Beth Kayser

Petrol vs electric car: is it worth going electric?

2 min Read
Aerial view of a black toy car against a light pink background

If you need a car, is it worth choosing an EV over a traditional petrol vehicle? The answer is: yes, absolutely.

In order for us to reach net zero by 2050, we need to see a big reduction in road transport emissions. Unfortunately, we've still got a ways to go—according to the ONS, the majority of new cars registered in 2019 were still petrol and diesel cars.

However, things are heading in the right direction, albeit more slowly that we need! In 2021, the UK registered half-a-million low emissions vehicles on the roads; and that one-in-seven new car sales had a plug. Also, the number of charging points across the country grew by five times from 2015 to 2019.

All this is to say: it's now easier than ever to charge up your EV and, given the volatility of the gas markets, can often end up being cheaper than filling up a gas-guzzler! Plus, the UK government plans to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, so investing in an EV now is staying ahead of the curb.

But how much carbon will you save by making the swap?

Petrol vs electric car carbon emissions calculator

Using numbers validated by carbon expert Mike Berners-Lee, we’ve created a calculator that tells you how much carbon you could prevent from entering the atmosphere by swapping to an electric vehicle.

*Numbers include embodied carbon as well as the fuel/electricity’s footprint.

Some more benefits of driving an electric vehicle:

  • You’ll reduce your maintenance and running costs enormously. ‘On average, you'll pay around three times more to drive 100 miles in a petrol or diesel car than in an electric vehicle.’ (Energy Saving Trust)
  • You’ll reduce your carbon footprint, and help the UK reach its net zero target.
  • You’ll be the change you want to see in the world. As Katie Leggett, sustainability manager at innocent drinks says, ‘We vote for the world we live in with the products we buy’. Buying an electric car will signal to the government and businesses that you’re behind the green revolution.
  • You could get money off your purchase through government grants.

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