The cost to charge an EV has stabilised over the past few months, following a year of climbing prices, research from Allstar’s sister company Mina has revealed.
According to Mina’s latest EV Report the average cost of home charging only increased by 1p in the last quarter, to 31p per kWh, while public charging tariffs increased by 4p, to 74p per kWh.
Now there is some stability in the energy and fuel markets, it’s easier to make some comparisons about the actual cost of running EVs against petrol and diesel competitors.
In this article, we’ll look at various cost scenarios for running EVs based on different charging mixes, based on home and public, and their costs relative to petrol and diesel. That way, it is possible to build a picture of what fuel and vehicle could suit certain drivers. Because, as the figures show, it can vary quite a lot.
For comparison, we’ve taken an EV averaging 3 miles per kWh, a petrol car averaging 35mpg and a diesel at 45mpg, all doing 12,000 miles per year, and worked out the pence per mile cost based on these numbers.
Mina found the average cost of home charging was 31p per kWh in the last quarter, up only 1p from the previous three months. We can work out the PPM cost for our example EV like this:
Total cost @31p per kWh: £1,240
PPM cost: 10.3
There’s been more a rise in public charging costs, because they don’t come under the Government’s energy price cap, and so have risen 4p in the last quarter to an average of 74p. The figures show:
Total cost @74p per kWh: £2,960
PPM cost: 24.6
So what happens if most of your driver’s charging takes place at home, but they top up on the road? Here’s how the overall figures change:
Cost @31p per kWh: £868
Cost @74p per kWh: £888
Total cost: £1,756
Overall PPM: 14.6
Petrol prices have fallen in the past few months, and according to Government figures, reached around 145p per litre by the end of April. So, taking that amount, 12,000 miles and our 35mpg car into account, this is what it costs:
Average ppl cost: 145p
Fuel purchased: £2260.50
PPM cost: 18.8
Diesel prices are still much higher than petrol this year, at around 161p per litre at the end of April (while at the same time last year they were only 7p higher, compared to 16p now). However, it’s not all about the pump price, as these figures show:
Average ppl cost: 161p
Fuel purchased: £1951.79
PPM cost: 16.2
One thing to bear in mind with these examples is they are just that: examples. Mileage, vehicle efficiency and the price each driver can buy fuel or electricity at affects each individual case.
But these figures do show some interesting trends that you might see in your own fleet.
Home charging can be by far the most economical way to power a vehicle. In this example, we’ve gone for the average of 31p per kWh, but some tariffs are as low as 5p per kWh. If driver can access those, then you can cut costs even more dramatically.
Conversely, public charging can be the most expensive way to power a vehicle – petrol and diesel included. If you have drivers who can only use this method, it pays to ensure they have access to the cheapest networks. In Mina’s data, which includes operators in the Allstar charge point network, some did offer rates as low as 30p per kWh. If your drivers can use these, costs could be brought in line with home charging.
A mix of public and home charging can still be very cost effective, especially if the majority of charging is done at home. The balance between the two is crucial in making the decision about whether a driver is suitable to run an EV.
At the moment, using our examples, petrol prices sit right in the middle of average home and public charging. Perhaps for a driver who would need a lot of public charging, a petrol vehicle is still worth considering.
While the unit price of diesel is still quite high, the vehicles using it are still generally more efficient than petrol ones, and this has a big effect on overall cost. If you’re going to stick with diesel, making sure the vehicles you use run as economically as possible, as this will negate the higher cost of the fuel.
These figures show a mixed fleet is still a viable strategy for most businesses, as not every driver, and every role, is the same. If the cost of fuel or power is your biggest concern, then taking time to look at need and use, and then assigning electric, petrol or diesel to the right driver will bring many benefits.