Charging an EV can be 28% more expensive than filling with petrol
GB News guests debate using electric cars
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With electricity and energy bills growing massively, many electric car owners are concerned about the impact it will have on their charging costs. What Car? drove two electric cars and their petrol equivalents from London to Leeds to see if petrol is still cheaper than electricity.
The 200-mile journey started out at Cobham Services in south west London and Skelton Services near Leeds.
The fully electric Peugeot e-208 went head to head with the petrol-powered 208 Puretech 130.
The second challenge saw the larger BMW i4 M50 electric car pitted against the closely related BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé M440i petrol.
All of the vehicles started with a full battery or tank of fuel.
On arrival, they were plugged in or brimmed to find out how much the journey had cost, with the e-208 and i4 working out £9.07 (28.4 percent) and £5.64 (10.8 percent) more expensive than their petrol equivalents respectively.
In total, the trip cost £57.73 in the BMW i4 M50, compared to just over £52 in the petrol 4 Series equivalent.
The differences would actually be even bigger now, because at the time of the test petrol prices were close to an all-time high at £1.99 a litre.
By contrast, the 69p/kWh rate to access the Ionity rapid chargers that were used has remained the same since 2020.
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This is despite the fact that wholesale electricity costs have risen dramatically since the start of 2022.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said motorists would see fluctuations in price as a result of companies switching their rates.
He added: “When deciding whether an electric car is right for you, it’s important to consider how you would charge it.
“Even with energy bills going through the roof, an electric car should cost significantly less to run than any petrol alternative if you can top it up at home overnight.
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“However, as our test has shown, lower fuel bills are certainly not a given if you’re relying on the public network, due to the high prices of some companies.”
Mr Huntingford continued, saying that the Ionity chargers were some of the most convenient thanks to their fast charging speeds.
He added that they were usually several at each location, reducing the chances of having to queue.
However, he admitted that drivers “unfortunately pay through the nose for that convenience”.
In each case, the petrol and electric cars had the same driving mode selected.
Plus, they were all driven at the speed limit where conditions permitted, with their climate control systems set to 21C.
Anyone who buys a new electric BMW gets a 12-month subscription to BMW charging.
This means they will initially pay only 26p/kWh to use Ionity chargers, with the full 69p/kWh rate only kicking in from the second year.
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