Over recent months, the price of both petrol and electricity have gone up. It’s always been known that electric cars are cheaper to run than petrol cars are. However, how do they compare now? Do plug-in hybrids make sense? 

For this comparison, we’ll look at 3 family SUVs from the same manufacturer and of similar size and performance: 

  • VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI Elegance 
  • VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid Elegance 
  • VW ID4 Family 77kWh Pro Performance 

Petrol / Electricity Efficiency and Costs 

VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI Elegance has a WLTP Combined MPG of 33.8mpg. Prices from £38,050 

VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid has an electric fuel consumption of 15.4 kWH / 62 miles and a range of 28 miles. Petrol combined consumption of 148.7mpg. Prices from £39,640 

VW ID4 Family 77 kWh Pro Performance has an electric fuel consumption of 17.2 kWh / 62 miles and a range of 315 miles. Prices from £48,495 

As of today (8th July 2022): 

  • Petrol price (UK average) is £1.91 / litre – this is equivalent to £8.73 / gallon. 
  • Electricity (Octopus Energy – Flexible tariff) is £0.29 / kWh. With £0.38 / day standing charge – this works out at £138.70 / year standing charge. To be fair, we’ll assume half of the household electricity is for the car, so assign half of the standing charge (£69.35) in our calculations. 

The Tiguan 2.0 TSI Elegance with its average MPG of 33.8mpg, would cost £0.26 / mile in petrol. 

The Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid has an electric-only consumption of 15.4 kWh / 62 miles, which works out at 0.25 kWh / mile, which would cost £0.07 / mile in electricity. Plus the standing charge needs to be added on. With its combined MPG of 148.7mpg, it would cost £0.06 / mile in petrol. With a combined range of 620 miles, we’ll assume a full top of electricity is required (10.4kWh).  We’ll assign ¼ standing charge (£34.68). 

The ID4 Family 77 kWh Pro Performance with its electric consumption of 17.2 kWh / 62 miles, which works out at 0.28 kWh / mile, which would cost £0.08 / mile in electricity. Plus the standing charge needs to be added on. 

Annual mileage 2000 miles 5000 miles 8000 miles 10000 miles 15000 miles 
VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI Elegance £520 £1,300 £2,080 £2,600 £3,900 
VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid Elegance (electric only) £209 £419 £629 £769 Not feasible 
VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid Elegance (official combined MPG + electricity) £120 + £44.38 = £164 £300 + £58.99 = £359 £480 + £73.59 = £554 £600 + £83.30 = £683 £900 + £107.67 = £1007 
VW ID4 Family 77kWh Pro Performance £229 £469 £709 £869 £1,200 

It looks like the Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid would actually work out cheapest, but let’s now look when tax is factored in too… 

Tax 

The eHybrid Elegance would creep over £40,000 list price with just one option (e.g. metallic paint, which many people have), so exceeds the luxury car tax threshold and incurs £355 extra / year. 

  • VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI Elegance = £165 / year 
  • VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid Elegance = £155 + £355 (luxury car tax) = £510 / year 
  • VW ID4 Family 77kWh Pro = £0 / year 

Conclusion  

Once tax is factored in, the electric car is clearly the cheapest (combined costs of both petrol/electricity and tax) to run, as can be seen below: 

Annual mileage 2000 miles 5000 miles 8000 miles 10000 miles 15000 miles 
VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI Elegance £685 £1,465 £2,245 £2,765 £4,065 
VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid Elegance (electric only) £719 £929 £1,139 £1,279 Not feasible 
VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI eHybrid Elegance (official combined MPG + electricity) £674 £869  £1,064  £1,193  £1,517 
VW ID4 Family 77kWh Pro Performance £229 £469 £709 £869 £1,200 

Due to the luxury car tax, for very low mileage the eHybrid offers few benefits over the petrol – but as mileage increases its benefits improve. It’s worth noting that the combined MPG of 148.7mpg is optimistic – but even if you got half in reality, it would still be cheaper to run than the pure petrol for 5000 miles are above. 

However it’s important to consider the initial cost – the ID4 here is around a massive £10,000 more the petrol/hybrid equivalent. Plus, it’s also worth factoring in service costs – petrol and hybrid models are likely to have higher servicing costs due to the more complex drivetrains. 

Share This