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The running costs of electric cars

After the initial outlay, the running costs of electric cars differ greatly from petrol.

Electric cars are exempt from car tax, or vehicle excise duty, which saves drivers between £145 and £210 a year compared with similar cars.

They are also exempt from the congestion charge in London of £11.50 a day.

The cost of charging the vehicle depends on where you do it.

At home, the tariff you are on will dictate the price, and some employers have workplace charging points offering free access throughout the day.

Many public charging points are free to use; others require payment and this varies widely. Rapid chargers usually involve payment.

Melanie Shufflebotham, the founder of Zap-Map, which details where electric car chargers can be found around the country, estimates the cost of running an electric car at 3p per mile compared with 12p to 14p a mile for a petrol or diesel vehicle.

In 2017, UK cars travelled an average of 7,134 miles, at a cost of £856 for conventional motorists, while the electric car driver would only pay £214 to cover the same distance.

When it comes to insurance, electric car drivers are often perceived as being older with good driving habits.

Last month, LV= launched an insurance policy exclusively for electric cars, claiming it to be the first of its kind.

The policy covers the recovery of cars that have run out of charge mid-journey and home-charging cables and boxes.

“Range anxiety”, where a driver fears they will run out of charge before they get to their destination, is a concern that looms over electric cars.

The number of charging points around the country has been expanding rapidly, according to Shufflebotham.

She said: “It is a chicken and egg situation. You have to have the drivers out there to invest in the charging points, but you need charging points to make people feel comfortable about driving an electric car. Overall, the charging network is growing at a speedy rate.”

Zap-Map puts the number of locations with a public charging point at 8,318. Tesla has a network of almost 290 superchargers at 51 locations across the UK.

Drivers can get an 80 per cent recharge in 30 minutes at these. The most southerly one is in Lifton in Devon, while Aviemore in Scotland is the most northerly.

The company also has a wider network of “destination” chargers, which charge vehicles over a few hours.

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