Despite charging cost increases, electric car drivers still save money

Electric car charging has been in the headlines a lot recently, particularly with the increase in energy prices and the cost-of-living being on the top of everyone’s financial priorities (and rightly so).

The good news is that despite all of this, electric cars are still cheaper to run than the equivalent petrol or diesel ICE (internal combustion engine) car, thanks to some awesome research by Zap-Map. 

Let us simplify and break it down for you.

EV drivers will save £230-£550 a year in fuel compared to ICE drivers in 2023

Yep, seriously. The Zap-Map article goes into all the details, but here are the headlines:

  • In December 2022, the average slow charger or fast charger cost was £0.49 per kWh
  • Similarly, the average rapid or ultra-rapid charger cost £0.73 per kWh
  • And despite a 15% increase in pubic charger prices since September 2022, EV drivers will save between £230-550 a year compared to the equivalent ICE car driver

But how did Zap-Map come to this conclusion? Well, they’re the “UK’s leading charge point mapping service”, and they’ve got 500,000 monthly charging sessions to go off.

It would help here, then, to break down their driver profiles – because that’s an important distinction in all of this.


Driver profiles

A graphic showing that EV drivers save money compared to ICE drivers

The research is split into three types of drivers: those who mostly charge at home, those who often charge at home and those who never charge at home (likely because they can’t), detailed above.

EV drivers with off-street parking and a home charger (or 3-pin plug from their garage) for example, save the most money, with EV drivers who can’t (or don’t want to) charge at home saving the least. That’s understandable, as charging at home is considerably cheaper than using public chargers all the time. But there was some hesitation around whether public charging was cheaper than petrol in the long run. Well, here’s the proof.

Even the EV drivers that couldn’t charge at home still saved money compared to petrol or diesel drivers meaning, in all use cases above, driving an ICE car was more expensive in fuel.


How are they making these comparisons?


They really went to town on the details, which is impressive.

They compared two similarly sized cars: the all-electric Volkswagen ID.3 and a petrol-powered Volkswagen Golf. Driving 10,000 miles per year, with the ID.3 averaging 270 Wh/mile and the Golf averaging 43.5mpg, the Golf driver would spend £1,680 per year on fuel alone.

The EV driver charging mostly at home however, would only pay £1,130 a year on electricity. That’s a massive £550 saved.

The EV driver often charging at home would spend £1,280 a year (saving £400), with the EV driver who never charges at home spending £1,450 a year (saving £230).

Another way to look at it is price per mile driven: 11p, 13p or 15p for the EV drivers respectively, compared to the ICE driver’s 17p (based on prices reported by the RAC).

Someone plugging in a FIAT 500e to charge while parked


Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-founder & COO at Zap-Map said of their research:

Zap-Map’s Price Index keeps track of the price that EV drivers pay when out and about, as well as how prices vary across the different types of chargers. This helps drivers to seek out the cheapest charging options and keep an eye on costs… Although electricity prices have risen significantly, the Price Index shows that you can still save money while being kinder to the planet

What about in the future though?


Good question. Of course, we can’t predict the future exactly, but it’s fairly certain electricity prices will remain high (or at least higher than we’ve had previously) for some time. Petrol and diesel prices though, will likely continue to fluctuate as it has done for some time, especially with the UK Government’s ban of new ICE car sales looming.

But, if you’re smart with your charging, it’s clear you can save money.

Oh and remember, this is just the cost of fuel. We haven’t gone into how EVs will save you money through cheaper servicing and maintenance, slower depreciation, or getting an EV on subscription in this blog…

So basically, if you’re on the fence about swapping your ICE car for an electric one, what are you waiting for?

Go electric and start saving by next week

Get an electric car delivered to your door in as little as a week with elmo – the electric car subscription service.

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