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How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car? | Here’s How It’s Calculated

How much does it cost to charge an electric car

Electric vehicles are beginning to gain popularity in the UK market today. According to Zap Map, as of the end of January 2024, there are approximately 1,000,000 fully electric cars on UK roads and an additional 600,000 plug-in hybrids.

With the increase in fuel costs, many users are turning to alternative fuel sources and more sustainable means of transportation – electric cars. This leaves one important question unanswered, “how much does it cost to charge an electric car?”

In this article, you will have this question answered and find cost-saving tips while using an EV. If you are interested in buying an EV, this article also has some tips for you. Let’s jump right into it.

Factors Influencing Electric Car Charging Costs

How much does it cost to charge an electric car in the UK? EV charging costs depend on factors including:

  1. Electricity Rates: The price of electricity per kilowatt-hour significantly impacts the cost of charging an EV. If you have charging facilities at home, you can take advantage of cheaper electricity rates, especially during off-peak hours. Costs increase significantly when using public chargers.

  2. Type of Charger: There are three main types of EV charging stations:

    • Level 1 Chargers: They are standard household outlets (120V) with no installation required. These charges, however, charge slowly covering as little as 5 miles of range per hour.

    • Level 2 Chargers: These operate at 240V and provide faster charging. They are often found in public restaurants, malls, etcetera, and charge up to 25 miles of range per hour.

    • DC Fast Chargers: Providing around 250 miles of range per hour and charging up to 80% in 30 minutes, these high-power chargers are typically found along highways.

  3. Vehicle Energy Efficiency: The efficiency of your EV affects charging costs. More efficient vehicles require less energy to cover the same distance.

  4. Charging Location: Where you charge your EV matters:

    • Home Charging: If you charge at home, you can benefit from lower electricity rates during off-peak hours and enjoy as low as 29p per kWh.

    • Public Charging: Costs increase when using public charging stations depending on the provider and location. On average, you may end up paying up to 48p per kWh. Keep reading to find out more about charging stations.

  5. Electric Vehicle Batteries: Battery capacity and state of charge impact charging costs. Charging a nearly empty battery requires more energy than topping up a partially charged one because of the battery’s internal resistance. When a battery is nearly empty, the charging process needs to overcome this resistance, leading to higher energy consumption during charging.

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car At Home?

On average it costs about £17 for a full charge at home. The benefits of home charging are plentiful, including the convenience of charging overnight while you sleep and the ability to take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity rates.

According to Energy Guide, the average domestic electricity rate in the UK is 29p per kWh. With this in mind, you can easily calculate the cost to charge any electric car in the UK as long as you have the vehicle’s battery capacity.

For example, if you have an EV or are interested in purchasing an EV with a battery capacity of 60kWh, you can easily tell the cost of a full charge with a home charger by multiplying the cost of electricity per kWh by the number of kilowatt-hours needed to fully charge your vehicle.

In this case, the cost of charging an electric car would be 60kWh x £0.29/kWh = £17. This amount can also be significantly reduced if you switch to a dual-rate electricity tariff for EV drivers.

Quick Tip for Cost-Savings at Home

Consider investing in a smart charger that allows you to schedule charging during off-peak hours, maximizing savings on electricity costs.

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car at Work

Charging an electric car at work may incur different costs depending on your employer’s policies. Some workplaces offer free or subsidized charging as part of their employee benefits package, while others may charge a nominal fee. 

It’s essential to check with your employer regarding the availability and cost of workplace charging facilities.

Quick Tip for Cost-Savings at Work

If your workplace offers free charging, take advantage of it whenever possible to minimize your home charging expenses. If it doesn’t, you and your employers can consider checking out the Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

With this scheme, the government provides up-front costs of the purchase and installation of EV charge points

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car at Public Charging Stations

Public charging stations provide convenience for electric car owners on the go but may come with varying costs. Charging rates at public stations can range from 48p per kWh and higher. Remember that this amount also depends on the provider and location. It may even cost more for a single charge.

Also, consider the speed of charging. The less time it takes to charge, the higher the cost. The options are slow (lamppost charging), fast (Car parks), or Rapid (Motorway service stations).

If you are going for rapid charging, you can expect it to cost a bit more than this. On average, most rapid chargers cost around 74p/kWh (£19) for a thirty-minute charge.

Additionally, some public EV charging networks may impose connection fees or parking fees, further influencing the overall cost

Quick Tip for Cost-Savings at Public Charging Stations

Plan your charging stops strategically to avoid using high-priced charging stations whenever possible. Utilize mobile apps or websites to find more affordable charging options along your route.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Best Small Cars to Buy in 2023 (Including Superminis)

Pros and Cons of Home and Public Charging

Home Charging

Pros

Cons

Lower costs

Requires installation

Convenience to charge while you’re asleep

May not be feasible for everyone

Control over charging times

 

Public Charging

Pros

Cons

Wider availability

Higher costs

Easy to use

Potential waiting times

Faster with rapid chargers

 

Buy a used EV in great condition!

Is it cheaper to charge an EV than fill a car with Fuel?

Yes, charging an EV is more affordable than filling up a petrol or diesel car. A petrol car would cost around 19 – 21p per mile, but with an electric car, you can get by with 3p per mile with home charging, and 18p per mile for rapid public charging.

Charging Network and Infrastructure

Electric car charging infrastructure refers to the network of charging stations available to electric vehicle owners. Across the UK, the infrastructure for electric vehicles continues to expand rapidly, with government initiatives and private investments driving the growth of charging networks nationwide. 

From rapid chargers along major highways to destination chargers at hotels and shopping centers, the UK’s charging infrastructure aims to support the increasing adoption of electric vehicles.

Government measures to support EVs

With transportation responsible for 25% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, here are some steps the Government has taken to encourage and support the use of EVs in the UK:

  • Grants and Incentives: First we have the Plug-in Car Grant. This grant provides financial incentives to buyers of eligible EVs. It helps reduce the upfront cost of purchasing an electric car. There’s also the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). EVHS offers grants to homeowners for installing home charging points, making it easier for people to charge their EVs at home.

  • Charging Infrastructure Expansion: The government has invested in expanding the public charging network across the country. Initiatives include installing rapid chargers along major highways and in urban areas such as the M40 motorway, M6 motorway, Nottingham, and more.

  • On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS): ORCS supports local authorities in installing on-street charging points for residents without off-street parking.

  • Clean Air Zones (CAZ): Several cities in the UK have implemented CAZs to improve air quality. These zones encourage the use of low-emission vehicles, including EVs and if your car exceeds emission standards, you may have to pay a charge.

  • Company Car Tax Benefits: The government has introduced favorable tax rates for electric company cars. This encourages businesses and employees to choose EVs as company vehicles. Currently, EV company cars are assigned a taxable value of 2% of their list prices while petrol/diesel cars may be assigned up to 37%.

  • Zero-Emission Zones: Some cities, including Bath, Birmingham, Bradford and others are planning zero-emission zones where only electric vehicles are allowed. This promotes cleaner air and encourages EV adoption instead of petrol and diesel cars.

  • Research and Development Funding: The government supports research and development in EV technology, battery manufacturing, and related infrastructure.

  • Climate Goals: The UK has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Promoting EVs is a crucial part of this goal.

Remember, these measures aim to create a greener and more sustainable future. As EV technology continues to evolve, we can expect further government support and initiatives.


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