How much does it really cost to charge an electric car?

A simple no-fluff answer to charging costs

How much does it really cost to charge an electric car

The cost to charge an electric car depends entirely on the price per kWh and the total kWh added to the battery in the session.

At home, you can pay as little as 5p per kWh with an EV tariff, so topping up with 60kWh would cost £3. At 25p per kWh, the same charging session would cost £15.

We get to these figures with a simple calculation:

Total kWh consumed in session x kWh price = charge cost

You will pay more to charge in public. Differences in kWh prices exist because electricity is a commodity, and as such, it is priced differently everywhere.

To access cheap rates on an EV tariff, you need a smart charger. Read our guide on how to choose an EV charger.


The cheapest kWh prices at home are available with an EV tariff. These tariffs give you a cheaper kWh rate when charging your car. 

How to easily calculate charging costs

Whether you charge in public or at home, electricity is priced in kWh. This is the price you pay per unit of electricity.

Your EV’s battery also has a capacity in kWh. This is the total charge capacity of the battery, or how much energy it can hold.

Armed only with this knowledge, you can calculate what it costs to charge an electric car by taking the total kWh consumed in a charging session and multiplying it by the kWh price.

For example, charging with 50kWh at £0.25p per kWh costs £12.50. At £0.05p per kWh, the same charging session costs £2.50.

This is the easiest way to figure out charging costs. Just take the kWh consumption of the charging session and multiply it by the kWh price.


Electric cars rarely need charging to 100%. An 80% charge is sufficient for most people and will preserve the life of your battery.

Cost of charging an electric car examples

  • Charging at home: Costs £3 to top up with 60kWh at £0.05 per kWh, rising to £15 at £0.25p per kWh
  • Charging at work: Workplace chargers are often free, or they charge a standard rate of around £0.20p per kWh
  • Charging in public: You will pay as much as £0.69p per kWh, although most public chargers charge between £0.30 and £0.50p per kWh

How do you calculate electric car cost per mile?

In addition to calculating charging costs for your electric car, you might also want to work out the cost per mile.

Thankfully, this is easy too!

Simply divide your total cost of charging by your total miles covered. For example, if you paid £10 for 193-miles, your cost per mile is £0.05. If you paid £27 for 360-miles, your cost per mile is £0.075.

Here’s the calculation:

Total cost of charging / total miles covered = cost per mile

Overall, the cost per mile for an electric car is significantly less than an ICE vehicle and this is one of the biggest reasons to make the switch.


You can also measure your electric car’s energy efficiency in miles per kWh or Wh/mi (whichever your brain prefers).

If you like this article, you’ll probably also like our article about how much an EV increases your electric bill.

James Lewis is our resident electrical head. He drives an MG ZS EV (2018, which he loves) and plans to get the new one soon. James is much more excited by the lower end of the EV market and is looking forward to the Ora Cat.