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How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

We’ve all heard about the cheaper running costs when owning an electric car. But how cheap is it really?

Here, we’ll take a closer look at charging costs, so you’ll know what to expect when you finally ‘go electric’.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car from home?

You can charge an EV with a regular 3-pin plug. But it can take a long time, so using a wall box is much more efficient.

The home charging points cost between £800 and £1,200 to buy and install. You might be eligible for up to £350 to help with the expense if you own and live in a flat, or rent any residential property. You can check the eligibility criteria and apply for the EV charge point grant (which has replaced the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme) through GOV.UK.  

You’ll have to take energy bills into consideration too. Although the rising cost of living means bills will become more expensive, currently it’s cheaper to charge an electric car from home than to fill an equivalent petrol or diesel tank.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a charging station?

According to Zap-Map, as of August 2022, there are just under 34,000  public charging devices in the UK, with a mix of slow, fast, rapid and ultra-rapid charging options. 

How much you pay at public charging stations depends on the battery, the charger speed and the provider. There are also subscriptions and memberships which reduce the cost of charging.

BP Pulse - one of the UK’s largest public charging networks – currently charges £7.85 for a monthly subscription. You pay 52p per kWh at a rapid 50kW charger and 55p per kWh at an ultra-rapid 150kW charger.  Drivers without a membership pay 65p and 69p respectively. These prices are subject to change and provider-specific so it’s always best to check the details before charging or subscribing.

Can I charge an electric car for free?

Some retail parks, supermarkets and businesses currently offer free charging to their paying customers.

Whilst charging itself may be free, EV owners still need to download relevant  apps to start a charge and may have to pay parking charges.

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