The price of petrol and diesel can have one of the biggest impacts on the cost of running your car. Whether it’s deciding how much you want to put in your car or simply trying to work out how far you can go on your fuel budget for the week, fuelling your car can be a headache.
It’s little wonder that electric cars are becoming so popular. But is it any cheaper to fully charge your battery than it is to fill up a fuel tank? We took a look to find out.
A recent study took a look at how much it costs to charge your electric car at various locations. For most electric car owners, you’ll be charging your car at home. For a 60kwh electric engine, which gives you a range of approximately 200 miles, it was estimated to cost you around £5 to completely charge your car.
But it will vary depending on whether you are plugging your car into the mains socket, or into a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) charger. Car manufacturers limit the amount of power you absorb at a time on a mains outlet, whereas EV chargers have a higher rate of charge as they are specifically designed for electric vehicles.
When you look at your power bill, you’ll see that electricity has two different rates – one for the day time, one for the night. That’s because at night time, there is less of a strain on the power network meaning it’s cheaper for a supplier to provide the power. That means it is, in theory, cheaper to charge your car overnight.
The network of electric vehicle charging points is growing all the time. At supermarkets, these tend to be free of charge and you just plug in and power. Other charging stations require you to have a subscription or app to use them, with different price points.
Like with a normal vehicle, you don’t have to fill up your battery completely at each charging visit. The only downside you have is that there are a limited number of charging stations at the moment. Add to that the longer time it takes to charge your battery, and you may have to wait to charge your car. This could add more time to your journeys, which could be as frustrating as paying more at the pump. But as the charging network grows, this will become less of an issue.
Electric cars, like normal vehicles, work more efficiently once the engine has warmed up. So if you take lots of short journeys, you will drain the car’s battery at a quicker pace than if you were to take a longer journey. If you are heavy on the accelerator, you are also going to burn through your battery’s charge quicker than a more careful driver.
Another thing to take into consideration is that electric car batteries lose their efficiency over time. So that could be a reduced amount of power being produced, or the battery could lose its charge more quickly.