The cost of charging an electric vehicle?
One of the numerous advantages of going electric is the possible financial savings. In many cases, electricity is less expensive than traditional fuels like gasoline or diesel, with a 'full tank of fuel' costing almost half as much in some cases. However, because it all depends on where and how you charge an electric car, we were put together an in-depth guide to answer all of your queries.
Cost of charging a car at home?
According to the government-backed Go Ultra Low electric vehicle programmer, about 90% of EV owners charge their vehicles at home, and this is the most cost-effective method of charging. Of course, it depends on the car you're charging and your power provider's price, but 'fueling' your EV will be significantly less expensive than a standard internal-combustion vehicle. For example, even on the costliest tariffs, a Nissan Leaf should cost less than £5 for a full charge, which will give you up to 200 miles of range. Better still, get one of the new ‘smart' wall boxes and configure it to only charge when electricity is lowest, which is usually overnight, using an app on your phone. You can also check used electric cars on GoodAutoDeals.
How much does it cost to set up a car charging point at home?
You can use the factory-supplied three-pin plug charger, however, charging times are long and manufacturers warn against prolonged use due to the socket's current consumption. As a result, a specialized wall-mounted device is recommended, which can charge at up to 7kW, which is more than twice as fast as the three-pin option. There are a variety of manufacturers to select from, as well as tethered (with a charging cable permanently attached) and untethered (with different outlets and cables for different cars) layouts. Regardless of the option you choose, you'll need a licensed electrician to verify your home's wiring for suitability and then install the box.
The good news is that the government is encouraging motorists to go green by providing considerable subsidies. For example, if you have a unit installed by an authorized installer, the Office of Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) will cover 75% of the total cost up to £350. Of course, prices vary, but you should expect to pay roughly £400 for a home charging station with the grant. Even better, if you haven't purchased your electric vehicle yet, keep in mind that a number of manufacturers are offering a free wall box and installation with the purchase of one of their electric new and used car.
What will it cost to charge your car at a public charging station?
Again, this is depending on your automobile and how you use it, as public charging stations come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, if you only require charge when you're out and about occasionally, you may use a pay-as-you-go option, which costs between 20p and 70p per kWh, depending on whether you use a fast or quick charger, with the latter costing more. Others providers will charge an hourly fee (essentially a parking price) plus a kWh charge for electricity utilized.
If you go further away more frequently, BP Pulse offers a subscription option for little under £8 per month, which includes cheaper prices on many of its 8,000 chargers as well as free access to a few AC units.
Many of the chargers may also be used on a pay-as-you-go basis using a contactless bank card, with rates starting at 26p per kWh for AC charges and 35p and Its 50kW and 150kW chargers cost 42p per kWh, respectively.
Shell, a competitor in the oil industry, has started installing 50kW and 150kW quick chargers at its filling stations around the UK. These can be used at a fixed cost of 41p per kWh on a contactless pay-as-you-go basis, albeit there is a 35p transaction fee each time you plug in. The pricing remains the same if you sign up for a Shell Recharge account, which charges you monthly for your consumption but also allows you to use over 250,000 chargers from over 250 providers across Europe.
It's also worth noting that several hotels and shopping malls provide complimentary charging to their clients. Because all providers use smartphone apps, it's easy to know where charging stations are, how much they cost to use, and whether they're free, so you can quickly find a provider that meets your needs and budget.
Many manufacturers additionally simplify charging by providing access to a variety of suppliers through their own charging system. Customers may access over 20 different energy firms through Audi's E-tron Charging Service account, for example, and all new E-trons come with a voucher that covers the first 1000 miles of charging for free.
Tesla owners enjoy their own specialized Supercharger network, as well as a number of Destination fast chargers in places like hotels. Tesla Model S and Model X owners who purchased their vehicles before 2017 are eligible for free charging, but owners of later vehicles are currently taxed at a cost of 26p per kWh. Keep in mind, though, that Tesla charges 'idle costs' if you leave your car parked after it has been charged. If the Supercharger station is more than half-full, you'll be charged 50p per minute you park in a fully charge an electric car, rising to £1 if the station is totally filled.
Tesla has announced that its Superchargers will soon be available to owners of other electric vehicle models. You'll almost certainly be paid more than Tesla drivers to use them, with drivers of the slowest charging vehicles paying the most to discourage them from being plugged in for too long.
How much does it cost for motorway charging?
You'll spend a little more to charge at a motorway service stop, owing to the fact that the majority of the chargers are fast or quick. Ecotricity was the only provider at these places until recently, with roughly 300 chargers, but it has now been joined by others like Ionity. Ecotricity recently sold its Electric Highway network of chargers to Gridserve, which pledged more investment and 350kW rapid charges, including the 12 units that were just built at Rugby Services in Warwickshire.
There are currently AC and DC charging options available over the rest of the Electric Highway network, all with a 45-minute maximum use time. The AC fast chargers are in short supply, but they are free to use with an Ecotricity RFID card. The rapid DC chargers offer 120kW, 180kW, or 350kW charging and can all be used on a pay-as-you-go basis at motorway services for 30p per kWh, which drops to 24p per kWh if you use one of the company's Gridserve Forecourts, which are essentially standalone hubs of main trunk roads with amenities like cafes and newsagents.
With a price of 69p per kWh, rival firm Ionity is a little more expensive for pay-as-you-go consumers, but commercial tie-ins with EV manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar entitle drivers of these cars to lower rates. On the plus side, all of its chargers can deliver up to 350kW of charging power.