How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

With rising fuel costs, a cost of living crisis, and a growing desire to be more environmentally conscious, more people are making the decision to turn electric.

There are as many as 460,000 plug-in vehicles on the road in the UK, and that number is likely to grow exponentially over the years, according to Zap-Map.

They’re a good option for people who want to save money or reduce their carbon footprint, but you need to consider a few things before you take the plunge.

One of those is charging. But how much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Here’s what you need to know.

How much is it to charge an electric car?

The cost to charge an electric car in the UK varies between where you are charging – be that at home, work or out in public.

According to Pod Point – one of UK’s leading providers of electric vehicle charging – the costs for a typical electric car with a 60kWh battery and ~200 mile range are as follows:

  • Charging at home: Costs about £15.10 for a full charge
  • Charging at work: Many employers will install workplace charging points and typically offer free access throughout the day
  • Charging at public locations: Public charge points at supermarkets or car parks are often free to use for the duration of your stay
  • Rapid charging: Rapid charging points are normally found at motorway service stations and typically cost £6.50 for a 30 min, ~90-mile charge.

In comparison, a litre of unleaded petrol costs around 175.24p, Super unleaded costs around 188.42p, and diesel is 185.90p, according to the latest stats from RAC Fuel Watch.

Although you can charge your electric car from the mains socket in your house, most manufacturers wouldn’t recommend this (as it takes a lot longer), so you should look into installing a dedicated car charging point.

The upfront cost for your at-home charger can vary greatly depending on what you choose, with some models going into the thousands.

Where are UK charging points?

Check out public charging points across the UK using ZapMap.

How long do electric cars take to charge?

This all depends on your electric car model, as well as the charging point you use.

In terms of charging points, there are three options:

  • Slow chargers (up to 3kW) – these take up to eight hours, and are more commonly found in the home
  • Fast chargers (7-22kW) – which can recharge some models in less than four hours, and are the most common type at public charging spots
  • Rapid charging units (43-50kW) – which can top up most cars by 80% in around half an hour. These are typically found on motorways at service stations, so are ideal for long journeys.

The type of connector point you have on your car will affect which charger you can use.

For example, some rapid chargers use a CCS (such as the BMW i3) while others use a CHAdeMO (such as the Nissan LEAF or Mitsubishi Outlander).

Some electric models also won’t charge at 22kW. Check with your dealership before you buy.

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