What’s the Cost to Run an Electric Car?

What’s the Cost to Run an Electric Car?

If you’re considering making the switch to an electric car, one of your first questions might be how much does it cost to run an electric vehicle? There are a few financial factors to consider, from the cost of charging your EV to maintenance, insurance and cost per mile. 


Although the initial cost of electric vehicles is generally higher than their petrol and diesel equivalents, overall, when looking at the total cost of ownership electric cars are cheaper than petrol or diesel cars. This is because electricity costs much less than fuel and the cars require less servicing and maintenance. Add to that the variety of government schemes and grants on offer such as exemption from Fuel Duty and making the switch to an electric vehicle can make a great deal of financial sense.

What’s the cost of charging an electric car?

The cost of an electric vehicle is intrinsically linked to how much it costs to charge them – much in the same way you’d consider how fuel-efficient a petrol or diesel car may be. The exact cost of running an EV depends on the specific make and model of the vehicle, plus the cost of your electricity.

So how much does it cost to charge an electric car?

To understand how much it costs to charge an EV, it’s important to understand the capacity of the battery. Measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), the higher the kWh of the battery, the more it will cost to charge your electric car. Exactly how much that is depends on the cost of electricity at the charging point you’re using, whether that be at home or at a public charging station.


Here’s a quick calculation to help you work it out:

EV Battery Size (kWh) x Pence per kilowatt-hour = Cost to fully charge your EV 


Still unsure? Here’s an example. Our DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE from our electric range has a 50kWh battery. The average cost of a kilowatt-hour charge at a public charging station is 30p. That would be 50 x 30p = £15 to fully charge your DS EV while out and about.

If you’re charging at home, there are greater savings to be made. Electricity at home costs around 14p per kilowatt-hour. Using the formula above that would be 50 (kWh battery size) x 14 (p per kWh) = £7 to fully charge your DS EV from a home charging point.


Compared to a petrol or diesel car, this appears to be a huge saving – and you’d be right. However, the range of the EV will dictate how often you’ll need to charge the car. A diesel car may cost more to fill, but will likely last around 500 miles before you need to refuel. To do the same mileage, some EV models may need to be charged twice. 

How much does it cost per mile to run an electric car?

Working out electric car cost per mile in the UK means you’ll need to know how many miles a kilowatt-hour (MPkWh) will take you – this is known as the car’s range. Take the pence per kilowatt-hour and divide it by the MPkWh distance it will take you.  


Here’s a quick calculation to help you work it out: 

Pence per kWh / Miles per kWh = Cost per mile 


Still unsure? Here’s an example. Our DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE has a range of up to 206 miles. The battery capacity is 50kWh meaning you’ll get a distance of around 4 miles per kilowatt-hour. The average cost of a kilowatt-hour charge at a public charging station is 30p. That would be 30p/4= 7.5p per mile. 

Do EV charging stations cost in the UK?

Although there are some public charging stations in the UK that offer free charging, typically, you have to pay to charge your EV at a charging station just as you would if you were charging at home – but the cost of charging an electric car at a public station is likely to be higher. DS Automobiles offers customers who purchase a new E-TENSE electric or plug-in hybrid a free 6 month subscription to bppluse*, the UKs largest public charging network. 

Are electric cars cheaper to maintain?

Typically, servicing and repairs are costly to the motorist. While EV technology requires specialist technicians to repair, the good news is that service and repair costs are often much lower than for petrol and diesel counterparts. 


This is because petrol and diesel cars are made with components that are expensive to replace once they wear out such as oil filters and cambelts, whereas electric cars have fewer moving parts than conventional vehicles, and those they do have don’t wear as much over time.

Electric vehicles and insurance

Electric cars are complex machines that require specialist technicians to repair. Unfortunately, this has an impact on how much it costs to insure an electric vehicle. Insurance costs are on the rise, and it does appear that EVs are higher to insure because of the specialist work required to maintain them. 


However, there are ways to balance out that higher insurance cost. Other maintenance costs such as servicing, fuel and tax are significantly cheaper than those on petrol and diesel cars meaning that overall costs should still work out cheaper.


Ready to make the switch to electric? Discover an EV or plug-in hybrid to suit you from our range of E-TENSE models at DS Automobiles. 

Any Questions?
If you have any questions about electric or hybrid vehicles, take a look at our FAQ section.