EV charging in public can cost over 20 times more than at home,report reveals


  • Home tariffs can be as low as 4p per kWh while public rates can exceed £1 – over twenty times as much – but there are other factors at play too
  • Real costs – EV charging costs compared to refuelling ICE vehicles
  • Geography rules – charging costs can vary wildly, with rural areas most and least expensive

Drivers could be spending more than twenty times as much recharging their electric vehicle (EV) at public charging points compared to the cost of charging from the comfort of their homes, a new report from EV fuel and business expense payment company Allstar has revealed.

Allstar’s exclusive AllCosts report takes proprietary data from millions of fuel transactions and hundreds of thousands of on-the-road charging events throughout the Allstar network, and at-home charges to provide businesses and fleets with real-life costs for electric, petrol and diesel vehicles on-the-road today.

The company claims the report is the first of its kind, designed to be released quarterly throughout the year to provide the best insights for businesses of all sizes operating fleets of all powertrains today as they navigate the transition to alternative fuels and beyond.

Charging at home vs. on the road

The data found the average cost to charge an EV from October to December, compared to July to September, dropped by 3p per kWh, making plugging an EV in at home better value. Typically, a 70kWh battery could cost £19.60 to fully charge at the average cost of 28p. Public charging set drivers back an average of 70p per kWh.

Pricing varies significantly for charging at home – the highest price recorded was 50p in the summer of 2023, which means that same vehicle would cost £35 to charge, while at the cheapest rate, 4p, it would come to less than £3. The AllCosts report shows that there are even bigger variances in public tariffs than there are for home charging. In the same time period, the highest costs were recorded at £1.20, while the lowest was 17p. 

Beyond tariffs, there are other factors behind the numbers that must be taken into account, such as how long a driver can use an ultra-low tariff at home and if they would need to charge at peak rates in order to complete a full charge. Drivers and fleet managers must also consider how fast the most expensive public chargers are and if paying more to get back on the road much quicker is of greater benefit to the business than the energy cost.

At the pump

The cost of petrol is on average 150.6p per litre, a 2.5p increase from the summer months, while diesel is coming in at an average 158.5p per litre, up 5.9p. While it isn’t a significant jump, prices have been on something of a rollercoaster, rising quickly in September, October, and November before dipping again in December. This can be attributed to factors such as governments reducing oil production and the wars in Ukraine and Palestine, meaning prices are in constant, wide-ranging flux.

Analysis of average public charging costs using data held by Allstar of 69 regions throughout the UK found that prices vary widely when it comes to driving an EV in rural areas. Among the 10 cheapest areas for charging were Norfolk, Cornwall, Belfast, Orkney and the Isle of Wight. However, of the top ten most expensive areas to charge, Bristol was the only urban centre, with Scottish areas heavily represented too.

Says Ashley Tate, MD, Allstar Chargepass UK:
“As an industry, we are collectively migrating to alternative power for vehicles which is a huge moment in the history of mobility. With that comes plenty of questions around the various running costs, so we’ve harnessed our proprietary data to provide clear insights and help drivers get a better understanding of real-life costs of electric vehicle charging, petrol and diesel.”

“We’ve provided the pence-per-mile figures of cars and vans in the report based on our real-life electric and fuel costs so that businesses and fleets can see our estimated indicative costs of various cars and vans models, however they choose to power them.”

Download the full report here to find out all the latest insights to help businesses transition to an electric fleet.

Chris Price
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