How Much Does it Cost for a Full Charge on an Electric Car

If you compare the cost of filling up a traditional diesel or petrol tank with charging up your EV battery, the difference is flabbergasting. That’s why so many people nowadays are choosing electric cars instead of normal ones. 

However, if you pick the wrong charge method for your needs, you might end up paying much more than you need to. If you have off-street parking, you can benefit from cheap rates, and if you don’t, you might want to stay away from rapid chargers which are the most expensive way of charging your EV. 

Let’s have a look at how much it costs to get a full charge on your electric car, and discover some of the best tips and tricks to charge your car efficiently!

How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car? 

Wondering “how much does it cost to recharge an electric car”? The cost of charging your electric vehicle at a public charging station depends on what network you go for. On-street charge points usually follow a pay-per-session model. Occasionally, if you have access to a network subscription, you can use them for free. The price of public charging stations also varies on the power rating and whether they are fast or rapid. 

Kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is the same unit used to calculate your home's energy use, are generally used to indicate the battery capacity of electric vehicles. Therefore, it is actually easy to calculate how much it will cost you to charge the car at home if you are aware of the size of an EV's battery pack and how much your energy provider charges you per kWh of electricity. Just multiply both figures and you’ll get the price of a full charge. 

Charging your EV At Home

If you charge your electric car at home, it will cost you an average of £15 for a completely full charge. If you can, charge your car every night before you go to bed and you’ll wake up with a full battery in the morning. This might also be the cheapest way of charging your EV, especially if you have an EV electricity tariff. This could mean that you’ll only have to pay around 5p per kWh instead of 28p to charge your electric car. You could go for EV tariffs with companies like: 

Octopus, with Octopus Go and Intelligent Octopus

Ovo, with Drive + Anytime

​​EDF with GoElectric 35 

Charging Your EV at Work

How much it will cost you to charge your electric car at work will depend on several different factors. You might be particularly interested in knowing an estimation of these costs though, especially if you commute to work and need to charge your battery back up in order to drive home in the evening. 

Some workplaces offer free charges, or an affordable time-based rate so that people don’t hog charging stations. Other employers might offer free charging for a certain timeframe, and then charge you for the rest. Enquire at your workplace as to whether or not any incentives are in place. If your employer doesn’t yet offer any EV charging, feel free to inform them of the several government schemes and grants available to help them finance the charging stations, like the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

Charging Your EV in Public 

If you’re a proud EV owner, you’ll know that charging your car when out and about is a situation you’ll come across often. The great thing is that there is a huge web of EV charge point networks across the UK, with free to use mobile apps so that you can find the charge points. The most popular charging station interactive map is Zap Map. Some of these charge points will let you easily pay on their app, which makes for a seamless public EV charging experience. 

However, most other public charging stations which may be older might require a RFID card, which you can think of as a contactless card specific to each charge provider. Bear in mind that it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to pay cash for your EV charge at any location in the UK. You can order a RFID card using the following services:

  • Electric Juice by Octopus Energy
  • Shell Newmotion
  • Zap-Pay by Zap-Map
  • Bonnet

There are more than 20 electric car charging networks in the UK, so just sign up to whichever service is more convenient, and you’ll be able to pay in app, with a RFID card, or by credit/debit card.

If you’re lucky enough to find shopping centres or hotels that offer free charging, you’ll be able to pay nothing for your charge. However, if you access one of these app or RFID card charge points, you’ll find it will cost you around £1.50 per hour. Rapid chargers, on the other hand, will be more expensive because they use up much more electricity. They will cost you £3 for up to 45 minutes and usually around £3 for every kWh you use after that. 

How Much Cheaper Is an Electric Car Monthly?

Despite having a bigger initial cost compared to petrol or diesel-powered cars, the number of electric vehicles sold is at an all-time high.

Of course, there are other factors that you need to consider when calculating the costs and potential savings of electric motoring; depreciation will play a significant role in your monthly costs, for example. 

If you’re planning on charging your EV at home, consider how purchasing an electric vehicle may affect the price of your home's electricity bill before making the purchase. It is also truly beneficial to search for the best energy tariff - you could end up saving thousands of pounds every year if you get a good deal. Some energy companies offer very low tariffs for night time usage for example, so charging overnight can cost very little.

Can You Charge Your EV for Free?

You can, in fact, charge your electric vehicle for nothing at all. Free charging is available at a number of establishments and attractions, as well as at retail parks and standard parking areas.. Do be aware that parking restrictions or prices will still be in effect in most of these areas, and free EV charging will usually only be for paying customers of nearby businesses. There are about 5,000 of these stations scattered across the UK.

The places where you’ll be most likely to find free EV chargers will be supermarkets. For instance, Tesco has teamed up with Pod Point to provide free-to-use fast charging outlets. 

A Pod Point charger is free, but that doesn't mean you can just plug it in and go. You'll still need to use the Pod Point app. This implies that in order to begin a charge, you will need a smartphone or other internet-capable device. One of the best tools for today's electric car driver is Zap-Map. Most of the chargers in the UK are listed on the Zap-Map app and website, which is why it has become a staple for EV users. 

Our Top Tips for Cheap EV Charging

Invest in a Home Charger

Though the initial setback of around £800 may seem like a big deal, a home charging point will save you lots of time and money in the long run. In fact, depending on which make and model of EV you buy, there may even be a free home charge port thrown in the package. You can also get government schemes and incentives for financial help with your home charging station. 

Subscribe to a Specialised EV Energy Tariff

Just like we mentioned earlier, switching to an EV energy tariff could help you save hundreds on your annual electricity bill. Some of the lowest rates on the market cost 5p per kWh of electricity instead of 28p - can you imagine the difference that would make once added up?!

Plan Your Journeys According to Cheap Charge Points

Electric cars are great - you can never run out of petrol. However, what you can do is run out of battery. And that is definitely not a situation you want to be in when on a journey. As the owner of an EV, it’s really important that you plan your journey ahead of time, especially if you’re looking to save money on charging. There are actually lots of free charge points in the UK, it’s just a matter of keeping them in mind. Download the Zap Map app to have access to the list whilst on the go, and you’ll never be short of cheap charging ideas. 

Always Be In the Know

It currently costs about £5 to fully charge an electric car at home, although on a good night tariff it could cost only £3. It costs about £7 to £10 to charge an EV to 80% (recommended) capacity using a public quick charger. Although ultimately it will be up to you to decide whether or not it’s beneficial to your budget, charging an EV usually significantly lowers expenses for daily transport budget. Of course, this will depend on your location, tariff, energy cost, battery capacity, charging speed, and charge level.

There are a lot of differences between electric vehicles and petrol or diesel vehicles. The cost of filling up a full tank or battery is one of the main differences.

A 100-mile trip would cost about £5 with an EV, whereas that would be around £12 for a petrol or diesel car. The savings may be greater or smaller depending on where you live, how much you pay for fuel and electricity, and the type of car you drive.

Owning an EV means having to constantly stay in the loop of new technology and updates to your car. You can only do that by keeping yourself informed, and knowing how to react to any incoming changes. Here at Carmoola, we have just the solution. We’ve built a blog with extensive and up to date resources about all things electric vehicles. Stay tuned!