Electric Vs Diesel – Which Is Better?

chuttersnap xJLsHl0hIik unsplash

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new car, you may have been considering the prospect of an electric vehicle. Making the leap from combustion engine to electric can be a scary one, and there are so many myths about electric cars flying around. However, many of these myths are from early versions of the electric car, and they have come a long way since the early models.

This article will debunk the myths surrounding electric cars and explain some of the benefits (and not so good parts) about ownership, so you can make an educated decision on whether electric cars are a good fit for you!


There is no denying that the cost of electric vehicles is much higher than diesels. With the average model coming in at around 40k, it’s a price tag not for the faint hearted, and unfortunately, electric cars are so new, there are still very few available second hand.

However, there are other options. There are some companies that offer affordable electric car leasing which is a great way to get the benefits of electric car ownership without shelling out thousands up front for the privilege.

In addition to this, if you’re a company owner, you may be able to deduct 100% of the cost of a zero-emission electric car from your pre-tax profits, so it is possible under the right circumstances to get the car effectively free! Once you have picked yourself up off the floor at the cost of purchase, you can then start to realistically compare running costs.

Electric cars cost less than 8p per mile in electric, whereas the average diesel car will cost between 13p and 20p per mile. Whilst this doesn’t sound like a lot, miles soon mount up, and if you’re someone who does a lot of driving for work, then an electric car could be a hugely cost-effective option. If you want to go one step further, you could even add solar panels to your home to reduce the cost of charging again!

Aside from this, electric cars have zero road tax (saving up to £600 per year) and are cheaper to service than their diesel counterparts. Insurance is also often cheaper with companies like ElectriX specialising in cover for electric vehicles. They can also help you get a car charging point installed at home at reasonable cost. Most cities with a congestion charge have also made electrical vehicles exempt from fees, so if you travel in big cities like London regularly, this could save you a lot!

From a cost perspective, if you are leasing or have a profitable LTD to purchase the car through, then the electric car wins hands down. However, if you have no option than to purchase up front, you will have to weigh up the cost and compare it to what your average saving would be in terms of running costs and see which would be the best option for your personal circumstances.


Performance is the area in which electric cars have come a long way in recent years. When they were first launched, the average electric engine could only drive 100 miles. Nowadays, however, the average electric car can travel between 300 and 500 miles on a single charge. For most people, this is ample mileage from one charge to the next; however, if you travel very long distances, then you may need to map routes around charging stations. More charging points than ever are now popping up, so this isn’t as much of a concern as it once was.

Electric car users now report that they find the drive of an electric car more comfortable, smooth, and much quieter than a diesel vehicle. Almost all of them are automatic, which makes it a more relaxing drive for you also.

One common myth you hear flying around is that electric cars are not powerful. The truth is that most electric cars can get to 60MPH in around 6 seconds, whereas, a diesel, in comparison, will usually take more than this; very few models of diesel cars can reach 60 in less than 6 seconds.

In addition to this, electric cars have better power efficiency. An average of 60% of power from the grid gets to the wheels, whereas on a diesel car, only an average of 20% is recorded, meaning an electric car is harnessing more power to get you where you want to go. So, from a performance perspective, electric cars win again!


Diesel cars have long since been favoured by people who drive a lot of miles. The engines generally last longer than petrol engines, and so manufacturers lapped up the chance to create huge ranges and styles of diesel cars, suitable for sports car enthusiasts, motorway salesman, and families alike.

Many of these have now filtered down into affordable preowned sales rooms, allowing you to choose from a massive range of cars at a budget that suits you.

Electric vehicles are the new kid on the block. Pioneering manufacturers got into the game early, whilst others stood back and watched from the side-lines to see both how technology would progress and sales for them would work out. With this in mind, it means that the range of electric cars available is much smaller than diesel cars, and whilst there is probably something on the market to suit you, you’re likely going to pay a premium for it.

With more and more manufacturers now jumping on the bandwagon, options are increasing, and in a few years, there should be a pretty wide range of electric cars on the market to choose from. But for now, when it comes to range, the diesel car is the clear winner, simply because it has been around longer.

Environmental Impact

This is where people get into heated discussions! Because electric vehicles use a different kind of fuel, it’s extremely difficult to do a like-for-like comparison in terms of environmental impact.

We know that electric vehicles have zero carbon emission, which is a huge deal for the environment. We also know they take less power to run, and therefore, the electric car should be the hands down winner. However, electric cars take a lot more power to manufacture than diesel cars, so critics argue that the pollution is not vanishing, it is simply being shifted into the factory.

The argument to this is that much of our power (and more every year is being added) is now coming from alternate sources than burning fossil fuels, and therefore, even though they take more power to produce, the green energy used, in combination with the long-term running impact on the environment, makes the electric vehicle the smarter choice.

The UK government, amongst others, is backing the use of electric cars with all kinds of incentives and clearly believe that electric is the future when it comes to transport. However, while electric cars seem to have the edge, this is something you should research more and see which you think is the winner in this category!

Electric cars seem to come out on top in most categories. They are more cost effective to run, have better performance and have a slight edge when it comes to environmental impact. The only area they really fall short in is the range of cars available, and of course the upfront cost can make them inaccessible to some families. In a nutshell though, the electric car could be a great option for you!