Fully charged EV will provide nearly 2 weeks of typical driving, claims Auto Trader

Electric Vehicles, News

Auto Trader has revealed that on average Brits need to charge their electric vehicle less than once a week to fit in their normal full week of driving.

On average, Brits drive 127 miles a week with the most common uses being grocery shopping (11 miles), visiting friends and family (22 miles) and shopping for other goods (7 miles). 

A single charge typically lasts up to 250 miles meaning the average household in the UK would need to charge their electric vehicle less than once a week, this is despite around two-fifths (41%) of drivers believing they would have to charge their cars every three days.

Additionally, the data shows that a single charge would be enough to cover a one-way journey between London and most other major English cities including Liverpool (212 miles), York (211 miles), Manchester (200 miles), Exeter (195 miles) and Cardiff (149 miles).

Despite nearly half of drivers (47%) thinking electric vehicles will fit into their lifestyle there are still several barriers to purchase.

39% of Brits admit that a barrier to making the switch to electric is their worry about electric charging times. However, Auto Trader’s experts recommend home charging at night will be the best option for most drivers. This will take between eight and 12 hours to fully charge and will enable consumers to utilise low-cost energy tariffs.

Alternatively, for those relying on public charging points the charging time will be faster as they offer more power. On average it will take between four and six hours to gain a full charge of battery at these stations decreasing to just one to two hours if the station has a higher power rating.

An even quicker solution can be found by using rapid chargers usually located in motorway service stations and public car parks which can provide a full charge in less than an hour. However these should be used sparingly as they can influence long-term battery life.

With 92% of adults in the UK believing that the cost of living crisis is the most important issue facing the UK right now according to the ONS, Auto Trader’s research reveals electric vehicle drivers with access to home charging can typically save £142 per 1000 miles vs running a petrol or diesel car.

With the average UK driver travelling 6,640 miles per year, this could lead to a saving of £942 over a one-year period, even with higher energy costs.

This figure is significantly reduced for those relying on more expensive public charging points, on which VAT is charged at the full 20% rate, resulting in a saving of just £41 per 1000 miles driven. As a result, Auto Trader is calling for government ministers to consider equal VAT treatment for public and private charging points.

Says Erin Baker, Auto Trader’s Editorial Director:  

“Electric vehicles have grown in popularity over the last few years with consumers, but still only half those surveyed said they could see how an electric car could fit into their day-to-day lifestyle; the length of time it takes to charge an electric vehicle has been noted as a concern which is putting some off from making the transition.

“However, there are several options which can allow individuals to quickly charge their electric vehicles and easily incorporate into their daily routines including charging overnight at home or using some of the tens of thousands of public charging points available across the country. With just one single full charge either at home or when already out on the road, Brits can benefit from close to two weeks of typical driving, meaning they are ready to go and have more time to enjoy what matters to them.”

Erin Baker, Auto Trader’s Editorial Director provides her top tips on electric vehicle charging:

Charging on the go 

Route planning

Where possible, try to plan your route before you set off, being sure to research the charging points in the destinations you’re going to as well as nearby back-ups.  Auto Trader has a very useful electric car charging point map to help you find out where these are located.

Enjoy your stopover

Given that average charging times can currently be quite long, you may need to incorporate a break into any long-distance road trips. Although this can be frustrating, there are ways to make it more palatable. For example, a more scenic location to charge up, stretch your legs and enjoy some lunch can alleviate the inconvenience. The National Trust provides a list of electric vehicle charging points at its venues and the Auto Trader charging map acts in a similar way to google street maps, so drivers can pick-out key scenic spots that will offer charging options.

Home charging

Time it right

Some energy suppliers will offer a cheaper tariff for using energy overnight, traditionally between midnight and 5am. All cars and charging points now have automatic timers either on the car or the charging provider app, meaning you can pre-program for the charging to take place during these times without having to plug it in at midnight.


The cost of having an at home charging point will of course increase your energy bills, but there are ways to alleviate this. Electric car owners with a charger installed at their home can sign up to community apps such as Co Charger and JustCharge that will allow them to share it with their neighbours.

The apps are free to download and will handle the whole booking process, working out how much the charger owes the host, as well as making the payment directly into their bank account.

To discover the top 10 most affordable electric cars currently on sale including the Citroen Ami, Renault Zoe and MINI Electric, visit the Auto Trader website here.

Chris Price
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