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Are Electric Car Charging Stations Free?

Electric vehicle (EV) owners have long been accustomed to the inexpensive costs associated with running their car of choice, but one question we often receive from prospective owners is along the lines of charging costs – Are charging stations free to use?

To put it simply, the short answer is this: Not always.

Whilst true that some stations, workplaces or even supermarkets will offer the service for free for the duration of your stay, the fact remains that many car charging stations which once offered their service for free (as a means to entice people over to EVs) have now began to charge a set fee for their usage, having picked up on the ever-growing popularity of the industry.

So, what are your charging options? Take a look at our comparison below to get a better feel for how much you should expect to pay when charging up your motor:

Rapid Chargers 

Rapid Charging can be found in a variety of areas across the country, but predominantly you’ll come across them at motorway service stations. If you’re lucky you may occasionally find that these chargers are free to use, but the rest of the time you’ll find that this is one of the priciest ways for you to charge – you can expect to pay 24p/kWh at many outlets, which equates to around £7 for 30 minutes of charging (100 miles of range). Quite heavy on the pockets, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Amount of charge between different charging points can vary wildly, with some research reporting that a 30-minute charge may only actually produce 15 minutes’ worth. As well as this, users have noted that they’ve been charged up to £20 in registration fees as well as hefty admin fees for each charge – the costs really start to pile up once you get into the nitty-gritty.

Whilst it must again be noted that it is possible to find EV charging providers offering a cheaper service, the question of convenience must be taken into consideration. You wouldn’t expect to go too far out of your way to put petrol or diesel into a traditional fuel vehicle, so why would you expect to do the same to charge your EV?

Home Charging

Home charging is the standout option when it comes to EV charging for two key reasons: Convenience and price. We’ve discussed already the hassle that may be associated with having to source a cheaper charging alternative – what could be more convenient than in your own home?

We’ve also discussed the standard rate you can expect to pay when charging at a rapid charger (24p/kWh). In comparison, the average domestic rate of electricity in the UK is 14p/kWh – a whopping 10p saving. This means that you’d be paying around £8.40 for a full charge at home. Can you imagine being able to pay £8.40 for a full tank of petrol? With EV home charging this is the reality!

Once past the initial outlay of a home charging system, the benefits are as clear as can be. Get in touch with our expert team today if you’d like to learn more, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.


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