How much do EVs cost to run?

If you have a competitive electricity plan, paying say 25 to 30c per kWh (kilowatt-hour) an EV should cost about half as much to power as a vehicle driven by petrol. Because petrol prices fluctuate this is only a rough guide.

Calculating how much it will cost to run your EV is simple.

Battery capacity is usually measured in kWh, and the capacity of your EV’s battery is easy to determine from a brochure or online specifications. Make sure you get the usable capacity, not the overall capacity, which will be higher.

Multiply that figure by the amount you’re paying per kWh for electricity to determine how much a full charge will cost.

Then find how many kilowatt-hours of electricity you are using by monitoring the onboard trip computer. Smaller, more energy efficient EVs will use around 15kWh/100km, while larger, more powerful EVs will use up to double that.

As with petrol-powered vehicles, the claimed energy consumption figure of an EV is almost impossible to achieve during regular driving. If you want to estimate energy consumption before buying, it’s best to add 20-30 percent to the number on the windscreen sticker.

See all our frequently asked questions on electric cars.