Public EV network under pressure from electricity price rise


RAC and FairCharge have called on the Government to slash the VAT rate at public electric vehicle (EV) chargers after new data showed costs of rapid and ultra-rapid chargers have risen by around 50% since May.

The price rises - driven by increases in the wholesale cost of electricity - mean EV drivers using rapid chargers are now paying more than petrol drivers per mile, the RAC said.

Drivers using rapid chargers now pay 20p per mile for their electricity, only a penny less than those using less common ultra-rapid chargers who pay 21p per mile.

These costs are higher than the equivalent per-mile rate for a petrol car, which achieves an economy of 40 miles to the gallon (17p per mile) and are on a par with a diesel car achieving the same economy (20p per mile), according to the RAC.

Both RAC and FairCharge are calling on the Government to cut the VAT rate charged on electricity bought at public EV chargers from 20% to 5%, mirroring the rate domestic energy users pay.

The cost of using the public charging network is now more than twice the cost of charging at home despite the record high domestic energy prices.

RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams said: 'It continues to be the case that those who can charge at home or at work and who don’t use the public rapid charging network very often get fantastic value – even given the relatively high domestic energy prices right now. Sadly, the same can’t be said for people who either can’t charge at home or at work, or who regularly make longer journeys beyond the range of their cars.

'Our concern is that the extremely high energy prices, which are already making people’s domestic energy bills so high, have the effect of putting people off using public EV chargers of all speeds altogether – something the Government must avoid if it expects charge point operators themselves to do the majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to installing more EV charging infrastructure.'

The founder of the FairCharge campaign, Quentin Willson, said the VAT policy was 'archaic'.

'The Government should set this right, not simply out of sheer unfairness but also to ensure public charging remains an affordable option for all drivers as we seek to bring down air pollution and decarbonise our roads,' he said.

In December, EV sales overtook petrol sales for the first time.

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