One of the biggest selling points for electric vehicles is the fact that they are cheaper to run than a petrol or diesel car. However, it is important to note that the cost of charging an electric car varies depending on a number of factors, such as the type of charger used, the electricity tariff you’re on, and how much charge your car needs.
The cost of charging an electric car can range from around £2.50 for a standard home charger, to over £100 for a rapid charger. Here, we take a look at the different types of electric car chargers, and how much it costs to charge an electric car.
There are three main types of electric car chargers:
- Home chargers
- Public chargers
- Rapid chargers
Electric Car Home Chargers
The majority of electric car owners charge their cars at home, using a standard domestic socket and dedicated home charging unit. Home chargers are the cheapest way to charge an electric car, with prices starting from around £2.50 per charge.
The cost of charging an electric car at home will depend on a number of factors, including the electricity tariff you’re on, the size of your battery, and how much charge your car needs. For example, if you’re on a standard tariff and have a 30kWh battery, it will cost you around £7.50 to charge your car from empty to full. You can also take the advantage of the electric vehicle homecharge scheme.
Public Electric Vehicle Chargers
There are now thousands of public charging points in the UK, making it easier than ever to charge your electric car when you’re out and about. Public charge points typically cost around £6 per hour to use, although this can vary depending on the provider.
Rapid Electric Vehicle Chargers
Rapid chargers are the quickest way to charge an electric car and are typically found at motorway charging service stations and large supermarkets. Rapid chargers can charge an electric car in as little as 30 minutes, although this can vary depending on the size of the battery.
The charging costs of using a rapid charger are typically around £10-£12 per hour, although this can vary depending on the provider.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Charging EVs
There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of charging an electric car, including:
- The type of charger used
- The electricity tariff you’re on
- How much charge does your car need
- The type of electric car you have
Below, we take a more detailed look at each of these factors.
Type of Charger Used
The type of charger you use will have a big impact on the cost of charging an electric car. Home chargers are the cheapest way to charge, followed by public chargers and rapid chargers. As you are aware, there are different types of chargers as well. When choosing an EV charger, you need to consider:
- The number of cars you will charge – If you only ever charge one car, then a single-car charger will suffice. But if you have multiple cars or want the ability to charge more than one car at a time, then you’ll need a multi-car charger.
- How fast you want your car charged – The speed of charge is determined by the power output of the charger. Slow chargers have a lower power output (usually 1kW or less), while fast chargers have a higher power output (between 3kW and 22kW).
- How much you want to spend – Charger prices can range from around £100 for a basic home charger, to over £1,000 for a high-end rapid charger.
The electricity tariff you’re on
The cost of charging an electric car will also vary depending on the electricity tariff you’re on. If you’re on a standard tariff, then you’ll be charged around 14p per kWh, while if you’re on an Economy 7 tariff, you’ll be charged around 7p per kWh. Ultimately, this will affect the electricity bill.
How much charge does your car need?
The size of your battery will also affect the cost of charging an electric car. If you have a small battery (under 30kWh), then it will cost you around £7.50 to charge from empty to full. But if you have a large battery (over 60kWh), then it will cost you around £15 to charge from empty to full.
The type of electric car you have
Finally, the type of electric car you have will also affect the cost of charging. For example, if you have a Tesla Model S, then you’ll need a specialised charger that’s compatible with the car’s battery. These chargers can cost around £500, although the cost is often offset by the fact that Tesla owners get free access to the company’s Supercharger station network.
Which is The Best Charging Option?
The best charging option for you will depend on a number of factors, including:
- How often do you charge your car
- How much you’re willing to spend
- The type of charger you have access to
If you only ever charge your car once or twice a week, then a home charger will be the cheapest and most convenient option. But if you need to charge your car more often, then a public charger will be a better option.
If you’re willing to spend more money, then a rapid charger will be the best option for you. However, if you’re on a budget, then a home charger will be the better option.
Finally, if you have access to a rapid charger, then this will be the best option for you. However, if you only have access to a home charger, then this will still be a good option.
Where to Charge Electric Cars free of Charge?
There are many motorway service stations where you can charge your vehicle for free. In most cases, these are public places such as shopping centres or car parks. However, there may also be some private companies that offer free charging, so it’s always worth asking around.
Some examples of free EV charging locations include:
- IKEA – IKEA stores across the UK offer free EV charging for customers.
- Tesco – Tesco offers free EV charging at selected stores across the UK.
- Sainsbury’s – Sainsbury’s offers free EV charging at selected stores across the UK.
- Asda – Asda offers free EV charging at selected stores across the UK.
- BP Chargemaster – BP Chargemaster operates a network of EV charging points across the UK, some of which are free to use.
Charging your electric car is important if you want to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. As you have seen, the cost of charging will vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of charger you use, the electricity costs, depending on the tariff you’re on, and the size of your car’s battery. However, there are many ways to charge your car for free, so it’s always worth asking around. An electric car is far much better than a diesel or petrol car.