How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a charging station?
If you’re out and about, charging your electric car at a public charging station is a great way to top up your EV’s battery. While many public charge points, such as those at supermarkets or car parks, are often free to use, others incur a cost.
The cost of charging your electric car at a public charge point depends on the charge point network, the location of the charge points and its power rating. Here in the UK, there are three types of public charging points:
- Slow public chargers (e.g. on-street or lamp post chargers)
- Fast public chargers (e.g. car park, supermarket or leisure centre chargers)
- Rapid public chargers (e.g. motorway service stations chargers)
Cost to charge an EV at a slow public charger
Slow electric vehicle public chargers are generally rated at 3.6 kW (16A) and will fully charge an EV battery in around six to 12 hours.
Slow EV chargers are typically found in public places, such as on-street or lamp-post chargers, which can vary from 3kW to 6kW.
Many slow public chargers are free to use but some local authorities offer a pay-as-you-go service, typically costing around £1 an hour with an admin or connection fee of around £1.20.
Cost to charge an EV at a fast public charger
Fast chargers are rated at 7kW, 11kW or 22kW (AC) and will recharge an EV battery in four to six hours with a 7kW charger, or one to two hours with a 22kW charger.
Fast chargers are typically found at car parks, supermarkets, or leisure centres, where you are likely to be parked for an hour or more.
The cost of using public charging stations varies, but the charge rate itself usually ranges from 9p per kWh, or you can opt for a subscription service at around £7 to £8 a month.
Cost to charge an EV at a rapid public charger
Rapid charge points supply between 43kW (AC) and 50kW - 120kW (DC) of power and will re-charge most cars to around 80% in 30 minutes depending on the model’s battery capacity and starting state of charge.
Rapid chargers are typically found at motorway service stations or locations close to main routes. While some are free, rapid chargers are generally seen as one of the more expensive ways to charge because they offer a faster charge and greater convenience.
On the motorway, you’ll likely find Ecotricity 50kW rapid charging stations which deliver a full charge at around £12 in less than 50 minutes. Elsewhere, rapid chargers at supermarkets typically cost an average of 24p/kWh, which is around £6 to £7 for 100 miles of range for a 30-minute charge.