How Much Will It Cost You to Charge an Electric Car in the UK?
Last Updated: September 4, 2022
There’s a lot of talk about electric cars these days, and for good reason—they’re the future of transportation. In fact, according to recent UK electric car statistics, there are more electric charging stations than petrol stations in the UK
But one question often comes up: what is the cost of charging an electric car in the UK? Our guide addresses how much it costs to charge different electric cars and how long the process takes.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car in the UK?
Electric cars are cheaper to maintain than gas cars since they have fewer moving parts and don’t require oil changes. Electric vehicles also tend to be more efficient than gas cars, saving money on fuel costs.
In the long run, electric cars are more cost-effective than gas cars. A 2020 Consumer Reports study found that EV owners spend 60% less on fuel than internal combustion engine vehicles.
The cost of charging an electric car depends on whether you charge at home or at a public charging station, and the type of vehicle you have. Electric car charging at home costs less than charging it at a public charging station. Consider the following information on the prices of charging an electric car.
- Per Charge: To determine the price per charge, it’s essential to first calculate the electricity rates in your area, which can be done by looking at your electricity bill and dividing it by the kilowatt-hour (kWh) you used. On average, the per kWh cost is 28p. Assuming you drive 1,000 miles, your car will need at least 250 kWh. You can simply multiply the per kWh (28p) by 250 to get an estimate per charge—around £70. This rate also depends on the type of electric car you have. The Tesla charging cost is less than this, adding around £22.98 to your electric bill.
- Per Recharge: We’ve seen how much it would take to charge an electric car completely. Not everyone will wait for their battery to drain before thoroughly charging it, so your recharge cost will differ. But if you have battery energy left, you can get your estimate by multiplying the kWh you need by the cost to power the kWh. For example, you can multiply 100 kWh by 28p to get £28.
- Per Month: Depending on how many kWh it takes to charge a Tesla or any other electric vehicle, your per month cost may vary. It also depends on how much you drive your car. If you drive a lot, you’ll need to charge more frequently. If your per charge price is £70, and you charge once a week, your monthly charging cost would be £280. But if you only charge twice a month, it will be £140.
|DID YOU KNOW? Unlike electric cars, driving electric scooters on public UK property is illegal.|
Is Every Electric Car Created Equal?
According to recent car statistics, there are currently around 345,000 electric cars in the UK. And while all-electric cars are powered by electricity, there are some differences in how they’re charged. For example, a Tesla charging at home is much quicker than other electric cars.
This, however, comes at a higher cost in terms of the initial purchase price and the cost of setting up a power outlet. Tesla cars require a special charger that can only be used at Tesla Superchargers—much quicker than a standard 120-volt outlet. So it will take less time to charge your Tesla.
On the other hand, Prius cars can be charged at a standard 120-volt outlet. So their charging cost is lower than a Tesla charging cost. (Prius doesn’t require special charging equipment.) In addition, Prius cars have a much longer range than Tesla cars. So you won’t need to worry about running out of charge as often.
|DID YOU KNOW? The cheapest electric car in the UK is the Smart EQ Fortwo, with a starting price of £20,725. This car has a range of 81 miles, making it suitable for around-town use.|
How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla?
Tesla is among the most popular all-electric vehicles (EVs). But like any other electric vehicle, its charging cost depends on the model, the kWh needs, and charging efficiency. AC charges are not so efficient—so a bit of the energy will be lost while converting the alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). (Our calculated costs include this additional energy.)
Moreover, there’s a difference between charging at home vs charging at a station. Home charging is typically more affordable but requires the cost of installing an electric charger at your home. Public charging will cost you more per charge.
Consider the following prices of charging the different models of Tesla.
Tesla Model S
Per Charge: The Plaid and Long Range Tesla models have a 100 kWh battery. With 28p per kWh, the Model S should cost £28 per charge, but the additional energy makes it approximately £30. The Long Range has an estimated range of 400 miles; the cost per mile comes out to be £0.075 (£7.5 per 100 miles).
Per Recharge: Recharge cost is different from the Tesla charge cost, depending on how much battery energy your car already has. Ideally, you should never leave the battery at 100% or 0% State of Charge (SoC) for extended periods.
You can multiply the cost per kWh by how much kWh you need to recharge. For example, if you only require 50 kWh and the cost per kWh is 28p, it would cost around £14, plus the additional energy cost.
Per Month: The per-month cost depends on how much you drive. You can multiply the cost per charge by how many times you charge your car to get this amount. For example, if you drive long distances, you may need to charge your Tesla three times a month at £90.
Tesla Model X
Per Charge: The cost to fully charge a Tesla Model X is the same as a Model S at £30 because both have a 100 kWh battery. The Model X, however, comes with a lower range.
The cost per mile of the Model X Long Range is about £0.083 (£8.3 per 100 miles), with an estimated range of 360 miles. The Model X Plaid has an estimated range of 340 miles at £0.088 per mile (£8.8 per 100 miles).
Per Recharge: You can easily calculate the cost per recharge with a 100 kWh battery at 28p per kWh. If you only require 60 kWh, the cost would be £16.8, plus the additional energy cost.
Per Month: So how much is it to charge a Tesla Model X per month? Assuming you charge this model three times a month, it would cost £50.4.
Tesla Model 3
Per Charge: The Standard Range Plus Model 3 has a 50 kWh battery that costs around £14 to charge fully. A 262-mile range costs approximately £0.053 per mile (£5.3 per 100 miles).
The Long Range Model 3 charging cost is slightly higher. This model has an 82 kWh battery that costs £22.96 per charge. It has a 353-mile range—about £0.065 per mile (£6.5 per 100 miles).
Per Recharge: If you need to recharge the Standard Range Plus Model 3 for 25 kWh at 28p per kWh, it would cost approximately £7. The Long Range Model 3 also costs around 28p per kWh. Assuming you need to charge 50 kWh, it would cost about £14.
Per Month: If you charge your Standard Range Plus Model twice a month, it will cost £28. The Long Range Model 3 would be £45.92.
Tesla Model Y
Per Charge: The Long Range and Performance models have a 75 kWh battery and would cost approximately £21 per charge. So how much does it cost to fully charge a Tesla Model Y? The Long Range has a 326-mile range that costs £0.064 per mile (£6.4 per 100 miles). The Performance version has a 303-mile range and costs £0.069 per mile (£6.9 per 100 miles).
Per Recharge: If you only need to charge half your battery (37.5 kWh), it would cost only £10.5.
Per Month: As previously noted, the per-month cost depends on how often you charge your Tesla. Assuming you charge your Model Y twice a month, it will cost £42.
|The cost of charging an electric car depends on whether you charge at home or at a public charging station, and the type of car you have.|
|Electric car charging at home is cheaper than charging at a public charging station, as it reduces the cost per charge, thereby reducing the per-month charging cost.|
|To calculate the exact cost, you must know the per kWh cost and multiply it by the kWh your car needs.|
|The price of charging a Tesla varies from one model to another. The Tesla S and X models cost more than the Model 3.|
How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?
The following factors determine how long it takes to charge your car.
- The Power Source: Level 1 charging equipment takes the most time to charge your car, which you’ll need to do overnight. Level 2 charging equipment takes slightly less time. Levels 1 and 2 can be installed in your home and are accessible at public charging stations. If you go to fast-charging locations and opt for Level 3 fast-charging systems, you can quickly charge your car within half an hour.
- Charging Capacity: How much electricity does a Tesla use? The time of charging depends on your car’s charging capacity. You can calculate this by dividing the battery capacity by the power rating of your car’s charger. For example, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range has an 11.5 kWh charger and requires 75 kWh. It would take around 6.5 hours for the car to charge with a Level 2 charger.
- Battery Levels: The recharge speeds of electric cars depend on the battery levels. If you’re charging your car at 50%, it will take a shorter time than fully charging it at only 20%.
|DID YOU KNOW? Lower temperatures and hot weather conditions can affect your vehicle’s efficiency and lengthen the charging time.|
Tesla Battery Charge Time
Tesla’s battery charge time depends on the charger you use, your car’s electrical capacity, and the size of your battery. Note the following approximate times to fully charge a Tesla from a low battery and a 120V home outlet.
- Level 1 AC: 20 to 40 hours
- Level 2 AC: 8 to 12 hours
- Level 3 DCFC: 15 to 25 minutes
It can be tempting for drivers to opt for a fast-charging standard (CHAdeMo), but these chargers are not recommended for daily charging due to the massive direct current required. Your best option is to install Level 1 or Level 2 charging equipment in your garage or opt for an outdoor installation for overnight charging.
If you’re looking to purchase an EV, you should ask yourself: how much does it cost to charge an electric car in the UK? The cost depends on the electricity prices in your country, your vehicle, and if you’re charging at home or at a public charging station. It’s essential to look into these factors before buying an EV; it will give you a better analysis of the cost.
The exact cost depends on your car model and the charging station. Charging at a public charging station typically costs more than doing so at home.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car in the UK per charge? It depends on how often you charge your vehicle, which varies from driver to driver. Once you answer this question, you can easily calculate the per-month cost.