26 Sep 22

Actual cost of EV charging higher than official rate, UK study reveals

The UK government’s Advisory Electric Rate (AER) for charging an electric van is 5 pence per minute (ppm), but the actual average is 10 ppm, a new study reveals. In other words, EV and e-LCV drivers relying on the AER for refunds from their employers are not claiming enough money.

The report was issued by EV charging payment specialist Mina, which looked at real-world EV data from more than 32,500 home and public charges for corporate cars and vans that took place over the summer quarter (June to August). It is the first report that gives British businesses and their fleets real-world data on how long vehicles are being charged, where they are being charged, and how much charging those vehicles actually costs. 

Average cost: +19%

Some key findings: 

    The average charging cost for an e-LCV is 10 ppm (which corresponds to 7 eurocents per km). However, the UK government’s own Advisory Electricity Rate puts the average charging cost at just half that rate: 5 ppm (or 3.5 eurocents per km).
    The average cost for charging at home is 7 ppm (4.9 eurocents per km).
    As a result of the difference between AER and actual rates, nine out of ten charges result in electric car and van drivers being out of pocket if they reclaim costs using AER as a guide. 
    Over the summer, the average cost of home charging in the UK was 26p (29.3 eurocents) per kWh, a rise of 19% over the previous year.
    There’s a huge variation in public charging rates, from 30p (33.6 eurocents) per kWh to 277p (310.1 eurocents) per kWh. 
    On average, drivers only spend 45 minutes charging in public, generally adding about 90-100 miles (145-160 km) of range.

Informing strategy

“There’s a lot of discussion about the real cost of charging EVs, much of it entirely theoretical. At Mina, we monitor every single charge, so we know exactly what is going on in the real world,” says Ashley Tate, CEO of Mina. 

As the energy crisis unfolds, that depth and breadth of knowledge is an increasingly important asset, Mr Tate says, as it helps fleet operators understand real-life behaviour and trends. “As an example, many will be surprised at just how little time drivers who can charge at home actually spend charging in public.” 

“This will inform strategy, not just for businesses looking at cost and productivity, but also for networks and authorities rolling out chargers and assessing demand.” 

Image: Shutterstock 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs