Insurance costs will rule out low carbon vehicle benefits until 2020

The high cost of insuring hybrid and electric vehicles means there will not be a cost benefit to the consumer until 2020, according to an energy consultant.

The Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf

Speaking at the LowCVP conference yesterday (July 9) Element Energy senior consultant, Alex Stewart, claimed green car drivers were on average £5,000 worse off by choosing low carbon transport.

According, to Mr Stewart the high purchase price and resulting insurance negate the savings made through not forking out for petrol.

He said: "Running cost benefits are ruled out by insurance as they are so high due to the costs of the car

"There's a £5,000 premium for low carbon vehicles and will remain until 2020.

"By 2030 costs will come down ... due to smaller batteries."

Mr Stewart's comments mean the Government's £5,000 low carbon vehicle fund is vital if transport emissions are to be driven down.

As even taking the funding into account a new Nissan Leaf will set you back around £25,950 if you were to buy it outright.

Compare that price to the similarly sized, but purely combustion engine, Nissan Micra - which is yours for a little more than £8,000.

However, Mr Stewart did add that with increasing petrol price, even taking into account rising electricity costs, will make low carbon transport more cost effective.

He added: "Costs will fall substantially between 2011 and 2020, but long term support will be needed."

Luke Walsh


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