New research shows that battery-powered electric cars are racking up far more miles than their petrol equivalents.

The research by the RAC Foundation looks at the mileage recorded at a vehicle’s first MOT, which is required to take place when they are three years old.

It found that the newest cars in Great Britain do an average of 10,377 miles in each of the first three years after they are registered – the equivalent of 28 miles per day.

However, drilling down into the different fuel types show that petrol cars do an average of 7,490 miles per year, compared with pure battery electric cars, which are driven an average of 9,435 miles per year.

New diesel cars rack up the highest mileage, covering an average of 12,496 miles in each of their first three years, which is 67% more than new petrol cars.

Pure battery electric cars recorded the highest mileage for any manufacturer with Tesla’s averaging 12,459 miles a year, ahead of Mercedes-Benz in second place with an average mileage of 12,100.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Unsurprisingly people with diesels have been doing most mileage, probably seeking better long-distance fuel economy, but this study is also evidence that battery-electric powered cars are not just trophy vehicles signalling their owners’ green credentials but prior to the lockdown were racking up the miles as everyday transport.

“Tens of millions of people still drive petrol and diesel-powered cars, but this data suggests that owners of electric cars have found them to be a practical proposition, running up the sort of big annual mileages that many of us need to do, challenging preconceptions about their range and the ease of re-charging.

“The next big question is what will happen when the Covid-19 lockdown ends? Some say our travel behaviour might change quite dramatically as we’ve mastered on-line meetings in place of the office routine, but any ongoing desire for social-distancing might yet draw us back to our own cars for the trips we make once the travel restrictions are lifted.”