Electric car owners face charging costs of £1,000 a year as 2030 target is ‘unrealistic’

Question Time audience member reveals electric car 'anxiety'

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Charging an electric car is costing drivers without access to off-street charging nearly £1000 per year more than those with a driveway. Despite rising energy costs, drivers with access to their own private charge point who use a cheap night tariff are still saving thousands of pounds over the lifetime of their cars.

This is in part due to the higher VAT rate of 20 percent on public charge points, as well as the cost of installing and maintaining the infrastructure.

The data, from electrifying.com, was based on a person driving a Volkswagen ID.3 for 10,000 miles per year.

This would cost £13.75 per month when charging at home on a cheap night rate, compared to £91.75 per month on a public charge point at 50p per kWh, which is the typical rate for a DC rapid charger found at a service station or supermarket.

There have been plenty of calls from drivers and industry experts to lower the rate on VAT on public chargers to five percent, an idea which the Government has rejected in recent months.

Adrian Keen, CEO of InstaVolt, commented on why the Government should not rule out VAT cuts on public EV charging.

He told Express.co.uk: “As the cost of living continues to increase, drivers will be looking for small wins and cutting VAT on public EV chargers could be the sole reason someone switches to an EV.

“The fact the Government has dismissed calls for VAT will not only impact EV uptake in the long run, but it will also widen the gap between the haves and have nots in the EV space.

“Drivers that have the privilege of their own driveaway with access to a private charge point, will pay less than those that rely on public charge points. 

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“This is unfair and will likely act as a deterrent for other drivers that are considering making the switch to an EV.”

The stark difference in cost is driving a “two-tier nation” when it comes to electric car ownership.

Ginny Buckley, Founder and CEO of electrifying.com, said that it favours homeowners with a driveway who typically live in more affluent and suburban areas.

She said it also discriminates against those on lower incomes without access to off-street parking.

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As a result of this, it makes electric car ownership less attractive to drivers living in smaller properties within cities, where owning an EV would make the biggest difference to air quality.

She added: “As a country, we need to do better when it comes to the levelling up of electric car ownership.

“While promises to support drivers by providing ten times as many public chargers by 2030 across the UK are welcome, it’s unfair that those without a private driveway pay more to run their car. 

“Without taking steps now, we risk leaving people behind and creating a two-tiered nation when it comes to making the switch, which is why I’m urging the Treasury to look again at VAT on public charging.

“The biggest saving from switching to electric comes from the overall running costs and with petrol prices rising to record levels, driving electric gives us the opportunity to gain energy independence through using renewable power for our cars, now and in the future.”

Home EV tariffs have grown in popularity in recent years, as drivers realise the savings they can make.

Although most household bills have risen massively, many still point towards electric vehicles being cheaper to run in general than petrol and diesel counterparts.

Adrian Keen continued, saying: “Public charging networks are relentlessly working to ensure they’re installing as many chargers as possible to ensure the industry’s equipped to meet the Government’s target.

“InstaVolt has pledged to install over 10,000 rapid EV public chargers over the next 10 years. 

“If the Government doesn’t start to play ball and work with the industry, regardless of how many public chargers are available, it’s unlikely people will be incentivised enough to make the switch to EV. 

“Thus, making the Government’s 2030 target even more unrealistic.”

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