Cost differences across UK’s EV public charging network revealed

Jack Evans, PA Motoring Reporter

A new study has revealed a significant difference in how much electric car drivers are required to pay to charge their vehicles across the country.

The research – conducted by WhatCar? – found that electric vehicle owners could pay around four times as much for the same amount of charge when they use different public chargers operated by different companies.

It found that the fees for a 10-80 per cent charge on a BMW iX3 with an 80kWh battery could vary by as much as £31 between different operators owing to the various speeds and fees. This amount of charge is enough to provide 154 miles of range in the BMW, too, according to WhatCar?.

One of the cheapest in the UK was found to be BP Pulse’s 7.4kW pay-as-you-go tariff. It returned a charge costing £9.32 at a cost of 18p per kWh. Though other providers offered a lower rate per kWh, they were often accompanied by a subscription fee or one-off payment which bumped up the price.

By subscribing, drivers could save money in the long term, but home charging still remains the cheapest option, with a 10-80 per cent charge taking £7.25 at home.

Source London Flexi came out as the most expensive in the study, with a full charge costing £40.66 at the same 7.4kW speed as BP Pulse’s PAYG. Available in Camden, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, the service requires a £10 one-off payment and a £0.073 per minute tariff. Because the service automatically stops after four hours, these charges also require two separate ‘trips’ to the charger in order to fully top up.

Outside of London, it was Ionity’s 350kW which proved to be the most expensive with its £0.69 per kWh fee. However, these rapid 350kW chargers can add an 80 per cent charge in as little as 35 minutes – considerably quicker than the more than seven hours required to charge via a slower 7.4kW charger.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “Unlike petrol and diesel prices, which are relatively stable across the country, tariffs for the UK’s public charging network can vary wildly due to different electricity and subscription fees. Our research highlights the importance of doing your research before you leave home to find the most cost-effective way to make your journey.”

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