UK Public EV Charging Networks Price Comparison: January 2021

January 27th 2021

2021 is set to be another huge year for EVs, as people switch to cleaner and more efficient electric vehicles. We've compared the latest prices from many of the major public charging networks to work out which one offers the best, and worst, value for your money.

How we compare the prices

There are lots of factors to consider when comparing networks, as they all have different pricing structures. Our calculations take into account connection fees, subscription fees and per-kWh costs. All the different pricing structures are normalised into an "effective" cost-per-kWh in order to compare the different networks more fairly. This means that our comparison should offer a better idea of real-world costs. We also estimate how much it would cost to charge an EV enough times to drive the UK's average monthly mileage.

We've added a few new networks since the last time we compared charging networks, and underlying figures used for calculations are largely the same. RAC's average monthly mileage is now quoted as being 616 miles per month, we've based the monthly cost on charging a 40kWh battery once again. It's worth noting that again, Petrol and Diesel AFR prices have reduced, this time much more significantly - with petrol dropping 22% and diesel by 10%. Average electricity prices have gone up around 1% and Economy 7 night rate has increased around 10%.

As always, it's worth pointing out that statistics will vary across different vehicles and owners. Also, some of the networks vary their prices in different locations across the country - but it should help provide a rough indication of where the best value can be found. The list is by no means exhaustive and we welcome all feedback to help improve this data next time, comment below or drop us a line if you have any thoughts.

Please note that some of the following graphs are best viewed on wider web browsers such as tablets or desktop devices.

Slow Chargers #

The slowest category of chargers here is mostly 3.6kW, but some networks listed here do provide power up to around 5.5kW. Although these speeds were first provided by some of the oldest chargers around, new lamp post infrastructure popping up in cities, where lamp posts provide slower rates of charge overnight for mostly resident charging, means that its a growing category.

Home charging rates are included for comparison, using the latest UK average electricity prices. BP Pulse and Charge Your Car continue to offer excellent value for money, undercutting home electricity prices significantly.

  • Average cost per kWh: 22p.
  • Average Slow Charing cost for average UK monthly mileage of 616 miles: £39.07 (Petrol: £67.76 / Diesel £61.60 / Charging at home: £29.22).
  • Cheapest networks: BP Pulse and Charge Your Car.
  • Most expensive: Char.gy Casual.
  • Charging networks included in this: BP Pulse, Charge Your Car, Ubitricity, Electric Blue, GeniePoint and Char.gy.

Slow charging: Cost per kWh

The cost of Slow Charging on the UK's major public charge networks, in cost-per-kWh (effective).

Slow charging: Monthly cost

The cost to Slow Charge, a total monthly amount of 176kWh, on the UK's major public charge networks.

Fast Chargers #

"Fast" chargers is an older but sometimes confusing term. This category is mostly 7kW chargers but also includes some 22kW chargers.

Home charging rates are included for comparison, using the latest UK average electricity prices. BP Pulse and Charge Your Car continue to offer excellent value for money, undercutting home electricity prices significantly.

  • Average cost per kWh: 0.26p.
  • Average 7kW charging cost for average UK monthly mileage of 616 miles: £46.78 (Petrol: £67.76 / Diesel £61.60 / Charging at home: £29.22).
  • Cheapest networks: Chargeplace Scotland and Charge Your Car.
  • Most expensive: Source London PAYG.
  • Charging networks included in this: Pod-Point, Tesla Destination, E-Carni, ChargePlace Scotland, Charge Your Car, BP Pulse, Gridserve EV, Alfa Power, Electric Blue, Source London and GeniePoint.

Fast charging: Cost per kWh

The cost of Fast Charging on the UK's major public charge networks, in cost-per-kWh (effective).

Fast charging: Monthly cost

The cost to Fast Charge, a total monthly amount of 176kWh, on the UK's major public charge networks.

Rapid Chargers #

Rapid chargers are those capable of charging at around 50kW. Generally, users expect to pay a bit more for rapid charging as it offers more convenience and meets immediate demand.

This year we've added more networks to this category, and also separated out the extremely high power chargers into an Ultra charging category. This has brought the overall cost down a little. It's interesting to note that in the 50kW category, there is little difference in cost to the 7kW Fast chargers.

  • Average cost per kWh: 26p
  • Average monthly cost rapid charging for average UK monthly mileage of 616 miles: £47.34 (Petrol: £67.76 / Diesel £61.60 / Charging at home: £29.22).
  • Cheapest rapid networks: ChargePlace Scotland, ChargerNet and Ecotricity (home energy customer tariff).
  • Most expensive: Shell Recharge.
  • Charging networks included: E-Carni, ChargePlace Scotland, ChargerNet, Ecotricity, BP Pulse, Pod-Point, Gridserve EV, Alfa Power, Electric Blue, ESB EV Solutions, Charge Your Car, GeniePoint, Instavolt, Osprey and Shell Recharge.

Rapid charging: Cost per kWh

The cost of Rapid Charging on the UK's major public charge networks, in cost-per-kWh (effective).

Rapid charging: Monthly cost

The cost to Rapid Charge, a total monthly amount of 176kWh, on the UK's major public charge networks.

Ultra Chargers #

Many new public chargers are appearing on the network with extremely fast speeds of up to 350kW. To better represent these "ultra" chargers, we've separated them out into their own category. Ultra chargers are any DC chargers capable of charging at 100kW or higher.

It's interesting to note that at these speeds, many of the networks are as expensive as petrol and diesel. Gridserve EV deserves a mention here, as their state-of-the-art Braintree EV charging hub offers speeds up to 350kW at the cheapest price of 24p/kWh, even lower than the average cost of Fast charging.

  • Average cost per kWh: 39p
  • Average monthly cost rapid charging for average UK monthly mileage of 616 miles: £68.76 (Petrol: £67.76 / Diesel £61.60 / Charging at home: £29.22).
  • Cheapest rapid networks: Gridserve EV and Tesla Superchargers.
  • Most expensive: Ionity.
  • Charging networks included: Gridserve EV, Tesla Superchargers, BP Pulse, Shell Recharge and Ionity.

Ultra charging: Cost per kWh

The cost of Ultra Charging on the UK's major public charge networks, in cost-per-kWh (effective).

Ultra charging: Monthly cost

The cost to Ultra Charge, a total monthly amount of 176kWh, on the UK's major public charge networks.

Summary

Due to the reduction in petrol and diesel AFR prices, it's a little disappointing to see that combustion engine vehicles seem to be quite a lot cheaper to refuel than last year, whilst the cost to recharge EVs has risen fractionally.

However there's still so much choice for EV owners between different charging operators, it's still possible to beat home electricity prices by shopping around on the public networks. And of course, it is still possible to easily pay much less than the equivalent petrol or diesel fuel cost.

You can look at the complete data set in our PDF and links to the spreadsheets are given at the bottom of this article.

Please do contact us if you think we've miscalculated anything or if you'd like to see other networks included which we've missed out.

Given values for calculation
Average monthly mileage*616
Average UK electricity per kWh*£0.166
Average UK night rate electricity per kWh*£0.10
UK Advisory fuel rate cost (Petrol)*
£0.11
UK Advisory fuel rate cost (Diesel)*
£0.10
Average miles per kWh in car
3.5
kW of energy needed per month
176
Car battery size (kWh)
40
Charge amount
80%
Number of charges required for given monthly mileage
6
References

*Data is sourced as follows.

Other notes
  • Completely free networks were not included in the averages.
  • Some networks, such as BP Pulse, operate some free rapids, which are accessible with the subscription. These are not reflected in the given prices
  • Data is available to download in PDF, XLSX and Numbers.