Pure Planet green electricity: How much it cost to drive a Nissan Leaf for a year.

Tuesday, 28 January 20205 minute read
Electric Vehicles

How much does it cost to run an electric vehicle on renewable electricity for a year?

It was one year ago when my Nissan Leaf arrived outside my home, ironically atop a diesel-driven flatbed truck.

My first electric vehicle. I had decided to go fully electric after my old gas guzzler failed its MOT and was consigned to the scrapheap.

I have to admit to being slightly worried about the usual EV scare stories I’d heard — would I suddenly run out of battery? Would I be able to travel long distances? Would my electricity bill go through the roof?

After driving the Leaf (2018 edition) for 12 months, clocking up 8,470 miles (which by coincidence is almost bang on the national average of 8,700 miles) I was curious: how much does it cost to run my Nissan Leaf on renewable electricity for a year?

As a member of the Pure Planet team, I’m naturally a PP member, using my home’s green electricity supply to charge my EV about three times a week.

I worked out that I’ve used 2,228 kWh of clean and green electricity to power my car.

Because PP doesn’t have any mark-up on the electricity it supplies, I pay 14.018p per kWh of electricity. Which means it cost me just £312 to drive my Leaf for a year.

I repeat. That’s £312 to run an electric vehicle. For a year. For 8,470 miles. That’s more than a third of the way around the world.

Which means it would cost me less than £950 to circumnavigate the globe — if I could charge with Pure Planet at home, of course, and there was a road along the equator…

My £312 cost is about 1/10th of what I paid for petrol in 2018 to cover a similar distance. Yes, my gas-guzzling of old cost me more than three grand a year.

Put it another way, that’s £8.55 a day to burn dirty old fossils, compared to just 85p for clean electricity.

It’s not a hard choice, is it?

I’ve only used public EV charging points a handful of times since owning my Leaf. These were Pod Point chargers, free to use because they’re subsidised by local authorities to encourage electric vehicle ownership.

The savings I’ve made don’t just appear in £ signs. My first year of EV driving has also saved 2,342kg of CO2. That’s two and a third tonnes of climate change-causing crud kept out of our skies!

Here at Pure Planet we offer all our Members a pass-through rate on the wholesale costs of renewable energy. You pay no more than we pay for the cost of the energy itself.

Unlike some other energy providers, we don’t currently offer our EV drivers an incentive to charge their cars overnight. We’re thinking about what we might do in the future — but our tariff as it is offers fantastic value for EV chargers — any time of day or night, which makes it super convenient too.

My total energy use for the year, house and car, is 7,000 kWh. With Pure Planet’s single tariff of 14.018p per kWh, I pay £981.26 in total.

But if I signed up to British Gas’ “Electric Drivers Energy Plan”, say, they’d charge me only 4.70p per kWh to charge my Leaf overnight, between the hours of midnight and 5am, but a whopping 20p per kWh at other times. It would mean me paying only £105 for the car (assuming all my charging happened overnight), but £954 for the house, so £1,058 for the year, which is £77 more!

And, if I ever needed to charge my Leaf between 5am and midnight, I’d be paying 20p per kWh.

We know that there are other energy suppliers out there offering cheaper, night time, charging rates. It is nice to have peace of mind knowing that Pure Planet rate is the same, no matter what time of day or night I choose to plug the Leaf in.

It gives me the freedom to charge when I want and not worry about restricting it to night time, although I do avoid charging between 4pm-7pm as this is peak demand time.

This year we’re looking at launching new services for our Members with EVs, and to encourage more ownership in the UK, as part of our mission to get the country powered by 100% renewables — and to clean up our air. This includes time-of-use tariffs, which use smart meters to reduce the cost of EV charging at times when demand for electricity is lowest. But we’ll be exploring an EV night time rate as an option, too.

And we’d like to work with partners so that EV-driving Pure Planet Members get the same fair rate wherever they choose to charge.

If that all sounds good to you, head over to the Pure Planet Community and tell us what you’d like to see, and if you’re up for being part of a pilot later this year. Oh, and if you have an EV already — how much does it cost you to run it for a year? Could you get around the world in under a grand?

Head of Knowledge and Community