In fact, used Tesla prices are coming down just as fast. It could be argued that is in response to the potential for an upcoming recession in which a premium-priced brand might struggle to compete against legacy auto manufacturers who can afford to produce cheaper vehicles.
If other automakers follow suit we could potentially see EVs reach price parity with their internal combustion engine (ICE) predecessors.
Elsewhere, the ongoing increase in energy prices has impacted both petrol/diesel fuels and the price of electricity. With household electricity prices putting pressure on many incomes, charging an EV at home might be seen as another drain on energy resources. However, the key metric is cost per mile (CPM), the cost to drive a single mile in a vehicle. There are a range of factors that affect mileage – a larger domestic people carrier in gridlocked traffic is going to use more fuel than a smaller vehicle on a motorway. However, an average CPM can be used to determine which type of fuel is most efficient.
Let’s look at how much charging EVs will cost you when compared to refuelling ICE vehicles:
Public chargers are typically not as cheap to recharge a vehicle as home charging, and in the last eight months this has increased by 58%. This seems to have tipped the balance in EVs currently being more expensive to drive on long journeys than petrol-fuelled vehicles: 20p per mile versus 17p per mile. However, there are some key factors to bear in mind.
The first is that for personal or commercial vehicles, charging at home is cheaper than on the road at public chargepoints (as we’ll see in the next section). This means that there is going to be much more variability in CPM for an EV driver in a short time frame than there would be for an ICE vehicle driver. An EV driver could charge their vehicle at home overnight for 10p per mile and top up for 20p per mile at a charging point, averaging out to 15p, whereas a petrol user is going to pay more or less the same rate, with slight variations based on where they fuel up from and the overall cost of fuel at that pump.
Secondly, factors like maintenance and the lack of penalties for driving in low-emissions zones are just a couple of ways in which EV drivers can save in the long run.
The price also may not stay high forever. The RAC has already demanded that the current 20% VAT rate on charging be reduced to 5%. If this happens it could bring down the price for charging to the point where it is in parity with petrol.
Ultimately, given that EVs are rarely fuelled entirely by public chargepoints and given how many other cost savings there are, it can lead to these misleading headlines we see in the news.
With energy prices what they are nobody wants an extra expense. However, it seems that once again when you factor in everything EVs come out ahead.
The price per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity is around 32p per kWh so that would mean that completely recharging the large battery in a Mercedes-Benz EQE would still only cost £28, giving you nearly 400 miles of range. That means the cost is less than 9p per mile. To compare, a car doing 300 miles at 45mpg, when it was filled up with petrol costing as much as 150p a litre, would cost 15p per mile. Of course, recharging at public charging points as opposed to at home is more expensive, but it’s unlikely that you’ll charge your entire battery from one unless you’re on a road trip or don’t have access to home charging.
There are also a number of ways to reduce this cost per mile price further: EV-specific energy tariffs and charging outside of peak hours can bring the total cost down. The government also offers a range of grants for domestic properties in the UK for installing home charge points.
Despite the headlines, I’d argue that driving an EV is still significantly less expensive than using an ICE vehicle. Additionally, it’s the future of motoring and something we’ll all need to make the shift to. However, I must qualify that driving an EV is clearly different to what we’re used to with petrol or diesel vehicles. There is a mindset shift we all need to make, including working out mileage and charging requirements before setting off on a journey as this will minimise the need to stop.
However, if you need to stop then there are not only tools to find the right chargepoint such as our partners, Zap-Map), but thousands of rapid and ultra-rapid chargers across the UK to recharge efficiently to get you back on your journey.