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Long-term review

Jaguar I-Pace - long-term review

£69,995 OTR/ £78,490 as tested/ £785pcm
Published: 19 Jun 2020
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Jaguar I-Pace

  • Range

    273 miles

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    400bhp

  • 0-62

    4.8s

How much does a Jaguar I-Pace EV cost to charge up?

We keep saying electric cars are cheap to 'fuel'. But how cheap? That, I'm sorry to say, is an exceptionally hard question to answer. But in descending order of price, here we go. 

Rapid chargers are the ones you use mid-journey. The equivalent of petrol pumps if you like. You're running low, and you want to charge up as quickly as possible. You pay for that. The faster they are, the more expensive: I once used one of the Ionity 150kW stations, where you pay 69p/kWh. 

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That amounts to more than 30p/mile for the I-Pace at the rate it drains its battery on the motorway. Which is probably more than it would cost for petrol in the equivalent-performance, equivalent-size Jaguar F-Pace SVR. Gulp.

And the I-Pace can't even make full use of the 150kW power at Ionity, as it maxes out at about 85kW. Most 50kW chargers on other networks are about 40p/kWh, or about 17p a mile. Some do better: Instavolts are 39p/kWh for up to 125kW. And you don't need an app: just swipe your bank card and go. Still, this isn't the cheap driving of the electric-vehicle promise. 

Which is why for convenience as well as cost reasons, most EV owners don't charge on these rapid DC posts. They use slower AC charging. Slower? How's that more convenient? Because you're doing something else. It takes 12 hours to get an absolutely flat I-Pace back to full on 7kW. But you'll in any case be doing something else – like working or sleeping – while it occurs.

For most people this means charging at home. At about 15p/kWh, you're looking at a very tempting 5p a mile for the I-Pace.

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Unfortunately I don't have a garage or drive, so I can't install a home charger. Instead there are lots of street chargers about five minutes walk away. Mostly I use SourceLondon posts. 

Strangely, on these you don't pay by the kWh, but by the minute. That's £3.54 an hour. The Jaguar ingests at 7kW, so to get from 10 per cent to full, you need about 11 hours (77kWh). Or £38.94. That's not cheap – around 20p per mile. But luckily they have an overnight capped price – from 8pm to 7am you pay for only four hours max. Which is £14.16, or 7p per mile. You can pay even less if you have a £4/month membership.

And then there are other anomalies. In some places (it happened to me at a Pod Point in Bath) you have to pay for parking on top of the electricity. In other car parks you don't. Some shops, including Tesco's prominently, give free 7kW electricity as well as free parking. Spend two hours shopping and you've got 40 miles' worth for nowt. Better, you might be able to charge for nothing in your work car park. 

My sneakiest charge was over the Christmas holiday when I was in Oxford. The Mini plant was shut but its car park was open, and there's a 50kW rapid DC charger that gave me a full charge, 230 miles-worth, for absolutely no cost.

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