Recharge Rates

According to a 2021 YouGov survey, 26% of UK motorists cite the initial cost of purchasing electric vehicles as the main reason for not switching from a petrol or diesel vehicle. However, improvements in technology performance and cost reductions have continued to the point where a driver now has the potential to spend less money over a vehicle’s lifetime by choosing to drive electric.

Based on the local costs of petrol and electric charging points, we’ve investigated where longer-term savings can be made throughout Britain, based on how much motorists can expect to pay from charging a battery electric vehicle instead of refuelling a petrol car. 

How much can charging a battery electric vehicle save you?

Inforgraphic showing estimated annual savings made from recharging a battery electric vehicle

How much can charging a battery electric vehicle save you?

Compared to drivers of petrol vehicles, electric vehicle drivers stand to make the largest savings on refuelling.

We have estimated how much these savings amount to at a local level in Britain, by comparing the average cost of charging a Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 at public charging stations in each local authority vs the average cost of refuelling a petrol vehicle. Our analysis is broken down nationally, regionally, and at a local authority level.

Cost estimations are based on how much it would be to recharge and refuel our sample vehicles from driving 9,435 miles, which is the average distance driven by new battery electric vehicles in the UK.

Recharging in the Shetland Islands saves motorists the most money.

Inforgraphic showing savings for Shetland Island Residents

Recharging in the Shetland Islands saves motorists the most money.

Motorists in the Shetland Islands can save the most money annually (£1,177) by recharging a battery electric vehicle (BEV) instead of refuelling a petrol car. We calculated this based on the average cost of recharging a Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 at a charging point in the Shetland Islands compared to refuelling an industry standard petrol vehicle. Scottish and Welsh local authority areas dominate our top ten ranking thanks to the average costs of their public charging stations. The only local authority in England that appears is South Holland in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Motorists in the North East save the most money when recharging electric vehicles.

Motorists in the North East save the most money when recharging electric vehicles.

Motorists in the North East save the most money when recharging electric vehicles.

We discovered that on average, motorists in England can save £702 a year by recharging a battery electric vehicle (BEV) rather than refuelling a petrol vehicle. We wanted to further explore the savings that can be made on a regional level. For every region in England, we compared the average cost of charging a BEV locally (based on a Mercedes-Benz EQA 250) with the average cost of refuelling an industry standard petrol vehicle. When ranked by highest to lowest annual savings, the North East comes out on top – BEV drivers there can save £882 a year by charging their car instead of refuelling with petrol.

Battery electric vehicle savings based on the average local’s salary.

Inforgraphic showing battery electric vehicle savings based on the average local’s salary.

Battery electric vehicle savings based on the average local’s salary.

Based on the median salary of a worker in every local authority, we calculated where owning a battery electric vehicle (BEV) would save a local the most money on recharging costs per £100 of earnings. We discovered that for every £100 earned in Na h-Eileanan Siar (the Outer Hebrides), a local BEV owner would save £4.26 on recharging their car compared to refueling with petrol. That’s more than any other local authority in Great Britain.

Brighton and Hove has seen the biggest year-on-year increase in charging points.

Inforgraphic showing Brighton and Hove has seen the biggest year-on-year increase in charging points.

Brighton and Hove has seen the biggest year-on-year increase in charging points.

Between January 2020 and January 2021, Brighton and Hove saw an additional 200 publicly accessible charging stations installed in the area. This year-on-year increase is the largest seen in any of Great Britain’s local authority areas during that time.

Increasing the number of on-street electric vehicle charging points is a priority for the UK Government. In early 2021, it was announced that public funding was doubling for public EV charging installations around the country. The Department of Transport is also investigating the use of real-time information that could show drivers whether local points are available to use.

Methodology


Notes on methodology

Methodology


Notes on methodology

Electric vehicle charging locations and prices for charging were sourced from Open Charge Map. Different pricing systems were normalised to calculate how much it would cost to fully charge a Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 (2021) using the recommended charging boundaries of 10% to 80% of the battery’s usable capacity.

With a 66.5kWh usable battery, charging from 10% to 80% requires 46.55kw. With the price per kWh and power (kw) for each charging location in Great Britain, we could then calculate the cost of charging 46.55kw.

A 'free' charging location was considered to cost £0.00, and considers: stations that require a BP Pulse (formerly Polar Plus) subscription with no additional charging costs; charging spots where parking fees apply but there are no additional costs; locations which were labelled as 'free'; as well as a few other systems.

Using the Mercedes-Benz EQA 250's 15.7 kwh per 100km usage rate (converted to 100 miles), the charging costs to drive a journey (100 miles) were then calculated for each location. The same distance was used to calculate the cost of a journey for a petrol car based on the UK’s average fuel consumption of 5.7 litres per 100km as reported by the Department for Transport.

Average petrol prices for each location were sourced from Allstar and are correct as of May 2021.

Yearly recharge and refueling costs were calculated using the average annual mileage of electric cars at 9,435 miles per year. This figure was used to compare both electric and petrol vehicle examples.

The total number of publicly accessible charging stations per local authority was sourced from the Department for Transport (correct as of January 2021). Median annual earnings per local authority were sourced from the Office For National Statistics (correct as of November 2020).