Motorway charging exceeds petrol prices

The cost of charging an electric car at motorway services can be up to 28% higher than filling up with petrol.

This is according to the latest research from What Car?, which drove two electric cars and their petrol-powered equivalents in convoy on a 200-mile journey between Yorkshire and Cobham, just south of London.

It compared the fully electric Peugeot e-208 with the petrol-powered 208 Puretech 130, and the larger BMW i4 M50 electric car with the closely related 4 Series Gran Coupé M440i petrol.

All of the vehicles started with a full battery or tank of fuel. Then on arrival, they were plugged in or brimmed to find out how much the journey had cost, with the e-208 and i4 working out £9.07 (28.4%) and £5.64 (10.8%) more expensive than their petrol equivalents respectively.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “When deciding whether an electric car is right for you, it’s important to consider how you would charge it. Even with energy bills going through the roof, an electric car should cost significantly less to run than any petrol alternative if you can top it up at home overnight. However, as our test has shown, lower fuel bills are certainly not a given if you’re relying on the public network, due to the high prices of some companies.

“The Ionity units that we used are some of the most convenient due to their fast charging speeds and the fact that there are usually several at each location, reducing the chances of you having to queue, but unfortunately you pay through the nose for that convenience.”