Douglas Cook

06 November 2023


As concerns over the environment and climate change continue to grow, more and more people are considering purchasing an electric car instead of a traditional fossil fuelled vehicle. While electric cars have several advantages, including being better for the environment and requiring less maintenance, one of the biggest factors that people consider is the cost.

Calculating the exact running costs for each can be quite time consuming, but never fear if your maths skills aren’t quite up to scratch, we’ve created an easy calculator to help compare EV versus fossil fuelled cars. As a starting point we’ve put in some average fuel prices and efficiency for each vehicle type, and a typical home EV tariff. All you need to do is adjust for the exact details of your own vehicles.

Public v Home Charging Costs

One of the biggest factors impacting on your EV running cost is where you choose to charge. We’ve given a comparison below of some of the most popular charging networks and home tariffs to help illustrate how this can impact costs. These estimates are based on a range of 3-4 miles per kWh of charge, which is a typical efficiency for a small to medium-sized EV driven in the city. Note that an accurate comparison with many providers is difficult. For public networks, charging speeds and prices vary wildly across the country, wherever possible we’ve tried to base our comparisons on a charger of 50kw or more. Meanwhile on home tariffs, different providers have different limitations based on time of day and other factors.

Charging Provider Unit Rate (£/kWh) Unit Rate v Standard Home Rate
Pod Point £0.48 +£0.38
Charge Place Scotland £0.55 +£0.28
Tesla Supercharger (Non-Member) £0.51 +£0.24
Osprey £0.79 +£0.52
Edinburgh City public charging pricing November 2023 based on 50kw+ 

Energy Provider Unit Rate (£/kWh) Unit Rate v Standard Home Rate
Octopus Energy £0.075 -£0.195
E.On £0.095 -£0.175
OVO £0.07 -£0.20
EDF £0.08 -£0.19
Indicative home EV charging tariff pricing November 2023

What else can influence EV running costs?

Your driving style can have a significant impact on the running costs of both fuel and electric cars. Aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration and hard braking, can decrease the fuel efficiency of a fuel-powered car and drain the battery of an electric car more quickly. On the other hand, smooth and steady driving can help improve fuel efficiency and maximize the range of an electric car. Additionally, driving at higher speeds on the motorway can also decrease fuel efficiency and range. Therefore, adopting a more efficient and gentle driving style can help reduce the cost of running both fuel and electric cars.

In general, the cost of running an electric car is lower than a fuel-powered car due to lower fuel costs and maintenance costs. However, the upfront cost of an electric car is often higher than a fuel-powered car. So, while in general most people will find EV ownership to be cheaper than a comparable traditional car, this will depend on individual factors such as driving habits, the cost of electricity and fuel in their area, and any available government incentives or tax credits.