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Why going electric is cheaper than you think

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Harrison Hughes bought his first electric car at the tender age of 16, before he even had his driving licence – and he’s brought all his family along for the ride. 

‘From the moment I saw the BMW i3 on YouTube a few years back, I knew I never wanted to drive a fuel car. Before I saw the i3, I’d never even heard of electric cars – and I can’t even tell you exactly what I love about them. But I was pestering my mum and dad to get one as obviously I couldn’t drive. 

When I was 16, I did my driving lessons in an electric car. I’ve always loved gadgets, and it’s really quite gadgety and I thought this is it, I’ve found my hobby kind of thing.’

Harrison charging his electric car 

But like most teenagers, Harrison didn’t have ready access to thousands of pounds to fund a car. No problem for this entrepreneurial youngster from Hove, who set about various money-making schemes. ‘I did loads of stuff. I was installing Ring doorbells for lots of people around Brighton and Hove. I also set up a portable hot tub business, figuring that people don’t really want the hassle of looking after their own. So I bought a couple, rented them out, and paid them off within a week. Anything I could make a bit of money on, really.’  

Having saved a few thousand pounds, Harrison was constantly on the lookout for a car when a Renault Zoe came up for sale just down the road for £4,800. ‘Me and my Dad went to look at it, and my Dad, who’s a builder used to driving vans, took it for a spin and loved it. And I bought it, even though I hadn’t passed my test by then.

‘Since I obviously couldn’t drive it yet, my mum started using it. It's so much fun to drive and she fell in love with the car. But, even better, she also realised that no matter how many miles she drove a day, the price was basically the same. It's a super cheap motor to drive. And there’s actually even a free charger close by.'  

"Instead of getting a £10,000 used car and spending £230 a month on fuel, she could lease a £30,000 electric car for the same monthly cost" (Harrison Hughes, 2022)

‘Anyway, once I passed my test, my mum and dad really missed my car. I pointed out to her that, instead of getting a £10,000 used car and spending £230 a month on fuel, she could lease a £30,000 electric car for the same monthly cost. So in the end mum test drove an MG ZS – brilliant car – and she’s never looked back. And then my dad wanted in on the action and got rid of his diesel Transit for a Nissan LEAF as well. So we’re all electric now.’