The cost of charging an electric car using a public rapid charger has risen by around £10 since May due to rising energy costs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to RAC’s analysis, the increased price of bulk gas and electricity has raised the price for the average family-sized car by 42% to above £32. This was £9.60 more than in May and £13.59 more than a year earlier.
The UK plans to ban the sale of new fossil fuel cars after 2035, but many in the industry have expressed concern about the barriers preventing some people from making the switch. Price and availability of public chargers are major concerns, especially in cities.
The recent jump in electricity prices has outweighed the cost advantage that electric cars have over internal combustion engines, and especially for those who rely solely on public chargers because they have private at home. There is no parking.
RAC said the average cost per mile for one is limited to only the fast and ultra-rapid public chargers commonly used in motorway services, rising to 18p compared to 19p for petrol cars and 21p for diesels. Went.
For those able to rely on home charging, the average cost per mile will be limited to 9p, after the Conservative government this month introduced price controls on energy. The Energy Price Guarantee means that drivers who can charge their cars at home will be protected against price increases.
RAC’s electric vehicle spokesman Simon Williams said charging away from home was still cheaper than the equivalent refill of a petrol or diesel car, but “the gap is narrowing as a result of the huge increase in the cost of electricity”.
“These figures show very clearly that it is the drivers who make the most of the public rapid and ultra-rapid chargers that are being hit hardest,” he said.
RAC argues that users relying on public chargers wrongly pay 20% VAT, while only 5% VAT on household energy usage.
Roger Atkins, director of Electric Vehicles Outlook, a consultancy consultancy, said the imbalance in VAT rates for public and non-public charges was “outrageous” and was an immediate lever the Treasury could pull to support the transition to electric vehicles.
“You don’t charge in public out of choice, really,” he said. “You publicly charge out of necessity.”
RAC said the average UK rapid charger price per kilowatt hour (kWh) is 63.29p, but some companies charge significantly higher. US carmaker Tesla, which has the largest rapid charger network since opening its share to all brands of car in May, charges 77p/kWh for non-Tesla drivers, according to data company ZapMap. With the second largest rapid network, the Instavolt charges 66p/kWh.
Osprey, Britain’s eighth largest operator of rapid chargers, prompted customer anger this month when it said it would increase prices on its Rapid chargers by £1 per kilowatt hour – a 50% increase over its previous 66p rate.
The growth made the Osprey easily the most expensive of the large rapid charger network. Its chief executive, Ian Johnson, said the company was forced to grow under “extraordinary” circumstances with “sky-high energy prices”.
After the government disclosed help for businesses’ energy bills last week, Osprey said it expected to cut its prices once it was established that it would pay with its energy provider. Osprey declined to comment further.