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As featured in:
Business Insider

Why install an EV charger?

  • Don't rely on public chargers
  • Reduce your charging costs
  • Slash your carbon emissions

PHEV drivers spending almost double what they should on fuel, analysis shows

  • PHEV drivers spend on average around £1,059 a year
  • Manufacturers predict PHEV should cost around £560 a year to fuel 
  • The UK now has 60,000 EV public charging stations
  • ECIU claims going full EV is better value than using a PHEV
EV charger connected to car in London

Drivers of the UK’s top-selling plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) are spending almost double manufacturers’ predicted price to fuel their cars, a new analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has found. 

The analysis said that the most popular PHEVs currently cost around £1,059 a year to fuel, when manufacturers claim costs should be £560 on average. As well as that, PHEVs also produce up to 350% more carbon emissions than manufacturers claim.

While PHEVs still cost less than  petrol cars, which cost around £1,652 a year to fuel, PHEV drivers could be spending £672 a year more to drive the same distance they would in a petrol car. 

The ECIU explained that drivers switching from a petrol car to a PHEV would receive less than half the fuel savings they would get if they switched entirely to an EV. 

Colin Walker, transport analyst at the ECIU, said drivers pay a “petrol premium” of hundreds of pounds a year to fuel a petrol car rather than charge an EV, with PHEV drivers also getting hit with higher than expected costs. 

“It turns out there’s also a premium to be paid to drive a PHEV, which real world driving data shows are much more expensive to run than their manufacturers claim, and much more expensive to run than a fully electric car,” Walker stated.

He went on to say that some drivers are switching to a hybrid as a step towards a proper EV, thinking they’ll cut fuel and carbon emissions.

Walker claimed that “going full EV” offers a quicker pay back because booming salary sacrifice schemes allow drivers to save up to 40% on the cost of leasing a new EV, while the second hand EV market is growing rapidly. 

“Many EVs are now priced the same as their petrol equivalents, saving their buyers hundreds of pounds a year in running costs from the get-go,” Walker said.

The analysis is in line with new data from Zapmap, which shows that the UK has surpassed 60,000 public charging points. 

These figures from Zapmap reveal the overall rate of installation in the first four months of 2024 has increased by almost 37% compared with the average across 2023.

“The first four months of the year have seen an average of more than 1,900 devices installed every month, up from the 2023 average of 1,400 per month,” Zapmap claimed. 

The 60,000 chargers are of different types, however, including en-route charging for longer journeys, charging provision at destinations, as well as lower-powered charge points on residential streets for drivers unable to charge at home. 

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder and COO, Zapmap, said the figures show there is “real momentum” behind the increased rate of charge point installations up and down the country. 

“Looking ahead, given the current rate of installation, Zapmap’s calculations show the UK is likely to reach 100,000 public charging devices as early as August 2025.” 

Written by:
Tamara Birch, senior writer, The Eco Experts
Tamara has written about environmental topics for more than four years. This includes advising small business owners on cost-effective ways, like solar panels and energy-efficient products to help them become more sustainable. 
Reviewed by:
Max joined The Eco Experts as content manager in February 2024. He has written about sustainability issues across numerous industries, including maritime, supply chain, finance, mining and retail. He has also written for  City AM, The Morning Star and the Daily Express.
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