Highway Robbery For EVs

Wed 21st Sep 2022

There are many things in life which are the reserve of those who have money, fine wines, large mansions, and it seems filling up your car at a motorway services. And now that eye-watering expense has caught up with electric vehicle owners too, as latest analysis shows just how much you are likely to charged if stopping to recharge on a motorways.

According to What Car?, charging an electric car at a motorway service station can cost up to 28% more than filling up with petrol.

More worryingly for EV owners, Ofgem has just announced that the cost of charging an electric vehicle at home, on a standard variable tariff, will increase by around 20% this winter. The public charging experiment's results were published before this increase was announced.

What Car? drove an electric vehicle and its petrol-powered equivalent between Cobham Services, southwest London, and Skelton Lake Services, near Leeds—a 208-mile trip.

Peugeot's fully electric e-208 vehicle went up against the Peugeot 208 Puretech 130, which is a petrol-powered version of the Peugeot 208. The BMW i4 M50 electric car was pitted against the M440i Gran Coupé, which is nearly identical to the BMW 4 Series i4 M50 electric vehicle.

All the vehicles were plugged in or brimmed on arrival to find out how much the journey had cost, with the e-208 and i4 working out £9.07 (28.4%) and £5.64 (10.8%) more expensive than their petrol equivalents, respectively.

At the time of the test, What Car? paid £1.99 per litre for petrol, which was close to an all-time high. Now the differences will be bigger, What Car? said, because petrol prices have seen a significant fall.

Since the beginning of 2022, the 69p/kWh rate to access Ionity rapid chargers has remained the same, even though wholesale electricity costs have increased.

All cars were driven at the speed limit where conditions permitted, with their climate control systems set to 21 degrees-Celsius, and their driving mode was the same as that of the petrol and electric cars. What Car? reported this result.

“When deciding whether an electric car is right for you, it’s important to consider how you would charge it,” said What Car? editor Steve Huntingford.

“Even with energy bills going through the roof, an electric car should cost significantly less to run than any petrol alternative if you can top it up at home overnight.

“However, as our test has shown, lower fuel bills are certainly not a given if you’re relying on the public network, due to the high prices of some companies.

“The Ionity units that we used are some of the most convenient due to their fast-charging speeds and the fact that there are usually several at each location, reducing the chances of you having to queue, but unfortunately you pay through the nose for that convenience.”