How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car?

David Winterbourne 17/04/2020

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car?

The number of electric vehicle (EV) charge points at supermarkets has doubled in the last two years, according to data analysed by Zap-Map and the RAC*.

Car sales are down in general however, the demand for electric vehicles is rising dramatically in the UK. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced that Electric vehicle registrations were up by 197.4 per cent year-on-year in March, so what’s the bottom line when it comes to cost? 
We all know that converting to an electric car makes sense for the local and Global environment that’s obvious. Charging using green energy even increases the electric cars green credentials, I get it! But is there a financial cost-benefit too? How much cheaper is an electric vehicle to run compared to petrol or diesel? How much does an Electric Car cost to charge?
Like cooking for yourself at home is cheaper than eating out, so is charging your electric car. What model you own and who is providing the electricity will have an impact on the cost to charge, but there is a simple equation you can use:
Take the capacity of the battery the car expressed in kilowatt-hours (KwH) and multiply it by what your electricity supplier charges you for the electricity.
kWh x Pence per kWh = Cost to charge from empty to full capacity.
For example, let us take one of the most popular electric cars, the Nissan LEAF, with its 40kWh battery. If we multiply 40 x 14.4 pence (the average price of electricity in the UK) the total cost for a full charge will be £5.76. And for a Tesla Model S with a 100 kWh battery that would be c.£14.40. So in terms of petrol and diesel Vs electric, electric makes sense.
There are a few things to consider when home charging:
  • Check with your electricity provider to see if you can save even more money can by charging at night – off-peak.
  • You can charge your car from a regular socket. Still, it’s advisable to install a home charge point using the OLEV (Office for low emission vehicles) grant for around £500.00 and charge up to 3x faster.
  • You should also check if your property has any electrical load restrictions. You may find that your property won’t support 7 kWh of additional load meaning you will need to charge at 3 kWh and could cost you more.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car when out and about?
There have been some concerns about the lack of public charging points in the past. Research has shown most electric car owners charge at home, and most car journeys in the UK are less than fifty miles, so this is rarely an issue. And with electric car battery ranges increasing with every new release, public charging should only be required in an emergency or when needed on a long-distance journey.
There are public charging points that are FREE! Places like supermarkets will often have free charging points as an incentive to go there, and you can charge up while shopping, so they are super convenient.   
The amount of public charging points is still increasing exponentially, and there are also supercharger forecourts with cafes, work stations and supermarkets planned across the country. Even whole streets are being converted with lamp posts now ready to charge electric cars!  
Zap-Map https://www.zap-map.com/  can help you locate more than 18,000 charge points are across the UK. Most modern charging networks will offer you a free to download App, which can also help you find charge points and have charge tariffs set by the host so the costs can vary.  
Rapid chargers are typically a little more expensive as they charge your car much faster, circa 100 miles of range in 30 minutes or so. For example, Pod Points rapid chargers at Lidl cost 23p/kWh which equates to around £6.00 – £7.00 for 30 minutes of charging.
The bottom line is that compared to Petrol and Diesel, Electric Cars make sense all round, costing less for the environment and for your pocket too. 
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