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Electric cars "proving a practical proposition" - doing more miles a year than petrol cars - study

Tue 28 April 2020 | Back to news list

Research by the RAC Foundation has found that new electric cars have travelled over 25% more miles, on average, than new petrol cars. The research - carried out before the Coronavirus lockdown - also found that Tesla models travelled an average of 12,459 miles a year compared with 10,377 a year for all vehicles.
 
The study - based on first MOT data for 516,936 vehicles found that the newest cars in Britain do an average of 10,377 miles in each of the first three years after they are registered. (Once a private car is three years old, it is required to have an MOT and its mileage is then recorded. It is that data which is used in the research.) 
 
However, there are big differences between cars of varying make, model and fuel type. For example, while new diesel cars cover an average of 12,496 miles in each of their first three years, new petrol cars only do an average of 7,490 miles per year. 
 
Pure battery electric cars rank between new petrol and diesel cars, being driven an average of 9,435 miles per year. 
 
Meanwhile, the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid – the most common vehicle of its type on the road –averaged12,500 miles per year.
 
The RAC Foundation data shows average mileage for several popular electric cars. It also publishes data for selected manufacturers, showing that Tesla leads the pack with an average annual mileage of nearly 12,500 miles.
 
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Unsurprisingly people with diesels have been doing most mileage, probably seeking better long-distance fuel economy, but this study is also evidence that battery-electric powered cars are not just trophy vehicles signalling their owners’ green credentials but prior to the lockdown were racking up the miles as everyday transport.
 
“Tens of millions of people still drive petrol and diesel-powered cars, but this data suggests that owners of electric cars have found them to be a practical proposition, running up the sort of big annual mileages that many of us need to do, challenging preconceptions about their range and the ease of re-charging."


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