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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

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

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 are 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 and find out what to look out for when buying an EV. You could also get a discount or possibly drive in the Congestion Charge zone for free.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The cost of charging your electric car at a public charge point depends on the charge point network and the location of charge points. 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

Public charge point costs also vary depending on the power rating and whether it's slow (lamppost charging), fast (Car parks) or Rapid (Motorway service stations).

 

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 can typically charge an electric car to 80% in 20-40 mins) and greater convenience, they tend to come at a premium. 

Pod Point rapid chargers cost 65p/kWh at Lidl, which is about £16 for 30 minutes of charging (delivering about 90 miles of range).

Cost of charging electric cars at public stations

If you are a Tesla owner, then the Tesla Supercharger Network has points across the UK which are often free to use for older vehicles. Newer Tesla owners, who bought their vehicle after January 1st 2017, may only receive a set number of free hours of charge. Outside of the free allowance the Tesla network charges varying prices depending on location and time of day, with off-peak hours offering lower prices. You can identify the costs within the vehicle touchscreen or via a map service like Zap-Map.

Certain Model S and X vehicles ordered before November 2, 2018 receive 400 kWh (~1,000 miles) of Supercharger credits annually. Please consult the manufacturer if you are in doubt

For non-Tesla owners, charging fees vary depending on the network you use. Registration, subscription and connection fees may apply. Take a look at Zap-Map or an overview of UK’s main EV charging networks.

Electric car charging cards

In addition to smartphone apps, radio frequency identification (RFID) electric car charging cards are provided by some of the major UK public charging networks, such as Polar, GeniePoint, Ecotricity, Shell Recharge and ChargeYourCar. To use public charging points, you'll need to register with a membership scheme before use.

Zap-Map can help identify which charging schemes charging points belong to. There are alternative maps you can use too, here's a few to get you started:

Did you know?

The UK government has announced that it will be "providing £500 million over the next five years to support the rollout of a fast-charging network for electric vehicles, ensuring that drivers will never be further than 30 miles from a rapid charging station.".

Cost of charging an electric car at home

home charging point

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 starts from around £949 with Pod Point. If you live in a flat or rental accommodation then you may be able to claim a £350 grant from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) towards this cost.

Read more about government grants

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-peak 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 kWh battery, the charging time will be greater than a Renault Zoe with a 30 kWh battery. Therefore, you might want to look for a tariff which offers longer off-peak charging periods.

EDF Energy electricity bill

Renewable electricity tariffs for EV drivers

Power your electric car and home with our GoElectric Overnight tariff and do your 20 mile commute for as little as 46p!(1)

Once you have a compatible smart meter, you can choose to move to our GoElectric Overnight and benefit from cheaper prices during the off-peak times. 

Get EV tariff

On the road costs for electric vehicles

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 road tax costs

Now that "road tax", or to give it it's official name, Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), is based on carbon dioxide emissions, pure electric cars are currently exempt from paying.

From 2025 onwards however this will change and pure electric cars will pay the lowest first year rate, which is currently £10 per year, and then in subsequent years they will pay the standard rate of VED which is currently £180 per year.

Read more about tax benefits

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

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 30p 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 £8.50 or 8.5p per mile. If you charged up overnight with a tariff like GoElectric then you could get this price down to £2.29 in total, or just 2.29p per mile.

However, a petrol car would cost around £12 or 12p per mile if fuel cost £1.34 per litre and we assume the UK’s average new car fuel consumption in 2019 was 49.2 miles-per-gallon for petrol cars.

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.

Learn more about the benefits of electric cars

How much is the Congestion Charge?

Electric cars exempt from London Congestion Charge

As of April 2019, electric vehicles are eligible for an exemption form the London Congestion Charge and they also don't pay the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge.

In order to qualify for the congestion charge exemption, drivers will need to register their electric vehicle with Transport for London (TfL) at a cost of £10, which needs to be renewed each year.

The Congestion Charge zone runs 7:00-18:00 Monday-Friday and 12:00-18:00 Sat-Sun and bank holidays. There's no charge between Christmas Day and New Year's Day bank holiday (inclusive). Unregistered vehicles will need to pay £15 each day they are driven within the boundary, even if they're electric.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone, by contrast, runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week (except Christmas Day), within the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge. Most vehicles that aren't registered will have to pay £12.50 per day. Although heavier vehicles, such as lorries, may need to pay up to £100 per day.

That means a typical daily charge for a non-ULEZ compliant car to drive in London is £27.50 per day. Register an electric vehicle today to avoid paying more than you have to.

 

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

Grants, subsidies and schemes for electric cars

Find out what government grants are available for EVs for homes and businesses.

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