EVs cheaper to charge than fuelling a car for second consecutive month, finds AA survey

As UK roads pass one million EVs, the organisation has also called the government for incentives to encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles

A British motoring association has found that charging EVs with faster charging points at off-peak times was cheaper than fuelling cars with oil for a second consecutive month, while also adding that a “help to buy” scheme for either new or used EVs would make 70 per cent of drivers more likely to switch.

The EV Recharge Report was published by The AA, formerly The Automobile Association and showed a 15.6 per cent reduction in off-peak ultra-rapid charging since the start of the year from 71 p/kWh in January to 64 p/kWh in March, making electric cars cheaper to ‘fuel’ than a petrol car for the second consecutive month.

In further good news for EV drivers, flat rate prices for slow chargers, which are traditionally found in residential areas where there is no dedicated off-street parking, dropped by 2 p/kWh with the price sat at just a penny above the Energy Price Guarantee for domestic electricity costs.

However, flat rate rapid charging costs increased by a marginal 1 p/kWh between February and March to 67 p/kWh. Elsewhere, all other flat rate costs, peak and off-peak prices remained static providing more stability to drivers when it comes to ‘refuelling’ their cars.

> Council launches UK’s biggest EV charging points project

The report also included the results of a survey which quizzed more than 14,500 drivers. The data showed that a “help to buy” scheme could be a huge success, as seven in ten motorists said they would prefer an electric vehicle if there were some form of benefit to help them buy such a vehicle.

Among such schemes, the most popular option was a mirroring of Scotland’s recently closed Electric Vehicle Loan, which offered customers a zero-percent loan on an electric car over three to five years.

Other popular incentives included the much-debated (and much-divisive) possibility of scrapping VAT on new electric vehicles, or reinstating the £3,500 Plug-In Car Grant that was previously available in the UK for electric cars. However, among those on lower incomes, a zero-percent loan or a grant were deemed as the most popular policies.

The association has thus, called on the government to roll out such schemes to push more people towards electric vehicles. Jack Cousens, head of AA roads policy said: “With more drivers wanting to take advantage of greener and cheaper travel, now is the time to offer ‘help to buy’ schemes to accelerate the uptake of electric cars.

“The appetite is there, but EVs feel out of reach to many. The fact that drivers are interested in buying a used EV shows that fears and concerns over battery life and longevity are beginning to fall away. This could be the perfect time to energise the EV market.”

Connected Kerb’s Chameleon charging point catering to those with accessibility needs

The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) from last week showed a boom in the EV uptake, rising by more than half since 2021, with more than 1.1 million electric vehicles on UK’s roads and one in every 32 cars coming in with a charging plug.

With this increase in electric cars, plug-in vehicles now make up 3.1 per cent of the total number of vehicles on the road. SMMT also said that the new technologies have cut average car and van CO2 emissions by 1.6 per cent.

But what about public charging points? SMMT revealed that public charge points rollout continues to lag behind EV uptake, with one standard public charger for every 36 plug-in cars on the road, down from 31 in 2021. It also said that the existing charging stations may not be suitably located or sized to serve van operators, and there are no dedicated HGV charging points on the UK’s strategic road network at all.

South east Londoners might be in a little more luck though. We had reported last week that Connected Kerb, one of UK’s biggest EV charge point contractor has partnered with Surrey Council for the country’s biggest electric charge point rollout, with 10,000 electric vehicle chargers across 1,500 locations to be delivered in Surrey by 2030.

It’s estimated that 63% of the UK government’s 300,000 charge point estimate will be covered by the London-based firm Connected Kerb.

The company said: “At present, there is one charger per 9,000 residents in Surrey, but the rollout will see this figure dramatically increase. The partnership expects to deliver over 5,000 fast charging points by 2027, including a over 500 rapid charging points across the county.”

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