Electric car ownership is a hot topic in 2022. A record 190, 727 new electric cars (EVs) were registered in the UK in 2021. That's more than the previous 5 years combined! Convenient charging draws a lot of people towards buying an electric car. Cheaper running costs vs a petrol or diesel car are also a big draw. That's why many EV drivers are concerned that energy prices will rise from April 2022.
With the energy price cap increasing from 21p per/kWh (kilowatt-hour) to 28p per/kWh, the average UK household could end up spending 54% more on their energy bills. This is likely to be much higher if you own an electric car. Charging an electric car may cost around £200 more per year, according to expert predictions.
So, why are UK energy prices rising and what does it mean for electric car owners in 2022?
Why Are UK Energy Prices Rising?
It's no secret that the energy sector has faced many challenges in the past 12 months. Wholesale prices of fossil fuels have skyrocketed, due to limited supply but increased demand. This has made it more expensive for the electricity companies to produce power to heat and light our homes, so our bills have also increased.
Rising energy costs are not a new thing - but they aren't usually this dramatic. Ofgem, the UK's energy regulator, and Energy UK, the trade body representing UK energy providers, have both said that this is an extraordinary situation. They have also reassured consumers that long-term energy costs should decrease - but that could be a few years off. That's scarce comfort to those trying to find an estimated £700 to cover the increase in their household bills this year.
For electric car drivers, it's even less comforting as they come to terms with even higher energy bills.
How Much Did Electric Car Charging Cost?
For drivers on dedicated electric car charging tariffs, the average cost was around £5 (based on EDFs GoElectric 35 tariff which cost 4.5p per/kWh (off-peak)).
How Much Will Rising Energy Costs Affect EV Running Costs?
These price rises will concern many UK drivers. £200 a year is a lot - especially as it is just an average. You could end up spending more depending on your average mileage and what electric car you own. On top of that, you can also expect prices to rise at public charging points from April 2022.
However, it's not all doom and gloom. We would still encourage drivers to consider buying an electric car in 2022.
Why? Well, fuel prices are also at their highest price for 8 years, making it even more expensive to fill up a petrol or diesel car. On top of that, the average cost of ownership for an electric car is much lower thanks to a range of factors:
- They require less maintenance. EVs have fewer moving parts, fewer fluids & their efficiency reduces wear and tear on key parts
- Pay zero road tax
- Exempt from many emissions charges (Clean Air Zones, Ultra-Low Emissions Zones)
All this means that you should still pay less for your running costs if you own an EV instead of a petrol or diesel car.
However, being better off than some doesn't mean the rising energy costs won't affect you. We all face higher bills, so what can EV drivers do to reduce the impact on their charging costs?
How Can I Reduce the Impact of the Energy Price Rises on My Electric Car Charging Costs?
There are two main ways you can reduce the impact of the energy price rises: charge your electric car overnight and compare electricity tariffs to see if you can find a better deal.
Charging your electric car overnight allows you to take advantage of 'off-peak times'. These are times when electricity demand is reduced, so the price per/kWh is lower. Electric cars tend to charge from 0%-100% in 9 hours using a standard home charger, on average. This means that many drivers can reduce the impact on their charging costs by plugging their car in when they go to bed and unplugging it the next morning.
Comparing electricity tariffs could help you save hundreds of pounds a year. Your saving could be even greater if you switch to a tariff designed for EV drivers. However, energy providers recommend that you chat to a salesperson before making the switch. In some cases, you might be better off sticking to a standard tariff as household bills can skyrocket.
If you're unable to reduce the impact of the rising energy costs, we recommend that you find out how much your bills will increase and begin to budget accordingly. The changes don't come into effect until April 2022, so you have a little bit of time to put together a plan to avoid a massive financial hit.