Motorists without a driveway will pay up to £1,000 more a year to charge an electric car

Vallance: It’s impossible for majority to buy electric car

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Charging an electric car is costing drivers without access to off-street charging nearly £80 per month – or £1000 per year – more than those with a driveway according to new research. Industry experts are now calling for cuts to VAT at public charge points and lower off-peak rates.

The data from EV site found that despite rising energy costs, drivers with access to their own private charge point who use a cheap night tariff are still saving thousands over the lifetime of their cars compared to those who are reliant on the public charging network.

This is in part due to the higher VAT rate of 20 percent on public charge points, as well as the cost of installing and maintaining the infrastructure.

The figures were based on a person driving a Volkswagen ID.3 for 10k miles per year, which would cost £13.75/month when charging at home on a cheap night rate.

That’s compared to £91.75 per month on a public charge point at 50p per kWh, which is the typical rate for a DC rapid charger found at a service station or supermarket.

There are fears of creating a two-tier nation when it comes to EVs, favouring homeowners with a driveway who typically live in more affluent and suburban areas and discriminating against those on lower incomes without access to off-street parking.

It could also result in electric car ownership being less attractive to drivers living in smaller properties within cities, which is where zero emission vehicles can make the biggest difference to air quality.

Founder and CEO Ginny Buckley is calling for VAT on public charge points to be reduced from 20 percent to 5 percent to bring it in line with the cost of charging at home and for energy providers to introduce cheaper night tariffs at public charge points to help balance the supply grid.

She said: “As a country, we need to do better when it comes to the levelling up of electric car ownership.

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“Car buyers have embraced the electric revolution – last month was the best yet for registrations with nearly an 80 percent growth, and we expect figures this month to be similar.

“But electric car ownership should not be a privilege for the more affluent, and if we want to bring everyone along on the electric journey, we need to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place – and at the right price – so that everyone can make the switch with confidence.

“While promises to support drivers by providing ten times as many public chargers by 2030 across the UK are welcome, it’s unfair that those without a private driveway pay more to run their car.

“Without taking steps now, we risk leaving people behind and creating a two-tiered nation when it comes to making the switch, which is why I’m urging the Treasury to look again at VAT on public charging.”

It comes as a new survey of 2,000 UK drivers found that an electric car is still not an option for many, with multiple reasons being given as to why.

Nearly half of all drivers say they simply cannot afford to buy an electric car, with more than 50 percent of elderly drivers ruling EVs out.

Three-quarters of drivers don’t trust the Government to not make electric motoring more expensive in the future.

An overwhelming majority of drivers aged over 55 found that the Government would not take additional steps to make EVs affordable for all.

Similarly, almost eight in 10 people believe the Government grant is not enough to make them purchase an electric car.

More than 85 percent of over 55s agree with this statement, compared to 69 percent under 34s.

Currently, drivers can benefit from the Government’s plug-in grant which applies to 74 cars which have zero tailpipe CO2 emissions and can travel at least 70 miles without any emissions.

To be eligible for the grant, the car must have a recommended retail price of less than £32,000, including VAT and delivery fees.

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