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EV Running Costs Now Higher Than Petrol Cars

September 13, 2022

By Paul Homewood



Electric cars can save us all a fortune in running costs! Or so we have been told.

Things were never as straightforward as that, and now rising electricity prices actually mean the reverse is the case.

I have used Vauxhall’s own comparison tool, as mentioned above. I have plugged in the newly announced electricity price cap for October, which is 52 pence per kwh – I realise the price will be capped at the April 2022 rate, but nevertheless this simply means that taxpayers are subsidising the true cost.

I have also assumed a price of £1.65/litre for petrol, but have deducted VAT and fuel duty – electricity is taxed at 5% VAT, but this is not included in the cap of 52 pence, while all drivers will ultimately have to pay fuel duty in o0ne form or other.

The results are staggering:


Energy costs are almost double for the EV.

Vauxhall still of course claim that you can save by not paying VED, but this is not a real saving, it is just another subsidy.

I would also challenge the claimed savings on servicing and maintenance costs. Most of my maintenance costs go on brakes and tyres, which for the heavier EV will be even higher.

And if you need to charge at a public charging station, the running costs will be even higher, with prices already typically around 50p/KWh even before the October hike (which may be delayed if the government freezes business electricity prices for six months, as mooted).

  1. Gamecock permalink
    September 13, 2022 11:46 am

    How can you put a price on saving the planet?

    • jimlemaistre permalink
      September 13, 2022 4:09 pm

      EVERY . . . EV . . . Burns 31% more energy . . . For . . . EVERY KM driven !!!
      Don’t buy the Propaganda . . . Read independent RESEARCH . . .

      Lies beget more lies . . . We should ALL know this by now !!

      • Curious George permalink
        September 13, 2022 5:23 pm

        I love the math. Like an old joke about a guy asking for a raise:
        The boss explains, the day has 24 hours. You only work 8 hours a day, one third of the time, so you only work 122 days a year. Saturdays and Sundays you don’t work, that’s 104 days, so you only work 18 days a year. And you want a raise??

      • jimlemaistre permalink
        September 13, 2022 6:54 pm

        Read the paper and point out the mistakes . . . No hyperbole . . . Be analytical . . . NOT just sarcastic !!

      • Curious George permalink
        September 14, 2022 4:58 pm

        Jim, the paper is a long rant about electricity generation and losses. Yet it treats petrol cars uncritically. For example, “Diesel generator on board – 100% of electricity generated goes to engine”. It does not mention that only 45% of fuel energy generates electricity. If we want to shame alarmists, we should not lie as they do.

      • jimlemaistre permalink
        September 14, 2022 7:42 pm

        Mr. George . . . at least 65% of ALL power generation mechanisms . . . be they petrol motors, coal fired generators or nuclear power facilities is lost generating energy ! . . . But then with a petrol motor in vehicle . . . ALL the power is transferred to the wheels . . . . With EV’s an ‘Additional’ 31% is LOST as HEAT during transfer and charging . . . Of 35% usable energy produced . . . 24% reaches the motor !!

      • jimlemaistre permalink
        September 14, 2022 7:58 pm

        PS . . . This was ALL in the preamble and the sources for the data is given !

      • September 14, 2022 11:47 pm

        Well while most (there are energy losses between the ICE and the wheels), and not ALL, of the power is transferred to the wheels . . . however, only up to 35% of the energy in the petrol used in the ICE is converted to “ALL of the power”….

      • Curious George permalink
        September 15, 2022 3:43 pm

        Agreed. It was in the preamble, but the text omits it. Also you assume that the manufacture of ICE cars needs no materials, and that transporting petrol to the petrol station needs no energy.

      • jimlemaistre permalink
        September 15, 2022 4:07 pm

        Mr. George, I omitted production of Both EV’s and ICE’s. 70% of electricity comes from fossil fuels and must be extracted and delivered. I did NOT include the FACT that wind and solar systems when installed have cost MORE, fossil fuels, to build than the fossil fuels they will ever replace in their productive lifetimes either. This paper was meant to open our eyes to the Lies about EV’s and the omission of OHM’s law, Not to split hairs and ‘nit pic’ the little obscure facts . . . 31% loss ‘Ain’t no joke’ ! For more read . . . Clean Green Energy and Net Zero . . . Fairy tales on Steroids . . .

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      September 13, 2022 4:10 pm

      Planet does not need saving.

    • GaryC permalink
      September 13, 2022 5:04 pm

      “Save the Planet” from what?? Idiot.

      • 2hmp permalink
        September 14, 2022 1:23 pm

        Well I would start with Greta Thunberg

    • Gamecock permalink
      September 13, 2022 6:11 pm

      Y’all are a bunch of excitable boys.

      • September 14, 2022 7:10 am

        And you’re a dim-witted boy Gamecock

      • Gamecock permalink
        September 14, 2022 11:07 am

        Never has sarcasm brought on such hyperventilation.

        I refuse to provide sarc tags for the slow.

    • September 13, 2022 6:13 pm

      Without being disrespectful, it is always disappointing to hear people speak of “Saving the World”.
      The core belief that Earth has a fixed, stable, benign climate has little to support it. May I invite you to view – … and comment as you see fit.
      The significance of the present “Triple Dip La Nina” should not be underestimated; the significance of the present very steep rise in Cycle 25, the relevance of Russell-MacPherron effect and Spörer’s Law in the current circumstances may – and I stress “may” – have a severe impact on surface climate in the present era. We, at the present level of scientific understanding, can only watch and observe.

      • dave permalink
        September 14, 2022 5:00 pm

        “…the present very steep rise in Cycle 25…”

        According to Silso (World Data Centre for the International Sunspot Series) the recent monthly averages of the Sunspot Number have been:

        April 84.1
        May 96.5
        June 70.5
        July 91.4
        August 75.4
        September (to date) 90.0

        and their ‘Combined Methods’ prediction is a peak in the smoothed series at 120 in a year’s time.

        So, no longer a ‘present very steep rise’; but – perhaps – a Cycle 25 similar to Cycle 24.

    • September 14, 2022 7:10 am

      Why would you let renewable industry charlatans destroy it?

      • September 15, 2022 7:54 am

        Cycle 25 certainly took off with great enthusiasm but seems to have run out of steam in recent months! We should be seeing the autumnal R-M peak shortly, whether this will be pronounced, and how deep will be the winter dip are highly speculative. Interesting!

  2. Lorde Late permalink
    September 13, 2022 11:52 am

    I’ve been a motor engineer for over 45 years . I have always thought that this EV obsession would end badly.
    I get the inner city use bit, but then most cities have reasonable public transport’ Apart from virture signaling (of which there is plenty here in darkest kent). chocolate teapot springs to mind.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      September 13, 2022 12:57 pm

      Apart from fetching Grandchildren from widely spaced schools three days a week when I use the car or when my better half is with me, for most of my local shopping and trips I use my bike. I usually go what my mum called “the pretty way” for exercise.
      I often wonder about public transport, most of the buses that pass me when I’m on my bike are virtually empty. I imagine that they get busier towardsDerby city centre but I’d really like to know what the “carbon footprint” for those passengers is, particularly as they go round the houses rather than the direct route. I haven’t been on a bus for about 5 years, too inconvenient.

    • thecliffclavenoffinance permalink
      September 14, 2022 7:34 pm

      You must recognize the benefits of electric motors even as you recognize the penalties of the current batteries — weight and cost

      • Lorde Late permalink
        September 14, 2022 9:56 pm

        I worked with experimental EVs in the late 1970’s I was told that new amazing battery technology was just around the corner, I’m still waiting. Of course electric motors have their place, but I am of the opinion that so much energy is used in order to drive say, a Tesla that we would be better using it straight from fuel to ICE.

      • jimlemaistre permalink
        September 15, 2022 12:25 am

        Quite right !! . . . The more things change . . . The more they the same . . .

        See This paper I wrote based on University professor’s question 40 years ago

      • Lorde Late permalink
        September 15, 2022 10:45 am

        Thanks Jim
        Good to hear it from some one more qualified than me!

        I have said this before, where we are today with ICE engined vehicles is the result of over 140 years of development. EV’s have had one could argue an even longer period in which to develop but they haven’t and while they have their place it is NOT in mainstreanm transport.
        I watched a while back an episode of Jay Lenos’s Garage with feature some inovative steam driven cars. one wonders if this old technology had been developed further what sort of society we would have?
        for all its current critisism it is fair to say that fossil fuel use in all its formed has underpinned the worldwide amazing society we all enjoy.

        Regards to all.

  3. Andrew Harding permalink
    September 13, 2022 11:52 am

    You can also factor in depreciation, especially the battery! Another issue, is spontaneous combustion of the battery, which writes the vehicle off and is virtually impossible to extinguish.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      September 13, 2022 1:03 pm

      People who run old cars, 20+ years old, can usually keep them going with previously loved parts including engines and gearboxes, with some confidence that they will probably not need replacing again if reasonably well maintained.

      Can the same be said for a battery? Would you be happy with a battery that had been repaired?

  4. BLACK PEARL permalink
    September 13, 2022 11:56 am

    I can understand the cap is subsidising the EV drivers, but deducting VAT & fuel duty on the petrol price is not a true comparison to us end users.
    Reporting a comparison of current fuel retail to current recharge cost ie 52p per Kwh is more relevant, but I see what your getting at.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 13, 2022 1:49 pm

      It is fair because at some point current taxes on ICEs will have to go on EVs.

  5. Cheshire Red permalink
    September 13, 2022 11:57 am

    Introductory price incentives are always going to be favourable, with financial and operational realty intruding further down the line.

    That’s what we’re seeing now, not just on EV’s but on domestic solar, proposed heat pumps and so on. Almost all the green stuff is dearer, less efficient or generally not as useful as the current options, hence uptake has to be legally mandated by government rather than willingly chosen by the public.

    I can’t think of a single ‘low carbon’ idea that’s better than what we already have. I’m open to persuasion, though.

    This is always the case when governments impose rules rather than allow the markets to adopt technology changes through choice.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 13, 2022 2:23 pm

      The situation that comes to mind is, where would video recording technology be now if the government of the day had mandated Betamax video tapes- by law?
      I’m very sure others here can think of a few other ‘seasonally’ favoured gizmos.

      • Cheshire Red permalink
        September 13, 2022 3:06 pm

        Exactly. Smart phones and flat TV’s didn’t need subsidising did they?

        These laws will also lock in dependency on suppliers of lithium and other rare components which would gift monopoly advantages to China and cause supply-demand chaos in the motor industry.

        EV’s will be too expensive for most people to change into so used ICE cars will be kept going for many years, diminishing the point of any arbitrary switch-over date.

        To avoid all the above gov’t should just drop the mandatory deadlines and allow the market to transition slowly, which would make all changes much easier to accommodate…but that’d be too easy!

      • dave permalink
        September 14, 2022 5:14 pm

        It was very much the ‘clever’ idea of the Labour Party in the 1960s that Government could pick ‘winners’ and so speed us through the normal development cycle of innovation, with its seemingly wasteful stops and starts. People fell for the idea, being under the evergreen illusion that ‘experts’ know more than ordinary people and the ‘hidden hand’ do.

        It helped that P.M. Harold Wilson had been a half-way decent economist and statistician. But he still could not pick the fluff out of his belly-button!

    • T Walker permalink
      September 13, 2022 6:32 pm

      Well as Thomas Sowell alway says – “Social engineering means replacing what works with what sounds good”

  6. Philip permalink
    September 13, 2022 12:33 pm

    The monthly running costs in that table can’t be correct.

    • Penda100 permalink
      September 13, 2022 2:24 pm

      Weekly I think.

  7. Mikehig permalink
    September 13, 2022 12:58 pm

    Here’s some actual user experience:

    This predates the latest price rises but, per the same forum, Octopus Go is still available at 7.5/40 p per kWh for Off-peak/Peak.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 13, 2022 1:53 pm

      Price in time & convenience too. Extra hours on a journey because of range limitations, longer to fill up, loss of use during charging as you can’t just zip off to the petrol station and get done in 5 minutes. All are costs.

      • Mikehig permalink
        September 13, 2022 9:11 pm

        That’s an argument which cuts both ways.
        EVangelists enthuse about starting every day with a full “tank” and never visiting a service station.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        September 14, 2022 11:12 am

        I think the emergency mercy mission is the one factor that will convince people that repid refueling is essential.
        Since my first grandchild was born 13 years ago I’ve regularly, a couple or more times a year, had to go and rescue family members when breakdowns or more frequently when a parent can’t be in two places at once.
        Saying sorry it’s going to be a couple of hours before I can leave is not the answer. The longest trip was Derby-Sunderland and back when AA recovery could only manage a 3 seat van for a party of 2 adults and 3 children on a cold November night. A current generation EV would not have made it home without a recharge

      • dave permalink
        September 14, 2022 5:22 pm

        “All are costs.”

        As is smple anxiety. A neighbour bought a new 50,000 pound E.V. and after a few weeks did a round trip, Kent to Maastricht, which is not very far at all. She fretted the whole way there and back in case she ran out of juice. She even wanted her husband to follow behind on his motorbike! Sensibly, he refused.

  8. Devoncamel permalink
    September 13, 2022 1:15 pm

    The great deception rolls on. Instead of treating EVs as a viable alternative to ICEVs, where the public can make an informed choice, the Government and the green blob are forcing them upon us. There will be negligible reductions in CO2, with the emissions simply transferred elsewhere, notably to the vast increase in mining activity. Much of this will be in countries who don’t sign up to the fear mongering prevalent in the enlightened west. China knows this and will happily feed our green fanaticism.

  9. steve permalink
    September 13, 2022 1:19 pm

    The Vauxhall figures look a bit skewed to me, £643 for Vehicle Excise Duty ? It should be £165 p.a. with an extra £190 for the first year only.

  10. Brian Smith permalink
    September 13, 2022 1:55 pm

    Never in our history has any improved technology needed subsidy to promote its adoption. People aren’t stupid. Better, cheaper ways of doing things need no government encouragement.

  11. Beagle permalink
    September 13, 2022 1:59 pm

    Don’t worry though Boris always said EV’s will soon be much cheaper to buy. LOL.

  12. John Palmer permalink
    September 13, 2022 2:00 pm

    The deafening sounds of the birdies coming in to roost! Wait until they (have to) introduce charge-per-mile to recoup lost VED and fuel VAT.
    Can’t see em really banning ICE cars though….
    Mine’s a diesel, thanks!

  13. September 13, 2022 2:16 pm

    well, what else is new?

  14. Tones permalink
    September 13, 2022 2:41 pm

    Why 52p/unit? ‘Which ‘ and Money Saving Expert both quote 34p/unit – both direct debit (MSE quotes 50.93p for pre payment – which seems a bit steep!)

  15. September 13, 2022 3:27 pm

    Just had my car serviced, by far the biggest item was labour costs. Servicing cars is a bit of a racket, with comedy “x miles or y years, whichever comes first”, clearly designed to get money out of low mileage drivers.

    EV servicing will continue the racket, and won’t be cheaper.

    • September 14, 2022 7:39 am


      as a general rule, any car that does low mileage, particularly if it is on short journeys needs more servicing not less. The engine oil doesn’t get hot enough to get rid of water in it which creates acids so deteriorates quicker and does more damage to the engine.
      The old myth of a little old lady’s car with few miles being agood buy is just that.

      • September 14, 2022 8:48 am

        How does more frequent servicing have any impact on the problem you mention?

      • September 14, 2022 12:09 pm

        by changing the oil more frequently minimises the detrimental effect of the contaminated oil.

      • September 14, 2022 12:12 pm

        Mr Grimnasty,

        Netzerowatch claim to correspond with the government highlighting and contradicting such BBC ‘facts’. I can’t comment on social media as I don’t use it?

      • September 14, 2022 12:39 pm

        Some water from fuel combustion remains in the cylinders and causes corrosion, I don’t see how the oil is involved.

      • September 14, 2022 1:10 pm

        oil absorbs water and this turns the oil acidic which is detrimental to engine components. An engine that works reasonably hard evaporates this water from the oil quickly once the oil is up to operating temperature. Water temperature is no guide to oil temperature so a car may be up to water temperature but oil takes much longer, particularly if driven slowly, e.g. a trip to the shops. Such short trips may mean the oil never gets up to ideal operating temperature.

  16. dennisambler permalink
    September 13, 2022 4:07 pm

    “In Chile’s Salar de Atacama, locals watch helplessly as their ancestral lands wither and die, their precious water resources evaporating in salar brines.

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo, hope for a better life dissolves as well-funded Ugandan-led extremist groups force children as young as six into cobalt mines.

    Closer to home, Nevada’s Fort McDermitt Tribe and local ranchers fight to protect a sacred burial site and agricultural lands set to be sacrificed by Lithium Nevada, a mining company, in the coming days.

    Meanwhile, in California and other states, politicians like Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) pat themselves on the back for their “aggressive” environmental stance and boast that their gas-powered vehicle bans are leading “the revolution towards our zero-emission transportation future.”

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      September 13, 2022 10:30 pm

      Is that the Gov. Newsom who recently appealed to EV owners not to charge their vehicles during peak demand times?
      And are the costs of boosting the electricity supply, including local transformers and lines to houses, be included in the cost of EVs?

  17. Tim Spence permalink
    September 13, 2022 4:19 pm

    Making fossil fuels more expensive is making mining more expensive is making EVs more expensive is making recharging more expensive is making fossil fuels more attractive. Why can’t we just cut the crap.

    • Curious George permalink
      September 13, 2022 5:43 pm

      The goal is to make cars and air travel accessible only to the elites.

  18. Vernon E permalink
    September 13, 2022 6:47 pm

    I read that heads of state visiting for the funeral must not use private aircraft. I thought Charles was going to stay out of politics. Two points. First, these people do not travel alone. Second, no doubt at all that Sleepy Joe will refuse to comply and when he does the others will scream blue muder. Interstinfg international incident brewing for the new king?

    • September 14, 2022 7:23 am

      You read wrongly, it’s advuce, not a demand

      • September 14, 2022 7:23 am

        Advice even😊

      • Vernon E permalink
        September 14, 2022 12:00 pm

        Not according to today’s Telegraph its not (though exceptions will be recognised).

  19. kbkearney permalink
    September 13, 2022 10:14 pm

    Last week Booth’s supermarket charging points charged 66p per KWH.

  20. Wog. permalink
    September 14, 2022 8:39 am

    Why is VAT charged at domestic rate when electricity is being used as a road fuel?
    Surely houses should have a separate metered supply for charging battery cars.

  21. pochas94 permalink
    September 14, 2022 9:24 am

    Talk about transfer payments. These are Robin Hood subsidies paid by the taxpayer to further the utopian fantasies of self-appointed elites. They serve only to retard progress.

  22. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 14, 2022 10:48 am

    BBC promotes lie of cheap renewables – will save us trillions!
    Paul, surely the NetZeroWatch guys should be refuting this very aggressively?
    They already have a Twitter comment on Democrats talking similar rubbish.

    • Micky R permalink
      September 14, 2022 3:54 pm

      How much has decarbonisation cost the UK to date?
      c£150 billion handout from the taxpayer to the “energy suppliers”
      c£150 billion “excessive profits” for the “energy suppliers” i.e. paid for by the UK consumer
      c£100 billion in subsidies to renewable energy companies?
      c£20 billion carbon tax?

      c£500 billion to date? Which is well on the way to the historical £1,500 billion estimate from the OBR to achieve net zero by 2050 (article from 2021)

      • dave permalink
        September 15, 2022 10:52 am

        And just think! The NHS could have had that half-a-trillion.
        Of course, with little to show for it.

      • Micky R permalink
        September 15, 2022 3:49 pm

        A fleet of coal-fired power stations and lots of coal to ensure that people can be warm and dry in winter would probably be of greater benefit to the NHS.

      • dave permalink
        September 16, 2022 3:04 pm

        I was not suggesting the NHS should actually have the money!

        The improvement in health since Victorian times is, indeed, probably due to better living standards and to a few essential medicines and treatments; rather than to the ever more expensive attempts to repair the damage of over-indulgence by some of us in that same better living!

  23. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 16, 2022 6:23 pm

    It’s going in leaps and bounds. I think this business may go bankrupt.

    Not many will pay £1/kWh.

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