Pros and Cons of Electric, Petrol, Diesel and Hybrid Vehicles - GKL: Vehicle Leasing

Pros and Cons of Electric, Petrol, Diesel and Hybrid Vehicles

May 6th, 2022

A petrol pump and electric vehicle charging lead

With fuel costs rising and 2025’s fleet emission targets on the horizon, we look at the benefits and drawbacks of each major fuel type for your fleet.

Electric Vehicles

An electric charger plugged into an EV

The UK government has committed to ending fossil fuel vehicle manufacture by 2030. That means the next eight years will bring enormous growth in the electric vehicle (EV) market. However, with EU-wide targets for fleets to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% from 2025, many fleet businesses are already making the move to an electric future – or at the very least, looking into doing so.

If that’s you, you’ll want to consider electric cars’ pros and cons at this time:

Pros of electric vehicles Cons of electric vehicles
Helps your fleet meet EU targets for CO2 emission reduction

Pay nothing on road tax

Pay only 2% Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax on company cars

Pay nothing on congestion charges

Electric cars are eligible for the government’s £1,500 plug-in grant

Around £600 cheaper to run than a petrol vehicle annually – and with fossil fuel prices rising, that gap is widening

Average cost per charge of £16.16

Between £50-80 cheaper to service on average
Roughly equal cost to insure compared to ICE vehicles for low-to-mid-price models

Total cost of ownership (TCO) is roughly equivalent to ICE vehicles and can even be lower on certain models.

Higher initial vehicle cost (almost £44,000 on average)

An average range of 100-300 miles on a full charge

Slow charging times

100 miles charge = roughly 35 minutes

Full charge = between 3-10 hours

Charging locations less plentiful than petrol stations

Breakdown costs can be higher for electric vehicles

A forecasted lithium shortage by 2030 could curtail essential battery supplies.


Petrol Vehicles

A petrol pump plugged into a car

For traditionalist car lovers it will be a sad day when the last petrol car rolls off the production line. And yet, few people would argue that it’s a change the planet needs to happen.

For fleets, the question in 2022 is not if they should move to EVs, but when. The commercial pros of petrol cars may, for many, continue to outweigh the cons for some time. However, with fuel prices rising, we could soon be approaching a tipping point.

To inform your fleet’s decision making, these are the current pros and cons of petrol vehicles:

Pros of petrol vehicles Cons of petrol vehicles
Petrol vehicles carry a far lower initial cost than electric vehicles, with a far wider variety of makes and models on offer

They are also far faster to refuel time than EVs, with minutes at the pump vs potentially hours spent at a charging point.

Petrol vehicles also offer an overall lower fuel cost than diesel vehicles unless you are driving especially long distances

Finally, petrol vehicles are simply just far more familiar to the majority of UK drivers. With several leasing cycles still left before fleets need to urgently considering moving to an electric infrastructure, this isn’t to be overlooked – particularly as is makes TCO far more predictable and workable for fleet managers in the short to medium term.

Production and sale of petrol vehicles will end in 2030, meaning fleets should start considering the move to electric vehicles sooner rather than later.

BIK tax rates for petrol cars are higher than EVs, at 25% for any car with 100 g/km CO2

The average yearly cost to run a petrol vehicle weighs in around £600 higher than running an EV

Likewise, the average cost per 1,000 miles is £202, which works out around £23 more than diesel. This makes petrol motors less cost-effective for fleets with high mileage and many vehicles.

Overall, the lack of green fuel in petrol vehicles will also affect a fleet’s ability to meet fleet emission reduction targets.


Diesel Vehicles

A diesel pump filling up a diesel vehicle

Is it worth getting a diesel car in 2022? With fleet emission reduction targets to hit by 2025 and the end of new diesel vehicle manufacture altogether happening in 2030, it’s a fair question.

To help answer it, take a look at the pros and cons below.

Pros of diesel vehicles Cons of diesel vehicles
Diesel vehicles offer improved fuel economy over petrol vehicles, meaning they’re still superior for fleet costs when driven over for long distance

The nature of diesel engines also means they typically need less repairs than petrol vehicles

The average cost per 1,000 miles of a diesel vehicle is £179 (£23 less than petrol)

Like petrol vehicles, BIK rates also begin at 25% and go up to 37% depending on g/km CO2. Diesel vehicles are likely to be on the higher end of this spectrum.

Production and sale of diesel vehicles ends in 2030

Because of the extra fumes releases into the air, diesel vehicles contribute to your fleet’s emissions even more than petrol vehicles, meaning they affects your ability to meet those targets even more

Diesel vehicles also carry potentially highest charges in Ultra Low Emission Zones

Our final con of diesel vehicles is that manufacturers are already moving away from diesel, meaning you can expect less variety in vehicle types, and less support for repairs in coming years.


Hybrid Vehicles

The back of a hybrid vehicle

Hybrid vehicles occupy a curious middle ground between the past of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and an all-electric future. But in the present, some fleet managers may find they offer the perfect balance to lower emissions without sacrificing driving range or refuelling time. Of course, that might also depend on the type of hybrid you opt for.

Either way, it will help to know hybrid cars’ advantages and disadvantages:

Pros of hybrid vehicles Cons of hybrid vehicles
You’ll pay less in congestion charges in a hybrid car

Hybrids have a longer driving range than EVs

Because the run on two fuel types, hybrids have a longer range than EVs and need fewer lengthy stops on long journeys to recharge

Hybrids come in three types for a wider variety:

  • Full hybrids can run solely on their combustion engine, their electric engine, or on both together
  • Mild hybrids use both fuel types together (you cannot choose to use either independently)
  • Plug-in hybrids recharge the battery from a charge point in much the same way as a full electric vehicle.
Production and sale of hybrid cars will end in 2035 – although this is a full five years after petrol and diesel cars

Still being reliant on fossil fuels means hybrids are less green than full EVs

Because they’re less green, hybrids will make only a partial contribution to your fleet emission reduction targets

The 23% BIK tax paid by hybrid owners is vastly different to the 2% paid by pure EV owners, and only 2% away from the 25% starting rate paid by petrol and diesel owners

Full hybrids typically offer an electric-only range of around 30 miles on average, making electricity more useful on short journeys, and only handy as a backup on longer ones.


So… should you get a petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric car?

It’s not hard to see why electric cars are better for the environment. But as things stand, the pros and cons of petrol and diesel cars are obvious and compelling. That’s particularly true for fleets that rely on long journeys. However, each day that fuel prices soar, the longer-term cost benefits of electric vehicles become more apparent, and more appealing. For some, the time to go electric is now.

That switch brings its own challenges, however. From the cost of installing charging points to the realistic range and charging time of most electric vehicle batteries, the technology is still in its early stages. But with more public charging points being installed each month, and attractive tax benefits on top of the lower fuel costs, the choice between an ICE, EV or hybrid model is less clear cut than ever before.

Need help choosing your next vehicle?

Whether you’re considering switching to an EV or hybrid, or you’re looking to stick with leasing a combustion engine vehicle for a little while longer, our team can work with you to find the right vehicle.

Call us on 01246 572180 or email us at [email protected].


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