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a graphic of Constantine the octopus calculating how much it costs to charge an EV
  • Dec 13, 2023

  • 5 min read


How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The cost of charging your electric car will change depending on where and when you charge. Generally, the slower the charge, the cheaper and more affordable it will be.

Charging at home overnight is usually the cheapest way to charge your electric car. And specific electric car tariffs like Intelligent Octopus Go can offer you the best price at home. As an Octopus EV customer, you also get the added benefit of Intelligent Octopus Go - EV Saver - saving you an extra 1p on cheaper overnight/off-peak rates.

At the other end of the scale, topping up your car with a rapid charger is the most expensive way to add miles to your battery (on average, using a rapid charger can cost around 18p per mile).

But let’s dig deep and answer some of the most common questions about the cost of charging an EV:

Is it cheaper to charge an EV than fill a car with fuel?

In short, yes. Electric car charging is much cheaper than refilling your petrol or diesel car. The savings you make will depend on which charging method you choose, but even the most expensive rapid charging is likely to be more affordable than filling up most petrol or diesel cars

Refilling a petrol or diesel car costs on average between 19 - 21p per mile, while recharging your electric car can cost as little as 3p per mile for home charging, around 14p per mile on lamppost chargers and around 18p per mile for rapid public charging.

That’s a big cost saving when you switch to electric driving with home charging. Bear in mind that even if you can’t charge at home, it’s really unlikely that you’ll do 100% of your charging on a rapid charger. There are plenty of ways to charge your EV without a driveway.

Where can I charge my electric car?

You have three main options for electric car charging; at home, at work, or a public charging station. Depending on which EV charging point you use, there will be different costs and charging speeds.

You can see a cost breakdown in our what’s the cost of charging on the public network compared to charging at home section.

If you’re charging at home you will need a home charger You can get a home charger installed from around £1200 (including installation). Our personal EV leasing and EV salary sacrifice packages include a free charger with standard installation for free. In some cases, you could even apply for an EV chargepoint grant.

How fast do electric cars charge?

Recharging your battery can take anything from one to 10 hours depending on how you opt to charge. Here’s the low down on various charging speeds:

** These are estimated, and depending on your car settings, the type of charger you use, and your useable battery, these charging times could differ. It's also important to note that you will get faster charging speeds the lower your battery is. And as your percentage increases, the slower the car will charge.

You can use apps like  Octopus Electroverse to find your nearest chargers and map out your journeys.

You can read a more detailed breakdown of charging times in our blog: How long does it take to charge an electric car?

What’s the best way to charge an electric car?

For day-to-day, home charging is the best option. It’s usually much cheaper and more convenient than other charging options - if you’re lucky enough to have off-street parking and can get a home charger installed of course.

If your work offers free charging, then that’s also a good option to plug in and boost your battery charge while you’re busy working away in the office.

You wouldn’t typically use rapid charge points day-to-day, as this isn’t great for battery health and they are not found on your doorstep. But it’s a great and convenient option for a much-needed quick recharge on longer journeys.

So, how much does it really cost to charge an EV?

With low-cost home charging options and more investment in public electric charging infrastructure, you’ll have more flexible, affordable and convenient charging options to choose from. Not only are electric cars the cleaner and greener choice, but it's also the cost-effective choice for the financially savvy driver.