Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel alternatives in the UK, according to The Guardian.

It reported on a study by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), which examined the purchase, fuel and tax costs of the VW golf, in its battery electric, hybrid, petrol and diesel versions across five European countries.

Over four years, the pure electric version was the cheapest in all places – UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Norway – owing to a combination of lower taxes, fuel costs and subsidies on the purchase price.

The ICCT said their study showed that tax breaks are a key way to drive the rollout of electric vehicles, and recommended that tax subsidies for electric vehicles should be funded by higher taxes on high emission vehicles.

The ICCT analysis was updated for the Guardian after recent cuts in the UK’s grants for electric car purchases. It showed that British drivers experienced the smallest saving – 5%. In Germany, France and the Netherlands, the saving varied from 11% to 15%, and in Norway the gap in costs between a battery-powered Golf and its diesel equivalent was 27%.