Should you join the charge and buy an electric car?

Green motoring is becoming financially attractive thanks to a drop in leasing prices and lower running costs

Renault ZOE ZE40

Is now the time to buy an electric car? Falls in financing costs mean that switching to a zero carbon-emitting vehicle won’t just help the environment, it can be cheaper than buying and running a conventional car.

When Guardian Money last looked at electric cars, the price premium for most models meant they made most financial sense to central London drivers keen to avoid the £11.50-a-day congestion charge – but for other motorists the case for going electric was less obvious. However, a drop in leasing costs, plus much lower running costs, have made the financial package much more attractive.

The popular Nissan Leaf, with a large 30kWh battery, can now be leased for about £240 a month with a deposit of £2,000. This is just £70 a month more than the larger, petrol-engined Nissan Juke and many supermini class vehicles.

When you consider that someone who uses their car to commute each day could easily be spending £70 on petrol a month, the green option is starting to look as good for your wallet as for the environment. The cost of an overnight charge that delivers a typical 100 miles of driving is about £3-£4 depending on your electricity tariff. To go the same distance in a petrol car would typically cost £15 – more if your journeys are all around town. This in part is why there are now 100,000 electric cars on UK roads, and 2m worldwide.

“Once you’ve got used to living with an electric car, most people say they’d never go back to a conventional one. You are driving the future,”

says Melanie Shufflebotham who runs NextGreenCar, a website dedicated to low-carbon vehicles. An enthusiastic Nissan Leaf owner, she says improvements to the charging infrastructure, a greater awareness of the benefits of going electric in cities, and the fact that the technology is now proven have all allowed electric cars to move into the mainstream.

Read more: The Guardian via Fuel Included News