Charging firms have expressed concerns over the rise
Price of wholesale electricity blamed for increase, with charging firms calling on government for tax relief
New figures have revealed that the price of charging an electric car using a rapid public charger has risen by more than 42% in just four months, caused by the rising wholesale costs of gas and electricity.
It now costs £32.41 on average to charge a 64kWh family car such as the Kia e-Niro Long Range to 80% from empty via a public rapid charger, up £9.60 (£22.81) from May and £13.60 (£18.81) from the same time last year.
This is due to the average cost to charge per kilowatt hour, which is now 63.29p, up from 44.55p in May and 36.74p in September last year, the RAC has revealed.
The rising cost has been mirrored at ultra-rapid charging points (100kW-plus), which now charge an average of 63.94p per kilowatt hour, up from 50.97p in May and 34.21p in September last year. This means that charging a 64kWh family car to 80% costs £32.74, up £6.64 (£26.10) from May.
Charging firms have expressed concerns over the rise – caused in part by the UK’s decision to look at other sources for its gas and oil following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – arguing that they can no longer shield consumers from the price rises.
Instavolt has argued that the rise is due to the 20% VAT imposed by the government on public charging, compared with the 5% on home charging, adding that it could offer prices as low as 58p per kilowatt hour if home charging VAT rates were matched.
“We reiterate our commitment that if the public charging rate is reduced, the benefit will be passed back to consumers immediately,” said a spokesman.
This point is supported by Osprey CEO Ian Johnston, who previously told Autocar: “There is a cap that is protecting consumers at home, but there is no such cap for private businesses and we are buying energy at unseen levels at the moment.”
“We are trying to protect customers where we can but clearly we can’t run the network at a loss.”
However, one firm, Ionity, confirmed that despite the rising costs, it won’t be making any price rises yet and “currently have no future increases planned”.
Another worry from the RAC is that the price hike could put off potential buyers, hindering the government’s plan to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
But Johnston disagrees, previously telling Autocar: “I think for the people who are currently making the decision to switch, the list of reasons to move to an EV are long and proven, and it is still – in many cases – cheaper than driving petrol or diesel [vehicles].
“I don’t believe it is going to slow down the transition to electric at all, but it does mean that for those people who rely on public charging, including fleets, it will be more expensive.”