Applying maths to solve problems in the real world…

Electric Car Costings

Difficulty: Rating:

GCSE Marks:

GCSE Text: Molly needs to buy a car. She wants to compare the running costs of an electric car with a similarly sized petrol car. This table shows a comparison of fuel related costs:

a) Calculate the fuel cost per mile for each of the two cars.

However, there are additional costs per year shown in this table:

b) How much money could Molly save per year on the running costs of an electric car compared to a petrol car?

Suggestions:
This is a very real scenario for many people, as electric vehicle popularity increases. This question is very similar to Higher Paper GCSE style arithmetic questions, which test a student’s capability to analyse large amounts of information and apply various arithmetic methods. Students often take 4-5 minutes to answer this question, and marks will of course be awarded for workings. Despite being a stand-alone question, this often leads nicely into compound interest learning, as discussions often follow regarding the current and future price of both petrol and electricity.

Teachers could extend the learning by considering:

The repayments on the purchase of a petrol car would be £230 per month, whereas the purchase cost of an electric car would be £420 per month. Assuming Molly could afford either repayment amount, after how many years and months will Molly start to save money on her total cost of motoring?