How Are EVs More Expensive Than Petrol?

Mon 4th Jul 2022

New research has revealed that electric vehicle owners could be set for a financial shock if they pull up to recharge at a motorway service station as the cost of charging can be more expensive than filling up with petrol.

At a time when petrol and diesel prices are at record highs, the prospect of owning an electric vehicle would seem like the most sensible and more affordable option. But analysis from Which? published in the Daily Mirror this week has found that charging at motorway services is 8p a mile more than either petrol or diesel. The issue stems from the expensive pay-as-you go tariffs which many charging operators insist that car owners have to sign up to, and with so many different operators at different public charging spots, it can turn into a lottery.

Which? tested two cars, the Hyundai Kona and the Mercedes-Benz EQC, and using a 55p per kwh ultra rapid charger, the EQC worked out at 24p per mile, 8p more than the equivalent petrol Mercedes.

It was a similar story for the Kona, where the EV cost 14.8p per mile, and the petrol version was 13.6p per mile.

However, it is not all bad news for the EV owners, who knowing they are paying a premium to own an electric vehicle should expect some form of savings. When charged at home, the EQC was 3.3p per mile and the Kona only 2p per mile when charged at off-peak rates.

The key seems to be to avoid motorway services, something most motorists will be aware of anyway after years of paying eye-wateringly high prices for fuel.

“People who opted for electric cars on the promise of cheap per-mile motoring might well be shocked by these findings,” said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.

“Drivers who charge cars where they live are still likely to be well in-pocket, but not everyone has that option. Only two-thirds of homes have off-street parking, meaning drivers reliant on public charge points need to shop around.

“Throw in the rising cost of energy – and the Government’s desire to recoup the money lost from declining fuel duty revenue – and drivers considering battery-powered might need to look at their sums.”

With one in three homes not having the luxury of an in home charger, and most EVs having a range of only 200 miles, the prospect of using public chargers is likely to be one all EV owners have to tackle sooner or later.