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Electric cars to cut fuel costs by billions

A new report estimates that the continuing roll-out of low emission and electric vehicles could reduce the national cost of running and replacing cars by up to £7 billion per year by 2030.

A new report estimates that the continuing roll-out of low emission and electric vehicles could reduce the national cost of running and replacing cars by up to £7 billion per year by 2030.

The report, published by Cambridge Econometrics, used data from the current UK vehicle fleet and energy infrastructure, the auto industry and the National Grid to calculate that the annual cost of fuelling the average low emission car in 2030 could be £600 cheaper than the average new car today.

This is due to the improvements being made in the efficiency of internal combustion engines in low emission vehicles, along with lighter construction materials, more efficient tyres and the expanding roll-out of all-electronic vehicles. 

New all-electric cars will be even cheaper to run than the average new car in 2030 – saving nearly £1,000 every year in reduced fuel bills.

‘Savings outweigh costs’

As a result, the amount spent on petrol and diesel in the UK in 2030 could be cut by some £13 billion as low emission and electric cars are rolled out. When taking into account the added costs of these new vehicle technologies, the saving is still expected to be between £5-7 billion.

The new vehicles could cut also greenhouse gas emissions from the UK’s vehicle fleet by as much as 47 per cent by 2030, as well as reducing air pollution, which is worth £1.2 billion to the UK economy in health benefits.   

The report states: “These technically-advanced vehicles will be more costly to buy at the outset, but the initial investment will be outweighed by energy savings within a few years.

“Even if oil prices were to remain at today’s unusually low level, energy savings would rapidly outweigh the cost of low carbon technologies.”

In January 2015, Green Intelligence reported on a Lancashire dairy firm that is already saving £900 a month in fuel costs by switching some of its delivery fleet to electric alternatives.

Selling excess power

Meanwhile, Nissan, one of the leading manufacturers of electric vehicles, has announced that its electric car owners could soon benefit from being able to sell unused power in their vehicles’ batteries back to the energy grid.

A new partnership between Nissan and energy utility, Endesa, is set to develop a vehicle-to-grid system that will enable users to use their vehicle to store electricity that can then either be used locally to reduce energy costs in the home or business, or be sold back to the grid in periods of high demand.