EV Charging: Saving the Environment or Breaking the Bank?
There’s no doubt that electric vehicles can be beneficial for the environment. In fact, one electric car can save up to 1.5 million grams of C02 every year. We all know EVs are good for the planet, but are they economically viable?
The true cost of electric charging is the question on everyone’s mind, but the answer is anything but simple. This can depend on multiple things, including whether or not the charging station is public or private.
Here, with the help of Northern Powergrid, we take a closer look at the price of charging an EV.
How much does it cost to use public charging stations?
Let’s start with public charging stations. These are spread across the nation, but you might be able to use some of the standard charging stations for free, whereas Rapid or Ultra Rapid might require a fee for use.
Free public charging stations
According to figures collected at the end of April 2022, there are a reported 5,715 free public charging points in the UK. These are placed in a number of handy spots, such as supermarkets. In fact, Tesco is home to 600 free charging stations across 300 locations. The National Trust also offers several free electric chargers, and a two-hour top-up on their 7kW chargers takes you about 56 miles. Not bad!
It's all well and good having thousands of charging stations around the nation, but how do you know which locations are near you? Your local council might provide free chargers to the public, such as Leeds and Woking. As only 21 councils are doing so, you might have to pay to charge your electric batteries. This is where it becomes a little tricky…
Priced public charging stations
One in three people agree that the price of electric charging stations makes them nervous about buying an electric car. This resonates with the rising cost of Rapid electric charging. Recent research has shown that prices have soared by 21% between September to May 2022. This is a 7.81p per kWh or 2p per mile of travel increase.
But don’t let these figures get you down. The price of fuel, whether you drive a petrol or diesel car, is also increasing. In fact, it is higher than ever, averaging at 183.16p (petrol) and 188.82p (diesel). This means you might still be saving money on car maintenance if you switch to electric, despite the rising cost of electric charging.
The price of charging an electric vehicle also varies depending on your location. It can cost up to 10 per cent more to use the cheapest council chargers in the South (32p per kWh) compared to the North of England (29p per kWh). The West Midlands (20p per kWh) is the cheapest location without a doubt.
On average, public charging stations charge 50p per kWh. This can amount to around £1600 per year. This is higher than petrol (£1272) and similar to diesel (£1683), but you can always save money by charging your electric car at home.
How much does it cost to use home charging stations?
It’s possible to install your own electric charger in your own home. The average price for this is £950, although this might change depending on the model you pick. In fact, every new home built after 15th June 2022 will have an electric charger, so they’re becoming more and more commonplace by the day.
Just like any public charging stations, using Rapid or Ultra Rapid chargers can be more expensive than standard fuel prices. To avoid this, you can use standard charging stations and apply for an EV charging infrastructure governmental scheme, which can reduce the cost of installation by 75%.
Research has shown that charging your electric car at home can cost half of the amount of using public chargers, resulting in a £600 cost per year. This means that an £18 charge can take the driver 204 miles in one journey! The price can change depending on the tariff you use, so it’s always best to check beforehand. Then you know what you’re forecast to spend.
It looks like electric vehicles are good for more than saving the environment. If you choose to go ahead with EV charger installation within your own home charger, you can half the amount it costs to either use fuel or public chargers. Not to mention how convenient it will be to recharge in the comfort of your own home! But to reduce carbon emissions, people need to be ready to change to electric vehicles or consider hybrid cars as a middle-ground for hesitant consumers.
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