A man using an EVBox Troniq Modular DC charging station.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car? [2023 update]

Last Updated: 20/9/2023

Last updated on September 20, 2023

To give you a ballpark idea of charging costs in the UK, we looked at average electricity prices and charging fees and calculated how much it would cost to fully charge an EV with an average size battery of 68 kWh at home, publicly, and if using a fast charging station. 

How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?

Type of EV charging

cost estimation*

Home EV charging


Public EV charging 


Fast EV charging


*These estimated prices are for illustrative purposes only and represent the cost to charge a 68 kWh battery from zero to 100 per cent based on the latest average electricity prices per kWh available, as of the date of writing/updating this article. The actual cost of charging an electric vehicle may vary depending on various factors.

How much it costs to charge an electric vehicle (EV) exactly depends on a range of factors.

This article dives into the details of different types of EV charging, their related costs (and difference compared to petrol).

At the bottom of this article, we've created an overview of estimated EV charging costs for 4 popular electric cars in the UK.
➡️ Click here to jump down to our detailed average charging cost overview directly. 

Electric cars continue to grow

The rapid rise in EV adoption is proof that electric mobility is here to stay – making up over half of UK vehicle sales for Q1 2023. There is no doubt that more and more people today are considering buying an EV than ever before. A crucial question many have before they invest in an EV is how much it costs to charge.  

There are many different factors that contribute to the cost of EV charging. For instance, one of the biggest cost differentiators is whether you’re charging at home, at a public charging station, or at a fast charging station. 

A woman using an EVBox Troniq Modular DC charging stations.

Electric cars vs. petrol cars

But how is the situation compared to cars that run on petrol?

How much it costs to fill a petrol or diesel powered vehicle depends on the price of fuel and the size of the tank. Similarly, charging an EV depends on the price of electricity and the size of the battery. 

An EV’s battery is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), which can be seen as the electric equivalent of a unit of fuel (1 litre) and usually ranges from 40 kWh on the small side to 100 kWh for larger vehicles. The smaller the battery, the shorter the range, but the faster it is to reach a full state of charge (SoC). 

Find out what the battery capacity is of your electric vehicle.

Arial view of a busy road at night.

Fuel economy for electric cars

How much both petrol and electric cars cost to drive depends on the vehicle’s fuel economy. Just like petrol cars, if your vehicle uses up more fuel, it will cost more. And as the saying goes, “what gets measured, gets managed.”

So, how do you measure the fuel economy of electric vehicles?

In the UK, fuel economy for petrol cars is measured in miles-per-gallon and split depending on whether you’re driving in the city or on motorways. For EVs, there are similar equivalents for both miles and kilometres. In the UK, fuel economy is quantified in miles per kWh, with the typical energy consumption for an EV averaging at 0.32 kWh per mile.

Types of EV charging

The three main ways to charge a vehicle are home charging, public charging, and fast or DC charging. With so many possible ways to charge, it’s not surprising that drivers usually opt for a mix of available options.

Our research shows that 68% of UK EV drivers charge at home, 49% charge at petrol stations and and 43% charge at work. Public charging stations are commonly found at end-destination spots (47%), followed by on-street parking (34%), and then en-route locations (6%) such as motorways and service stations.

As the electric mobility transition accelerates and more public and fast charging stations become available, more people are comparing petrol cars to electric cars and questioning which one is more beneficial and cost-efficient.

A green piggybank in the driver seat of a vehicle.

Cost of charging electric car at home

The ability to charge an EV at home is undoubtedly one of the most attractive reasons for those considering purchasing one. You can simply come home from work, plug your vehicle in, and wake up the next morning with a full battery. Besides the convenience factor, home charging is also the most economical way to charge your EV.

A man and a woman standing in front of the EVBox Livo AC home charging station.

With a home charging station, you will typically pay the lowest price per kWh, as you’re taking energy directly from the grid. Because there is no middleman taking a cut for the sale of your electricity, you’ll simply pay the price you pay for electricity at your home.

An electric car and your electricity bill

The first number you need to know when calculating how much it costs to charge at home is how much you pay per kWh from your electricity provider. 

The UK average price per kWh is around £0.30. Ofgem announced that starting in October 2023, a the price cap will be set in place for customers on a standard variable tariff (SVT) to £0.27 per KWh. The next price cap review is in November and will be effective from 1 January 2024.

For a rough calculation of how much it costs to charge at your home, take a look at the average electricity an electric car uses here

What is the cheapest time to charge your electric car at home?

Additionally, electricity costs change at certain times of the day. During off-peak hours, fewer people use electricity, and many energy providers offer cheaper rates during this time. EV drivers can take off-peak hours to their advantage and reduce their overall charging costs.

Charge during low-peak electricity hours

Electricity costs during off-peak hours, typically from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., are usually the lowest. There are also electricity supply tariffs designed for EV users, often referred to as “EV tariffs" which provide even more savings for overnight charging.

A woman reading a book in bed during the night.

As a rule of thumb, however, charging at night will save you money. 

Many EV charging stations today come with a range of smart functionalities that can help you increase energy efficiency. For example, certain residential charging stations can ensure that your EV begins its charging session during off-peak hours. Check out our comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about connected and smart EV charging at home to learn more.

Cost of charging electric car at public station

Generally speaking, public charging will always be more expensive than charging at home. One thing is for certain, public charging is still a lot cheaper than filling up your tank with petrol.

A man wearing sunglasses paying for his public charging session.

To keep up with the number of EVs on the road, cities around the world are rolling out public charging stations. Public charging refers to any charging station that you may find on the streets or at public parking facilities like shopping centres, restaurants, hotels, and hospitals, as well as on the side of the motorway. 

Public charging stations can be either Level 2 (AC) charging stations or Level 3 (DC fast charging) stations. However, because they’re vastly different in use and cost, we will discuss them separately. 

In most cases, public charging will be more expensive than home charging as the location sets the baseline energy cost, and often adds a premium for the service.
Public charging tariffs can be based on one, or any number of the following factors:

  • Connection fee: a fixed amount for each charging session.
  • Energy fee: a certain amount per kWh consumed during the charging session.
  • Time fee: a certain amount for the duration of the charging session (e.g. per minute or hourly).

Additionally, when you charge at a public charging station, you also pay for the service. A service fee is set by electric mobility service providers (eMSPs) for handling the charging transaction.

Service fees can be either a fixed rate per charging session, a certain percentage of the session costs, or both, and are added to the total charging cost. As each charging provider can set different fees and structure their tariffs creatively, there is no universal or standard public charging fee. For example, at BP stations in the UK, there is a £7.85 monthly charge to use the service plus electricity usage, while other eMSPs charge a certain fee per session.
Read our dedicated blog on how to pay for EV charging to learn more.

A lady using an EVBox Troniq Modular DC charging station at night.

EV fast charging stations

Fast charging, also known as Level 3 charging or DC charging is capable of charging a vehicle within minutes as opposed to hours. Fast chargers are significantly faster than regular AC charging stations and can deliver between 50 and 400 kWh

As a result, charging a vehicle with DC charging can take between 15 minutes and 1 hour to charge most passenger electric vehicles up to 80 per cent. The speed with which fast charging stations can deliver power to an EV makes them perfect for charging on-the-go locations like motorway service stations.

A man and a woman having a coffee while their cars are being charged by an EVBox Troniq Modular Dc charging station.

Fast charging station cost

DC fast charging is the most expensive public charging option and can double (or in some cases even triple) the cost per kWh. With fast charging, you’re paying for the convenience of charging your vehicle quickly—not dissimilar to the cost of doing your food shopping at service station on the side of the motorway or having them delivered to your doorstep. 

The price of fast charging is often most comparable to the price of filling up with petrol. For example, if you’re charging a vehicle with a bigger battery like a Tesla Model S (with a 100 kWh battery capacity) at £0.62 per kWh with a £2.00 charging fee, a full charge will cost roughly £64.

But unlike filling up with petrol, DC fast charging is not the main way to charge an EV; rather an on-the-go option to top-up when on longer journeys or when low on charge. As such, these higher charging costs don’t make up the lion's share of total charging costs for EV drivers.

You’re also paying a premium for the investment by the charge point operator: fast charging stations require special equipment that can drive up the cost of installation significantly

Are electric cars cheaper than petrol cars?

All in all, how much it costs to charge an electric car depends on a range of factors, such as the size of the car’s battery, the state of charge, at what time the vehicle is charging, and the type of charging station. However, regardless of charging costs for individual sessions, one thing is certain: charging an EV is almost always a lot cheaper than filling a car with petrol.

A smiling lady opening the door of her car while she sits in the driver seat.

Studies show that annual running costs of an electric car is on average £1,742 per year (£33.50 per week), which is 21% less than the running costs of a comparable petrol vehicle, which comes in at £2,205 per year (£42.40 per week).

Cost to charge an electric car

We’ve gathered the average cost of charging four different-sized vehicles (with battery packs from small to large) at three different types of charging stations to give you an overview of how much it would cost to charge these popular electric cars in the UK.

EV model

Battery size

Home charging

Public charging

Fast charging

Fiat 500e

42 kWh




Volkwagen ID.4

55 kWh




Hyundai IONIQ 5

  77.4 kWh




Tesla Model 3

82 kWh




Please note: Prices for each charging segment are approximations for illustrative purposes and do not represent a real-life situation. These calculations ar30e based on a median guesstimate charging tariff and represent the cost to charge from zero to 100 per cent. For home charging we took the average price for electricity per kWh in the UK at the time of writing/updating this article: 30p, for public charging we based prices on a median estimated average of 50p per kWh+ £1 charging fee, for fast charging 72p per kWh + £2,- charging fee.

Read more about EV charging

Aside from the cost of charging an electric vehicle, there are many other aspects of EV charging that can be confusing to drivers considering switching to electric mobility. If you want to learn more about the practical aspects of owning an EV have a look at our detailed introductory guide to EV charging.


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