Cost of Charging an Electric Car
A complete guide on how much it costs to charge an electric car in the UK at home, work and on the go.
Last updated: Nov 22, 2023 • 7 min read
The cost to charge an electric car in the UK varies between home, work and public charging.
For a typical electric car with a 60kWh battery and ~200 mile range:
- Charging at home: Costs about £17 for a full charge.*
- Charging at work: Many employers will install workplace charging points and typically offer free access throughout the day.
- Charging at public locations: The cost of public charging at supermarkets or car parks varies based on the chain, location, and speed of the chargers. The average cost is around £26 for a full charge.**
- Rapid charging: Rapid charging points are normally found at motorway service stations and typically cost ~£19 for a 30 min, ~90 mile charge. ***
* Costs calculated at 32p/kWh based on usable battery of ~54kWh (90%).
** Costs calculated at an average rate of 48p/kWh as of May 2023, based on usable battery of ~54kWh (90%).
*** Charging at 50kW, receiving 3.5 miles per kWh. Assumes tariff of 74p/kWh applicable to most network rapid chargers as of May 2023.
Cost to charge an electric car at home
Charging an electric car at home costs about £17 for a full charge* and is the most convenient and cost-effective way to keep your car fully charged. Most drivers will charge their electric car overnight, waking up to a full battery every morning.
- Average domestic electricity rate in the whole of the UK is about 32p per kWh**.
- Fully charging a 60kWh electric car will cost around £17 (depending on where you live) and give you about 200 miles of range.
By switching to a dual-rate electricity tariff designed specifically for EV drivers you could reduce this even further.
*Costs calculated at 32p/kWh based on usable battery is ~54kWh (90%).
**Please note, energy prices vary and can go up and down. To find your current cost per kWh, please check your electricity bill or contact your provider.
Find out more about the home charging options available and how fast you can charge your car.
Cost of charging at home - 3 example electric cars:
|Approximate “real-world” electric range
|Cost to fully charge*
|Cost per mile
|Nissan LEAF 3.ZERO e+ (2019)
|Mercedes-Benz EQE (2022)
|Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021)
|12.79p (electric mode**)
* You can calculate the cost to fully charge your own car by using the formula:
Tariff (e.g. 28p/kWh) * Battery size (e.g. 100kWh) / 100 = Cost to fully charge (e.g. £28.00).
** Hyundai Tucson PHEV is a plug-in hybrid - this is the cost per mile, when running solely on electric power.
Don't see the model you were looking for in this table? Browse other EVs here.
Cost to charge an electric car at work
The cost of charging an electric car at work can vary between organisations with some choosing to provide free charging while others set a paid tariff.
- Some employers offer free charging as a staff incentive.
- Others opt for a time-based tariff to encourage sharing of charging stations.
- Another model is to offer free employee charging for a set period of time and a fee after this time to encourage employees to vacate charging spaces.
Tip: More and more businesses around the UK are installing electric car charging facilities. Employee demand is one of the key drivers along with the sustainability benefits and reduced fleet costs.
Do electric cars increase your electric bill?
If you switch from a diesel or petrol to an electric car and start charging at home, you’ll inevitably see an increase in your electricity bill - simply because you’re using more energy than before to charge your EV. At the same time, you’ll be making savings as you no longer need to fill your tank at the petrol station. Your car’s fuel cost becomes part of your electricity bill.
Is it cheaper to charge an electric car at home or a charging station?
It’s generally cheaper to charge your electric car at home than at a charging station. The average cost for home charging is 32p per kWh and 48p per kWh for a public charging station.
When it comes to home charging, you can leverage comparison sites and switch providers to get the best rate, keeping your per kWh price low. You won’t find much of a price difference in comparable public chargers, so “shopping around” for a cheaper public charger can sometimes be more effort than it’s worth.
Tip: In addition to charging costs, you should also consider and budget for any costs associated with servicing and maintaining your electric car. Get an overview of EV maintenance costs in our guide.
Cost to charge an electric car at public chargepoints
Charging your electric car while out and about is a great way to top up your battery.
- On most modern networks you can use a free-to-download mobile app to find chargepoints and start your charge.
- Some older public chargepoints require an RFID card (similar to a contactless debit card) to start charging which can be ordered online. This method is slowly being phased out.
- For app-enabled chargepoints, if the host has set a tariff, you will be able to pay for your charge in app.
Cost to charge an electric car at rapid chargers
Rapid chargers are typically found in motorway service stations and range from being free to one of the more expensive ways to charge.
- Most network rapid chargers cost 74p/kwh which is about £19 for 30 minutes of charging (as of May 2023).
- The Tesla Supercharger Network has points across the UK which are either free (dependent on the vehicle age) or pay-per-use for owners of Tesla electric vehicles.
- Other sites can be found around the UK and typically have an associated tariff that is chosen by the operator.
Tip: Rapid charging is unlikely to be a part of your day-to-day charging routine, as your other charging will fulfil most of your needs, usually at lower cost. But access to well placed rapid chargers is critical for longer journeys.
Are electric charging stations free?
Most charging stations have a set per kWh price, but some public charging stations are free. You’ll usually find them at destinations like supermarkets, where you can use them to top up while shopping.
Some employers have even adopted free EV charging as an employee incentive at their offices. Speak to your employer to find out if your workplace offers free or reduced-price electric car charging.
Why is rapid charging more expensive?
Rapid chargers offer great convenience to EV drivers who need to recharge their batteries in a short space of time, often to continue an onward journey. The increased charging speed means you can charge a typical 60kW electric car from empty-to-full in just 30 minutes. The time saving and convenience comes at a cost, making this option more expensive than home charging or other public charging.