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How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Here we’ll look at the cost of charging at home, at work and on the go.

Over 90% of EV charging is done at home, as this is usually the most cost-effective way to do so. The average cost to charge electric car batteries from empty to full at home depends on your electricity tariff and the vehicle you own.

Whether you want to know the cost to charge a Tesla, a Hyundai or something else, all you need to do to work out how much a full charge is, is multiply the cost of electricity by the size of your car’s battery. This is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).

How to work out the cost of a full charge at home

To calculate the cost of a full charge at home, simply multiply how much you pay for electricity by the capacity of your car’s battery.

You can use the following calculation:

Cost of full charge

0.245 x battery size = cost of full charge

based on the UK's average tariff of 24.5p per kW

Let’s look at the example of a Mercedes EQC with an 80 kWh battery being charged at home on the average tariff of £0.245 per kW. The calculation would look like this:

Mercedes EQC 80kWh

0.245 x 80 = £19.60

for a full charge

The below table gives some examples of the cost of a full charge across various EVs based on the average cost of electricity at £0.245.

Vehicle

Battery size

Full charged time

Cost of full charge

Real world range

MG 4 EV

51kWh

9 hours 15 mins

£12.50

185 miles

Kia Niro EV

64kWh

10 hours 30 mins

£15.68

235 miles

Mercedes EQC

80kWh

11 hours 26 mins

£19.60

230 miles

Tesla Model S

100kWh

14 hours 17 mins

£24.50

315 miles

There’s been a recent explosion in the number of EV-specific energy tariffs, designed by energy companies to get electric car drivers on board. The Zap Map EV tariff tool can help you differentiate between costs and benefits, with major suppliers such as British Gas and Scottish Power offering renewable energy tariffs with off-peak electricity prices of less than 5p per kW.

If you want to know how to charge a Jaguar I-PaceNissan Leaf, a Mercedes EQC or anything else in the cheapest way possible, the answer is usually to plug it in overnight and set a timer on your charger (or via your car or your car’s charging app) to ensure you take advantage of the off-peak rate. You don’t need to worry about overcharging, as the charge point will turn off when your car battery is full.

Kia Niro EV Charging with adaptor plug in front

You may need to keep an eye on how much off-peak electricity your tariff allows each day however, with some providers offering longer periods of cheap energy than others. Businesses could also benefit from EV tariffs as more suppliers recognise the growing demand for electric cars as fleet vehicles.

Whether you’re looking for an EV charge point at home or at work, there is a cost attached to installation. For homeowners the bad news is that the old grant scheme has now closed which did offset the cost by up to £350. However there is still a scheme for owner/occupiers of flats or people renting any type of home where the Government will cover up to £350 towards the purchase and installation of a home charger.

The cost of charging your electric car at work

The Workplace Charging Scheme, is an incentive which offers a grant of £500 to businesses towards each charge point up to a total of 20. If your company takes up the entire quota, this equals a government contribution of £10,000.

The scheme is available in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland until 31st March 2025.

The cost of workplace charging for employees can depend on the policy from their employer. Some may opt for free charging while others may set a paid tariff. It depends on the employer, but it could look like the following:

  • Free charging offered as a staff perk. 

  • Time-based charging to encourage sharing of charging stations. 

  • Free employee charging for a set period of time followed by a fee. This could encourage employees to charge at work for a set time and then vacate spaces for the use of other employees. 

Charging at work

Peugeot e-2008 charging

UK businesses are increasingly providing workplace charging to its staff, whether that's to keep an EV fleet powered up and on the move, or to provide employees the ability to top up their EVs while they work.

Cost of using public charging points

It’s not always possible to charge up at home. Sometimes you may need to add some juice to your battery on a long journey, or you may be one of a growing number of people who decide to get an EV without the ability to home charge. Either way, the UK has a rapidly growing network of public charge points that offer fast, convenient charging.

As of March 2023, the average cost of charging up on the go using a rapid charger is around £0.73 per kW which should cost you around £22 for 30 minutes of charging. The exact tariff offered will of course depend on the operator, and you should always check before you charge up your car.

If you drive a Tesla, you’ll benefit from The Tesla Supercharger Network which has charging points right across the UK which are either free or pay-as-you-go depending on your model of Tesla.

You can find lots more information on charging stations with our helpful guide, as well as some examples of how much it costs to charge up a selection of different vehicles.

Should you choose home charging or public charging?

The thing to remember with home charging versus public charge points is that there’s a trade-off between cost and speed. Charging your EV at home is usually cheaper and slower, while charging stations offer rapid chargers which cost more to use for their convenience.

Read more about how to install an electric charger at home and the cost of installing an electric charger at home with our handy guides. And if you want to speak to one of our experts about leasing an electric car with DriveElectric, get in touch or fill out our online form for a quick quote.

Last updated: May 2024
Published: Aug 2020

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