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How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

By James Fisher

Did you know that electric cars cost less to charge annually than it would cost to fill the exact same car with diesel or petrol? Furthermore, it turns out that charging at home is even more economical than charging at a public station. 

If you’ve ever been curious about how much it costs to charge an electric car (EV), keep reading. 

At a glance: What it takes to charge an EV

The averages below are based on 9,000 miles with a home charging rate of 21p per kWh, which is based on the current tariffs offered by most UK energy suppliers. The public charging rate is based on 30p kWh. 

Right then – so, how much will you end up paying if you charge your EV at home for a travel distance of 9,000 miles? Consider the following:

  • It may take anywhere between £500 and £580 each year to charge a really small electric car, such as the Renault Zoe or Volkswagen E-Up. 
  • To charge medium-large EVs like the Tesla Model 3 or Nissan Leaf, you could end up spending between £525 and £730. 
  • When we talk about large electric SUVs, such as the Audi E-tron, you may need to spend between £670 and £830 to cover the above range. 

From these figures, it’s easy to see that the weight and size of your EV can greatly influence the annual charging costs to cover the said range, although some EVs are more conservative with their battery power than others. 

However, this is just to give you an idea and the above figures are very, very generic at best. So let’s get a little more specific;

As you may probably be aware, the cost of EV charging is different for home, office and public charging. So, let’s take an average EV with a 60 kWh battery and a 200-mile range. In that case:

  • Home charging would cost, on average, £9.20 for a complete charge
  • Office charging will probably cost nothing as the majority of UK offices offer free EV charging throughout the day
  • Public charging is often free at places like supermarkets or car parks
  • Rapid charging stations which are typically found at motorway service points may cost around £6.50 to help you cover a 30-min drive or 90-mile distance. 

But again, these are averages and help give you a rough idea on the surface. 

What is the true cost of charging?

This depends on your location and your specific EV model. For instance, at home, where power costs are usually 14p per kWh, you might pay £3 to charge a 40 kWh Nissan Leaf batter for 13-hours, which uses a 3 kW charger. During off-peak hours, this charge is likely to hover around £4.

Now, for public charging, let’s use Polar as an example, which is among the most well-known public charging stations in the UK. Polar chargepoints require a monthly £7.85 subscription after the first 3 free months expire. The charge rate typically starts from 9p per kWh. 

You can also use Polar Instant, a pay-as-you-go service which requires an £1.20 admin fee and costs start from £6 to charge for 30 minutes at a rapid charger point; £1 an hour to charge from a 3 kW slow charging point. 

On the motorway, you’ll mostly be charging at the Ecotricity stations where EV owners pay 15p per kWh – however, it’s double the charge if you don’t have an Ecotricity account. If you want to fully charge, for example, a Nissan Leaf (40 kWh battery), using a rapid charger, it will cost £15 (a lot more than home charging), but it will also take about 40-50 minutes less. 

Still concerned about your EV charging costs? Get in touch with us and we’ll give you the exact figures based on your electric car type, charging point and location, as well as the type of charger you’re using. 

Written by James Fisher
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