money, as well as the environment

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Across Europe, sales of electric vehicles are surging. Those interested in joining the growing number of drivers switching to the electric car will be happy to hear that doing so can save a significant sum of money.

There’s the appeal of saving money on fuel when compared with a petrol or diesel car, and drivers benefit from a discount on the price of a new low-emission vehicle and even the cost of an electric car charging point at home.

This is thanks to electric car grants put in place by the UK government. As part of a wide-ranging approach to incentivising a switch to low carbon technologies, the UK government has set the objective of becoming the first major economy to be net zero emissions by 2050.

Plug-in electric car grant

In order to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the UK, the government has come up with various incentives for electrically powered cars, motorcycles and mopeds; one of these is the plug-in electric car grant. Applicable at the time of purchase for new vehicles up to the value of £50,000, it offers up to £3,000 towards the cost of category 1 cars – vehicles with an electric-only, zero-emission range of at least 70 miles and overall CO2 emissions of 50g/km or less.

You can find out which vehicles qualify by browsing the government's list of eligible vehicles here.

Olev Grant

Not only can you save money on the purchase of your electric car, you can also save on the cost of a home charging point. For any low-emission vehicle, there's a government grant that offers up to £350 towards the cost of having a charging station installed. Provided by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the grant is available for qualifying low-emission vehicles, ranging from cars and vans to motorcyles and mopeds, provided you have off-street parking.

The charging station installation must be carried out by an OLEV-approved installer and is typically completed in just two-to-three hours. Charging at home brings convenience and peace of mind, as it gives motorists the ability to start every journey from home with the battery ready to deliver its maximum range. Best of all, you don’t have to do anything to receive this contribution toward having a charging point installed, as your OLEV-approved installer applies on your behalf.

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Cost savings of running an electric car vs petrol

All cars have become more efficient and less polluting. But despite the dramatic gains, electric cars can still offer a significant saving when compared with the cost of putting fuel in a petrol car.

Take the latest Honda e as an example. It uses the very latest technology to give drivers the best possible efficiency on the road and provides all the style, creature comforts and safety standards that motorists want. But the lower cost of electricity versus petrol is extremely attractive to cost-conscious drivers.

According to What Car?, the most efficient petrol-powered superminis achieve fuel economy of no more than 60mpg. For someone driving 10,000 miles a year and paying an average of 108 pence per litre of petrol (the average as of 30 June 2020 according to the AA) it would cost £818 for a year’s worth of fuel.

Low emission vehicles are exempt from the London congestion charges

Any vehicle that meets Euro 6 emissions standards (petrol and diesel) and emits no more than 75g/km of CO2 and has a minimum 20-mile range driving in zero-emission mode will qualify for exemption from the London Congestion Charge. But that’s soon to change, with more stringent regulations in favour of electric cars. From 25 October 2021, the exemption will only be given to battery electric vehicles. Considering it costs £15 a day without the exemption, that’s a saving of £5,460 over a year, if driving into London every day. Or £3,810 if driving into the capital five working days a week.


Workplace charging scheme

It’s not just at home that you can make savings. Electric car subsidies extend to the workplace with the possibility of claiming as much as £350 for an electric car charging station at a business. Known as the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), it allows for a reduction in cost of both the purchase and installation of a new workplace electric charging station.Of course, it also helps employees and visitors save on fuel costs. This government scheme offered by OLEV allows businesses to claim up to 40 sockets, which could see 20 or 40 charging stations permitted, depending on whether they offer dual or single use.

On-street residential chargepoint scheme

While the OLEV Grant is available to those with off-street parking only, those with on-street parking may be interested to know of the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme. Also offered by OLEV, this government scheme provides up to £6,500 (or 75% of the cost) towards a chargepoint installation and is available to local authorities. Residents can make a request to their local authorities for an on-street chargepoint and associated dedicated parking bay.

Applying for the WCS is straightforward but must be done in advance of any installation. That’s because successful applicants receive a voucher code which you must present to an OLEV-approved installer within 120 days. Apply here.


Motability Scheme

Another electric car incentive in the UK is the Motability Scheme. This provides people with a disability an allowance toward a new electric car. Claiming the Motability Scheme is simple enough and is done by choosing an eligible vehicle, speaking to Motability Scheme specialists at your local car dealership and having them place your order.

Experience the difference of electric motoring

To reduce your driving bills and experience the environmental benefits that electric cars such as the Honda e bring – as well as the outstanding driving experience – book a test drive today.

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