Electric car charging costs spike as experts call on Government help
GB News guests debate using electric cars
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Recent data has revealed that charging an electric vehicle at a public rapid charger has increased in cost by 42 percent in just four months. Since May, the cost to charge an electric car on a pay-as-you-go basis at a publicly accessible rapid charger has increased by 18.75p per kilowatt hour.
The increase now means that it costs drivers on average £32.41 to rapid charge a typical family-sized electric car with a 64kWh battery to 80 percent.
This is up nearly £10 (£9.60) since May and £13.59 compared to this time last year, according to the RAC.
Drivers are experiencing these price increases as a result of the soaring costs of wholesale gas and electricity.
It is estimated that about 40 percent of households do not have access to off-street parking or are in rental accommodation so are not able to charge their EV at home.
Joe Laurence, commercial development manager at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, commented on the new data and what it would mean for drivers.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “While the latest figures around EV charging costs being similar to petrol and diesel can seem off-putting, these rates are only when using rapid or ultra-rapid public charging on a pay-as-you-go basis.
“This doesn’t factor in home-charging or standard public charge points, which research tells us is where the majority of charging is done.
“For those who cannot access a home charger, work or public charging is the only option but looking at rapid and ultra-rapid charging costs is comparative to buying fuel at a motorway service station.
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“When, in reality, these charge a premium for fuel and don’t reflect the true cost of diesel and petrol elsewhere.
“It’s the classic high-demand, high-pricing model and the rapid or ultra-rapid public charge points cost more as they charge a BEV faster to a captive audience – people in a hurry who need to top up their vehicles.”
The RAC’s figures show that a driver exclusively using a rapid or ultra-rapid charger on the public network will now pay around 18p per mile for electricity, up from an average of 13p per litre in May.
This compares to 19p per mile for a petrol car and 21p per mile for a diesel one, based on someone driving at an average of 40 miles to the gallon.
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Because of this, many in the EV industry are calling on the Government to cut VAT rates on public chargers from 20 percent to just five percent.
This would match the rate of VAT attributable to home charging an electric vehicle.
Mr Laurence continued, saying that drivers needed help from the Government to lessen costs and accelerate the EV revolution.
He added: “That being said, the onus is on the Government to recognise and adapt their electrification strategy.
“Scrapping the home charging grant has had a negative impact on overall EV uptake despite the Government outlining the 2030 ban.
“In addition, charging 20 percent VAT for public charging but only five percent for home charging widens that affordability gap and favours those with driveways who are able to install private charge points.
“There are no doubt a lot of complex issues that impact the costing and availability of the charging infrastructure, but this is something that the new Government needs to review and address as the cost-of-living crisis grows.”
According to Zap-Map, there were 33,996 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 20,534 charging locations at the end of August 2022.
This represents a 34 percent increase in the number of charging devices since August 2021.
These statistics do not include the many charge points installed at home or at workplace locations, which are estimated to be more than 400,000.
Some of these EV charging points are available to the public in some form via community or visitor charging.
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