It will come as no surprise that electric vehicles are being driven more miles.

Of course, as equations and balances go, it probably means that diesel and petrol vehicles are doing less work.

The facts are that the world of motoring has to change and, if a little slowly, it is changing.

Positives and negative

Average mileages for used electric vehicles (EVs) are increasing, while petrol and diesel cars are travelling fewer miles every year.

Those are the conclusions from analysis of the fugures by Cap HPI.

Examining data from around 17.4 million cars, from 2014 to February 2024, the data shows that EVs are now covering more miles.

For EVs, the average mileage at the end of 2023 stood at 8,292 miles per year, just 743 miles per year less than petrol and diesel vehicles.

The analysis reveals that average mileage across all cars ranging between new and 10 years old has changed.

From an average of 11,381 miles recorded per year at the start of 2014, to 9,654 miles per year up to February 2024, it represents a decrease in average mileage of 1,727 miles.

Charged up

By the end of 2023, the average UK vehicle mileage, not including battery electric vehicles (BEVs) was 9,035 miles per year.

“The figures from the past decade indicate that drivers drove fewer miles per year overall from 2014 until the beginning of the pandemic,” states Dylan Setterfield, head of forecast strategy at Cap HPI.

“The data indicates that there is now a clear convergence emerging between EVs and ICE vehicles. EVs now have much longer ranges, and the charge point network is constantly improving,” adds Setterfield.

However, “we’re also seeing that EV drivers have much more faith in their vehicles and have become more adept at planning their journeys and managing longer trips.”

Locked in

The lowest average mileage recorded from the past decade was in May 2021, during the second period of national lockdown, when the average mileage recorded dipped to 8,537.

“The pandemic and resulting lockdowns saw a clear dip followed by a steady increase once everything started to recover,” comments Setterfield. “Although the overall average remains around 1,000 miles per year lower than at the end of 2019.

“The pandemic undoubtedly altered the way drivers use their cars forever.”

Powering on

“Looking at the average miles driven for BEVs (fully electric vehicles), they started much lower than the rest of the vehicle parc, with annual mileage back in 2014 as low as 4,000,” continued Setterfield. “The main reason for this was the limited range of EV city cars at the time.

Models such as the Nissan Leaf weren’t available in the UK until 2011 and the BMW i3 and Renault Zoe launched in 2013.

“The trend pattern for BEVs then sees a gradual increase, almost doubling to nearly 8,000 miles per year by 2019.

“There is then the same reduction in mileage travelled through the pandemic, but then another steady increase to an average of above 2019 levels by 2023.”