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Is Recharging Electric Cars Becoming More Expensive Than Fueling with Gas? And What About the Environment?

Recharging your electric car is now more expensive than treating yourself to a good ol' gas refill. Who would have thought? The future of eco-friendly transportation comes at a price, and it's certainly not a cheap one. But hey, at least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you're contributing to a cleaner environment while burning a hole in your wallet. So, strap on your EV charger, prepare for that hefty electricity bill, and embrace the "luxury" of electric driving. #RechargeReality #ShockinglyExpensiveEVs #EnvironmentallyBankrupt

Electric vehicles (EVs) have long been touted as an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional gasoline-powered cars. However, a recent official report reveals a significant shift in the cost dynamics, with recharging electric cars now surpassing the expense of filling up a gas tank. The skyrocketing electricity costs associated with charging EVs have not only increased the financial burden on EV owners but have also raised concerns about their environmental impact. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this cost disparity, examine the implications for EV adoption, and explore potential solutions to mitigate the challenges faced by EV drivers.

Rising Recharging Costs

Leading the charging network infrastructure in the UK, Shell, and BP have hiked their prices for ultra-rapid chargers to 85p per kWh and 79p per kWh, respectively. For owners of the popular affordable EV, the Kia e-Niro, a full recharge can cost up to £54.40, equivalent to around 23p per mile based on its average real-world range of approximately 230 miles. In contrast, the best-selling petrol model in the previous year, the Ford Puma, would only cost about £60 to refill, making it 8p cheaper per mile than the Kia e-Niro with its 400-mile range.

Comparisons between petrol and electric models from the same brand also exhibit similar patterns. For instance, the VW Golf 1.5L petrol car would require around £71.85 to fill up, accounting for roughly 13p per mile with its 550-mile range. On the other hand, the VW ID 3, an electric model, costs approximately 8p more per mile, with a full recharge at a Shell ultra-fast point amounting to £49.30. These disparities in charging costs raise concerns about the viability of the EV rollout required to meet the Government's climate targets.

Implications for EV Adoption

The high cost of recharging electric vehicles can act as a barrier to widespread EV adoption and hinder the achievement of climate goals. Tory MP Greg Smith, a member of the Commons Transport Committee, highlights the absurdity of these charging disparities, particularly when considering the lower contribution of EV drivers towards road upkeep compared to petrol and diesel users' fuel duty payments. He argues that the current electricity market is ill-equipped to handle EV charging, as evidenced by the discrepancies between charging experiences at public charging points and private residences.

Moreover, research conducted by consumer group Which? reveals that the advertised range of 70 tested electric cars was nearly 20% lower in reality. This discrepancy means that EV owners may need to recharge more frequently than anticipated, further adding to their financial burden. Additionally, external factors such as cold weather can reduce the distance EVs can travel by up to a third, as demonstrated by a study conducted by What Car? These challenges not only affect EV owners' convenience but also cast doubts on the feasibility of solely relying on electric vehicles for transportation.

Mitigating the Challenges

Recognizing the need to address these challenges, industry experts and advocates propose several potential solutions. The RAC supports calls for the Government to rectify the disparity in VAT duty, thereby alleviating the financial pressure on EV drivers who lack home charging capabilities. EV spokesman Simon Williams emphasizes that despite the dramatic increase in electricity costs, running an EV charged at home still costs only 10p per mile, compared to 16p per mile for a petrol or diesel car achieving 40mpg. To promote affordable charging away from home, Williams advocates for reducing the VAT rate on public chargers from 20% to match the 5% levied on domestic electricity.

ChargeUK, the voice of the UK's EV charging industry, echoes these sentiments, asserting the unfairness of higher taxation on those without access to a driveway or off-street parking for charging their EVs. They urge the government to reduce the VAT rate on public charging to 5%, aligning it with the rate applied to home energy, including EV charging. By implementing this change, not only can charging away from home become more cost-effective, but it can also extend the benefits of lower-cost electric driving to a broader range of individuals.

In support of EV adoption, the Treasury highlights its efforts to drive the transition by providing over £2.5 billion in funding. This funding aims to reduce purchase costs for drivers and develop the necessary infrastructure, including on-street residential charging and targeted plug-in vehicle grants. However, with the rising cost of recharging EVs, it becomes crucial for the government to continuously reassess and adapt its policies to ensure the affordability and accessibility of electric vehicles for all.


The increasing cost of recharging electric cars compared to filling up with gas poses significant challenges to both EV owners and the broader EV adoption goals set by the Government. The disparities in charging costs and the reduced range experienced by EVs in real-world conditions contribute to these challenges. However, by addressing the VAT disparity, reducing charging costs, and implementing effective policies, the Government can foster an environment conducive to affordable and sustainable electric transportation. It is essential to find a balance that supports EV drivers, encourages EV adoption, and ensures a smooth transition toward a greener future on the road.

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