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EVs Range Anxiety Replaced   by Electric Price Concerns
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Three years ago, we purchased our first all-electric company car, the Jaguar I-Pace. Today having covered just over 40,000 miles, we want to share our experience of owning an electric vehicle and how the running costs over the past 3 years have compared to similar model petrol and diesel powered cars.

Early days of charging up

Our I-Pace arrived on 30th September 2019 and early memories are having to take the car 15 or so miles to our local Jaguar dealer in Exeter for it to be charged up. We did this a few times during the first couple of weeks, whilst we waited for a 7kw home charger to be installed. The 3 pin plug, 2.5kw charger that also came with the car kept tripping the garage electrics, and unfortunately at that time there wasn’t anywhere closer with a suitable charging point.  

Once we had the home charger everything was plain sailing, it was so simple to just charge it at home. I had worked out that when comparing the cost of electric to petrol, the I Pace was returning around 120 miles per gallon.

The only drawback back then was long trips. Within the first year and daring for adventure, we took it on a couple of long trips from Exeter up to Lancaster and also to Nottingham. Despite using only main roads, finding suitable chargers was a nightmare, and we found ourselves having to travel off our planned route to find chargers that worked. Then having found a charger, it would take a good hour and a half to charge up, which is a lot of time to add to a journey. The 400 mile round trip to Nottingham added 6 hours to our journey time, due to having to find chargers that worked, waiting for them to become available and then the actual time spent charging.

So much easier to charge an EV away from home these days

However, there has been huge investment into EV charging, and the infrastructure has improved massively over the last few years. Today I have no concerns about taking the car from Exeter up to Lancaster or Nottingham, and have even used it on a couple of European trips to Paris and also Poznan in Poland. There are far less concerns about finding a suitable charger, they are popping up everywhere, and many are the latest fast chargers, so once connected it doesn’t take long.

Growth in the EV charging net work has been excellent news for owners and the EV industry, as reliable fast chargers have taken away the ‘range anxiety’ which has prevented many people from switching to electric.

All looking good for the EV market, then electricity prices rocket

So just as everything was starting to look really good for electric vehicles, a massive blow is delivered by rocketing electricity prices.

When we first purchased the I-Pace, we did a lot of research into the different at home EV tariffs. We opted for one that was 13p per kWh, 24 hours a day. This was for all electric to the property, including charging the car at any time day or night, and has been our tariff up until about 9 months ago.

This has since increased, and we are now paying 33p per kWh for charging at home, and 26p per kWh when charging during the day at the office. Since we currently have a better commercial electricity rate, we had a charger installed at the office.  

Our I-Pace isn’t driven with maximum economy in mind, but it isn’t hammered either. Consequently, it uses on average 38 kWh (Kilo Watt Hours) of electricity for every 100 miles it covers. Therefore, back when we were paying just 13p per kWh, the I Pace was costing just £4.94 (38 x 13p = £4.94) for every 100 miles it covered.

About the I-Pace and its ICE (internal combustion engine) alternatives

The I-Pace is a large 5 door vehicle with plenty of room, lots of luxury options, high quality and is very roomy and comfortable. It is also quite a powerful car, has all-wheel drive and performs very well.

Equivalent company cars, for example an Audi A6, BMW 5, Jaguar E Pace, Audi Q5 and BMW X5 would all be capable of returning an average of 38 miles per gallon from a petrol engine and 43 miles per gallon from a diesel engine.    

How the electricity price changes have affected running costs of Electric Vehicles

In September 2019 when we first had the I Pace, petrol cost £1.29 per litre and diesel cost £1.32 per litre.

This would mean a gallon of petrol cost £5.86 and a gallon of diesel £6.00

When comparing how many miles the I Pace would cover for the cost of a gallon of petrol or diesel, it was 119 MPG when compared to petrol and 121 MPG when compared to diesel (Average between two is 120 MPG)

  Charged at 13p/kWh
Petrol 119 MPG
Diesel 121 MPG

Early July 2022 fuel prices reached their highest, with petrol reaching £1.92 per litre (£8.73 per gallon) and diesel reaching £1.99 per litre (£9.05 per gallon)

Electric prices had also risen to 33p per kWh when charging at home, and 26p per kWh when charging at work.

When compared to petrol and diesel in terms of miles per gallon:

  Charged at 26p/kWh Charged at 33p/kWh Average
Petrol 88 MPG 70 MPG 79 MPG
Diesel 92 MPG 72 MPG 82 MPG

Overall average between petrol and diesel and charging at work or home – 80.5 MPG

Today based on average fuel prices for petrol of £1.64 per litre (£7.46 per gallon) and diesel of £1.81 (£8.23 per gallon) this would mean the I pace is returning:

  Charged at 26p/kWh Charged at 33p/kWh Average
Petrol 76 MPG 59 MPG 67.5 MPG
Diesel 83 MPG 66 MPG 74.5 MPG

Overall average between petrol and diesel and charging at work or home – 71 MPG

Everyone knows that fuel prices repeatedly hit all-time highs during the past 12 months, but petrol and diesel prices have dropped significantly since their record highs, whereas electricity prices remain at their highest ever levels. What’s even more concerning is the fact that electricity prices would be even higher than they currently are if it wasn’t for strong Government price caps across domestic and commercial electricity prices, leaving the question how high will they go when the caps are removed?

For rapid chargers, the price per kWh is even more shocking

Gridserve Electric Forecourt is about the cheapest at 45p/kWh. For our I Pace this equates to 44 MPG when compared to petrol prices.

rapid chargers, the price per kWh

There has been some talk of being charged £1 per kWh, this would equate to 19 MPG.

Running costs of our I-Pace over the past 3 years and 40,000 miles

Service costs 20,000 miles and 40,000 miles - £253 and £275 £528 (before VAT)
Road Tax Free £0
Tyres Had 4 new tyres at 26,000 miles £750 (before VAT)
MOT - £50
Insurance £580 per year average £1,740
Electric - £3,344

Although I was most surprised about getting 26,000 miles from a set of tyres, there are considerable savings to be enjoyed running an electric car when compared to an equivalent petrol, diesel or hybrid.

  • No car tax has saved approximately £800 over the past 3 years
  • Service costs are at least half, saving a further £500
  • Insurance is more expensive, approximately an extra £150 pa, so an additional £450 over the 3 years
  • The fuel cost though is huge, a saving of approximately £5,000 here.

What do rising electricity costs mean for the future of Electric Vehicles?

A huge variety of different businesses have invested heavily in the Electric Vehicle market, from the manufacturers, dealerships, home charging equipment suppliers and charging stations. Our worry is that uncertainty about the future running costs of electric vehicles could have a very damaging effect on the demand for these vehicles, leading to many of these businesses leaving the market.

This happened with the solar panel industry back in 2019 when over 80% of businesses involved in providing solar (PV) panels left the market following the Government’s sudden decision to withdraw the Feed In Tariff scheme.

The Solar PV panel industry grew very quickly between 2010 and 2019 and had it been left to continue, well over 10% of all UK homes would have PV solar panels on their roof today. With the huge increase in the price of electricity, the extra electricity generated from these roofs would be most welcome right now. 

Ironically, with the rise in electricity prices, demand for solar panels is once again increasing, attracting new businesses back into this industry. They are hampered, however, due to supply issues because most PV solar panels are manufactured in China, who are having problems due to covid restrictions and transport issues.

Hopefully electric prices will stabilise as generating capacity increases, and the market for electric vehicles will continue to grow despite the abnormal rise in electricity prices that we have been experiencing.


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