Spend less, charge smarter
It seemed like such a good idea at the time: encourage drivers into electric cars with promises of cheaper running costs and electricity at the fraction of the price of petrol or diesel. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen – and are continuing to see – that situation has changed. And, truth be told, no-one really knows what the future holds.
A set of circumstances outside the control of the automotive industry continues to push energy costs up, at a time when people were already feeling the pinch. Drivers used to be able to justify switching to electric vehicles by saying it would pay for itself after a certain number of miles thanks to the cheap electricity it runs on. Now, however, those same drivers are getting their calculators out and re-doing the math(s).
The situation is exacerbated by the Government’s Advisory Electricity Rate (AER), which has been criticised pretty much from its inception. Now, however, it is leaving drivers even more out of pocket, especially if they are using public chargers.
Mina has done some research into the charging landscape and CEO Ashley Tate gives an overview in this issue of EV Fleet World, which makes for interesting reading. After the data was analysed, some drivers were losing out on £15 over a 100-mile journey due to the AER.
But does all of that mean that drivers should shun EVs until costs swing back in their favour? Not really, no. The shift to electric was always going to require a bit of patience, thinking outside the box and changing habits. Planning ahead is key – something I’ve learned, having spent a lot of time in pure electric vehicles. Sometimes things don’t go to plan – there are still too many chargers out of use around the UK, for example. However, little top-ups here and there are useful and having a charger at home certainly helps. But even without these, I’ve heard several examples of drivers using domestic supplies to recharge overnight. Taking advantage of off-peak electricity rates over a sustained period of time can end up saving quite a bit over time.
Maybe you’ll have enough to put the heating on for an extra 30 minutes this winter…
John Challen Editor
“The shift to electric was always going to require a bit of patience, thinking outside the box and changing habits”