One of the very best parts of owning an electric car is that you never have to visit a petrol station again. You will be able to plug in at home and wake up every morning to a full battery which could take you for 200 miles or more, but what is the electric car charge cost in the UK?
Besides the convenience, you will also be saving a huge sum of money. On average, the amount you will be spending on electricity to charge your car will be around a quarter to a third of the money you spent on petrol or diesel. For example, to charge a typical electric car with a 70kWh battery from empty to full will cost about £12 at current electricity prices. It won’t have the same range as a tank of petrol, but it’s less than ¼ of the price for perhaps half the range.
It’s easy to estimate how much it will cost you so you can see how much you will be saving. For example, a Vauxhall Corsa e or Peugeot e208 has a battery which can hold 50kWh of electrical power. If you check a bill from your electricity supplier, you will see how much a kWh of power costs – the national average is between 18p and 24p.
So, a rough idea of the cost to completely charge your car would be 50 x 18p which is equal to £9. That will take you a distance of around 200 miles. If you were doing the same distance in a petrol car which is doing 50mpg it would cost around £27 at current prices.
There is even better news, as you will be able to shave even more off the cost by switching to a different home energy tariff. Several companies now offer dedicated electricity packages for EV owners, and they can cut the cost of ‘fuelling’ your car to 2p a mile or even less.
If you have a smart meter in your home, the supplier will offer rates of around 5p per kWh for electricity used in the early hours of the morning when demand on the grid is far less. Typically, this is between midnight and 5am, when most of the population is asleep. This is the perfect time to be charging your car of course as it will just be parked up while you sleep!
You don’t even have to get up in the middle of the night to switch on the charger – all the electric cars from Vauxhall, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai and Peugeot have built in timers and apps which will make it all happen automatically once you’ve set the timer.
First, the good news. You can charge at work and the government won’t tax it as a benefit. Several supermarkets and other businesses will also provide free charging.
If you want to ‘rapid’ charge at a motorway service station or other convenient place and get the fastest recharge speeds, you’re usually going to have to pay for it. Costs vary massively too, so it’s worth checking before you connect and only topping up what you need to get you home rather than ‘filling’ the battery. In the worst case you could be charged around 70p per kWh, which is comparable to filling with petrol. Most rapid chargers cost around 30p/kWh.