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The cost of charging an electric car

If you’re considering buying an electric car, or you already own one, you’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost to charge it. Here’s a look at the cost of charging an electric car at home, at work and when you’re out and about.

If you’re considering buying an electric car, or you already own one, you’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost to charge it. Here’s a look at the cost of charging an electric car at home, at work and when you’re out and about.

Peter Earl
From the Energy team
minute read
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Posted 2 DECEMBER 2020

What is an electric car?

An electric car is a vehicle that doesn’t rely on conventional fuel, like petrol or diesel, to power its engine. Instead, electric cars are fitted with special batteries that can be charged with electricity.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car at home?

The most common place to charge an electric vehicle (EV) is at home and, luckily, it doesn’t cost as much as you’d think. On average, each full charge costs around £8.40. But this will vary slightly, depending on how much you’re paying for your electricity.

You can charge a car at home using a standard 3-pin plug with an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) cable or wall-mounted home-charging point.

If you want fast charging from home, you'll need more specialist wiring and equipment, with a dedicated charger that provides 3.6kW power output at 16 Amps single phase AC. You'll have to pay for your home-charging point, but you can apply for a grant for up to 75% (up to £350) of the cost of installation from the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS).

If you’re worried about how much charging at home is going to add to your energy bill then make sure you compare suppliers to find the right deal for you.

Can I charge my electric vehicle away from home? If so, how much does it cost?

Yes, you can. There are now more than 30,000 charging points in the UK in over 11,000 locations and this number’s growing every year.

Free electric car charging points

Places like supermarkets, public car parks, shopping centres, large hotels and leisure centres usually let you charge your electric car for free while it’s parked there. You may need to be a customer or guest to use their charging facilities, though.

Charging at work

Again, most businesses that have workplace charging points will let employees use them for free while they’re at work.

Public charging stations

The UK’s charging-station network is run by several different companies, each with their own set of charges. In some cases, you’ll need to register with the company and pay via an app on your smartphone.

Subscribing to a network could be a good idea if you use your electric car or plug-in hybrid for regular long journeys.

The largest provider in the country is the Polar network from BP Chargemaster, which has over 7,000 charge points. A Polar Plus subscription costs £7.85 a month and includes free charging at the majority of its stations – then from 12p per kWh at the others.

Rapid charging on the motorway

Rapid charging points are usually found at motorway service stations and are run by Ecotricity. A rapid charge takes around 30 minutes for a 100-mile charge and typically costs around £6.50 – or half that if you’re an Ecotricity domestic energy customer.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Once you’ve connected your car to your home outlet or public charging station using a standard EV plug, it should take six to eight hours to charge fully.

What if I need to charge my electric car quickly?

Some motorway services have rapid charging stations for when you get caught short, but it comes at a price. Most service stations will bill you approximately £6.50 for a 30-minute charge.

How often do you need to charge your electric car?

This depends on the type and brand of electric car you own, and how often you drive it. Having said that, most models claim to provide between 125 and 348 miles on a single charge.

What are the benefits of owning an electric car?

  • Eco-friendly – zero carbon emissions
  • Extremely cheap to run compared to petrol and diesel cars
  • EVs are less complicated under the bonnet, so there’s less that can go wrong. Therefore, you could save on hefty repair bills
  • Electric cars are very quiet, cutting down on noise pollution
  • All-electric cars are exempt from paying road tax and the London Congestion Charge
  • Government grants of up to £350 towards the cost of installing a home charge point
  • Get up to £3,000 off the price of a new electric car through the government’s Plug-in Car Grant
  • Some town and city centres offer free or priority parking for electric cars
  • Convenient charging points at home, work and while shopping

What about car insurance?

Getting car insurance for an electric vehicle is the same as getting insurance for a regular car. The key to getting a great deal is to compare quotes from different insurance providers – we can help with that.

So, whether you’re looking for a quote on your car insurance or seeking a better energy deal, compare now and see if you could save.

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