Audi charging at an Ionity point

Public charging costs 10x home charging

Some charging points can cost almost 10 times more than charging up at home, according to a recent investigation.

Though it’s unsurprising that charging at a faster and more convenient rate would incur a premium fee, more costly than from a slower plug point at home, some potential EV owners will still be shocked at how expensive such networks can be.

This is especially significant for city dwellers most of whom won’t have access to a drive or similar space to charge their EV and are far more reliant on public charging.

According to What Car? magazine, drivers will pay £45.89 to charge an Audi e-tron from 10 per cent to 80 per cent at an Ionity ultra-rapid charger: the same charge on a domestic charger, at an average night-time energy tariff of 7p per kWh, costs just £4.66. Using the Ionity charging network makes the e-tron even more expensive to run than an equivalent diesel Audi Q7: the e-tron costs 34p per mile, while a Q7 50 TDI, which averages 27.2mpg, costs 22p per mile.

Ionity is one of the latest generations of extremely fast 350kW charging networks, capable of recharging an EV’s batteries in 30-40 minutes. However, some slower public charging networks are also more expensive than charging at home. The same battery boost for an e-tron at a 50kW Shell Recharge point and a 50kW Ecotricity socket costs £25.94, although Ecotricity rates are cheaper for its home energy customers.

What Car? found car owners who regularly need to use public charging networks could make significant savings by signing up for a scheme with a one-off or a monthly fee because these often have a lower energy usage rate. A Source London Full plan, for example, costs £4 a month, but just £6.32 for every charge.

Consumers also need to be aware of the hidden costs of using public chargers. Some car parks in London that are fitted with EV chargers charge £9 per hour for parking, but with no discount for using a charger. What Car?’s research found overstay fees levied by charging networks ranged from £10 to £21 per hour.

What Car?’s editor, Steve Huntingford, commented: “Although there are still a lot of slow (3kW) public charging points that are free to use, you’ll have to pay if you want a quick energy fix. And this is where the costs can rack up if you don’t research the various networks in advance.”

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