How Do I Pay for Charging My Electric Car?

Are you excited to have switched from a conventional petrol or diesel car to an electric vehicle? 😃 If you’re interested in electric cars, it’s probably because you know how much you could save fuelling your vehicle up each week. This is especially true with the current rises in petrol prices. If you commute to work daily or use your car to bring your family to and fro on a regular basis, being able to pay considerably less to run it can be an incredible asset.

Maybe you have a few questions in mind though, like how to pay for charging electric car on a public charging network. If you can’t charge your EV at home, this is indeed an important question to ask. It’s crucial to know how to pay for electric car charging UK. Let’s take a detailed look at your options! 🔎

The Price of Charging Your Electric Car

How much it will cost you to fully charge your electric car will vary according to where you charge it. It can also depend on the make and model of your EV, but in any case, your electric car will most likely cost you less to run than a fuel engine. Additionally, electric batteries need much less maintenance compared to your old car. 

Also bear in mind that there are many government schemes, grants, and incentives that could help make the difference between a cost too high and a cost just right, for your new EV. You could also be exempted from Fuel Duty and get tax benefits as well as not having to pay congestion charges. 

The Price of Charging your EV at Home

If you want to charge your electric vehicle at home, you’ll be looking at a cost of around £15 for a full charge. Most EV users tend to plug their car in overnight so that they have the pleasure of waking up to a full charge every morning, for a mere 15 pounds. Amazing, right? 

If you go for an electricity tariff that is made for EV drivers, like GoElectric Exclusive by EDF, you could even have a rate of around £5 per refill. This is based on the average electricity rate in UK homes which is around 28p for every kWh.

If you’re interested in charging your electric car at home, consider getting a home charge point installed. It could cost you less than £800 and then save you lots in the long run, as well as providing you with much faster charges. You’ll also be able to schedule charges when it’s the most cost-effective.

The Price of Charging your EV Outside

If you can’t charge your car at home, you always have the option to use a public charging point. With so many charge points available in most cities in the UK, electric car drivers may not even need to have a home wall box installed to charge their EVs at home. So, how much does it cost to charge an electric car at a public charging point? The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as the car’s battery size and how much the charge point provider is charging for their service. 

Here’s an example of the prices of some of the top charge point operators in the UK. 

  • Ionity - £0.69 per kWh. If you have a 100kWh electric car, you have to pay £69 if you’re charging a car with an empty battery to full. 
  • Instavolt - £0.66 per kWh
  • Osprey - £1 per kWh for their rapid chargers
  • BP Pulse - £0.44 to £0.69, depending on the charger’s speed and whether you’re a guest or a subscriber. 

(Prices correct at time of writing.)

How to Pay For Your EV Charging

Contactless Debit or Credit Card Payment

So, how do you pay for charging electric cars in the UK? Most of the public charging networks allow EV drivers to make payments using their debit or credit cards. Paying this way is quick, simple, and easy. There’s a catch, though. Since contactless payment requires charge point operators to install specialised equipment, this is typically the priciest form of payment for charging your electric car. 

Another issue is that contactless payments are usually only available if you’re using rapid and ultra-rapid chargers. Slow and fast EV chargers are not likely to get upgrades to make contactless payments possible. Also, do note that with this type of payment for electric car charging, you will not be able to receive live updates regarding the car’s charging status, unlike using a payment app. 

Pay Through a Network App

All electric vehicle charging networks provide their customers with pay-as-you-go access. Apart from contactless payment for charging your car, you can also pay using the network app. To do this, you need to download the network app on your smartphone. Set it up by creating an account so you can pay for the car’s charging session. For some network apps, you might have to load a certain amount of credit to your account so you can start charging your EV. What’s great about paying through a network app is it’s much cheaper per kWh compared to contactless debit or credit card payment. 

RFID Card Payment

There are charging networks that allow customers to register their RFID cards so they can pay whenever they need to charge their EVs. An RFID card has radio frequency identification technology where the card can connect with a card reader through radio frequency rather than a magnetic strip. To use the card, you only have to tap it against the card reader. However, you first have to pre-register the RFID card and then manage your online account connected to the card. 

Can I Use the Tesla Superchargers?

If you’re an owner of a Tesla, then you can use the Tesla Supercharger network. It’s still being gradually opened to owners of EVs that are not Teslas but on a trial basis. To be on the safe side, find a public charger that is available for all brands of electric cars. 

Superchargers are available in various locations and are commonly found at motorway services. The chargers are fast, usually with 150kW points that can charge your electric car from flat to full in just 40 minutes.

As for the price of using Superchargers, it depends on the location. Prices are also displayed on your car’s touchscreen, with an average price of £0.67. Be sure to check them first before you start charging your car. Tesla also charges idle fees, so you need to be mindful about unplugging your car as soon as it has been fully charged. 

The Bottom Line

There are many ways to pay for your electric car’s charge, both at home and away. You could choose to go through your preferred network’s own charge app, like:

  • Bonnet
  • Instavolt
  • Electric Highway
  • Pod Point
  • Osprey Charging
  • GeniePoint
  • Charge Your Car
  • Fastened
  • Ionity
  • and Monta

You could also use your contactless credit or debit card and swipe it at charging points if possible. Most charge station operators have been moving towards contactless card payments to make it easier for users to pay for their charges on the go. Some will even let you register for your very own RFID card so that you can charge up easily on the go by swiping the card on the charge point’s reader. 

Overall, it will cost you around £5 to charge your electric vehicle at home. If you want to use a rapid charger out and about, it will cost you between £7 and £10. This will vary on where you charge your car, the energy tariff, your car’s battery capacity, the speed of your charge, and how much you want to charge. 

However, what’s clear is that charging your electric vehicle will cost you less than filling up a tank full of petrol. Of course, it’s important to weigh in the initial cost of purchasing an EV, which is often more than a traditional engine car. It’s up to you to decide whether or not the electric car lifestyle suits your needs and requirements. We may be seeing a shift in coming years, whereby governments will be increasingly encouraging the purchase of electric cars with grants and schemes. 

Here at Carmoola, we're car finance experts, so you can reach out to us if you need help figuring these things out. Contact us anytime! 😊