Cost of Charging and Paying for an Electric Car

Cost of Charging and Paying for an Electric Car

The cost of electric cars in UK for one full charge is around £17 at home. Learn more about cost of Charging and Paying for an electric car.

According to Statista, The projected revenue in the Electric Vehicles market in the United Kingdom is expected to reach US$20.6bn in 2024.

In the UK, there are public, workplace, and home charging alternatives for electric cars. Using Level 1 (a typical 3-pin plug) or Level 2 (a dedicated charger) solutions is common for home charging which is also affordable. Rapid chargers, which provide speedy charges in 20–30 minutes, are necessary for longer trips, which will usually be available at public charging stations.

Prices vary from public tariffs to workplace benefits, with quick charging typically costing more per kWh. Then, how do you pay for charging an electric car? In this article, let’s learn in detail about cost of charging and paying for an electric car. 

Cost to Charge an Electric Car at Home: How do you pay for charging an electric car? 

Charging an electric car at home costs approximately £8 to £11 for a full charge, depending on the vehicle and electricity rates. Level 1 (3-pin plug) charges are cheaper but slower, while Level 2 chargers (240V) are faster but may incur higher installation costs. Let’s learn more about the cost of charging an electric car at home in detail.

The most common formula for calculating the cost to charge an electric car art home is below –

Cost to fully charge =
Tariff × Battery Size
100

Now that we've touched on the basics, let’s dive into the factors that influence these costs.

Factors influencing home charging costs, such as electricity rates

Let’s find out about the factors that the EV drivers or fleet managers should be aware for home charging costs.

  1. Tariffs on electricity: Frequent changes in rates according to the supplier or time of day (e.g., Economy 7) might impact the cost of charge. 
  1. Charging Speed: Level 2 (faster) vs. Level 1 (slower) chargers have an impact on electricity costs and usage. Depending on the charger you have at home, speed and costs also vary subsequently.
  1. EV Battery Size: Larger batteries cost more to fully charge, which impacts the total amount spent each session. Depending on the EV that you own, the costs again vary depending on the battery size. 
  1. Charging Frequency: Consistent charging practices have an impact on monthly electricity costs, particularly for drivers who use large mileage. 

And speaking of costs, what about the average expenses EV owners face?

Average cost estimates for full charges and potential savings with dual-rate tariffs

The costs in the UK for charging an electric car at home typically costs around €8 to €12 for a full charge, depending on the vehicle and electricity rates. With dual-rate tariffs like Economy 7, savings can be significant, offering lower rates during off-peak hours, potentially reducing charging costs by up to 30% compared to standard tariffs.

Electric Car Models Table
Electric Car Model Battery Size (kWh) Estimated Cost for Full Charge
Nissan Leaf 3.ZERO e+ (2019) 62kWh €17.36
Volkswagen ID.4 77kWh €15.4
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus 54kWh €10.8
BMW i3 42.2kWh €8.44
Hyundai Tucson PHEV (2021)* 13.8kWh €3.86

Hyundai Tucson is a PHEV which runs solely runs on electric power

Note: The above numbers are based on charging from 0% to 100% using an average electricity rate of €0.20 per kWh. Prices may vary depending on the electricity rates in different regions. 

Also Read: Best Home EV Chargers in the UK

Next, let's explore how charging an electric vehicle at work shapes up.

Cost to Charge an Electric Car at Work: How do you pay for charging an electric car? 

According to the ZapMap, At the end of May 2024, there were 62,536 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 32,992 charging locations. 

There could be several variables that depends on the employer policies. Let’s learn more about it. 

Diving into the details, workplace charging costs can widely vary.

Variability of workplace charging costs based on employer policies

Workplace charging costs can vary significantly based on employer policies, which may include:

  1. Free Charging: To encourage staff members to switch to electric vehicles, some companies provide free charging as a benefit. 
  1. Subsidized Charging: Employers may choose to cover a portion of the costs associated with charging, which lessens the financial strain on staff members.
  1. Pay-per-Use: Employees who use charging stations may do so at a set rate or according to the number of kilowatt-hours they utilize.
  1. Time-Based prices: Depending on the time of day, charges may be different. This is consistent with power tariffs such as Economy 7, which give cheaper prices during off-peak hours.

  2. Membership or Subscription: In many companies, access to charging stations may be contingent upon employees paying a membership or subscription fee.
  1. Priority Access: Policies may set charging access priorities according to seniority or the frequency of EV use.

The fluctuation in workplace charging expenses emphasizes how important it is to comprehend company regulations and incentives for the charging of electric vehicles.

But it’s not just about the cost—it’s also about the models employed.

Charging models employed, including free charging or tariff-based systems

Electric vehicle (EV) charging models are implemented in workplaces in a variety of ways, including free charging for staff members as a way to encourage EV adoption and sustainability. As an alternative, tariff-based systems guarantee cost recovery and operational sustainability by charging staff members based on kWh usage or a fixed amount each session. To encourage employee EV ownership, several companies additionally cover the cost of charging, striking a balance between financial support and environmental measures. 

Time-of-use tariffs encourage off-peak electricity consumption, which further optimizes charging economics. Employers' increasing commitment to incorporating EV infrastructure while supporting employee welfare and more general sustainability goals is reflected in these measures.

Also Read: Locating Reliable EV Charging Installers in UK

The impact of employee demand and sustainability on workplace charging infrastructure

Workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is greatly influenced by employee demand and environmental objectives. Accessible charging stations become more necessary as more workers choose electric vehicles, which has an impact on facility management and workplace architecture. By lowering carbon footprints, employers who meet this requirement not only improve employee retention and happiness but also advance their company sustainability objectives. 

Installing EV chargers supports environmental initiatives, draws personnel with an eco-aware mindset, and promotes a green workplace culture. Proactive investment in charging infrastructure also helps firms become leaders in sustainable practices and gets them ready for future regulatory changes. These benefits boost reputation and operational resilience in a changing energy landscape. 

Now that we are quite aware about the home charging and workplace charging facilities, how do public and private charging costs compare?

Public Charging Costs: How do you pay for charging an electric car?

The price of public charging varies greatly throughout the UK, usually between €0.20 and €0.40 per kWh. In addition, certain stations might charge a session fee or provide free charging through sponsorship from companies or local governments, which makes it more convenient but might ultimately cost more than home charging.

Difference between public and private charging costs

Depending on the area, public charging for EVs ranges in price from €0.20 to €0.40 per kWh plus possible session fees. On the other hand, initial installation prices for private (residential) charging vary from €0.15 to €0.25 per kWh. While home charging is more cost-effective over time due to cheaper electricity costs and the absence of session fees, public stations may be more convenient but may be more expensive for frequent use. Charge habits, installation fees, and local electricity prices are some of the factors that affect costs. Many EV users optimize cost-efficiency and accessibility by using home charging for daily requirements and public chargers for travel, striking a balance between convenience and cost.

Now let's break down the different ways you can pay at these public charging points.

Exploring Payment Diversity: Options for Public EV Charging

Different payment options are available at public charging stations to suit the needs and tastes of different users.

  1. QR Codes: Typically connected to a charging network's mobile app, users can initiate and pay for charging sessions by scanning the QR codes displayed at the charging station with their smartphone.
  1. Apps for charging: Specific apps offered by charging networks let users locate stations, initiate and terminate charging sessions, and easily handle payments via the app's UI.
  1. RFID Cards: Without requiring a smartphone, users can authorize and pay for charging sessions by tapping their RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) card on the station. These cards are pre-registered with charging networks.

(You might want to read about Understanding RFID Cards for EV Charging

  1. Credit/Debit Cards: Using regular credit or debit cards, many public chargers enable direct payment, giving infrequent users a simple payment option without the need for additional accounts or apps.
  1. Subscription Models: In order to attract repeat users, charging networks provide subscription plans where users pay a monthly or annual charge to obtain reduced charging rates or waived session fees.
  1. Pay-as-You-Go: As an alternative, pay-as-you-go options are perfect for infrequent EV drivers who want flexibility without long-term commitments. They charge users per kWh or per session without any subscription.

Role of charging networks like Enel X Way and Zap-Pay in simplifying payments

The function of charging networks, including Enel X Way and Zap-Pay, is crucial in streamlining payments related to charging electric vehicles (EVs). They simplify the user experience with unified payment systems by combining several charging suppliers under a single platform. 

With just one app or RFID card, users can start sessions, access multiple charging stations, and manage payments with ease. Through improved accessibility to charging infrastructure across various networks and locations, this consolidation fosters convenience and encourages a wider adoption of EVs by reducing the headache of managing multiple accounts and payment methods.

Rapid Charger Pricing: How do you pay for charging an electric car? 

Prices for rapid chargers vary around the United Kingdom, usually falling between £0.25 and £0.45 per kWh. A fixed session price may be charged by certain suppliers in addition to the per-kWh charge. 

Pricing schemes seek to strike a compromise between affordability for drivers of electric vehicles who want rapid charging while driving and operational costs.

The premium associated with rapid charging stations

Rapid charging stations provide up to 80% charge in about 20–30 minutes, which is much faster than regular chargers. But the price for this convenience is more than it usually is per kWh when compared to slower charging choices. In order to balance the convenience of electric car drivers with the financial viability of sustaining rapid charging networks, this price structure takes into account the infrastructure and operating costs necessary to provide high-speed charging capabilities.

Specific pricing of network rapid chargers versus Tesla Supercharger Network

According to recent data, network quick chargers in the UK usually charge between £0.25 and £0.45 per kWh, with certain stations additionally charging a flat session fee. However, the cost per kWh for Tesla's Supercharger network varies by location and is typically between £0.24 and £0.30. In addition, prices for Tesla vehicles may vary depending on location and charging speed. This is because the company's dedicated network incurs operational costs, and its service offerings are customized to meet the needs of Tesla owners.

Lastly, let’s discuss strategies for making the most out of rapid chargers.

Strategies for utilizing rapid chargers efficiently during long journeys

A few tactics are needed to use quick chargers effectively on lengthy trips:

  1. Plan Your Charging Stops: Find fast chargers along your trip using EV applications or route planning tools to make sure you know where and when to stop for charging.
  1. Charge to 80%: Charging from low to 80% is the most efficient way to use a rapid charger. Because charging slows down considerably after 80%, avoid charging to 100% unless absolutely required.
  1. Precondition Battery: To maximize charging efficiency and speed, try to precondition your electric vehicle's battery before bringing it close to a rapid charger.
  1. Avoid Peak Hours: If you charge during off-peak times, you may be able to take advantage of cheaper electricity prices at some charging stations, which will cut expenses.
  1. Optimize Downtime: To reduce total travel time and make the most of your downtime, use charging stops for other activities like meals or breaks.

The Economic and Convenient Aspects of Electric Car Charging

Depending on how often you charge your electric car and how much electricity you use, charging an electric car at home usually results in higher household electricity costs. Because home charging has cheaper per-kWh prices and is more convenient, it is still the most cost-effective alternative over the long run, even with initial installation fees. Offering free or heavily discounted charging makes workplaces enticing for regular use. Although public charging stations are useful for traveling, their cost per kWh varies depending on the supplier and region. Rapid charging stations are more expensive each session but prioritize time savings over cost; they are useful for lengthy trips. Taking usage patterns into account and finding the best balance between cost savings and charging convenience are two ways to balance these issues.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, Electricity prices and installation costs affect how much it costs to charge an electric car at home, at work, and in public spaces. The customer experience is streamlined by payment options like contactless payments, apps, and RFID cards. The infrastructure for EV charging is changing, which highlights the increased financial and investment considerations for sustainable mobility alternatives.

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