Benefits of Electric Vehicles

Car on a road between trees

A recent Which survey revealed that electric vehicle drivers are the happiest. So why is that? Well, there are lots of benefits to choosing an electric vehicle. They’re great for both the health and environment of Scotland due to reduced emissions, meaning less pollution and cleaner air. You can save on fuel costs and vehicle tax too. And with electric vehicle loans and grant support for charging facilities available in Scotland, it’s getting easier every day to go electric.

A woman standing by a charging electric car

Electric vehicles are more efficient to run, which helps save against the initial up front cost. Electric vehicles offer savings including:

  • A cheaper lifetime running cost – although the initial cost of an electric vehicle is more expensive, the average annual running costs are cheaper - £1,742 for an electric vehicle versus £2,205 for a petrol vehicle, saving drivers of electric vehicles £463 each year.
  • The battery life to take on longer journeys without charging – you might think you can’t travel far in an electric vehicle before you need to charge it. But the average electric car can run for 181 miles before needing charged – that could get you from Edinburgh to Inverness without stopping. Given the average motorist drives 136 miles a week, you’d only have to charge your electric vehicle once a week.
  • Lower cost to charge than filling your car with fuel – a full charge of an electric vehicle at home costs around £4-6 , and if charging at a public charging point, around £8-10. Compare that to driving 100 miles in a petrol or diesel car, which would cost around £13-16 in fuel, it can end up being three or four times more than the cost of charging an electric vehicle. 
  • Lower servicing and maintenance costs - because there are less mechanical components in an electric vehicle than there are in petrol and diesel engine vehicles, the upkeep is cheaper.
  • A zero rate of vehicle excise duty for battery electric vehicles.
  • Free parking for electric vehicles in some towns and cities. And free tar

As well as the cost savings, there’s an extensive local charging network across the length and breadth of Scotland, with over 1,600 publicly available charge points. 

Find out more about charging your electric vehicle.

An electric vehicle at a charging point

Types of Electric Cars


An electric vehicle is one powered, in full or in part, by a battery that plugs directly into mains electricity. As more people choose electric vehicles, the variety of models available from major manufacturers is increasing all the time, including hybrid vehicles. Hybrids are important in helping people who might not be fully ready to invest in a pure electric vehicle, but will also be phased out by 2030 and aren’t currently covered as part of the Low Carbon Transport Loan. Find out more below about the different options available:

Battery electric vehicle


Also known as a ‘pure’ electric vehicle, these cars are powered solely by a battery charged from mains electricity and have a range of 100 to 300 miles per charge. They can be driven by holders of automatic licences too, as they have no gearbox.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)


These cars have a battery plus internal combustion engine (ICE). Once the electric range of up to 50 miles is used, the PHEV reverts to hybrid power, meaning there are no limits in terms of the range.

Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV)


Similar to plug-in hybrids, E-REV’s have a battery, electric drive motor and a petrol or diesel generator. The internal combustion engine acts as generator when the battery is depleted, meaning the range can be extended up to 300 miles.

Find out more about electric vehicles at