Higher Costs for Charging Electric Cars
【Summary】The cost of charging an electric car at home is becoming cheaper, but it remains expensive for those who rely on public charging points. Charging at home can cost as little as 2p per mile, thanks to lower electric car tariffs and falling domestic electricity prices. However, public charging points can cost up to 24p per mile, which is 12 times more expensive. The cost of public charging points has increased by 16-20% over the past year.
The cost of charging an electric car is decreasing, but only for those who have the ability to charge their car at home. Charging at home can now cost as little as 2p per mile, thanks to new electric car specific tariffs and falling domestic electricity prices. This is a significant difference compared to electric car owners who are forced to use public charging points, where costs can reach up to 24p per mile, making it 12 times more expensive than the cheapest methods.
Previously, electric car owners who could charge at home would still pay more to fill up their car compared to petrol or diesel vehicles. However, as the cost of domestic electricity tariffs fall, this is no longer the case. In fact, for those who use public chargers, a 200-mile journey in an electric car could now cost £10 more than a petrol car, which is a reversal from just a year ago when petrol was more expensive.
According to electric charging point map supplier Zapmap, the cost of public charging points has increased by 16 to 20 percent over the past year. Electric car owners who rely on public chargers also face a confusion of charging costs and hidden fees, which vary depending on the time of day and the charging network used.
Consumer champion Martyn James explains that whether filling an electric car costs more or less than petrol now depends on where you choose to charge it. Driving one mile in a petrol car typically costs around 20p in fuel, while an electric car can cost up to 24p in electricity if charged at a public charging point.
The price to charge an electric car varies greatly depending on the chosen network. For example, BP Pulse charges 69p per kWh if using its app as a subscriber, but 85p per kWh if paying via contactless debit or credit card. A Tesla charger can demand up to 77p per kWh. In comparison, charging at home is much more cost-effective and is decreasing in price.
The price for a unit of electricity at home has fallen from 30p to 27p per kWh, resulting in a drop in the cost of charging at home from around 9p to 8p per mile for households on a standard variable tariff. Some energy companies have also introduced special deals for electric vehicle drivers, further reducing the cost of charging at home. For example, Ovo offers a plan that charges just 7p per kWh, while Octopus Energy offers a tariff costing 7.5p per kWh.
According to consumer group Which?, electric car owners who use public chargers instead of charging at home spend over £1,250 more per year. This difference in cost is exacerbated by the fact that domestic electricity is taxed at 5 percent, while public charging points charge the standard VAT rate of 20 percent.
There are approximately 3,500 'ultra rapid' charge points in the UK that allow for quick charging, but these tend to be the most expensive. For example, Tesla charges 77p per kWh to use its fastest 'super chargers' for non-Tesla cars, or 67p per kWh for Tesla cars. Other top-speed chargers include InstaVolt, Shell Recharge, Osprey, GeniePoint, Pod Point, Ionity, Gridserve, and Fastned, with prices ranging from 69p to 85p per kWh.
While it is possible to plug an electric car into a standard three-pin socket at home using an adapter, it can take at least 24 hours to fully charge a car with a 2.3kW line. A better option is a standard 7kW home fast charger, which costs around £400 and takes about eight hours to fully charge an electric car. The most expensive option is a 22kW home charger, which can power a car in three to four hours but requires a three-phase power supply that is not standard in most homes.
In conclusion, the cost of charging an electric car is decreasing for those who can charge at home, while it remains more expensive for those who rely on public charging points. The price variation depends on the chosen network and time of day, making it crucial for electric car owners to consider their charging options carefully.
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