How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car

white car charging

Cost Of Charging Electric Vehicles At Home

Home charging is the most common way of charging your vehicle if you have off street parking. Using an EV home charger, you can place your car on charge overnight or whilst you are out and come back to a fully charged vehicle. This is achieved through scheduled charges on the charger. 

When at home, you want to make sure you are using the best energy tariff and most economical chargers as this will reduce the overall cost and the charging cost for the electric will be included in your final bill. 

Public charging and chargers can be as much as 50% more expensive than charging electric cars at home using an EV charging point, so it’s vital that you keep an eye on costs and plan your charging schedules around when your are at home. 

Other factors that affect the cost of charging include the type of chargers you use and how frequently you charge, it’s not rocket science to realise the more time you spend charging, the higher your home electricity bill.

However, many people are still considering getting EV chargers installed at home as the upfront cost for a charger is usually about £1000 but that is still a much better investment in the long run than constantly paying for petrol and diesel or using public chargers. We estimate that within two years roughly, you would have recouped that initial fee in the money you save by using electric vehicles and using a home charger.

Energy Tariff Costs

It’s always important to plan the average electricity costs of adding an EV to your home. For example, if you buy an EV and don’t calculate the average running costs it will add to your monthly electric bill, you may be unprepared and unable to pay.

If you drive on average 8000 miles a year with your electric car, that equates to about 2800 kWh of additional energy to your electric bill for the year. That is if the 1kWh is about 3-4 miles. This is why it’s imperative to shop around for a good energy tariff where you can save a substantial amount of electric each year, as well as money.

As with train tickets, off peak prices for charging an EV are considerably less than on-peak when everyone is trying to use electricity. Off peak times are usually at night when people are asleep and the demand is far less which is why you get a cheaper electricity tariff, therefore making prices cheaper for energy.

Cost For A Single Charge

Single charges depend on a variety of things, such as where your charging, how big is the battery in your car, what chargers your using and whether you want to fully charge the battery.

The best way to work it out is to use the formula Battery Size x Cost Per kWh which will give you the cost to charge your car at home. If you are unsure, take a look at a couple of the EV examples we did further down the page with one being a small car whilst the other was a slightly larger model.

Electric Car Costs At Public Stations

car charging with angel of north in background

Buying charges at public stations such as motorway service stations is up to 50% more expensive than charging at home. Of course, it varies depending on what station you stop at to charge, but they are unquestionably more expensive than what you would pay at home. Ultra rapid chargers are the dearest but also electric cars charge the quickest with these.

Other factors that affect the cost include the type of chargers available for your electric car and which company operates them. Most of the time, you can find free charging points or you can use contactless payment, although you may need an account or some type of charging card to use others (well explain what these are later).

A prime example of free charging is with the Tesla brand chargers. For older Tesla models, you may be able to use the Tesla supercharge network for free rapid charging which result in faster charging speeds. Whilst newer models or if you bought the electric car from the 1st of January 2017, you may only get a certain amount of free hours to use there chargers.

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An EV At Work

Depending on where you work will determine the price of charging your electric car. If the company policy is generous, they will allow you to use chargers for free, whilst others will charge a fixed rate or one off cost for using their chargers and electricity. It also depends if they have rapid charge points or standard charge points. 

Charging Cards For A Car

As well as apps to monitor charging and schedule charges, you also have radio frequency identification (RFID) EV charging cards which are used by some of the largest UK public charging networks, these include:

  • Polar Charging
  • Shell Recharge
  • ChargeYourCar
  • Genie Point
  • Ecotricity Charging

 

If you are out and need to use any public charging station, you will need to register with a membership scheme before you can start to charge your car. When looking on Zap Map, have a look at what electric charging points belong to which charging network so you can plan in advance.

Electric Cars Vs Petrol Cars

With fuel costs continuing to rise, more and more people are looking for alternative options and that includes electric cars.

There are also quite a few differences between an electric vehicle and petrol or diesel. But the main one is the cost to fill up your car. Everyone is different but if you take the average kWh can travel 3-4 miles and then compare that to what you would pay in petrol or diesel then the electric cars would win comfortably. 

Also, that is without looking at the cheapest tariffs, if you found a great deal, you could save yourself even more money.

How To Calculate Electric Vehicle Charging Costs

Calculating the average cost of how much electricity it’s going to add to your yearly bill and cost is difficult. Electricity car charging costs are notoriously difficult to work out but you can find apps or tools which help do it for you or you can try and work it out yourself. We have tried to break it down in the simplest format and explain how to calculate the costs of running electric vehicles.

Battery Size

First, you need to know what size the battery is in your car. The smaller the car, the smaller the battery size and the same rule applies the bigger the car the larger the battery. An example of this are these two models:

 

As you can see there is a massive disparity in the battery size for these two cars so one is going to cost far more than the other. When charging, everything is done in kWh, to give you a bit of context of what 1 single kWh is we have listed a few points below:

  1. TV on for 10 hours
  2. Playing a games console like an Xbox for 3 hours
  3. Boiling the kettle 10 times

 

There are also 3 different types of tariffs available to the public depending on what time of the day you want to charge your car:

  • 24 hour – No matter what time of the day you charge, the kWh rate is fixed.
  • Day Time – Set only for day time charging, although check with your provider what times these are
  • Night time – For nighttime charging but is usually cheaper as less demand on the National Grid.

 

On average, people use about 3000 kWh a year and the average cost per kWh is usually 15p when looking at the largest UK electricity providers, so you would do this calculation:

Twizy – 13kW x 0.15p = £1.95

Kona – 150kW x 0.15p = £22.50

FAQ's

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car Overnight?

The cost to charge an electric vehicle overnight will all depend on your home energy tariff, but it is much cheaper to charge overnight than during the day as there is less pressure on the National Grid, therefore prices are lower. It’s also still far cheaper charging than using a petrol or diesel car.

How Many EV Charging Points In The UK?

There are over 42,000 charging points in the UK currently. This is in over 15,000 locations providing charging units and works out to be more connector points than petrol stations. 

Are There Any Free Electric Vehicle Charge Points?

Yes, there are free electric car charging points all over the UK. You can usually find the charging points in supermarkets, shopping centres, public car parks and hotels. 

Last Word

We hope that helped answer how much you’re going to spend looking after and charging your electric car. As always it’s better to plan for these things in advance to make sure you’re making the correct decision for your financial future as charging can fluctuate. 

Electric car running costs are nowhere near as expensive as fuels such as petrol and diesel but the initial fee to purchase an electric car and have a home EV charger installed are upfront costs which some can’t afford at this moment in time.

If you want to find out more about the costs of an electric car or charging in general, head back to our main page.  

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Nick

Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.