How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
What’s the cost of electric car charging in 2023?
Charging an electric car is typically cheaper than fuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle. Home charging is where you’ll see the most savings as this typically offers the cheapest kWh price compared to public chargers. But how much does it cost to charge an electric car?
We delve into the details to explain the costs across all types of charger types, including at home, at work, at a public charger and with a rapid charger. We also run through how you can make the most of free charging as well as detailing the cheapest EVs to charge.
Average electric car charging costs
Find out how much it costs to charge an EV based on an average electric car with a 60kWh battery and 200-mile driving range, charging up to 90%.*
Electric car charging cost at home
The cost of charging your electric car at home depends on the size of the car.
Compact hatches can cost around 10p per mile which equates to anywhere from £750 - £840 yearly.**
Mid to large sized cars can cost around 11p per mile which equates to anywhere from £800 - £975 a yearly.**
Large SUVs can cost around 13p per mile which equates to anywhere from £975 - £1,150 yearly.**
*We recommend you don't regularly charge your EV to 100% to promote long-term battery health. **Based on: 1. Average yearly mileage of 8,100. 2. 7kW home charger. 3. 34p per kWh. This matches the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) from October 2022, which is due to be revised in April 2023. Prices are likely to change when the EPG is raised or lowered in April 2023.
How much will my electric bill go up with an electric car?
Depending on the size of your EV, your electric bill may rise anywhere from £750 to £1,150. Your electricity bill will probably be lower than this as you’ll charge your car in loads of different locations throughout the year, with plenty of free chargers available across the country.
Electric car charging cost at work
Most workplaces with electric car charge points allow you to use them for free! This is an amazing way to save money and time as you can charge whilst you work.
Instead of charging your car overnight at home, you can drive it to work, charge it for the day and then drive it home. All at zero cost to you!
Some employers may go for a time-based tariff so more people can make the most of the workplace chargers.
Or they may offer free charging for a set number of hours per car with a fee after this limit. This is another way to encourage the sharing of charging points.
Electric car charging cost with public chargers
Public chargers vary in price depending on the charging network, charger type, location and more.
BP Pulse is one of the country’s largest charging networks with a £7.85 monthly subscription needed to access the network at the cheapest charging tariffs.
With a paid subscription:
- Slow charging costs 44p per kWh
- Fast charging 55p per kWh
- Rapid charging 65p per kWh
Guests without a membership:
- Slow charging costs 57p per kWh
- Fast charging 69p per kWh
- Rapid charging 79p per kWh
Again, this is based on just one charging network so prices may vary. Also, expect charge points by motorways or in service stations to be more expensive.
What types of electric cars are cheaper to recharge?
Lighter cars with larger batteries and efficient power systems are typically the cheapest to run. Just because a car is smaller, it doesn’t always mean it’s better. There are a few other factors when it comes to maximising driving range and some models do it better than others.
But typically, anything smaller and more efficient will give you more miles for your money. Bear in mind that a smaller battery doesn’t always mean cheaper costs. If your EV has a smaller battery but it's less efficient, then you’ll end up charging it more. The more you charge, the more it costs.
So you want to find that sweet spot of battery size and everyday efficiency. Look for newer models with smart systems like one-pedal driving for the most effective performance.
How do you pay for electric car charging
Paying for charging can be a point of confusion for some drivers. There are multiple networks each with its own way of paying.
For some, you need a specific card, whilst others are operated via an app. It depends on the network. We recommend downloading as many apps as you can and signing up for them all so you’re never caught out when trying to charge.
At home, you just pay for electric charging as part of your electricity bill.
Free electric car charging points in the UK
You may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of free electric car charging points in the UK.
This varies from on-street parking spaces and multi-storey car parks to supermarkets and shopping centres.
Many locations offer free charging to get you using their services. This is perfect when carrying out the weekly shop or going for a quick coffee in town.
If you can find a free charger within walking distance of your home or workplace, you can really cut down your costs.
Although you shouldn’t rely on these chargers for regular charging as you may not always be able to find a spot.
Electric car charging tips
There are a number of ways you can extend your driving range and improve your battery’s long-term health.
Instead of paying for a full charge of 100%, you should recharge to around 80% instead. This makes charging quicker and also means you pay less every time.
We strongly recommend that you regularly charge between 20%-80% rather than fully draining and then fully charging.
This guarantees less downtime, lower regular costs and prolonged battery health! Your battery’s overall capacity will last much longer if you regularly use top-up charging.
Avoid rapid charging
Rapid charging is by far the quickest way to regain driving range. But it’s also the most expensive and constant use will have a negative effect on your battery’s capacity. Use rapid chargers rarely, and only if you really have to.
If you’re at home, using an off-peak energy tariff will lower your electricity costs when charging your EV.
If you’re in need of a public charger, try to visit during off-peak times as there’ll be fewer drivers around.
It may sound obvious, but driving with efficiency in mind is one of the best ways to increase your range. Avoid heavy accelerating and braking.
Instead, plan ahead with smooth, steady acceleration and make the most of regenerative braking.
For more information, read our guide on EV charging tips and best practices.