EV refuelling costs down, but charging infrastructure needs to keep pace

With petrol prices reaching record levels across the UK this year, some observers have focused on the cost-saving from switching to EVs, success will also depend on a successful rollout of EV charging infrastructure Alejandro Gonzalez reports.

Research by motor finance insurer Insurance Revolution, based on NimbleFins data, has found the cost saving from running an EV compared to a petrol vehicle can be as much as £950 a year.

Refuelling costs

With the price of petrol and diesel on the rise across the UK, the decision to switch to EVs is also being driven recently by the need to keep refuelling costs down.

Nimblefins analysed factors such as insurance, fuel and other expenses including road tax and car washing to gauge the savings that can be made by switching and found that, on average, EV owners can save around £1,049 a year compared to those using petrol cars, and £5,268 over the space of 5 years.

Swapping refuelling for e-charging stations was cited as another reason behind the switch to EVs.

Similar to the overall price of the vehicle, charging costs will differ depending on the model. On average, UK EVs have a battery size of 57.7 kWh, which will cost around £16.11 to fully charge, based on an electricity charge of 0.28p.

The insurer said top-end EVs will cost 45% less to run than regular ICE cars.

Buying an EV via an employer’s salary sacrifice schemes and incentives for home and workplace charging stations via government schemes are also pushing in a similar direction. Checkatrade recently said that buying and installing an EV charger at home costs around £1000, or £650 using the Government's grant.

UK charging stations

Insurance Revolution reported that, as of April 2022, the UK had 30,290 charging stations broken down by country: 

England: 25,884
Scotland: 2,953
Wales: 1,105
Northern Ireland: 348

The table below highlights the number of EV charging stations by region, with a mention of how many rapid devices are available within each region.

In terms of individual boroughs, the top ten are ranked below and were heavily dominated by London boroughs, as the data would suggest.

At the other end of the scale, the Isles of Scilly has a total of zero charging stations available. The bottom ten boroughs for EV charging stations were:

Rapid chargers are also in high demand as they offer faster-charging speeds, below is a table ranking the boroughs with the highest volume of rapid charging stations.

EVs bought on finance are clearly not burdened by all ownership costs, but annual upkeep costs are a consideration. The evidence cited by Insurance Revolution suggests maintenance costs of EVs are significantly lower than maintaining a petrol vehicle. This is due to EVs having a few cheaper factors, such as affordable charging, it is estimated that petrol or diesel costs are around £961 a year, but questions remain about the speed at which the UK government and the private sector can rollout infrastructure to support the uptake of EVs.