Owning an electric car comes with many benefits and cost-saving advantages. From cheaper road tax and government grants, to cheaper running costs.

One of the most common questions new EV owners ask is ‘how much does it cost to charge an electric car?’

The cost to charge an electric car can vary depending on how you choose to charge your vehicle, as well as your vehicle model. Although, what is for certain is that EV charging costs are considerably lower than fuelling a petrol car.

EV charging costs can also differ between home, work, and public charging stations. So depending on your lifestyle and the way you intend to charge your electric vehicle, the costs of charging in the UK can differ.

There is a simple way to work out the cost of charging an electric car. Running costs can be calculated by pence per kilowatt hour (kWh). By working out the pence per kWh, you can calculate the average cost to charge your electric car and charge more efficiently. 

Here’s a run down of EV charging costs in the UK, based on battery size, home charging and public charging. 

Cost Of Charging An Electric Car At Home

Charging your electric car at home is one of the most popular ways to power up your EV, with around 90% of electric car owners choosing to power their vehicle using a specialised home charge point. Charging at home provides ultimate convenience, with a dedicated charging station that powers up the car battery as and when it is needed. There is no surprise that charging an electric car at home is the favoured choice amongst EV owners, not only is it convenient, charging an electric vehicle at home is also the cheapest way to charge an electric car.

EV charging costs are of course dependent on the vehicle model, battery size and energy tariff that you are on. But in comparison to all other methods of charging an electric car, and in comparison to fuelling a petrol vehicle, home charging is by far the most cost-effective option.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car at home?

Home EV charging costs will ultimately depend on your battery size and energy tariff, although to give you an idea, the popular Nissan Leaf takes just over £6.50 for a full charge, and the Tesla Model 3 only costs around £12.50 for a full charge.

UK home electricity prices are on average around 17p per kWh. Using this as an average figure, the table below shows examples of how much it costs to charge an electric car at home.

Model Battery Size Drive Range Average Cost of Full Charge Average Cost Per Mile
Volkswagen ID.3 58kWh 264 miles £9.86 3.7p
Nissan LEAF 40kWh 168 miles £6.80 4p
Tesla Model 3 75kWh 360 miles £12.57 3.5p

The cost of charging an electric car at home is considerably lower than many people often expect before becoming an EV owner. In comparison to the cost per mile in a petrol vehicle, charging an electric car is the more cost-effective option. 

Additionally, many energy suppliers offer a dual-rate tariff specifically for electric car charging. These tariffs offer a cheaper energy rate during off-peak hours, such as overnight. Octopus Energy’s Go tariff offers energy as low a 5p per kWh over a four-hour nighttime period. Additionally, they offer a £50 reward when you refer a friend.

This would make charging the Volkswagen ID.3 cost as little as 1p per mile to drive.

Calculate Your Home EV Charging Costs

When calculating your EV charging costs, it’s useful to know or have an estimate of your home’s current energy tariff and electricity supply. Energy suppliers will usually charge by kWh as a standard measurement of energy usage.

To calculate the cost of fully charging your electric car, simply multiply your energy supplier’s kWh charge by your car’s battery size. This will calculate how many kWhs are required to fully power your electric car. For instance, if your energy tariff charges 16p per kWh, and your car’s battery size was 40kWh, the cost to fully charge your car would be £6.40:

Pence per kWh cost (16p) x battery size (40kWh) = full charge cost (£6.40)

Using this simple EV charging cost formula, you can easily calculate the cost of charging an electric vehicle at home.

Save on Costs With a Smart Home Charger 

One of the major cost-saving benefits of charging from home is that you can choose a specialised home charger that best suits your budget and lifestyle. Most modern EV chargers are designed to charge your electric car quickly and cost-effectively.

For instance, a smart home EV charger can significantly reduce the cost of charging your electric vehicle. Smart home chargers offer advanced features, such as scheduled charging times that only use power during off-peak hours, when electricity supply is cheaper. This helps take the worry out of EV charging costs, as the smart charger does all of the work for you. Simply set your desired charging schedule, and the charge point will do the rest – you’ll just have to remember to plug it in!

Is it Cheaper to Charge an Electric Car at Home?

In a recent What Car? investigation, it was found when using some of the UK’s fastest public EV chargers, it can cost up to 7 times more than charging your vehicle at home. It was found to cost £40.66 for a 10-80% 150kW charge for a BMW iX3 at a public charging station in London. In comparison, charging at home on a tariff costing 5 pence per kilowatt hour would only cost £2.58

Many leading EV charger manufacturers offer scheduled charging through a free mobile app, meaning you can even configure and monitor your electric car charging costs on the go if you are not at home with your vehicle.

Some smart home chargers take cost-saving measures to a new level with impressive energy-efficient features. Certain home EV charging technology can help save costs by using your home’s solar panel energy, or surplus energy from your home.

For instance, the Zappi 207UB comes with eco modes that charge your electric car using any surplus energy from your home, helping save costs on your total energy bill and also offload your carbon emissions by recycling unused energy. 

Check out our home EV chargers to explore a whole host of cost-saving EV charger features.

Cost of Public Electric Car Charging Stations

ev public charging

Public car charging stations are something that we see more and more commonly as electric vehicles become more integrated into society, often seen in the car parks of supermarkets, gyms, petrol stations or even office buildings. 

As more UK drivers make the switch to electric, commercial spaces are introducing public car charging stations available for EV owners. Public car charging stations offer a convenient charging option for longer journeys, for instance, you’ll often see charge points at motor service stations as drivers take a break from a long drive. Whilst this can offer convenience on the go, public charging is not as cost-effective as charging your electric car at home.

Charging your car in public is a great way to top up your electric vehicle on the go, and many places offer public charging for free. Although, some public chargepoints charge a standard tariff usually paid via an app or card.  Additionally, commercial properties are able to set their own charging tariffs, which can mean incurring additional charging costs when using public stations.

At home however, you have full control of your EV charging costs, with the ability to easily monitor and schedule the amount of power being used during each charge.

Whilst the costs of charging an electric car at a public charging station are low, it can be impractical as a long-term charging solution making it less cost-effective. Additionally, public chargers often offer slower charging speeds than the impressive speeds offered by home charge points, which is another important factor to consider when understanding how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle.

EV Charging Costs: Things to Consider

Whilst the cost of EV charging is much cheaper than the cost of fuelling petrol vehicles, there are ways to make sure your EV charging costs are kept within your budget. 

If you are looking to buy an electric vehicle, or just looking to understand the costs of charging your electric car, there are important factors to consider. These can include:

  • Your electric car’s battery capacity (kWh)
  • Your energy tariff’s cost per kWh
  • Your EV charger’s smart features

Your electric car’s battery capacity (kWh) will tell you how much energy your EV can consume and hold. Knowing this will help you work out how much energy is required to fully charge your electric car battery, and with the cost of your energy tariff’s kWh charge, how much it will cost to charge your electric vehicle.

Additionally, it’ll be useful to consider how your home charger’s smart features can help save on costs in order to fully understand your budget. To understand more about the cost-saving features that home chargers can offer, explore our range:

Discover EV Charging

As expert EV charger installers, we are experienced with a huge range of home chargers and how to get the best out of your electric vehicle. For advice around EV charging and installation costs, get in touch with our team who can offer a quote.

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