cost to charge EV at home

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How Much Cost to Charge Electric Car at Home?

Electric vehicles (EVs) differ from conventional petrol or diesel cars because the running costs include charging rather than fuel. The cost to charge an electric car at home depends on the make and model of your car as your energy tariff. At the time of writing, electricity prices are 34.0p/kwh. This means that average prices range from £11 for 13 hours of charge on a small, economical battery up to around £15 for a standard EV with a 200-mile range.

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The cost of charging an electric car at home varies considerably depending partly on whether you have a hybrid or a fully electric vehicle.

Charging costs also fluctuate depending on the time of day you charge your car battery, whether you’re charging at home or using a public charging bay, the size of the vehicle battery and the maximum charge it can hold.

In this guide, we'll explain all the cost factors and provide some rough average costs for charging your electric car at home or elsewhere.

Costs of Charging an EV at Home

There are two main options if you want to install an EV charger at your property – a three-pin plug or a wall box, which provides a much quicker charging time.

The first doesn't have any specific installation cost – provided you have a plug socket, and suitable extension leads to reach your vehicle. Still, it isn't advisable for a raft of reasons, including safety, cost and convenience.

The other more suitable solution, and certainly the better long-term option, is to have an EV charging box fitted. Charging at night is often cheaper because electricity tariffs are normally lower outside of peak times.

Depending on your energy provider and tariff, at the cost of £0.28 per kWh, it could cost around £11 to charge a Nissan Leaf using a 3kW EV charger as an example.

EV charging boxes come in different sizes, supplying power from 3kW up to 22kW. The costs will also change for larger vehicles with bigger batteries or where you want a faster EV charging station with a greater capacity.

One option is to apply for an EV Chargepoint Grant, which reduces the cost of installing a charging point by up to 75% – the average unit costs £1,000, including installation work.

These grants replaced the previous Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme on 1st April 2022.

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Costs of Charging Different EV Models at Home

Like a fuel-powered car, EVs come in an increasingly large range of models, engines, and battery sizes, so the costs to charge your car at home may differ from someone else's if their vehicle is bigger.

Likewise, a rapid charging station will cost more to install and more per minute, but it will overall normally be a little cheaper because you won’t need to charge for as long to replenish the battery.

On average, it costs around £15.10 to fully charge an EV at home, particularly if you charge the car overnight, based on a 7-kW home charging station and an off-peak tariff.

Electricity costs also vary between providers, tariffs and areas. Still, the UK average is roughly £0.28 per kWh, which means a 60 kWh EV will require approximately £15 of electricity to have a 200-mile range.

There are options to switch to electricity tariffs specifically aimed at EV drivers, which can be economical and reduce charging costs to under £5, provided you charge your car at night.

EV Charging Costs Based on Battery Size

The below table demonstrates why the costs to charge an electric car vary between models – for this illustration, we have used the average £0.28 per kWh tariff.

EV Battery Range Cost to Charge Cost per Mile
Nissan Leaf 40 kWh 168 miles £11.20 £0.068
Tesla S 100D 100 kWh 388 miles £28 £0.072
Mitsubishi Outlander 13.8 kWh 28 miles £3.86 £0.14

The Mitsubishi is a hybrid, whereas the other two models are fully electric – the cost per mile assumes the driver is in electric mode and shows that while hybrids have benefits, they are more expensive to run than 100% electric engines.

Comparable Costs of Charging an EV at a Petrol Station

It is useful to understand the different charging options and costs – these also vary between providers, but we’ll have a look at BP Pulse as one of the larger charging station providers with around 9,000 charging points, a third of which are ultra-fast or rapid chargers.

A BP Pulse subscription costs from £7.85 per month with three months free for new account holders. Alternatively, you can choose to subscribe to a free membership but will pay a higher rate that starts from £0.35 per kWh.

The costs break down as follows:

Membership Type BP Pulse Charger Cost
Full BP Pulse150 £0.65 per kWh
Full BP Pulse50 £0.55 per kWh
Full BP Pulse 7 £0.44 per kWh
Free or PAYG BP Pulse150 £0.77 per kWh
Free or PAYG BP Pulse50 £0.67 per kWh
Free or PAYG BP Pulse 7 £0.57 per kWh
Contactless BP Pulse150 £0.79 per kWh
Contactless BP Pulse50 £0.69 per kWh
Contactless BP Pulse 7 £0.57 per kWh

The slower BP Pulse7 EV station is available in car parks and supermarkets and charges a standard EV battery in seven to eight hours. BP Pulse50 is a little quicker, with fast charges of up to 80% in an hour.

It costs more to use the BP Pulse150 because the charger has speeds up to 150 kWh and is the model you'll find on petrol forecourts.

As we can see, the costs of a public charger are significantly more than charging an EV at home, particularly if you need a super-fast charge and don’t have several hours to leave your car.

Annual Costs of Charging EVs at Home

Another perspective, if you’re comparing the costs of a fuel and EV car, is to think about how much you pay per mile and per annum in transport costs – excluding car tax, congestion charges and insurance, which are often considerably lower for eco-friendly EVs.

The average UK driver covers 8,100 miles a year and pays up to £0.34 per kWh – this is slightly higher than the calculated average but takes into account the Energy Price Guarantee from October 2022.

It makes sense to use the highest potential electricity costs to be sure you are making a cost saving when switching from petrol to electric.

Over 12 months, EV home charging costs are:

  • Between £0.093 and £0.0104 a mile for a very small city-type car, such as a Renault Zoe - a cost of £750 to £840 per year.
  • From £0.098 to £0.12 per mile for a medium or larger EV, including a Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf – you would pay around £800 to £975 a year to charge compact SUVs of a similar size.
  • It takes roughly £0.12 to £0.142 to charge a hybrid or large EV like an Audi e-Tron, equivalent to £975 - £1,150.

Heavier, bigger EVs inevitably cost more to charge, but you may find that you can reduce your charging to every two or three days if you have an EV with a conservative power consumption rating.

Cheapest EVs to Charge at Home

Just as some petrol or diesel cars are gas guzzlers, and others are efficient and economical, EVs vary in terms of battery power, performance and running cost.

Generally, the more luxurious an EV and the more gadgets it has, the faster it loses power because the battery needs to power touch screens, climate control, and heated seats, as well as the electric engine.

Some brands and EV models perform best in terms of running costs and costs per charge – but bear in mind that some of these vehicles are designed for city driving and may have a lower distance capacity than bigger options.

  • The Hyundai Kona Electric uses 3.7 miles per kWh and has a 64-kWh battery, with running costs of £0.091 per mile based on £0.34 per kWh electricity tariffs.
  • The Fiat 500e Cabriolet has a 37.3 kWh battery, needing 42.9 kWh for a full charge, consuming one kWh per mile driven.
  • The Tesla Model 3 is a larger EV with a modest 60 kWh battery, covering 3.7 miles for each kWh and costing around £0.092 per mile to drive.

Most EV manufacturers recommend charging the battery 100% once a week or so rather than letting the battery drain fully or running on a partial charge for several days in a row.

Other Cost Factors in Charging an EV With a Home Charging Station

Of course, the electricity itself is only one of the overall expenses associated with charging an EV at home – you need the charging station and car, which, depending on the model, may be similarly priced to other standard petrol vehicles.

EV chargers for home use start at around £500, although they can be more expensive if you need to re-route your electricity supply, install new wiring, or carry out any external work to fit an outdoor charging dock.

Electricians and EV charger installers may also cost more if you need to:

  • Fit more than one charger for multi-vehicle households or in different parking spots.
  • Switch from single-phase to three-phase power – usually if you live in a dual-purpose building or an apartment block.
  • Install a rapid EV charger called a DCFC (DC fast charging station).

It is always advisable to get three quotes before you pick the right size, placement, and power of your EV charger to ensure it is suitable for the EV you have and will provide sufficient charging capacity without being unnecessarily costly.

Ways to Reduce Home Charging Costs for EVs

The cost comparisons we have used depend on the current UK average price per kWh of electricity or the estimated new average from October 2022 to April 2023 with the Energy Price Cap – this may or may not change in the future.

However, EV drivers may be able to reduce the cost of charging their vehicles by choosing an electricity provider that offers specific tariffs for EV owners.

Most of these products have similar standard rates but charge much lower overnight tariffs, designed to make it more cost-effective to charge during off-peak times, thus avoiding putting too much stress on the grid.

One example is Octopus Go, which charges a reduced rate of £0.12 per kWh (compared to a £0.28 - £0.34 average) between 00:30 and 04:30 every day, keeping fuel costs down to as little as £0.03 per mile.

Charging an EV with 100 kWh at those rates would cost £12. The exact tariff available outside those hours varies between areas and property energy consumption but means that your fully charged EV will cost around 20% of the price during the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have answered some popular questions about the cost of charging an electric car at home.

Is it Cheaper to Charge an EV at Home Rather Than at a Public Charging Station?

Almost always, yes. If you charge an EV overnight, you pay the lowest possible tariffs and will normally spend less than half of the cost to charge the same battery at a public charging station.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge an EV at Home?

Although electricity costs have risen considerably, it remains cheaper to charge EVs at home. The average UK electricity cost is £0.28 per kWh compared to £0.44 per kWh for a competitively priced rapid charger.

Is it Really Cheaper to Charge an EV Overnight?

Yes – because electricity tariffs switch between off-peak and peak rates, overnight charging costs less per kWh. It may also not be necessary to fully recharge an EV battery every night, depending on how often and how far you drive.

Can I Charge an EV With a Normal Plug Socket?

If you need to use a standard 120-volt home electricity outlet, it will take significantly longer to charge your car and could cause surges and tripped fuses – although you can do this in an emergency or on a short-term basis.

It is better to use a proper EV charging station, which will provide a faster charge and put less strain on your property's electricity supply.

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