In a comment on I Dream of EV, Mark brings our attention to the latest car sales figures in the UK. Here’s what the BBC said:

New car registrations in the UK fell last year to their lowest level in three decades, new figures show.

Despite a recovery in the second half of 2022, a continuing parts shortage hit production lines.

Meanwhile, demand for electric vehicles continued to grow and they accounted for almost a fifth of new car sales.

For “almost a fifth” read almost exactly a sixth, as Mark pointed out, and the BBC themselves noted further down the page:

Sales of electric cars, meanwhile, continued to grow. They rose from 190,700 to 267,000 – with their market share climbing from 11.6% to 16.6%.

But it was this statement that caught my eye:

The lion’s share of fully electric vehicles were bought by businesses and fleet customers which made up 66.7% of all registrations of this type of car in 2022.

Why might EVs appeal to company car drivers? Well, I thought a few sums might be enlightening. I decided to compare the costs for a company car driver of leasing the best selling car (Nissan Qashqai; ICE) with those of leasing the best selling EV (Tesla Y). Some time later, I thought you, dear reader, might also be interested in the answers. The numbers below may be wrong and are illustrative only (in particular, lease costs might be lower than the illustrations given, if they are under the aegis of a company: these numbers probably relate to private leases). Corrections are welcomed.

Nissan Qashqai 1.5dCi N-Connecta 115PSTesla Y
Price£26,570.00 [Next Green Car]£57,990.00 [EV-database]
Lease cost/mo£264.00 [Autocar I think; relates to a slightly cheaper model]£585 [EV-database]
Initial payment£1,584.00£3,510 [est’d based on the Qashqai – 6 months of lease equivalent]
BiK rate31.00% [based on 135 g CO2/km]1.00%
BiK cost @20% income tax/yr£1,647.34£115.98
Fuel cost/yr [10,000 km]£1,049.40 [Based on RAC’s number for 7.i.23 (174.88p/l Diesel)]£207.24 [Based on British Gas home charging EV tariff @12p/kWh]
VED year 1/subsequent years£230/£165£0/£0

Total cost over 3 years£19,738.22£25,539.66
Some casual sums

It looks to me like you end up paying nearly 80% as much for a car less than half the price under these regulations. Small wonder that a company car driver might opt for an EV. There is also the undoubted benefit of leasing in that you can hand your car back after 3 years in exchange for a new one. One suspects that EVs depreciate as fast as a loaf of bread, because who trusts what the previous owner has been doing to the battery? How many times did they squirt 150kW into it? But there are battery health measures. Sure, but do you believe them? There are lots of new EVs about, and we will have to see what their resale value is in 3 years. I suspect that they will do worse than petrol equivalents, where such exist – we’ll see. [Used prices are high at the moment across the board.]

In the interests of full transparency, let me say here that I have made a couple of assumptions that benefit the EV driver. First, the car is charged at home overnight on an EV tariff. If it were not, the cost of “fuel” would triple. If it was charged at public chargers, then the cost would increase again. Second, relating to the previous point: time of use tariffs (at least the British Gas one I looked at) are not for the faint hearted. You end up paying more for leccy the rest of the time:

On the other hand, I should mention – and this is presumably on the other side of the balance sheet – you will be paid back for business mileage. No doubt this is worth more to the EV driver. (The figure of 10,000 km used above is your personal mileage; if it’s higher then the ICE driver will end up paying more under the conditions here.)

Naturally, manufacturers are going to have to find ways to get punters to choose EVs going forward. Starting in 2024 we have the government’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate – where a set proportion of each manufacturer’s cars will have to be EVs. (I do not think the figure required has been announced yet.) Of the cars in the top ten sales overall, only the Tesla Y is over 50 grand, and I would guess that the others are all sub 30 grand. The average price paid for one of the top ten selling EVs in the last quarter available – Q3 2022 – was about £44,000, skewed upwards by the abundance of Teslas, but most of the top ten were 30-40 grand:

Sales stats from, capacity, range, mass from EV-database

Having firmly tilted the playing field in their favour, the nappy-wearing DfT cannot help itself but crow about the success of EVs, as for example here:

But the EVs that are selling well at the moment are not for us plebs. Those of us without off-street parking will cling onto our ICE car like we would cling to our fire axe in a zombie apocalypse. [Not that the government has noticed the resistance this particular feature of urban living might inspire.] What about those public chargers?

The SMMT is also warning that the number of public charging points is not increasing quickly enough to reach the government’s target of having 300,000 by 2030.

300,000 is an interesting number. It’s quite a frightening number. It’s about one charger for every 230 people in the UK, not all of whom have cars. Right, but how many petrol pumps are there? About the same number?

According to Statista, the number of petrol stations is 8,378. I’m guessing 8 pumps per station, for a total number of pumps of about 67,000.

Let’s say there are two identical countries. One has 30,000,000 ICE cars and 67,000 petrol pumps.

The other has 30,000,000 EVs and 300,000 public chargers.

The pumps could fuel all the cars in about 1.5 days, if you arranged it nicely. The chargers, let them be 150kW superduperpooperscooper types, could charge all the cars in about 2 days. Quite close. (The chargers would be drawing 45 jiggawatts.) There would be 447 cars per petrol pump, and as every car has to get fuelled at a public pump, each pump would be used 23,300 times a year (letting each car fill up once a week). But there would only be 100 cars per charger, leading us to expect 5,200 uses for each charger per year.

But. Those who can charge at home, do. The government says 80% of charging is done at home. Another site turned up by QuackQuackOops gives that percentage as 95%. Those percentages give you 260-1040 uses of each charger per year: about 1-3 uses per day (64 uses per day for the petrol pump).

In other words, the public chargers are going to be an enormous drain on their owner’s balance sheet – at least until the plebs are forced to abandon their ICE cars and have no choice but to use them.


I am not against EVs. I am against banning ICE cars. I believe the public are with me on this, and that sooner or later politicians will rescind the ban on EVs ICEs (thanks Richard). They are probably going to hold out as long as possible, in hopes that all car manufacturers will have swapped their factories over to EV manufacture, thus making a de facto ban.


Some EVs that did not make it to the showroom. Reassuring, isn’t it?


  1. Whoops! I think I was half-way between “EV mandate” and “ICE ban” and got neither. Ta, will amend.


  2. Thanks for an interesting analysis.
    I think you have been rather kind to ICE in the comparison. The Tesla Y (or Model 3) is an alternative to Audi A4/ Merc C/ BMW 3 which are much pricier than the Qashqai and the company driver is probably in the 40% tax bracket. Those two factors combined push the tax hit up to something like k£4 – 5.
    Also that BG table is a bit misleading because it only shows the “typical” household energy use and does not reflect the increase in consumption of charging an EV at home. That would typically add around 2000 kWh , almost doubling the power figures as shown.


  3. I’ve always suspected that the bulk of EVs in the UK, are company cars, with their drivers benefitting from salary sacrifice schemes too.
    “Salary sacrifice is a way to deliver a tax-efficient benefit to employees, at little or no cost to a given business. In this case, an EV salary sacrifice scheme allows an employee to pay for an electric car each month using their gross salary, before deductions are made for tax and other contributions.”


  4. Thanks Jit,

    It looks like yet another scheme to transfer funds from the poor to the rich. I continue to be bemused by the support given by the “left-leaning” Guardian to net zero policies designed – and having the effect of – making the lives of poor people worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Mark, I wonder if the Guardian’s confusion (and that of many other previously Left-leaning organisations) arises from listening to only the initial refrain, namely “I’m saving the world”, rather than paying attention to the full mantra which reads, “I’m saving the world for rich people!.”

    Is this, in short, just another case of fools rushing in where angels fear to tread?


    Liked by 1 person

  6. EVs are great value for cars driven a lot, but only short distances.

    That is taxis, which at least in NZ are a massive whack of all EV sales, and company cars.

    All the people I know with EVs have an ICE for any distance. So while half of their “fleet” is EV, it is nothing like half of their miles driven.


  7. Mike, the trick is to edit out your breathing! It’s something that young video bloggers started doing a while back. I find it a bit exhausting and would prefer them to speak normally.

    Scotty appears to have a dislike of Tesla for some reason!


  8. Two YouTube news stories for London that relate to the EV situation, both from Mahyar Tousi, who runs ‘the UK’s most watched online news show’ according to last year’s Battle of Ideas. These are on Sadiq Khan’s plans for Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ):

    Two days ago: Labour MPs Turn Against Sadiq Khan Over Dictatorial Net Zero

    Today: Londoners To Get MORE Power To STOP Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ

    Boris Johnson has joined the Tory rebels in the second case. Our anti-Net Zero hero? I personally wouldn’t go that far! But the guy who introduced the ULEZ idea as London Mayor can perhaps see which way the wind is now blowing. With MPs from both parties beginning to notice the costs to the less well-off a sea-change could be starting in the capital.


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