Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in electric car being chargedVolkswagen Passat GTE plug-in electric car being charged

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EV running costs soar as price of rapid charging rises by a fifth in just eight months

  • Cost to rapid charge an electric car rises by a fifth in eight months
  • Price of using a public rapid charger in Britain increased from 36.7p per kilowatt hour in September to 44.6p per kWh this month
  • Experts insist charging remains good value compared to skyrocketing cost of fuel

Time 8:18 am, May 27, 2022

Soaring energy prices have had a huge effect on the cost of running an EV, new analysis has shown.

Data from the RAC has found that the price of rapid charging an electric car has risen by a fifth in just eight months due to the cost of living crisis.

Analysis showed that the average price of using a public rapid charger in Britain increased from 36.7p per kilowatt hour (kWh) in September last year to 44.6p per kWh this month.


The rise has added around £4 to the typical cost of completing an 80 per cent rapid charge of a family-sized EV with a 64kWh battery.

The RAC says the spike is down to a 65 per cent rise in the wholesale cost of electricity, which was driven by surging gas prices.

However, the motoring services firm say that charging an EV is remains ‘excellent value’ compared with refuelling a petrol or diesel car.

It costs around 10p per mile to use a rapid charger, up from 8p last September.


Over the same period the per mile cost of filling a petrol car has soared from 15p to 19p, with the price for diesel models rising from 16p to 21p, according to the analysis.

Demand for electric cars has also soared in recent months.

The SMMT anticipates that plug-in cars will account for more than a quarter of the new car market by the end of the year.

Simon Williams, chairman of the RAC, said: ‘Just as the price that drivers of petrol and diesel cars pay to fill up at the pumps is driven by fluctuations in the world oil price, those in electric cars are affected by gas and electricity prices.

‘But while electric car drivers may not be immune from the rocketing price of wholesale energy – most notably gas, which in turn dictates the cost of electricity – there’s no doubting that charging an EV still represents excellent value for money compared to filling up a petrol or diesel car.’

The industry expert said it is ‘totally unfair’ that EV drivers who cannot charge at home because they do not have off-street parking pay four times more tax for electricity when using public chargepoints.

VAT on domestic electricity is five per cent whereas motorists using on-street chargers pay 20 per cent.

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Williams added: ‘Given the cost-of-living crisis, it’s surely only fair that everyone pays the same level of VAT no matter where they buy their electricity from.’

Former Top Gear presenter Quentin Willson, founder of the FairCharge campaign to remove barriers to the transition to electric cars, said: ‘Keeping a watch on charging prices is essential to make sure the electricity for charging up EVs never gets close to the cost of filling up with diesel.

‘EV drivers need free-to-access data on charging prices across the country. And charging operators need to know that everybody is watching’.

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