The UK has made plans to increase the number of electric vehicles on its roads over the next few years.
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UK electric car drivers have seen the cost of using a generic “fast” charger on pay-as-you-go tariffs rise 42% since May, according to data released on Monday.
Figures from RAC Charge Watch — part of RAC, an automobile organization — now show that it is now charging drivers of electric vehicles using the above infrastructure at a rate of 63.29 pence (72 cents) per kilowatt-hour to charge their vehicle.
Breaking down the numbers, RAC said that means a quick 80% charge of a “typical family-sized electric car” with a 64kWh battery, on average, £32.41 (about $34.87).
The RAC said the increase was due to “rising wholesale gas and electricity costs”. It added that those using “ultra-fast” chargers also saw average charging costs rise by 25%.
The analysis also showed that “a driver who exclusively uses a fast or ultra-fast charger on the public grid will now pay about 18 pence per mile for electricity,” the RAC said.
That compares to 19p per mile for gasoline [gasoline] car and 21 pence per mile for a diesel car, based on a person driving an average of 40 miles per gallon.”
Despite the above, the RAC indicated that many electric vehicle users will charge the bulk of them in their homes, where the cost of electricity is lower.
With the UK government’s Energy Price Guarantee taking effect soon, the mileage rate for a mid-size electric car will come in at about 9p for a home charge, if driven reasonably efficient. The RAC said 80% of the fee at home would cost £17.87.
“For those who have already made the switch to an electric vehicle or are considering doing so, it remains the case that charging away from home costs less than refueling in a petrol or diesel vehicle, but these numbers show that the gap is narrowing,” said Simon Williams, an electric vehicle spokesperson. In RAC: “As a result of massive increases in the cost of electricity.”
“These numbers show very clearly that it is drivers who use public fast and ultra-fast chargers that are most affected,” he added.
The UK wants to stop selling new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030. From 2035 it will require all zero-emission cars and vans.
With more electric vehicles arriving on Britain’s roads in the coming years, the RAC is supporting calls for a sales tax cut on electricity sold in public chargers in order to correct what it sees as an imbalance between public and private charging.
“While the government’s energy bill relief plan announced last week should help prevent freight costs from rising even further, the case remains that drivers using public chargers unfairly pay 20% in value-added tax.” [sales tax] For the electricity they buy, compared to charging at home it is only 5%,” adding that it supports a 5% campaign for public and private charging.
In a statement sent to CNBC, a government spokesperson said electric vehicles continued to “provide opportunities for savings versus their gasoline and diesel counterparts with lower total operating costs thanks to cheaper charging, lower maintenance costs and tax incentives.”
“We want consumers to have the confidence to switch to cleaner, zero-emissions cars, which is why we continue to support the growth of the world’s leading freight network and have pledged £1.6 billion since 2020 to deliver charging points across the country,” the spokesperson added.
With European economies facing an energy crisis and rising prices over the coming months, there were concerns in some quarters that the rising cost of electric vehicle charging would discourage consumers.
Speaking to CNBC earlier this month, Saxo Bank’s head of equity strategy said that “the cost advantage of electric vehicles versus a petrol car is ‘rapidly dwindling’ in Europe.”
“I really wonder to what degree this is going to start to affect EV sales,” Peter Garnery said.