Charging An Electric Car vs Diesel Car - Downtown Electrical (2023)

Choosing between an electric car and a diesel car for your next motor?

The biggest difference between these types of cars isn’t just what fuel they use, but the methods available and how much they cost.

In this article we’ll take a look at:

  • Electric car vs diesel car fuel costs
  • Electric car vs diesel car fuelling times
  • Electric car vs diesel car fuel efficiency

If you’re undecided about switching to electric, read our guide to find out how electric cars compare to diesel cars.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The cost of charging an electric car depends on the local prices for electricity, which are generally cheaper than diesel and petrol prices.

Electric cars have the potential to get a full charge, equivalent to a full tank of fuel, for around half the cost or even less.

While charging an electric car at home comes with the upfront cost of the charger, a government grant is available to cover up to £350 of the installation.

If you plan on charging your electric car at home, it’s a good idea to switch to an off-peak tariff that charges less for electricity during off-peak hours – meaning you can charge your car overnight for less.

Public chargers often come with a connection fee and a higher tariff, so it’s more expensive to get a full charge.

Here are the estimated costs for fully charging an electric car with a standard 40kWh battery like the Nissan Leaf, based on average electricity tariffs of 13-15p per kilowatt-hour:

In comparison, public chargers can cost up to 20p per kilowatt-hour and around £10 for a full charge.

(Video) Here’s Why Charging an Electric Car Can Suck - And It’s Not The Reason You Think!

However, most electric car drivers only use public chargers for top-ups now and again, and many businesses even offer free charging for customers and employees.

You can find free electric car chargers near you by applying the ‘free to use’ filter on Zap Map.

How much does it cost to fuel a diesel car?

Diesel is the most expensive type of fuel for a car due to taxation because of its high levels of pollution.

However, some people still prefer diesel cars because they go further on the same amount of fuel than petrol cars do.

While diesel may be cheaper than petrol in the long run thanks to its fuel efficiency, it’s still more expensive than charging an electric car.

Diesel fuel tank capacity can be anywhere from 45 litres to 100 litres, meaning a full tank can run up a big bill.

Though Nissan has discontinued the diesel version of its most popular model the Qashqai, traditional fuel Nissan models have an average capacity of 55 litres.

If the current average price of diesel is 129p per litre, then it would cost a whopping £70.95 for a full tank.

Running at 51.9 miles per gallon, this full tank would average out at a cost of 11p per mile.

According to Next Green Car, the Nissan Leaf runs at 15 kWh per 100 kilometres, with an average cost of 4.1p per mile.

Obviously, the larger diesel tank will get you further than the smaller battery capacity before needing a refill, but electricity still works out cheaper per mile.

(Video) How much does it cost to Charge an Electric Car?

At these prices, it would cost you £11 to cover 100 miles in a diesel car vs £4.10 to cover 100 miles in an electric car – a saving of more than 60%.

According to data gathered by Which the average annual mileage is 9,000 miles, costing £400-£700 for small to large electric cars vs £1,017 for diesel.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

One area where electric cars might seem to lose against diesel cars is the time it takes to charge a battery compared to how quickly you can fuel up at a petrol station.

It’s true that filling up a tank should only take 5-10 minutes, while complete electric charging can take 4-12 hours depending on the charger type and battery size.

But the thing is that most electric car drivers prefer to charge them at home, usually plugging the vehicle in to charge overnight.

So even though it can take an average of 8 hours to fully charge from flat, it’s not like you’re waiting around the whole time – the car can charge while you sleep and be ready to go in the morning.

There’s also the fact that you’ll rarely be charging from completely flat, more likely just topping up the charge.

Electric vehicle chargers come as 3.7kW, 7kW, or 22kW, with super-rapid chargers ranging from 50-150kW.

So for that 40kWh Nissan Leaf, a full charge would take 10.8 hours on a 3.7kW slow charger, 5.7 hours on a 7kW fast charger, or 1.8 hours on a 22kW rapid charger.

Most home chargers will be 3.7kW to 7kW, while rapid chargers are often found at public stations for a higher cost.

Not all cars are compatible with rapid chargers, though, and these are mostly only used for quick top-ups at motorway service stations on longer journeys.

(Video) How to charge an electric car - DrivingElectric

If you top up your electric car’s charge at home every night, you won’t have to worry about waiting around at public chargers.

And even if you do find yourself needing a top up on the go, you could take advantage of charging facilities at supermarkets or shopping centres while you do some shopping.

There’s no need to worry about someone unplugging the charger while your car’s unattended, as there’s a locking system that prevents this.

How long does it take to fuel a diesel car?

Getting to a petrol station, filling your tank with diesel, and paying for the fuel should only take a few minutes.

This does seem like the more convenient option at first, but then there’s the trouble of finding a petrol station when you’re on the road.

You can’t fuel your diesel car from the comfort of your own home while you watch TV like you can with an electric car.

And even if you did need to find a public charger for your electric car, there are currently 14,875 public charging locations in the UK compared to 8,380 petrol stations.

So while diesel fuelling is generally faster, electric charging is actually much easier and more convenient.

How efficient are electric cars?

Vehicle efficiency is measured by how much fuel the vehicle needs to travel a particular distance, or how far the vehicle can travel per a set amount of fuel.

For electric cars, manufacturers usually present this figure as miles per kilowatt-hour or kilowatt-hours per mile.

You can convert this into MPGe or miles per gallon equivalent for a better comparison between electric and petrol or diesel cars.

(Video) If Gas Cars Are Banned, Can The Grid Handle Electric Cars?

An electric car with a 40kWh battery and 168-mile range like the Nissan Leaf would have an efficiency rating of 4.2 miles per kWh, or 141 MPGe.

When it comes to the miles-per-gallon measurement, the higher the number is the better, as this means the vehicle travels further per energy unit.

How efficient are diesel cars?

According to What Car, even the most efficient diesel cars on the market only have an MPG value of 51 to 56.

Though Which found that diesel cars are more efficient than petrol cars by an average of 4.9 MPG, they’re still nowhere near as efficient as electric cars.

Take a look at these direct comparisons between several top brand electric cars and their diesel counterparts:

Electric modelsEfficiency (MPGe)Diesel modelsEfficiency (MPG)
Jaguar I-PACE107.9 (3.2m/kWh)Jaguar F-PACE49.6
BMW i3178.6 (5.3m/kWh)BMW 1 Series54.2
Volkswagen e-Golf444.9 (13.2m/kWh)Volkswagen Golf SV67.3

Figures from Jardine Motors and Inch Calculator.

As you can see, electric models are usually 2-3 times more efficient than diesel models or more.

Remember that no matter which fuel you use, efficiency will be affected by things like driving speed, braking, idling, and how much you use the heating or air conditioning in your car.

Electric car vs diesel car: the verdict

In the battle of charging an electric car vs fuelling a diesel car, electric cars come out on top.

Here are the winners in each category:

  • Cost – Electric
  • Time – Diesel (though electric is more convenient overall)
  • Efficiency – Electric

Some people do still prefer to drive diesel cars, though with a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars coming in 2030, and the number of taxes and charges for diesel emissions, it’s really not worth the investment.

(Video) Tesla vs Gas: TRUE Charging Cost After 75,000 Miles

Switch to an electric car instead and contact Downtown Electrical to install your home charger to save money.


Does it take a lot of electricity to charge an electric car? ›

If electricity costs ¢10.7 per kilowatt-hour, charging an EV with a 200-mile range (assuming a fully depleted 54 kWh battery) will cost about $6 to reach a full charge. To compare the fueling costs of individual models of conventional and electric vehicles, see the Vehicle Cost Calculator.

What is cheaper to run diesel or electric? ›

Running costs

In fact, diesel is one of the most expensive fuel types on the market. This is because diesel is taxed at a higher rate as it is considered a 'dirtier' kind fuel. On the other hand, the widespread availability of electricity makes charging one of the cheapest ways to re-fuel.

Which car is more powerful electric or diesel? ›

Diesel engines have more horsepower and torque than equivalent electric vehicle engines. While electric vehicles have become more powerful, they still are not quite as powerful as other types of vehicles.

Why is electric engine better than diesel engine? ›

An electric motor runs cleaner than a diesel-powered engine. Electric power plants continue to create power in cleaner ways. Also, the addition to the grid of alternate energy sources, such as wind and solar, provide electricity with virtually zero carbon emissions.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car for 300 miles? ›

Most EVs can generally travel 3 to 4 miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy. A full recharge, if your vehicle's range is 300 miles, would require 75-100 kWh and cost $10-$14.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a charging station in the US? ›

Contact your utility to find out more. While electricity costs vary greatly, the average cost of electricity in California is about 16.58¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh). At this price point, charging a 40–kWh battery with a 150–mile range would cost about 4.42¢ per mile (or about $6.63 to fully charge).

Should I buy diesel or electric? ›

Diesel cars tend to have a more affordable asking price than electric cars and have better torque (power) for increased performance and towing. However, EVs are cheaper to run, plus they often feature better onboard technology and are better for the environment.

Is insurance on electric cars cheaper? ›

Do electrical vehicles cost more to insure? Generally, electric cars are more costly to insure than conventional vehicles. Because electric vehicles are pricier to both buy and repair, insurance providers charge their drivers more for coverage.

What are the disadvantages of electric cars? ›

Disadvantages of Electric Vehicles - cons
  • Finding a Charging station - EV charging stations are fewer and further between than gas stations.
  • Charging takes longer.
  • The driving range on a full charge.
  • Higher Initial Purchase Cost.
  • Replacing the Batteries is Expensive.

What benefits do electric cars have over diesel cars? ›

EVs are well-known to have a lower environmental impact than petrol and diesel cars and there are many factors that make EVs a greener alternative:
  • Reduces air pollution. Electric cars don't emit any soot or exhaust gases. ...
  • Uses a cleaner energy source. ...
  • More energy efficient. ...
  • Noise pollution.
Aug 10, 2022

What will replace diesel engines? ›

Electric cars will undoubtedly replace petrol and diesel cars, and hydrogen and next-generation batteries will play a vital role in this transition. Many countries plan to ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines in the next decade.

Do electric cars last longer than diesel cars? ›

However, the good news is that an EV battery lasts 10 years on average before needing a replacement. Many vehicles with gas engines can run up to 200,000 miles, which is more than 10 years if they're driven an annual average of 12,000 to 15,000 miles.

Will diesel ever be replaced? ›

New models would be zero-emission in 2024, while diesel and gas drayage trucks must retire after 18 years to guarantee that they meet a zero-emission requirement by 2035.

Will electric take over diesel? ›

The US Department of Energy today released a study showing that by 2035, electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks will cost the same as or less than diesel trucks. And by 2030, nearly half of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks will be cheaper to buy, operate, and maintain than diesel trucks.

How long will diesels be around? ›

But the end is in sight, as the government has declared that sales of petrol and diesel cars will end in 2030. Some car industry observers think this is ambitious, but either way, in a few years years, there won't be many diesel cars on sale. They will survive beyond that, but by 2050 they could well be a rarity.

Are public charging stations free? ›

Charging at public locations: Public chargepoints at supermarkets or car parks can be free to use for the duration of your stay.

How much does it cost to replace batteries in an electric car? ›

Experts say electric vehicle batteries typically cost between $2,000 and $10,000 to replace, but some are more expensive. Electric vehicles are growing in popularity worldwide, with sales doubling in 2021 to a new record of 6.6 million, the International Energy Agency said in May.

How many miles do you get out of a fully charged electric car? ›

Electric vehicle (EV) driving range and electric car mileage per charge varies, but typically drivers can expect an average of 250 miles in a single charge. Keep in mind there are factors that can affect an EV's range, including weather, battery size, and more.

How long does it take to charge an electric car at a fast charging station? ›

The fastest speed, direct current fast charging (DCFC) equipment, enables rapid charging along heavy-traffic corridors at installed stations. DCFC equipment can charge a BEV to 80 percent in just 20 minutes to 1 hour.

How long does it take to charge an electric car at a charging station? ›

Charging an electric car can be done at home or at any public charging stations. Fully charging a car can be done in just 30 minutes, or it may take as long as half a day. How big your battery is, or how fast your charging point is may change the time required.

Is charging an electric car cheaper than gas? ›

Charging an electric vehicle battery overnight at home is likely the least expensive option. Gas prices fluctuate, and electricity rates vary regionally, but in most cases, it costs less per month to charge an EV than to buy gas for a traditional vehicle.

What will happen to diesel cars after 2030? ›

Can I still buy a second-hand petrol or diesel car after 2030? Like the above, the ban only affects the sale of new vehicles, so you'll still be able to buy and sell used petrol or diesel cars after 2030. For the same reason, you'll also be able to buy and sell used hybrids after 2035, too.

What are the disadvantages of buying a diesel car? ›

Cons of diesel cars
  • Diesel cars tend to be more expensive to buy than similar petrol models.
  • Diesel fuel usually costs more.
  • Servicing can be more expensive, although you don't need to do it as often.
  • Insurance can be 10-15% higher. [ ...
  • Diesel cars produce a lot more NO2.
Feb 20, 2018

Is electric charging more expensive than diesel? ›

Indeed, it can be more expensive for an EV driver to recharge quickly on a longer journey than it is for a petrol and diesel driver to refuel. Drivers using rapid chargers now pay 20p per mile for their electricity, only a penny less than those using less common ultra-rapid chargers who pay 21p per mile.

Do you pay road tax on an electric car? ›

Summary. Road tax, officially known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is calculated based on the CO2 tailpipe emissions of your vehicle, its list price and which year it was registered in. Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are exempt from VED - until April 2025.

What happens if an electric car runs out of charge on the road? ›

Running out of gas or electricity produces the same result: your car will stop. In the case of a gas car, a roadside service truck can usually bring you a can of gas, or tow you to the nearest gas station. Similarly, an electric car can simply be towed to the nearest charging station.

Can you charge an electric car in the rain? ›

The simple answer is yes, you can charge an electric car in the rain. In fact, charging an electric car in the rain is no different to charging it in any other weather condition, as the charging systems on EVs are designed to withstand the elements and remove any potential risks associated with charging in the rain.

What is the biggest problem with electric cars? ›

What are the downsides to electric cars?
  • Their batteries need rare metals. ...
  • Making electric cars creates more emissions. ...
  • They are only as green as their power sources. ...
  • Electric cars can be expensive to buy. ...
  • You can't drive as far in an electric car. ...
  • There aren't enough charging points.

How do electric vehicles do in cold weather? ›

According to AAA's “Cold Weather Can Cut Electric Car Range by Over 40%”, EVs often lose 12% of their range in cold weather, but the loss leaps to 41% with the heater on full blast.

Do electric cars wear out tires faster? ›

The tires of electric vehicles wear 20% faster than those of internal combustion engines, which is due to the acceleration of electric vehicles that generate strong instantaneous power.

Can I swap my diesel car for an electric car? ›

You can exchange your old diesel or petrol car through a car scrappage scheme and get a new ULEZ compliant vehicle including electric cars.

Why electric cars are not the future? ›

Here lies the primary reason why electric cars are not the future: Battery limitations are holding the industry back. Without a national, dependable network of charging stations, electric cars risk remaining a luxury product bought by wealthy suburbanites who can outfit their garages with personal charging stations.

Why diesel cars have more power? ›

Petrol vs Diesel: Power Production

As a consequence of a higher compression ratio (longer stroke and turbocharger), diesel engines produce more torque which means you get more acceleration off the line.

Will you still be able to buy diesel fuel after 2030? ›

As the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars only impacts new cars, you will still be able to buy and sell used petrol and diesel cars after 2030.

What is the biggest drawbacks of a diesel engine? ›

Some other downsides to diesel are:
  • Increased cost. Diesel is more expensive to buy at the pump than petrol, and the higher purchase price of a diesel car can bump up insurance costs. ...
  • Driving experience. Diesel engines tend to be noisier than petrol due to their high running pressure.
Jul 1, 2019

Why are diesel engines disappearing? ›

One of the main reasons is the price gap between the rate of petrol and diesel. The share of diesel engine vehicles in the Indian motor market is decreasing and even some automakers have started discontinuing the making of their diesel variants.

Do electric cars break down more often? ›

Do Electric Cars Break Down Less Than Regular Cars? The quick answer to that question is no. Your speed and the way you drive your car affects the range of your electric vehicle. Not using regenerative braking on urban roads will cause your range to go up.

Will an electric car last 20 years? ›

Experts say an EV battery should last for at least 10-20 years with the proper care and maintenance. For the uninitiated, the lithium-ion battery packs used in electric cars are similar to those used in cell phones and laptop computers, only they're much larger.

How many years will an electric car last? ›

How long do batteries last in electric cars? According to current industry expectations, EV batteries are projected to last between 100,000 and 200,000 miles, or about 15 to 20 years.

Will diesel be around in 10 years? ›

It's expected we'll probably see diesel cars on our roads until the mid-2040s at least, as the average diesel car's lifespan is around 14 years. So, if you want to keep on driving a petrol or diesel car, you can, but you'll need to accept changing charges and regulations surrounding combustion vehicles.

What is the future of diesel fuel in USA? ›

We forecast retail gasoline and diesel prices will decline in 2023 and 2024, according to our latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), after reaching multiyear highs in the first half of 2022.

Will diesel trucks be banned? ›

Environmental, Sustainability, Transportation

In a new proposal from the California Air Resources Board, the sale of diesel trucks would be banned in 2040. This comes after state legislators agreed to ban the sale of gas cars by 2035.

What happens if diesel runs out? ›

What Happens When You Run Out of Diesel Fuel? When you run low on diesel, your fuel pump might send air through your fuel system instead of gas. If that happens, your vehicle will shut down and not restart until the air is removed.

Which is more powerful diesel or electric? ›

Diesel Vehicles Are More Powerful

If your vehicles need to do any towing or need to be able to perform in difficult environments, you may want to consider a diesel. Diesel engines have more horsepower and torque than equivalent electric vehicle engines.

Are we phasing out diesel? ›

The 2035 date refers to the end of petrol and diesel new-car sales – referred to as to "start phasing out light internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035" – rather than used ones.

What will happen to diesel cars after 10 years? ›

10 year old diesel cars still banned

To ensure that this rule is strictly followed, all the registering authorities and RTO offices in New Delhi can issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the transfer of such older vehicles to other states, where this rule is not in effect as of now. This ban is still applicable.

Which cities are banning diesel cars? ›

The mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens say they are implementing the ban to improve air quality. They say they will give incentives for alternative vehicle use and promote walking and cycling. The commitments were made in Mexico at a biennial meeting of city leaders.

Will diesel cars lose value? ›

Diesel cars generally depreciate in value faster than petrol cars, and that's especially been the case since 2017. As diesel cars become cheaper, however, they could offer better value-for-money for buyers despite the extra surcharges and taxes.

Is charging an electric car cheaper than fuel? ›

Data from Automotive found that electric vehicles are now more than half as expensive to run as petrol or diesel cars when charged at home on a dedicated energy tariff. Drivers charging at home on an electric vehicle (EV) tariff can save over 56% compared to petrol or diesel per mile.

Will electric cars overload the power grid? ›

Experts are not expecting electric vehicle charging to overload the grid and there are number of reasons for this confidence. In August 2022, the National Grid described the issue of the grid not being “able to handle the increase in EVs,” as a myth.

Does charging electric cars cost more than gas? ›

According to the eGallon Calculator, EV charging costs roughly half the price of powering a standard gasoline vehicle for driving the same distance. Even if you charge your EV at a public station, it's still cheaper than filling with gasoline. When you charge at home, your savings increase greatly.

Are electric charging stations free? ›

There are thousands of free electric car charging points in the UK, often in supermarkets, shopping centres, public car parks, and hotels, but some may require a purchase in-store or have time restrictions. Therefore, it's a good idea to check ahead.

How much does it cost to replace an electric car battery? ›

Replacing an electric car battery will cost between $4,000-$20,000, but there are some cheaper options. Whitney Vandiver writes for NerdWallet about ways car owners can save money on ownership and maintenance.

Is it cheaper to charge an electric car? ›

Charging an electric vehicle battery overnight at home is likely the least expensive option. Gas prices fluctuate, and electricity rates vary regionally, but in most cases, it costs less per month to charge an EV than to buy gas for a traditional vehicle.

What is the cheapest way to charge an electric car? ›

The cheapest way to charge your electric vehicle would be to rely completely on free charging points, but this might not be the most convenient. You'll often find that only slow or fast chargers are free of charge, and you might not fancy hanging around in public for long enough to get a full charge on a regular basis.

What is the biggest drawback of an electric car? ›

What are the downsides to electric cars?
  • Their batteries need rare metals. ...
  • Making electric cars creates more emissions. ...
  • They are only as green as their power sources. ...
  • Electric cars can be expensive to buy. ...
  • You can't drive as far in an electric car. ...
  • There aren't enough charging points.

What is the big problem with electric cars? ›

EVs Are Too Expensive

Moreover, all cars are much more expensive now than they once were, and this is especially true if they're in high demand, which is currently the case with many EVs. Electricity is cheaper than gas, and EVs are highly efficient, so it will cost you much less per mile to drive an electric car.

What happens when an electric car runs out of power? ›

Running out of gas or electricity produces the same result: your car will stop. In the case of a gas car, a roadside service truck can usually bring you a can of gas, or tow you to the nearest gas station. Similarly, an electric car can simply be towed to the nearest charging station.

How much does it cost to drive an electric car 100 miles? ›

EV drivers who charge up at home spend about $11.60 per 100 miles. The price difference is more dramatic for those who mainly recharge at stations. Frequent charging station users pay $14.40 per 100 miles.

How long do electric car batteries last? ›

According to current industry expectations, EV batteries are projected to last between 100,000 and 200,000 miles, or about 15 to 20 years. However, even when EV batteries do age, their large initial capacity combined with minor losses in battery capacity means the aging is nearly imperceptible to drivers.

How long does it take to charge a Tesla with a 120 volt outlet? ›

Here's a breakdown of the charging methods and approximately how long each take to fully charge a Tesla from a low battery: Level 1 AC (120V outlet at home): 20-40 hours. AC Level 2 (Third party chargers/Tesla chargers/Tesla home charger): 8-12 hours. Level 3 DCFC (Tesla Supercharger): 15-25 minutes.


1. How Electric Car Batteries Will Charge in 5 Minutes
2. Why every 5th electric car owner returns to gasoline
(Innovative Techs)
3. How Tesla, GM And Others Will Fix Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety
4. Switching To Electric Car: Is It Worth It? | Talking Point | Electric Vehicles Pt 1/2
(CNA Insider)
5. How an Electric Car Works? Its Parts & Functions [Explained]
(The Engineers Post)
6. DTE Energy's plan to keep electric vehicles powered up
(CBS Detroit)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated: 01/15/2023

Views: 5950

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.