It’s well publicised that the cost of running an electric car is much cheaper than a petrol or diesel car. But what ARE the costs, and is it really that cheap? Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of electric charging stations.

There are 255,000 registered electric vehicles in the UK and 29,000 charge points. This number is increasing all the time and this means the options for where you can charge your electric car are growing and growing.

Where can I charge my electric car?

There are four main places where you can charge an electric car:

  • At home using a personal home charging station.
  • At work, if your employer has installed electric charging stations.
  • At motorway service stations.
  • At public locations, such as supermarkets or car-parks.

Let’s break down the costs for each location:

Installing an electric charging station at home 

One of the most convenient places to charge your electric car is at home. There are a couple of choices:

  • You can charge using a normal three pin plug socket with an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) cable – however, bear in mind that domestic sockets are not designed for continual use so this can be dangerous and damage your plugs.
  • Install a domestic electric charging station. 

Domestic charging points vary in installation cost – from around £900 to £5000+ for stations with smart features such as facial recognition. In the UK, funding is available from OLEV for installations under the following conditions:

  • You use an OLEV approved installer such as RES-EV,
  • You have off-street parking, and 
  • You own an eligible car.

The funding covers 75% of the installation cost, capped at £500. Great news!

Cost to charge an electric car at home…

When you have installed your electric charging station at home, the only costs you will have are the additional electricity costs added to your bill. 

The average cost of domestic electricity is approximately 14p per kWh. This means that fully charging an average 60kWh car will cost around £8.40, and you’ll have approximately 200 miles of range. This compares to £21.78 for 200 miles in a petrol car, with an average mpg of 51.7.

If you have a cheaper electricity tariff overnight, then it will cost less to charge your electric car. This is a great way of spending even less.

Using an electric charging station at work

More and more employers are installing electric charging stations, and the cost of using one will vary depending on the business.

  • Most choose to provide charging for free, as an incentive to their staff. 
  • Others will have a time-based tariff, where you pay based on the amount of time you have used the station for.
  • Some offer free employee charging for a period of time, and a fee after this time – this encourages employees to vacate charging spaces.

The cost of electric charging stations at motorway services

Most motorway service stations offer rapid charge points. The time it takes to charge your car at these points varies, but most will charge up to 80% in as little as 30 minutes.

There are a variety of charges:

  • The Tesla Supercharger Network is sometimes free for Tesla drivers, otherwise it charges approximately 24p per kWh.
  • Charging at Ecotricity charge points costs 39p per kWh.
  • Other rapid chargers can be free.

You can find out the cost of rapid charge points in advance by visiting a site such as Zap Map, where you can filter by cost. It’s worth doing this in advance because if you pick a costly one, they can be the most expensive way to charge your car.

Charging at public locations

Charging at public locations such as supermarkets and car-parks is a great way to top up your car on the go, because these options are usually free. This makes it a cost effective, efficient way to charge – because you can leave your car in the charge point while you shop.

Again, a website like Zap Map is useful for finding your nearest charge point. This map is updated regularly by consumers, so you’ll be able to see when a charge point was last used and if it’s in working order.

The most cost effective method of charging your electric car

Because rapid chargers can vary so much in cost, it’s best not to use them unless you have to – for example, if you’re going on a long journey. If you do your research in advance and plan your journey well, however, you may be able to find a free one.

Otherwise, charging at work (if your employer offers free charging) is a superb way of getting a free boost of electricity – just be aware of hogging the charging station!

Public charge points are great for topping up – but remember that because these are not rapid chargers you won’t get a full boost.

Where can I go to get a charging station installed?

If you want to install a charging station at home, at your business or in the local area, you’ll need to speak to an expert. RES-EV can advise you on all aspects of your electric charge point installation, from location to costs. We will also talk you through the application process for the OLEV grant, ensuring that you don’t pay any more than you need to. Get in touch to start the process today.