Understanding the electric car charging cost

Published by on 01.09.2019 - 3 min

In everyday life, the electric car charging cost depends first and foremost on the type of charging point used. Whether at home or on the road, here are the keys that will help you calculate the actual cost of recharging.

How does one determine the exact cost of recharging an electric car? The calculation requires that all associated expenses be taken into account by, for example, including the subscription cost that must be paid to plug into a network of public charging points.

Domestic charging: the kWh cost

Kilowatt-hour meter

With a domestic charging point, a simple bit of multiplication is all you need to estimate the electric car charging cost, even if the calculation ignores the cost of purchasing the wallbox and the fee to install it. Take the total capacity of your electric car’s battery and multiply it by the kilowatt-hour cost billed by your electricity provider.

In France, the regulated electricity rate in 2018 was fixed at 0.145 euros per kWh. The cost to fully charge a 41 kWh battery like the one that powers a Renault ZOE comes out to 5.945 euros. Knowing that its operating range is more than 300 km, the cost falls to less than 2 euros per 100 km. As a guide, the average price per kWH is around 0.30 euros in Germany, compared to 0.21 euros in Italy or 0.18 euros in England.

 
In France, the regulated electricity rate in 2018 was fixed at 0.145 euros per kWh. The cost to fully charge a 41 kWh battery like the one that powers a Renault ZOE comes out to 5.945 euros.

The installation of an intelligent charging point that is able to modulate charging according to instructions provided by the electricity network generally makes it possible to benefit from cheaper rates. It offers the electricity provider the possibility of mitigating consumption peaks or of encouraging the distribution of energy from intermittent renewable sources such as solar or wind power.

The electric car charging cost on public roads

Outside of the home, the exact charging cost will depend on the type of charging point selected. Some are free or are offered at a preferential rate as a complement to some other service: such is the case for charging points installed in car parks or shopping centres.

In other situations, it is generally necessary to calculate the electric car charging cost on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the case, the total may either be determined by kWh (the amount of energy consumed), or by time spent charging. In England, for example, the Polar Instant network charges 12 pounds sterling (13.2 euros) per hour for fast charging at a 50 kW station.
A member card or specific subscription is often required to make use of a charging network’s charge points. However, a service like Z.E. Pass allows users to connect their cars at the charge points of several large European operators without any other steps required.

Even though the « type 2 » connector is now considered the European standard, there are several types of connectors and different charging modes: it is thus better to check that the charging point is compatible with your car through tools dedicated to searching for public charging points.

Copyrights: Anthony BERNIER, iStock

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