Over the last few months, it’s been virtually impossible to escape the rising cost of fuel at the pumps. It seems that almost every day those prices have been edging higher and higher, making it an increasing struggle to fill the tanks of larger vehicles.
Petrol and diesel prices spiral
According to the RAC Foundation, which tracks average fuel prices per litre over time, a litre of petrol has risen by around 18p in the first three months of 2022, while a litre of diesel has jumped a whopping 29p since the start of the year*. What’s more, prices continue to go up as the result of rising wholesale fuel costs, partly affected by increases in the price of oil following the Ukraine crisis.
Motorists were hopeful that the Chancellor’s Spring Statement last month would provide some relief from the relentlessly rising costs. While he announced an unprecedented 5p cut to fuel duty, the drop was short lived as wholesale prices have continued to balloon.
As the costs increase, commercial drivers and fleet operators have had to take greater care of their regular fuel consumption. It has also come with the knock-on effect of passing on costs of goods and services to consumers.
Greater moves towards electric
Recent events could well mark a turning point for the motoring industry to steer away from traditional fossil fuels in favour of more electric charging. Indeed the UK government has announced plans to roll out a network of 300,000 EV chargers by the year 2030. This would increase the current number of publicly available chargers ten-fold.
The government recognises that the current pace of implementing the infrastructure for EV charging is slow. The announcement of its new Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy in recent weeks has enabled the Department for Transport to say that it expects EV charging to become easier and cheaper than refuelling with petrol or diesel.
While cars and vans will be able to significantly benefit from the switch to electric in the short term, it’s unclear how feasible it will be for larger and heavier commercial bodies to adopt the technology in future.
*Petrol: 145p (05 Jan), 163p (05 Apr); Diesel: 148p (05 Jan), 177p (05 Apr).