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

Owning an electric car has increased in popularity over the last decade, and in particular the last three years have seen a sharp increase in EV ownership. With the government's commitment to banning the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, the need to shift focus to EV has never been more prevalent.

Making the switch to an electric car is becoming easier than ever before, with more vehicle manufacturers creating affordable models with longer ranges, enabling EV to be more accessible to consumers. There are also several benefits to becoming an EV owner, including a tax grant, exemptions to certain car taxes and charges, and not to mention the knowledge that you’re doing your bit for the environment!

While traditional petrol or diesel vehicle costs are tethered to the price of fuel, electric car charging costs can fluctuate. When charging an electric vehicle at home or at a public charging station, there are several factors to consider, such as the type of electric vehicle, the time of day you are charging, the tariff of the charging station, how much energy you need and the size of your battery.

Convenience alongside cost is another important factor when choosing how to charge your electric car. Public charging is more expensive traditionally, and you’ll need to factor in driving to the nearest public station and waiting for it to charge up.

When purchasing an EV, taking into account charging costs can help you budget accordingly, including whether you should buy an at home charger, how it compares to petrol and diesel prices, and how much it costs to charge your electric car at home.

How to calculate running costs for an electric car

The size and capacity of your EV battery is shown in kilowatt hours (kWh) this measures the energy storage available in the cells. Generally, the higher the spec of the vehicle the larger the capacity will be. For example, a Tesla Model S has a 100kWh battery but the Nissan Leaf has a slightly more compact 40kWh battery as standard. In order to calculate the costs of charging your electric car at home or in public, you’ll need to take into account the size of the battery and the cost of the electricity supply you’re using (whether this be a home EV charger, or at a charging station).

In simple terms:

Size of the battery (kWh) x electricity cost of supplier (pence per kilowatt hour) = cost to charge your EV from empty to full

Don’t forget to take into account your car’s range, and how you plan to charge it when calculating your running costs. Ahead of calculating your annual costs, it’s also important to look at your annual mileage plan, so you can budget accordingly.

Costs of public station charging

One of the biggest issues with relying on public charging stations is the varying costs of the energy supply. There are now over 33,000 individual public charging stations dotted across the UK, but be warned, some charging stations require top-up cards called RFID cards, which work similarly to a debit card.

Some public points will allow you to charge for free if the charging station is attached to a shopping centre or if you are a visitor at an attraction, for example a theme park, but this isn’t guaranteed, so be sure to factor in charging station locations and costs for your journeys. There are apps available that map EV charging points across the country, but may not disclose the cost to charge, so be wary before relying on this as your only charging option.

You may also on occasion need to use fast charging. This is a rapid, but expensive way to charge your EV. You won’t be able to rely on fast charging as this is an extremely high cost way to charge your electric car, but can be used if you need additional charge very quickly, or if you are undertaking a long journey. Fast charging stations are often found at motorway service stations and the tariff can vary depending on the operator.

For some context on price, motorway charging points can often cost up to £12 to charge a 40kWh EV, but it would be completed in less than an hour. This makes motorway and public charging an option when completing long journeys, but it isn’t the most cost-effective way to run your EV.

How does the cost of charging an electric car compare to a petrol car?

As a like for like comparison on vehicle size and specifications, a petrol car that averages 9,000 miles per year with an estimated 45mpg will cost a driver just over £1200 in fuel. Over the same period, the cost of charging an electric vehicle at home with the specifications of a 40kWh battery and a range of 168 miles would cost the owner £300.

Not only does the cost of charging your electric car at home show a reduction in outgoing costs compared to similar vehicles that use fuel, you can also apply for a government grant to assist with the cost of the installation of an EV charger at home.

Cost of charging your electric car at home

Choosing to purchase an at home charging station for your electric vehicle is a wise decision, not only for the environment and saving time, but it’s much kinder to your wallet too!

In comparison to other charging options, or fuel, the cost to charge your electric car at home pales in comparison. Once you have decided on the type of charger you require, installation is seamless and quick. You’ll also have the benefit of having the charging point on your doorstep (literally!) making topping up, or fully charging your electric vehicle a simple process.

Electric car charging costs will vary, as covered earlier in the article, but having a charger at home means you can choose the most cost effective time to charge your EV. Electricity costs less off-peak (nighttime), so many EV owners find the most cost effective way is charging overnight. Your vehicle will be parked for an extended period of time and you’ll be able to charge your car until it’s full at a lower cost.

By charging your car overnight at your home, the average cost for a 13 hour charge based on a 40kWh vehicle would be roughly £4. This is a drastic saving in comparison to charging stations or a petrol vehicle when calculated per annum.

If you want to find out more about the types of EV home chargers that are available to you, get in touch with our friendly team today and we can help you start your EV charging journey!

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