SHOULD I SWITCH TO AN ELECTRIC CAR NOW, OR WAIT?
QSince the cost of electricity has leapt up, should I go electric now or stick with diesel? I drive my Skoda Superb L&K from Truro to Birmingham once a month, with some shorter journeys in between. No commuting. A reasonable electric vehicle (EV) is expensive to buy compared with internal combustion and I find it difficult to judge the costs per mile over, say, seven to eight years. Range anxiety and public charge point availability currently seem restrictive for electric car use. My budget is £30,000 plus the value of my Skoda. What do you think? – SC A That Truro to Birmingham trip is going to be the main consideration. It’s about 250 miles, which means you won’t manage it without charging unless you buy an EV with a serious range. Something like a Hyundai Ioniq 6 or a BMW i4 would do it, though – the latter has an official range of 365 miles, the former 379 miles, and using our Telegraph Cars rule of thumb (we reckon most EVs achieve about 70 to 80 per cent of their official range figures in the real world), either should have sufficient range to do it without the need to recharge en route. Assuming a value of about £18,000 for your Skoda, your budget would be £48,000, which is enough to get the £46,000-odd Hyundai, but not the BMW. So let’s look at whether it’s worth doing financially. Your 500-mile monthly round trip equates to 6,000 miles a year, but let’s round that up to 8,000 to take account of your local mileage. Going by the official figures the Ioniq 6 should manage about 4.3 miles per kWh on average. At the current energy cap rate of 34p/ kWh, that will cost £632 per year. What about the diesel alternative? Upgrading to a new Superb L&K diesel would cost £42,000. It would manage 52.7mpg on average, so at the average diesel price as I write of £1.73/litre, you’d pay £1,193 a year. Given the current high price of diesel, I wondered whether a hybrid might give you the best of both worlds. A Lexus ES300h Premium Edition saloon would come in at £40,000 – just within your budget – and do 51.3mpg. At the current £1.50/litre, that works out at £1,063/year.