How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle? - E Smart Way

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How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?

Posted by Tom Lee on

In the first seven months of 2020, registrations of new pure electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK were up 112% on the whole of 2019. Even in the face of a global pandemic which has affected the number of new cars sold across the country, EVs continue to shatter records and prove their credentials with a combined total of 66,000 pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars sold so far this year (to July 2020).

New plug-in cars (EVs + PHEVs) registered in the UK 2019-2020:

Bar graph about EV adoption in the UK

As well as the positive difference you can make to the environment by going electric, a big part of the attraction is the savings you can make on fuel. If you’re wondering how much it is to charge an electric car, read on for more information and some handy tips to maximise your EV’s potential.

Hyundai IONIQ electric

How much does charging an electric car cost?

Over 90% of EV charging is done at home, as this is usually the most cost-effective way to do so. The average cost to charge electric car batteries from empty to full at home depends on your electricity tariff and the vehicle you own.

Whether you want to know the cost to charge a Tesla, a Hyundai or something else, all you need to do to work out how much a full charge is, is multiply the cost of electricity by the size of your car’s battery. This is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).

Charging Cost Equation

There’s been a recent explosion in the number of EV-specific energy tariffs, designed by energy companies to get electric car drivers on board. The Zap Map EV tariff tool can help you differentiate between costs and benefits, with major suppliers such as British Gas and Scottish Power offering renewable energy tariffs with off-peak electricity prices of less than 5p per kW.

If you want to know how to charge a Jaguar I-Pace, Nissan Leaf, a Mercedes EQC or anything else in the cheapest way possible, the answer is usually to plug it in overnight and set a timer on your charger (or via your car or your car’s charging app) to ensure you take advantage of the off-peak rate. You don’t need to worry about overcharging, as the charge point will turn off when your car battery is full.

You may need to keep an eye on how much off-peak electricity your tariff allows each day however, with some providers offering longer periods of cheap energy than others. Businesses could also benefit from EV tariffs as more suppliers recognise the growing demand for electric cars as fleet vehicles.

Whether you’re looking for an EV charge point at home or at work, there is a cost attached to installation. The government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme is currently offering a grant of up to £350 to cover as much as 75% of the cost of installing a home charger, with the RAC estimating the average cost of a home charger at £800.

Rolec EV home charger WallPod
Rolec WallPod (electric vehicle home charger)

The Workplace Charging Scheme, meanwhile, is an incentive which offers a grant of £500 to businesses towards each charge point up to a total of 20. If your company takes up the entire quota, this equals a government contribution of £10,000.

Cost of using public charging points

It’s not always possible to charge up at home. Sometimes you may need to add some juice to your battery on a long journey, or you may be one of a growing number of people who decide to get an EV without the ability to home charge. Either way, the UK has a rapidly growing network of public charge points which offer fast, convenient charging.

You can find lots more information on charging stations here, as well as some examples of how much it costs to charge up a selection of different vehicles.

The thing to remember with home charging versus public charge points is that there’s a trade-off between cost and speed. Charging your EV at home is usually cheaper and slower, while charging stations offer rapid chargers which cost more to use for their convenience.

Nissan Leaf Charging at a Polar public rapid charger

What are the cheapest electric cars to run?

In terms of the number of miles you can cover related to the cost of charging a battery, EVs are incredibly cheap to run. The Renault Zoe electric car and the Hyundai IONIQ both rank among the cheapest, along with the Tesla Model 3.

Renault Zoe electric car
Renault Zoe
Hyundai IONIQ Electric car 2019 model with sun set in background
Hyundai IONIQ electric
New electric car, Tesla Model 3 in Grey.
Tesla Model 3

The table below shows ten of the most popular EVs currently on the market. Based on their battery size and our ‘real world’ range for each model, we’ve worked out the cost of covering 100 miles when you charge up both at home and at a public charging station.

We’ve based our figures on an electricity cost of 14p per kW for home charging, and 15p per kW for public charging. This pricing reflects the cost of using a 50kW charger with Polar, the UK’s largest public charging network, with a Polar Plus membership (costing £7.85 per month). Using the Polar network without a membership is more expensive but if you’re rapid charging regularly a membership is a cost effective way of charging away from home:


Battery size

‘Real world’ range (miles)

Full home charge cost

Cost per 100 miles on home charge

Full public charge cost

Cost per 100 miles on public charge

Hyundai IONIQ


165 £5.32 £3.22 £5.70


Tesla Model 3 Long Range


295 £10.50 £3.50 £11.25


Renault Zoe


195 £7.00 £3.58 £7.50


Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus


210 £7.70 £3.66 £8.25


Nissan Leaf


150 £5.60 £3.73 £6.00


Kia E-Niro


235 £8.96 £3.81 £9.60


Volkswagen e-Golf


125 £5.04 £4.03 £5.40


Tesla Model S Long Range


325 £14.00 £4.30 £15.00


Mercedes EQC


230 £11.20 £4.86 £12.00


Jaguar I-PACE


220 £12.60 £5.72 £13.50


volkswagen egolf charging

From VW e-Golf charging to picking out the best EV tariff for your home, electric cars are quite simple to own once you get into the swing of things. And as you can see above, the cost of driving 100 miles in an electric car is incredibly low compared to petrol and diesel engines. With the environmental benefits also considerable, head over to our latest leasing offers and pick out your new EV today.


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