Making the switch to owning an electric vehicle is easier than ever before, with reasonably priced car manufacturers committing to producing affordable electric cars in 2021 and beyond. However, the idea of switching from petrol or diesel to electric charging can be quite daunting and can pose several questions to a new electric car owner.
While a fuel-fed car may seem like the easier option when looking for a new set of wheels, once you’ve got an idea of how to calculate your EV charging costs you’ll wish you’d converted to electric years ago! Alongside the obvious benefits of being kinder to the planet, electric cars have increased in popularity due to longer range, tax reductions and exemptions from certain fees and charges. By calculating your EV charging costs, you’ll be able to see your running costs, and in turn, the money you are saving by switching to electric.
Calculating costs can take some time to wrap your head around, but once you know the type of car you’ll be purchasing and roughly how many miles you cover annually, you’ll be able to budget and prepare accordingly.
Know the size of your battery
The capacity of an electric vehicle’s battery is expressed in Kilowatt hours, which is a measure of the energy storage available in the cells. Battery sizes will vary widely depending on what type of electric car you choose. The larger the car doesn’t necessarily correlate to a larger battery, but in many instances this is the case. For example, the Renault Twizy has a very small 13kW (kilowatt) battery whereas a larger vehicle such as the Hyundai Kona has a huge 150kW battery.
You should be able to find the size of your electric car battery in the vehicle manual, or alternatively a quick Google search should return the result for you. Choosemycar.com recently undertook a survey to find the cheapest electric cars on the market to run, with the Hyundai Iconiq coming up trumps at less than £4. This was closely followed by two Tesla models. You can read the full results of the survey here.
Discover your charging options
Knowing how to calculate your EV charging costs will depend on how you choose to charge your battery. There are several options available, and most likely you’ll use all of them at some point in your time of electric car ownership.
While owning a petrol or diesel vehicle tethers you to the price of fuel, electric car charging costs can fluctuate depending on which way you choose to charge up. There are several charging options available, including home charging, rapid charging, and station charging. Don’t forget to factor in your electric vehicle’s range too as this will impact how much you’ll need to charge, and subsequently your EV charging costs.
Charging at home
To calculate your electric car charging costs if you were to charge at home, first find out how much you pay for electricity in your household.
In terms of domestic electricity, there are currently three tariffs available to the public.
24 Hour – Your cost per kWh is fixed, regardless of the time of day
Daytime – There is a set rate for daily use, this will vary depending on your supplier
Night time – usually a cheaper tariff due to less demand on the National Grid, but hours vary based on your supplier
To give you an idea of how this compares to general household energy use, the average UK home is classed as a medium energy consumer at around 3,100 kwH annually., You’ll pay between 14-16p per KWh, depending on who your electricity provider is.
So to calculate your electric car charging costs from here, you need to apply a simple formula:
Size of battery (kWh) x Electricity cost of your supplier (pence per kilowatt hour) = Cost to charge an electric car from absolutely empty to full
Using the electric car examples mentioned above, and taking 15p as an average cost, calculating your EV charging costs would be as follows:
Renault Twizy 13kW x 0.15p = £1.95
Hyundai Kona 150kW x 0.15p = £22.50
Home charging is by far the most convenient and cost-effective charging choice.Read our full guide for more details on how installing a home EV charger can benefit you.
Public charging stations
There are currently nearly 33,000 public charging stations across the UK. Charging locations are often privately owned, so charging costs will vary from station to station. This can make calculating your EV charging costs difficult, as there is no set tariff from one station to another.
Some networks require a charging card (similar to a debit card) while others will require you to download an app. You may encounter monthly subscriptions and many will require you to create an account, but conveniently, as electric car ownership increases so will pay-as-you-go card readers which are much less hassle.
You might also find that some charge points are free to use in shopping centres or attractions such as theme parks, but it’s best not to rely on this option as they are not always readily available.
At times, you may need to use fast charging. This is a great way to top-up your charge on a long motorway journey, or if you’re in a rush! This is a quick, but expensive way to charge your electric vehicle. Fast charging stations are often found at motorway service stations and the tariff can vary depending on the operator.
Charging an electric vehicle at a rapid charging station will be completed in less than an hour, but can cost upwards of £12 for a standard size electric car. This isn’t the most cost-effective way to run your EV, but you may need to use this when undertaking long journeys.
If installing a home charger is on your radar for 2021, or you run a business and are considering installing charging points for your employees, our team at Project EV can assist you with any questions you have. Get in touch with us today!