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Cost of public charging an EV is now more expensive than filling up with diesel–Parkers

October 17, 2022

By Paul Homewood



The price of charging an electric car using a public rapid charger is now more expensive than filling up with diesel according to data gathered by Parkers. The soaring price of wholesale gas and electricity has forced up the cost of charging a typical electric car, with £10 of charge taking you less far than the same amount of diesel.

This rise in EV charging begins to bite just as petrol and diesel prices are finally beginning to fall. Despite the spiralling costs of using public electric car chargers, the long-term consideration of an electric car is still very much on many drivers’ minds.

The RAC says that the average price per kilowatt hour (kWh) of a UK rapid charger is 63.29p, but it can cost a lot more. Osprey announced in August 2022 prices on its rapid chargers to £1 per kilowatt hour. Tesla charges an average of 77p/kWh for non-Tesla drivers (according to Zap-Map), and the second largest rapid network, Gridserve, charges 66p/kWh.

Refilling petrol vs public charging prices

The gap between petrol, diesel and electric is closing. Using Parkers’ own Miles Per Pound data gathered from official WLTP testing, we can directly compare how much it costs to fuel your car – by saying how far your money will take you when using public chargers at the RAC’s average cost. Putting £10 in your tank is now working out cheaper than £10’s worth of plugging in at a typical fast or rapid charger.

  • Audi Q5 (2.0 TFSI petrol) vs E-Tron
    Petrol takes you 46 miles for £10, whereas electric on a public charger takes you 35 miles
  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (420d) vs i4
    Diesel takes you 73 miles for £10, whereas electric on a public charger takes you 44 miles
  • Citroen C4 (110hp diesel) vs e-C4
    Diesel takes you 84 miles for £10, whereas electric on a public charger takes you 59 miles
  • Mercedes-Benz GLA (2.0 petrol) vs EQA
    Petrol takes you 43 miles for £10, whereas electric on a public charger takes you 52 miles
  • Peugeot 208 (110hp diesel) vs e-208
    Diesel takes you 89 miles for £10, whereas electric on a public charger takes you 56 miles
  • Vauxhall Mokka (110hp diesel) vs Vauxhall Mokka-e
    Diesel takes you 80 miles for £10, whereas electric on a public charger takes you 50 miles

In fact Parker’s are understating just how expensive running costs are for EVs, because their figures for petrol/diesel include fuel duties, which account for nearly half of the cost.

So, for instance, if you exclude fuel duties the Vauxhall Mokka will take you will take you about 130 miles for your tenner.

As we all know, sooner or later EV drivers will have to pay their share of fuel duties one way or another. Therefore it is fraudulent to ignore these costs in any comparison between EVs and proper cars.

  1. Gamecock permalink
    October 17, 2022 10:03 pm

    When you pay £10,000 extra for your electric car in the first place, who gives a $#|+ about the cost of charging?

  2. October 17, 2022 10:26 pm

    The only value in an EV lies in the Hubris involved in the perceived Virtue. Cost and investment factors being of little importance for most of the owners.

    The thought that their choice advertised their myopic selfishness, never to cross the owner’s mind.
    IMO a KilowattHr or equivalent charging tax will be inevitable.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      October 18, 2022 2:39 pm

      The reality is that most EV purchases are company cars, where the P11D rate is just 1-2% of list price, while conventional ICE rates are close to 40%. For a higher rate taxpayer the savings are enormous, and pay the charging cost several times over.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        October 19, 2022 9:06 am

        A huge tax break for the rich…but oddly nobody has been shouting about it and the Left seem quite happy with it.

  3. Gamecock permalink
    October 17, 2022 11:58 pm

    A friend gave me a ride to the BMW dealership (Motorrad) a few weeks ago in his Tesla. It is a unique driving experience.

    I noticed he left his turn signal on for a long time, even though it was clicking and displaying on the big screen. He told me there is so much crap on the screen ALL THE TIME, he just doesn’t pay any attention to it anymore.

    End-of-the-world-mushroom-cloud, and he wouldn’t notice it.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      October 22, 2022 1:09 pm

      At least he USED the signals! Apparently the turn indicator lever on BMWs is the least-used control in the car!

  4. Realist permalink
    October 18, 2022 12:53 am

    Add in your own hourly rate and electric cars will always be more expensive to recharge than refiling with petrol and diesel, not to mention that you have to recharge electric cars multiple times to get the same range as refilling once with petrol, let alone diesel which has more range than petrol

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      October 18, 2022 2:21 am

      And the total damage to the environment of manufacturing, charging, driving and eventually scrapping an electric car is way worse than a diesel car.
      Even forgetting, for the moment, the sheer mendacity of the preposterous GangGreen attacks on diesel.

    • Gamecock permalink
      October 19, 2022 2:08 pm

      “Hourly rate” and multiple charging not real world problems, Herr Realist. People in America with electrics have home chargers. They don’t use public chargers, so they aren’t waiting any. In fact, having an electric saves the few minutes they would be at a petrol station.

      But wait! They pay around $2,000 for the home charger! That cost should be added to the cost of charging.*

      *Should EVs make the market penetration that all the “experts” say, a home charger might become a capital investment, increasing the value of the home, such that it pays for itself. It’s possible. I see enough Tesla’s around here to think it could become a thing.

      Home-for-sale 2025: 5-bed, 3-bath, 2-gar w/T-charger.

      • Realist permalink
        October 19, 2022 7:37 pm

        Of course they ARE waiting. Several hours before they can use the EV again as compared to maximum ten minutes for refilling with petrol or diesel.
        >>have home chargers. They don’t use public chargers, so they aren’t waiting

      • Gamecock permalink
        October 19, 2022 10:39 pm

        They sleep while they wait.

      • Realist permalink
        October 20, 2022 12:44 am

        Very strange behaviour waiting to recharge until they go to sleep.
        I refill my car with diesel when it needs it which can be at any time of day. And it only takes ten minutes. For the same actual usage, an EV would have to be recharged three or more times and measured in hours for each of those recharges.

        >>they sleep while they wait

      • Gamecock permalink
        October 20, 2022 1:55 am

        They plug it in when they get home. It’s ready the next day. It’s not rocket surgery, “Realist.”

  5. cookers52 permalink
    October 18, 2022 7:08 am

    I have a Toyota Corolla touring sport petrol self charging hybrid which gives me 70mpg and is an absolute pleasure to drive (so smooth and stable).
    I don’t have to worry about charging or range and don’t have to fill up with petrol too often.
    My running costs will be lower than any shown in thus analysis and the car and battery have a 100k ten year warranty.
    However not all available hybrids are as good as this, some I test drove were awful.

    • Realist permalink
      October 18, 2022 7:38 am

      Another problem. even with hybrids, is the lack of a manual transmission. Many people simply don’t like automatics due to less control.

      • cookers52 permalink
        October 18, 2022 9:12 am

        A lot of my car mad friends had the same concerns but after they drove my car they all want to change.
        My car comes with auto drivers assist and all sorts of things that actually give you more control.
        I did try lots of hybrids and electric cars and the Toyota gave the best driving experience, they seem to have got it right.

      • October 18, 2022 10:06 am

        My latest car is a Diesel 4WD Land Rover Discovery Sport – and my first automatic car. After driving this, I will not go back to driving a manual. I don’t experience any loss of control – and the smooth simplicity of the vehicle is perfect.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        October 18, 2022 2:50 pm

        Modern automatics are vastly more sophisticated. They will change into low gear without intervention when you are descending a steep hill for instance. I am not sure whether some of the automation us linked to satnavs even when you disengage automatic speed limit observance. I only rented one for a few days.

      • Realist permalink
        October 18, 2022 4:53 pm

        A LandRover with automatic transmission? How does that work outside inner city driving? Look at the state of country roads, not to mention actually taking it offroad and of course towing.

      • Jordan permalink
        October 18, 2022 6:52 pm

        A few years ago, I wanted to buy the latest VW GolfR, but it was DSG. I was comfortable with manual transmission. The dealer said I would never want to go back to manual when I had tried DSG. Just like nobody wants to go back to winding the handle on manual windows.
        So I bought the car. And he was dead right – it’s great to drive.

      • Realist permalink
        October 18, 2022 11:03 pm

        More things to go wrong just like the excess electronics in most modern cars
        >>Modern automatics are vastly more sophisticated.

      • Hivemind permalink
        October 19, 2022 4:42 am

        I drive a Kia Sorento, automagic. I tried to get a manual, but it just isn’t possible in this vehicle class anymore. Unfortunately, this means it comes with a ‘safety’ feature which causes it to decide to do an emergency stop whenever the car in front slows, even a tiny bit. It’s quite scary to suddenly find yourself almost stationary on a 90 kph in heavy traffic.

        It simply reflects the fact that any time somebody want to take control away from you, no matter how virtuous is may seem on the face of it, you must resist with all your might.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 18, 2022 11:07 am

      Hybrids will be banned from sale as well as proper cars so while they make some sense in being better than a battery car, they don’t look like a long term solution. I have seen it said that many of the batteries in them are not lithium so are safer but can’t confirm this as true. A lot of hybrids have been bought as company cars for taxation purposes and when they are sold on the charging lead is still in its packet.

      • cookers52 permalink
        October 18, 2022 2:21 pm

        My Toyota Corolla Touring Sport is a self charging hybrid, there is no lead to plug it in even if I wanted to.
        In reality it is a high mileage 70mpg petrol car as I only put petrol in it. It really does 70mpg with more than adequate range and performance.
        I was dubious till I tried it, I suggest you have a try as well.
        Other hybrid models and makes I tried were not as good as this. I wouldn’t swap it for anything.

    • Realist permalink
      October 18, 2022 5:03 pm

      I prefer a proper Toyota (4Runner, HiLux, Prado, Camry, Corona with a petrol or diesel engine and a manual transmission, but that said Toyota is the only manufacturer that seems to have got it right with hybrids and making them self-charging.
      The crazy thing is that my very first car was a Toyota Corona 2-door pickup manufactured in 1966 (but at least ten years old when I bought it) with a petrol engine that had more range than any electric car today. And mpg in both petrol and diesel vehicles (all makes) has improved significantly since 1966.

  6. W Flood permalink
    October 18, 2022 8:00 am

    Yes they are pretty expensive. I live in a low income area (one of the lowest in UK) and chargers sit idle all the time, just the odd tourist. I can’t see how most people round here will ever be able to buy and run an electric car. It will have a profound effect on the local economy as buses barely exist. Depopulation is likely.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 18, 2022 8:45 am

      I’m betting most people around you buy a car second-hand. Until there’s a market for second-hand EVs, you won’t see many therefore. But there are serious questions about the EV second-hand market. Prices need to be the same as prices people pay now for ICE cars. But if EVs start £10,000 more expensive, that implies a much higher depreciation cost for new EV cars. The alternative is that we all have to trade down so that we buy a smaller/worse second hand EV than equivalent ICE. But then what happens to the higher cost ones? And if batteries do need replacing and do cost £10,000, second hand EVs needing new batteries have little or no value. There is potentially a huge problem coning around the corner for EV owners and those who finance them.

      • dave permalink
        October 19, 2022 9:01 am

        “…second hand EVs needing new batteries have little or no value…”

        There is an analogous situation with private aeroplanes. An aeroplane with a time-expired engine has little value.

        The takeover of the vehicle fleet by EVs is happening slowly, because existing ICEs are still perfectly usable. If 20% of new sales are EV and all new sales are predicated on an annual need to replace 5% of vehicles as worn-out then 1% of the stock will change in classification from ICE to EV each year.

        Therefore, the present situation of EVs being a fad among rich, virtue-signalling people, helped along by various subsidies, can go on; but the impatient powers-that-be will find the next step – forcing ICEs off the road – a harder one to take.

  7. Ben Vorlich permalink
    October 18, 2022 10:17 am

    It’s OK windfarms have got it covered.

    “Energy giant SSE has proposed producing 1,600 tonnes of hydrogen gas a year using surplus electricity from a Highland wind farm.

    The hydrogen could be used as an alternative fuel for vehicles, heating systems and industrial processes.”

    1600 tonnes annually doesn’t seem a huge amount to me. The Gordonbush windfarm has an installed capacity of 71,750kW according to the Renewable Energy Foundation and manages 188,118MWh per annum output. About 28% efficiency, is 1600 tonnes of hydrogen going to make a difference to that?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 18, 2022 11:10 am

      I once read that a Scottish island used a windmill to run a hydrolysis plant to produce hydrogen for use in vehicles as getting fuel from the mainland was expensive. I don’t know if it is still in use but there is a sensible use of a windmill.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        October 18, 2022 1:01 pm

        I wonder what the return of investment was.
        I grew up in a house without electricity, we were about 2.5 miles from the end of the line. It was too expensive for anyone to pay to make the connection. I’m not sure going full renewable would have been much cheaper then or now.
        Neighbours had WW2 diesel generators but anything more than lights, and a TV were about its limit.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        October 18, 2022 3:00 pm

        In the Orkneys there is the electrolysis plant attached to the O2 Orbital Marine tidal energy generator. The generated power has so much flicker (aside from tidal intermittency) that they have added a bank of costly vanadium flow batteries that of course add their own slice of round trip losses to try to make the system work. Noone wants to talk about cost.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        October 18, 2022 9:26 pm

        Gerry, be very careful with your terminology. ” Hydrolysis” is a completely different process to “electrolysis”

  8. Steve permalink
    October 18, 2022 1:38 pm

    Some councils like Brighton have installed parking spaces with free chargers. The spaces are often vacant while the rest of us have difficulty finding spaces near our houses despite paying £160 for a permit. Now we are paying for the £40k, often company cars to charge.

    • Tim Spence permalink
      October 18, 2022 3:30 pm

      Disgraceful. Could people put a false EV charge input socket on their car and park there for free?

    • Realist permalink
      October 18, 2022 4:48 pm

      It is disgraceful everywhere that existing parking spaces are being reserved for electric cars only. If they have to be reserved for anything, it should be for cars where either the driver and/or the passengers are registered as disabled.

  9. Coeur de Lion permalink
    October 18, 2022 1:39 pm

    Nearly all EV owners are rich, have a detached home and garage with three pin point at ? 28p/KWh. Madness to use a smart charger. Asleep, you never knew that Scottish Power had turned you off.

  10. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    October 18, 2022 1:52 pm


  11. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 18, 2022 3:03 pm

    This is the kind of crazy thinking now going on in net zero circles

    The idea is that of there are constraints all over the place if will pay for fancy demand control systems, storage etc. – and of course send prices into the stratosphere.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      October 18, 2022 10:33 pm

      It would appear the lunatics really are taking over the asylum.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        October 19, 2022 8:19 am

        We have gone from idiocracy to insanity.

      • Gamecock permalink
        October 20, 2022 1:59 am

        We have an elitocracy.

        Basically, we are ruled by high school kids.

  12. Tim Spence permalink
    October 18, 2022 3:31 pm

    It’s an ill wind …. tee-hee.

  13. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 18, 2022 5:55 pm

    The crazy world of CFDs. The new winter Base Market Reference Price now applies for October to April for the biomass unit at Drax on a CFD at £126.37/MWh. It is a chunky £405.26/MWh, which means a payment of £280/MWh to the LCCC. Cost of woodchips has likely escalated with coal prices with the result that there is no margin in running the unit at the CFD price, The consequence is that the unit is shut down, and will only operate when prices go sky high. Perhaps a result, but bizarre that the other units on market price plus ROCs are raking in big profits.

  14. BLACK PEARL permalink
    October 18, 2022 6:24 pm

    “Therefore it is fraudulent to ignore these costs in any comparison between EVs and proper cars.”
    The whole ‘system’ is fraudulent this is what goes for normal these days.

  15. kzbkzb permalink
    October 19, 2022 1:38 am

    Then again, many EV owners are wealthy and have installed solar panels to charge their vehicles.
    Octopus are still offering a 7.5p/kWh overnight tariff to EV owners, and Tesco etc are offering some free charging.
    The owners would argue that it is only when you need a bit of a top up on a rare long journey that you would pay the prices being quoted in this article. A similar thing applies to ICE vehicles with the high motorway prices for fuels.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      October 19, 2022 8:20 am

      What’s the weather like on your planet?

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 19, 2022 9:09 am

      Solar panels charge a vehicle at night? How?

      • kzbkzb permalink
        October 20, 2022 9:53 am

        If you have a domestic storage battery along with your solar panels, your solar panels could indeed charge your vehicle at night. It’s a rather expensive investment but many seem to be doing it.

    • Realist permalink
      October 20, 2022 12:48 am

      They need to be wealthy to afford an electric car. And they probably have several proper petrol and diesel vehicles as well.
      >>many EV owners are wealthy

    • Realist permalink
      October 20, 2022 12:53 am

      It is not individual journeys. It is how much actual usage you get between recharges. Fill a proper car ONCE, but an EV needs at least two and often three or more recharges for the same actual use.

      • kzbkzb permalink
        October 20, 2022 10:10 am

        Depends on the model of EV. Some of them have ranges in excess of 300 miles.

      • Realist permalink
        October 20, 2022 12:49 pm

        Not good enough when cars from the sixties (yes 1960s) as with my 1966 Toyota Corona 1600 cc with petrol (let alone diesel) engines had ranges of 400 miles. Newer petrol and particularly diesel vehicles have even higher ranges. Yet the EVs are not even close.
        Also look at the size of EVs. Most are expensive city runabouts. And the few normal size ones are extremely expensive.

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