EV campaign group FairCharge and the want the Government to underline its support for the switch to electric vehicles by decoupling the wholesale price of electricity from gas, something which would immediately reduce the cost of charging EVs.
The current high wholesale electricity price continues to be set by the unprecedented global wholesale price of gas, which has not only financially harmed every household and business in the UK by pushing up domestic and commercial electricity bills to record levels, but has also potentially impacted the public’s enthusiasm to opt for electric cars due to much higher charging costs.
FairCharge and the RAC are calling on the Government’s to urgently publish the results of its Review of Electricity Market Arrangements – which closed for consultation last October – so the decoupling process can begin. The review states that under the current system, gas prices often end up setting the wholesale electricity price because gas-fired power stations are the last source of supply used to meet demand.
However, if decoupling were to happen the growing share of electricity generated from cheaper renewable sources will over time determine the price more often – bringing down energy costs for businesses, consumers and EV drivers as well as encouraging more people to switch to EVs.
RAC Charge Watch data shows the average cost of using the very fastest chargers increased by 50% between May 2022 and last month, to 70p (per kilowatt hour) for rapid and 75p for ultra-rapid.
RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams added, “It’s very important that enthusiasm for electric vehicles isn’t dampened in the run-up to 2030 when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars comes to an end. The fact electricity has gone up in price quite dramatically due in the most part to the wholesale price of gas shooting up as a result of the war in Ukraine is a sign that action needs to be taken to change this for the benefit of households and businesses, and to guarantee the electric car revolution stays on track.
“We urge the Government to publish its consultation findings as soon as possible, to act on the findings and improve the way the wholesale electricity price is worked out.”
Greg Jackson, founder and CEO at Octopus Energy Group, went on, “Renewables are the lowest cost form of energy generation, and electricity is the most efficient way to power transport and heating. We need prices to reflect this, and Octopus would like to see markets reformed to let customers see the benefits of cheap, green electricity.”
FairCharge is also campaigning to get the 20% VAT charged at public charge points reduced to match the 5% levied on domestic electricity. FairCharge and the RAC believe this is an unnecessary barrier to switching to an electric car for the estimated third of people who aren’t able to charge an EV at home* as they would have no choice but to rely on the public charging network.