Electric vehicle drivers in Britain are seeing an increase in the cost of public charging

The UK has plans to increase the number of electric vehicles on its roads over the next few years.

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Drivers of electric cars in the UK have seen the cost of using a ‘fast’ public charger on a pay-per-view tariff rise by 42% since May, data showed on Monday.

Figures from RAC Charge Watch – part of RAC, an automotive organization – show it now costs drivers of electric vehicles using the above infrastructure an average of 63.29 pence (72 cents) per kilowatt hour to charge their vehicle.

Breaking down the numbers, the RAC said that meant 80 per cent fast charging of a “typical family electric car” using a 64kWh battery costing an average of £32.41 (around $34.87).

The RAC said the increase was due to “soaring wholesale gas and electricity costs”. He added that those using “super-fast” chargers also saw average charging costs jump by 25%.

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The analysis also showed that ‘a driver exclusively using a fast or ultra-fast charger on the public network will now pay around 18p per mile for electricity,’ the RAC said.

“That compares to 19p per mile for a petrol [gasoline] car and 21p per mile for a diesel, based on someone driving at an average of 40 miles per gallon,” he continued.

Despite the above, the RAC noted that many EV users would mostly charge at home, where electricity is cheaper.

With the UK Government Energy Price Guarantee Due to come into force shortly, the price per kilometer of a mid-size electric vehicle would be around 9p for home charging, if driven reasonably efficiently. An 80 per cent home charge would cost £17.87, the RAC said.

“For those who have already switched to electric cars or are considering doing so, the fact remains that charging away from home is less expensive than refueling a petrol or diesel car, but these figures show that the gap is narrowing as a result of huge increases in the cost of electricity,” said Simon Williams, RAC spokesperson for electric vehicles.

“These figures show very clearly that it is the drivers who use public fast and ultra-fast charging stations the most who are the hardest hit,” he added.

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The UK wants to end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030. From 2035 it will require all new cars and vans to have zero exhaust emissions.

With more electric vehicles set to hit UK roads in coming years, the RAC is backing calls for a reduction in sales tax on electricity sold at public charging stations to correct what it sees as an imbalance between public and private charging.

“While the government Energy bill relief program announced last week should prevent charging costs from skyrocketing even more, the fact remains that drivers using public charging stations are unfairly paying 20% ​​VAT [sales tax] for the electricity they buy, compared to home charging where it’s only 5%,” he said, adding that he supported a campaign for a 5% rate for public charging. and private.

In a statement sent to CNBC, a government spokesperson said electric vehicles continue to “offer opportunities for savings over their gasoline and diesel counterparts with lower overall running costs thanks to cheaper charging. , lower maintenance costs and tax incentives”.

“We want consumers to have the confidence to switch to cleaner, zero-emission cars, and that’s why we continue to support the growth of our world-leading charging network and have pledged 1.6 billion pounds sterling since 2020 to provide charging stations across the country,” the spokesperson added.

As European economies face an energy crisis and soaring prices over the next few months, some fear the rising cost of charging an electric vehicle could discourage consumer adoption.

Speaking to CNBC earlier this month, Saxo Bank’s head of equity strategy said “the cost advantage of electric vehicles over a gasoline-powered car is ‘decreasing rapidly’ in Europe.

“I really wonder how much of an impact this will start to have on electric vehicle sales,” said Peter Garnry.

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