Another advertisement in The Telegraph today for electric cars, this on claining it only costs £4 to charge the batteries to the same level as filling the tank of a conventional car.
I fill up my car’s tank for just £4′: have electric cars reached tipping point?
Screams the headline over a picture of a couple of proud (and surprisingly unburned) Tesla owners and their pride and joy, £75,000 worth of what looks like a family sized car with nothing special about it, apart from the fact that by the time you get to the end of the street you will probably need to stop for several hours to recharge the batteries.
Tony Cuthbert with £75,000 Tesla (picture Telegraph)
But does the owner’s boast stand up to scrutiny?
The cost of owning an electric car could come down to equal petrol and diesel within two years, according to auditor Deloitte, but for savvy drivers, going green could already make financial sense the Telegraph says.
The market for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing at a rapid rate, with the number of models available set to exceed 200 in the next two years. Analysts predict another 10 million electric cars will be on British roads by the end of the next decade. But while the number of models has increased, growth in the numbers of actual sales is positively sluggish.
As combating climate change becomes increasingly important to many consumers, according to maker’s publicity, yet electric cars accounted for only 1.15% of global sales in 2017. I could not find a figure for 2018, but reports say there was modest growth. There are also reports that energy providers are flooding the market with innovative tariffs specifically aimed at drivers of electric cars, but here too the low cost of energy does not compensate for the high initial cost of installation. .
Tony Cuthbert, 59, from Gateshead, has been driving his Tesla Model S for just over a year after deciding he could be doing more to save the planet. His conscience has paid off as the company’s national network of free-to-use charging points, combined with cheap energy at home, means his running costs have fallen. Mr Cuthbert, an IT manager, mainly charges his vehicle overnight at home. He uses Octopus Energy’s Go EV tariff, which provides power at the reduced rate of 5p per kilowatt hour for several hours overnight, meaning a full charge of the Tesla costs around £4.
It costs £4 to fill up the tank because the tank isn’t very big.
At 14p/kWh, £4 would get you 28kWh of electricity. 1 litre of petrol is equivalent to 10kWh.
Electric engines are more efficient, so it would give you the same number of km as 5kWh.
£4 is therefore the equivalent of putting 6 litres of petrol in your car, which would cost £7.38 at £1.23 per litre, which is what I paid on Thursday.
The tax on £7.38 (6 litres) of petrol is £4.82, meaning it costs £2.56 for the actual petrol. The tax on £4 of electricity is 19p, meaning the actual electricity costs £3.81. So the only reason electricity is cheaper for filling your car is because the tax is cheaper.
And while it does not entirely account for the discrepancy, I guess the tax is cheaper partly because electricity doesn’t pump exhaust fumes into the air as much at the point of use as petrol/diesel do, but simply moves the dirt to the places where mining of materials and manufacture of batteries takes place, (i.e. not in countrys that have committed to zero carbon targets.
When a newspaper publishes an advertisement disguised as an article isn’t there some law that says readers must be clearly informed the content is advertising material.
The article is just another ad for EVs and Tesla in particular, none of the problems of EVs are mentioned, not even the tendency of Tesla vehicles to barbecue theior occupants.
It isn’t until we get to the comments we read of the vast subsidies governments are giving EV makers due to the punitive taxes on petrol and diesel, or the absolutely filthy and energy intensive industrial processes involved in manufacturing batteries (especially the mining and refining of rare earth metals,) and the equally filthy and energy intensive processes involved in recycling or scrapping batteries.