The cost to charge an electric car on a pay-as-you-go basis at a publicly accessible ‘rapid’ charger has increased by 42% – or 18.75p per kilowatt hour – since May to reach an average of 63.29p per kilowatt hour, new data from RAC Charge Watch indicates.
The increase means that it now costs drivers on average £32.41 to rapid charge a typical family-sized electric car with a 64kWh battery to 80%, according to the RAC’s calculations, which is up nearly £10 (£9.60) since May and £13.59 compared to a year ago. Petrol and diesel has risen by about 40p per litre in that time too, which suggests that the cost of generating electricity is directly linked to the cost of gas and oil. So maybe it isn’t that “green” to use an electric car after all?
IS A COSTA BREAK ANOTHER TAX ON GOING GREEN?
Drivers are using the fastest, so-called ‘ultra-rapid’ chargers because some battery cars need a very long time to fully charge. For example an e-208 Peugeot needs seven and a half hours to fully charge, says the Peugeot website. A motorway stop to get say 60% of your battery charged might take 2 hours and that may cost you £10 per head in food and refreshments on your journey.
As the RAC notes, in reality, many current electric car drivers will predominantly charge at home where electricity is cheaper – under the Energy Price Guarantee that takes effect next weekend, the cost per mile for an average-sized EV driven reasonably efficiently is around 9p and the cost to charge a car to 80% at home will be £17.87. But the huge price gap between home and public charging highlights the extent to which drivers who depend on the charging network, including those who don’t have driveways and can’t charge at home, pay a premium to run electric cars.
THE VAT THING NEEDS REFORM
Incredibly, despite the government professing to be woke and green at every opportunity, there is a 20% VAT charge on public chargepoints. Exactly the same VAT rate as on carbon fuels like petrol and diesel (although the VAT is levied on the price including fuel duty too, so it is a double tax rate). Surely if battery cars are a good thing then the 20% VAT on electricity at rapid chargers should be cut, or abolished?
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