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High EV charging cost main barrier in UK meeting 2035 zero emission target

Charging an electric vehicle to capacity can be cheaper than a refill at a petrol station, research suggests

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By Matt Maynard · 12th March 2021

High charging costs are one of the largest reasons behind consumers not making the switch to battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV), our own research suggests.

Our own findings have discovered that almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers believe electric vehicles cost up to £50 to charge fully at home, despite new analysis showing battery powered electric vehicles cost between £6-£17 to fully charge, which is less than the £23.20 a week the average UK household spends filling up their cars*. 

While some models offer an estimated 270 miles out of one charge^, it's a common misconception that EV mileage isn't up to standard. 38% of consumers said that the distance per charge was of concern to them if they were to switch to an electric vehicle, and 44% spoke about the lack of charging points across the UK as a cause for concern despite major plans for "substantial growth."

Tom Lyon, our Director of Energy here at Energy Helpline, said: 

“Electric-only vehicles have come a long way over the last ten years, but our research reveals that there’s a clear disparity between perception and reality, with BEV cars costing as little as four pence a mile to run using electricity charged at home."

“To help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets, it’s vital to do even more to boost uptake in the technology. Energy suppliers have a clear role to play in helping motorists make the move to electric vehicles. By offering special tariffs and providing access to competitively priced on-street charging, suppliers can help dispel misconceptions around electric cars to actively encourage uptake."

“Not only is charging far more cost effective than filling up at the petrol station, switching tariffs will help cut charging costs. Suppliers such as Bulb and OVO offer EV plans aimed at electric car owners, providing benefits such as free access to public charging and lower at home rates for overnight charging, and we’d encourage more suppliers to do the same.”

Table: Average at home charging costs of most popular BEV models in the UK 

Model

 

Cost per full charge+

 

Est. cost per mile+

 

Est. miles per full charge

Volkswagen e-Golf

£6.06

£0.05

121.67

Hyundai IONIQ Electric

£6.44

£0.04

161.90

Kia e-Niro 39 kWh

£6.63

£0.04

152.84

Nissan LEAF

£6.82

£0.05

142.86

Nissan E-NV200

£6.82

£0.06

105.26

Renault Zoe R110 ZE40

£7.01

£0.04

158.80

Renault Zoe Q90 ZE40

£7.01

£0.05

148.59

BMW i3

£7.20

£0.04

163.79

Hyundai Kona 39kWh

£7.20

£0.05

153.85

BMW i3s

£7.20

£0.05

150.79

MG ZS

£7.58

£0.05

138.41

Renault Zoe R110 ZE50

£9.29

£0.04

206.75

Nissan LEAF 3.ZERO e+

£11.18

£0.05

203.45

Kia e-Niro 64 kWh

£12.13

£0.05

241.51

Hyundai Kona 64kWh

£12.13

£0.05

237.04

Tesla Model 3

£12.32

£0.05

270.83

Audi e-tron 50

£12.70

£0.08

160.29

Jaguar I-PACE

£16.30

£0.07

250.00

Audi e-tron 55

£17.06

£0.07

229.59

***

*Based on ONS data from Family spending in the UK: April 2018 to March 2019 (data available: Family spending in the UK: financial year ending 2019, table A11)

^Based on the average estimated usable battery and battery efficiency stats collated from Pod Point's Electric Vehicle Guides 

+These costs are based on the national average cost per kWh of E.ON’s standard variable green tariff

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