The Electric Car Charging Dilemma

The electric car revolution is gaining momentum, but with it comes an interesting dilemma: is everyone getting a fair deal when it comes to charging? A recent survey sheds light on this, revealing some startling insights about the UK’s perception of electric car charging costs.

Key Points

  • A recent Opinium survey of 2,000 UK drivers highlights concerns over electric car charging fairness.
  • A significant 77% of respondents believe it’s unfair that those without home chargers pay more at public charging points.
  • Only 36% would offer to pay family or friends for using their home electricity to charge their vehicles.
  • Charging etiquette is varied, with some drivers admitting they’d unplug others’ vehicles or skip charging queues.
  • The survey emphasises the potential future challenges in conversations about electric car charging among peers.

The Charging Fairness Debate

A survey of 2,000 UK drivers conducted by Opinium underscores the growing concern about charging electric cars. A staggering 77% believe it’s unfair for those without the privilege of home chargers to pay heftier fees at public stations.

The survey, commissioned by, a leading supplier of GAP Insurance, also found that younger drivers, specifically those under 34, feel even more strongly, with 84% voicing their displeasure. In the bustling city of London, this sentiment peaks at 86%.

Charging electric cars

Sharing the Electric Car Charging Point

It seems that when it comes to sharing, not all are in favour. Only a third of drivers (that’s just 36%) expressed a willingness to compensate family or friends for using their electricity.

There is an undeniable appetite for free charging, however. Many drivers firmly believe they should access free charging at their workplaces (22%), during hotel stays (28%), or even while shopping at supermarkets and centres (22%).

Public Charging Etiquette

When it comes to public charging stations, things get interesting, as, according to the research, over one in ten drivers (12% to be exact) admit they’d unplug another vehicle, provided it’s fully charged, to juice up their own car.

Impatient drivers, around 4%, would swap cables from an unattended vehicle if they’re pressed for time. Queue jumpers exist too; 5% are ready to skip the line for a faster charge. This number doubles among the younger drivers, those under 34. However, it’s worth noting that 13% prefer to steer clear of public chargers entirely.

Ross Callander, from InsuretheGap, shares his perspective. “Charging electric cars stands as a major concern for potential electric vehicle buyers,” he remarks.

According to him, this study not only highlights the disparity between electric car owners but also hints at the challenging discussions we might face in the future regarding how we settle our charging bills and compare the pros and cons of EV ownership.

Costs of Charging an Electric Car at Home

Charging an electric car in the comfort of your home will set you back approximately £17 for a complete charge. This method is not only the most economical but also ensures you start your day with a full battery.

Across the UK, the prevalent domestic electricity rate hovers around 32p per kWh. Given this, the expense to fully juice up a 60kWh car stands at about £17, based on your location. This translates to roughly 200 miles of driving distance.

Interestingly, if you opt for a dual-rate electricity plan tailored for EV enthusiasts, you can further optimise your charging expenses. Innovative electricity suppliers such as Ovo Energy offer cost effective EV tariffs aimed at electric car owners.

A business woman working with a calculator

Costs of Charging an Electric Car at Work

The expense associated with charging up an electric car at work can differ significantly across companies. While certain establishments generously provide complimentary charging, others employ a pay-as-you-use approach.

Many businesses view free charging as an enticing perk for their staff. Conversely, some companies implement a time-specific rate to promote equitable access to charging spots.

Some companies offer a hybrid approach which offers employees a designated duration of free charging, followed by a chargeable period which motivates them to free up the charging bays.

Charging Costs Calculators

To gain a better understanding of the costs of electric car charging costs, ZapMap offer calculators to estimate EV home charging costs, public charging costs and the costs of running an EV.

In general, charging costs are dependent on location, energy costs, battery capacity, charging speed and the amount of charge required. However, charging an electric car s much cheaper than the fuel costs for a petrol or diesel car.

In general, the rising costs of charging an electric car, and the low availability of charging points, is a headwind for the take up of these vehicles, despite their sustainable credentials.

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