ELECTRIC cars are becoming increasingly popular around the world.
But how practical are they? Here’s everything you need to know if you’re thinking about getting one.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car at home?
According to EDF Energy, electricity costs 14p per kWh on average.
So, you’d pay £6 for a 13-hour charge on a 40kWh Nissan Leaf using a 3kW charger.
However, as electricity costs less off-peak (e.g. at night), the charge is more likely to be £4.
Home charging can be done using an existing plug socket or a wall-box home charging unit.
A typical wall-box home-charging unit can supply power between 3 and 22kW – and with a charge of 7KW, it can cut charge times in half.
You’ll need to pay to install one, but a government grant will fund up to 75 per cent of the cost of purchase, up to a maximum value of £350.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a charging station?
Running an electric car is less expensive than a petrol or diesel thanks to the cheap cost of charging up.
The cost depends on the type of vehicle you’re charging, what its battery capacity is, and where you’re topping it up – at home, work or via a public provider.
You’ll pay more at a public operator for a fast charger, for example, while slow 3kW chargers are the cheapest to use.
But it’s not simply a case of plugging in anywhere – you’ll need accounts with various operators like Chargemaster, Source London, Pod Point, and Ecotricity to make sure you can access different points.
Some of these come with a nominal yearly or monthly subscription fee and then a fixed usage rate depending on how long you charge for while others offer pay-as-you-go.
Most use an app to help you keep track of costs.
According to Pod Point, for a typical electric car with a 60kW battery, and up to 200 mile range:
Charging at home costs about £8.40 for a full charge
Work points should be free
Public location charging at supermarkets or car parks are often free for the duration of your visit
Rapid charging points, for example at motorway service stations, can cost about £6.50 for a half-hour charge
Where are the electric car charging stations in the UK?
Zap-Map is a useful app that shows you the location of charging points across the UK, and the type of charger available.
EVs currently account for around 3-4 per cent of the UK new car market, it says.
Although the charging infrastructure is expanding, there will be greater load on the grid than initially expected.
There are more than 7,000 locations with a public charging point installed, providing more than 20,000 connectors.
Many electric cars also have sat nav that recognises these locations and can direct you to those within range
Businesses can provide charging points, so check with your office.
And why not consider getting a home charger installed so you can plug it in overnight?
Petrol stations also have charging points.
Read more: THE Sun