Drivers warned of huge price increases at public electric car charge points


Huge disparities in the cost of charging an electric car on the public network is leading to added financial pressure on drivers without access to off-street parking, one expert has warned. New data has shown that the average cost of UK public rapid charging is now 53p per kWh.

This means an average electric car such as a Volkswagen ID.3 with a 58kWh battery will cost £21.52 to charge from 10 to 80 percent – the typical charging session on a public rapid charger. 

This cost increases to £28.01 for drivers using an IONITY charging point, making them the UK’s most expensive public provider, according to Electrifying.com.

Drivers “filling up” using Pod Point units at Tesco and Lidl will be charged the least at £11.36. 

The news comes alongside research which found that a person driving a Volkswagen ID.3 for 10k miles per year would be charged £208.80 per year when charging at home on a cheap night rate.

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Ginny Buckley, founder and CEO of Electrifying.com, said the Government should reduce the rate of VAT on public chargers from 20 percent to five percent.

She added: “With dramatic increases in wholesale electricity costs, it’s no surprise that prices are rising across the charging network.

“Instavolt this week announced an increase of 15.7 percent to its prices, and I suspect they may not be the last to make such a move.

“For drivers who are unable to take advantage of cheaper home energy tariffs, this is having a serious impact on running costs at a time when budgets are under unprecedented strain. 

“It hits those living in towns and cities the hardest, the very place electric cars can have the most impact on air quality.

“Consumers are playing their part, with sales of electric cars increasing by 50 percent compared to last year, but it’s not up to the public to make sure that prices are fair; nor is it down to them to make sure that everyone has access to electric car ownership. 

“It’s time for those in charge to get out of neutral and put the wheels in motion for fairer VAT on our public charging network. 

“I want to see this reduced from 20 percent to five percent to bring it in line with the cost of charging at home.”

The prices shown for all brands show the highest price currently charged for pay-as-you-go customers. 

In some cases, having a membership or monthly subscription cost can work out cheaper as these customers will pay less per kWh. 

The chart is topped by IONITY, which has been the most expensive provider in the UK since introducing its tariff of 69p per kWh in 2020. 

However, while the brand was once far and away the priciest option for drivers, Instavolt and Osprey’s recent price increases (to 66p per kWh) have seen the gap narrow significantly.

According to RAC Charge Watch, it costs 10p per mile to charge an EV using a rapid charger based on a “pay as you go” non-subscription basis.

This cost is raised slightly to 12p when using an “ultra-rapid” charger.

These prices are still lower than both fuel types, with petrol costing an average of 19p per mile and diesel at 21p per mile.



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