How much it costs to charge & run an electric car

Find out how electric vehicles are cheaper to run, the benefits available and the exact costs of buying and charging.

Woman about to charge a vw e-golf

Just like traditional fuel engine vehicles, the cost of buying and running an electric vehicle varies depending on the model, make and specifics of the vehicle – it means there's an option for everyone.

Good news – electric vehicles are likely to cost you less over the course of ownership. Electricity costs much less than petrol or diesel and electric cars require less maintenance than an internal combustion engine (ICE).

In addition, there's various incentives offered such as government grants or schemes, Vehicle Excise Duty discounts or exemption and also exemption from Fuel Duty. Read more information on tax benefits. You could get a discount or possibly drive in the Congestion Charge zone for free. Find out more here.

 

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

home charging point

Cost of charging an electric car at home

Charging your electric car at home is the main charging option for most EV owners. It's important to be on the best home energy tariff to keep this cost as low as possible, because the cost of charging will be included in your normal electricity bill.

How much charging costs will depend on the amount of charging you do, the type of charger you have and also how much you use public charging.

The cost of installing a home charge point is around £1,000 but with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) grant, you could reduce the up front cost by up to £500.

Read more about government grants

public charging points

Cost of charging electric cars at public stations

The cost of charging your electric car at a public charge point depends on the charge point network and the location of the charge point. Many local authorities offer a pay per session approach to on street chargers. Occasionally they can be free to use if you have access to a network subscription.

Rapid charge points are typically found at motorway service stations and can also be free for certain drivers but are generally seen as one of the more expensive options. In essence, because they offer a faster charge (drivers to typically charge an electric car to 80% in 20-40 mins) and greater convenience, they tend to come at a premium. 

However, if you are a Tesla owner, then the Tesla Supercharger Network has points across the UK which are often free to use. Newer Tesla owners, who bought their vehicle after January 1st 2017, may only receive a set number of free hours of charge. Please consult the manufacturer if you are in doubt.

EDF Energy electricity bill

Electricity tariff costs

Before you get an electric vehicle, you may want to think about how it will impact the cost of your home electricity bill. For instance, if you travel 8000 miles per year in your car, this might equate to around 2800 kWh of additional electricity on your yearly bill if 1 kWh equals 3.5 miles. Therefore it pays to look for the right energy tariff.

For example, you might want to look at off-peaks prices, as many energy companies offer lower electricity prices at night when the demand on the grid is reduced and energy prices are cheaper. Another thing to consider is the number of off-peak hours available to charge your electric car. If for instance you own a Tesla Model S with a 100 kW battery, the charging time will be greater than a Renault Zoe with a 30 kW battery. Therefore, you might want to look for a tariff which offers longer off-peak charging periods.

Calculate the costs to charge an electric car

Use this handy calculator to work out how much it's likely to cost to fully charge an electric vehicle at home.

Compare electric, petrol and diesel car costs per mile

Compare an electric car to any other car - petrol, diesel or electric, to see how much it'd cost if you took the same journey in each and how much that is per mile.

On the road costs for electric vehicles

woman playing with tesla screen

Electric cars vs petrol cars

There are a number of differences between electric and petrol or diesel cars. One of the key benefits is the cost to fill up.

With the average UK electricity price sitting at around 14p per kWh and if you assume an electric car will travel 3.5 miles per kWh on average, to travel 100 miles would cost around £4 or 4p per mile.

However, a petrol car would cost around £11 or 11p per mile if fuel cost £1.25 per litre and we assume the UK’s average new car fuel consumption in 2017 was 51.7 miles-per-gallon. If you have a cheaper fixed tariff, then it's likely the cost to fill up your electric car will be cheaper still.

The above is only an indication and depending on where you live, the prices you pay for both electricity and fuel and the vehicle you own may increase or decrease these savings. Why not compare prices yourself with this handy calculator?

Learn more about the benefits of electric cars

woman charging bmw i3 in street

Reduce costs with government schemes

The UK government want more people to go electric and are supporting people to afford the switch.

To help with the upfront costs of buying an electric vehicle and installing a home charging point, there are a few different government grants available. 

Learn more about grants and schemes

electric car tax model cars and coins

Electric car road tax costs

Now that vehicle tax is based on carbon dioxide emissions, pure electric cars are exempt from paying for the first year.

Subsequent years are also free, unless your electric car was over £40,000 in which case you’ll still pay a lower tax than petrol or diesel cars for the next 5 years.

Read more about tax benefits

man changing wheel in garage

Electric car maintenance costs

As all drivers will know the older a car is the more servicing it requires. Luckily electric cars have fewer moving parts so naturally this means fewer things to go wrong.

Many leasing companies and manufacturers also offer maintenance packages for an additional cost to help cover any unforseen issues.

Learn more about maintenance

EO Mini Free Standing on Forecourt

Electric vehicle solutions for business

With expert advice, a selection of charge points, vehicle leasing and energy supply all under one roof, the move to electric vehicles has never been easier.

There are cost benefits to your business going electric. From fuel savings to tax incentives and financial benefits.

See how much your business could save by making the transition to electric vehicles.

Learn more about electric cars and costs

How do electric cars work? Anatomy of a car

How do electric cars work?

There are different types of electric cars from hybrids to pure electric – so find the car that suits you best.

Find out how electric cars work

EV charging electric cars

EV charging options: when, where & how

Learn about all the different options for charging your electric car on the go and at home.

See more on charging

ev-range-on-cyan-background

See our handpicked leasing deals

We have a range of electric cars to lease including specially selected deals.

Find a model that’s right for you

The power of wind

One explorer. An 86 year old skydiver. And an electric car powered by the Scottish wind. We challenged Camilla Thurlow to go back to her roots in Scotland and skydive with the fearless Dilys Price.

This is the fifth and final episode of Electric Adventures!

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