Electric car owners could be forced to pay more as cost of charging EVs increases

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New research has revealed that recharging an EV at home is 43 percent more expensive compared to a year ago. The energy crisis has been hitting owners of electric vehicles despite EVs still being much cheaper to run than petrol and diesel cars.

On top of the home recharging cost going up, drivers have also been hit with higher costs of on-the-road recharges.

The cost of charging an EV away from home has increased by 25 percent.

With the costs of charging EVs going up, British motorists might easily be put off from buying the vehicles.

According to new research by Volkswagen Financial Services, despite the demand for EVs being high, fewer people might commit to the switch to electric cars as the energy costs increase.

The report said: “The cost-of-living squeeze will probably mean some potential EV purchasers may not commit to a switch this year, particularly as such vehicles are perceived to be more expensive in relative terms when compared to combustion engine alternatives.”

Electric car owners who are charging their vehicle at home will usually find the most cost-efficient option is one of the specialist tariffs on offer.

“Two-rate” tariffs offer one price for electricity used during the day and another for night-time use.

When prices are much lower drivers can top up their battery cheaply.

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For example, comparison site Love My EV lists the rates for EDF’s GoElectric 35 as 44.69p per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) during the day and 4.5p/kWh at night.

The Octopus Go tariff costs 35.04p/kWh during the day and 7.5p/kWh at night. Both figures are based on supplying a home in south Wales.

However, Laura Thomson, co-founder of Love My EV, claimed that the number of specialist deals on the market has dropped as the prices increased.

She added: “For most people who have an EV to charge at home, it does make sense, but there is a high standing charge and a high day rate to factor in.”

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The rising price of EV tariffs means drivers now face paying 43 percent more than a year ago.

According to Ben Nelmes of transport research company New AutoMotive, this amounts to a rise of about £75 a year for an average vehicle such as a Nissan Leaf or a Renault Zoe.

In 2021, the cost of recharging an EV that covered 7,400 miles a year and was recharged mostly at night was £174.

This was based on an overnight rate of 4p/kWh and a day rate of 18p/kWh.

By last month, this same charging practice cost £249 a year, based on the best prices available – 5p/kWh at night and 28p/kWh during the day.

Mr Nelmes said: “Someone driving a bigger EV, such as a Kia e-Niro or Tesla, will find that this underestimates what they’ll be paying. Similarly, someone in a Smart car will find they spend a bit less than this.”

Rising costs have also become apparent at public chargers.

Instavolt, which operates a charging network across Britain, has increased its prices twice so far this year, first from 45p/kWh to 50p/kWh and then to 57p/kWh.

Ubitricity, one of London’s largest charging networks, increased prices from 24p/kWh to 32p/kWh last month.

Data company Zap Map, which maps public charge points, found that, on average, charging costs increased from 24p/kWh in December to 30p/kWh in February for slow and fast chargers, and from 35p/kWh to 44p/kWh for rapid and ultra-rapid chargers.

Melanie Shufflebotham from Zap Map said: “The price of charging your EV on the public network, or at home, has risen substantially over the past few months with the general increase in electricity prices.”

Keith Brown of Paythru, a payments technology company, added: “One of the big inequities of the emerging EV charging market is the price ‘premium’ electric vehicle drivers pay if they don’t or can’t have a home charge point.

“Domestic supply is taxed at a VAT rate of five percent whereas public charge-point supply is taxed at a VAT rate of 20 percent.”

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