Electric vehicle owners could be paying way over the odds to recharge, says AA

Research finds many drivers failing to shop around, and paying up to 3.5 times more than their neighbours

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers can pay as much as 3.5 times more to charge their vehicles by failing to shop around for the right tariff, according to new research by the AA.

About 14,000 battery EVs have been sold so far this year in Ireland, which represents an 83 per cent increase compared to last year, the company said.

In the same period, sales of petrol and diesel vehicles have fallen by 7.6 per cent and 20.5 per cent respectively. With the Government providing grants for EV drivers to boost sales of EVs, many car buyers are opting to go electric for the first time.

However, many EV owners are now paying multiples more than their neighbours by failing to shop around, AA research has found.

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Ireland’s best-selling EV this year is the Volkswagen iD.4, which has a 77kWh battery. Some EV drivers can pay up to €33.32 to fill the iD.4′s battery. However, their neighbour could be paying as little as €9.74 to charge up.

Consumers who haven’t shopped around and have stuck to a tariff such as Electric Ireland’s pay-as-you-go tariff will be paying as much as €0.4327 per kWh from October 1st. To fill the iD.4′s battery at this rate, they would pay €33.32.

Someone with a smart meter who has shopped around and got a night rate of €0.2155 only pays €16.59. “Savvy drivers can take advantage of a tariff like the ‘night boost’ from Electric Ireland,” said Blake Boland from AA Ireland. “The rate between 2am and 4am will be priced at €0.1265. This is the equivalent of paying €9.74 for a full charge, which is about 3.5 times less than the driver that failed to shop around.

“With the average motorist in Ireland driving about 17,000km per year, choosing the right time to charge and which tariff to use could save them up to €1,000 per year in charging costs alone.

“As long as they are happy to top up by about 80km range per night, a year’s worth of driving would cost them a mere €404.

“With the average price of petrol at €1.84 and diesel at €1.94, according to our survey this month, we know that the same distance driven by your equivalent diesel will be about €1,900, and about €2,300 for the petrol version.

“Even paying the highest rate of domestic electricity from October 1st, the same 17,000km is going to cost an EV driver €1,381, but this analysis shows that it could cost as little as €404.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter