How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car? 

how much does it cost to charge an electric car

As the popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow, one common question among potential EV owners is how much does it cost to charge an electric car. The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the size and type of battery, efficiency of the vehicle, electricity rates, and type of charger used. 

In this article, we will explore how much it costs to charge an electric car at home and in public locations, taking into consideration factors such as rapid charging and efficiency. Whether you are considering purchasing an electric vehicle or are just curious about the costs associated with charging, keep reading to learn more about the current state of charging costs for electric vehicles.

What is an electric vehicle? 

An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that runs on an electric motor powered by a rechargeable battery instead of a conventional internal combustion engine. The battery provides energy to the motor, which, in turn, powers the wheels of the vehicle. 

There are two main types of electric vehicles: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). BEVs have only a battery and an electric motor, while PHEVs also have a fuel engine in addition to the battery and electric motor. 

As the world shifts towards a more sustainable future, EVs are expected to play a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. As such, many governments around the world are offering incentives to promote the purchase and use of electric vehicles, such as rebates, tax credits, and special parking and charging privileges. In Ireland, this body is SEAI. 

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) reports that there are more than 107,000 PHEVs and BEVs in Ireland as of 2023. What’s more, new vehicle registrations for electric cars are on the increase. As reported by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), there were 49.6% more first-time registrations in September 2023, compared to the same period a year ago.

For Irish drivers who’ve embraced electric, the Volkswagen ID.4 is the vehicle of choice. A close second is the Hyundai IONIQ 5, which went on sale in late 2021. The Tesla Model Y, which is consistently ranked as the best-selling EV globally, is another common sight on Ireland’s roads.

Costs of charging an EV

The cost to charge an electric car can vary considerably, although it’s typically cheaper to do so at home if you have access to your electric vehicle charge point. If you decide to use a public electric vehicle charging station, be prepared to pay a premium to do so.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car at home? 

The cost to charge an EV at home varies depending on several factors, such as the region you live in, the time of day you charge, and the battery size of your vehicle. In Ireland, the average domestic electricity rate is around 43 cents per kWh (kilowatt-hour), according to Money Guide Ireland

To calculate the cost to fully charge an electric car, you need to multiply the battery size (in kWh) by the electricity rate. For instance, the popular Nissan Leaf has a battery size of 40 kWh, so the cost to fully charge it would be around €17.20. on a normal 24-hour electric meter. Similarly, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which has a battery size of 75 kWh, would cost approximately €32.25 to charge fully

It’s worth noting that the cost of charging an EV can be influenced by the time of day you charge, as some utility companies offer cheaper rates during off-peak hours. For example, Electric Ireland offers a Night Saver rate, which provides a discount on electricity used for seven hours at night. This means that charging your EV during off-peak hours can result in a cheaper cost per kWh and, therefore, a lower overall cost to charge your car. It is roughly 21 cents per kWh, therefore reducing the costs to about half in comparison to the 24-hour electric rate. 

Overall, the cost to charge an EV at home is generally cheaper than refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle, and it largely depends on your driving habits and the specific EV model that you own. By considering the electricity rates in your region and taking advantage of off-peak charging rates, you can make charging your EV at home a cost-effective option. 

How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a public charging station? 

Charging your EV at a public charging station in Ireland can be a convenient and cost-effective way to keep your vehicle on the road. To determine the cost to charge your EV at a public charging station, you need to find out the charging cost per kWh offered by the charging network. 

Some networks have mobile apps that allow you to locate the charging points and initiate charging. These apps can also provide you with information about the cost of charging at each station. Other networks may require an RFID card to start charging, which you can get by registering with the network. 

In Ireland, the average cost to charge an EV at a public electric vehicle charging station varies. If you’re using a standard charger, expect to pay around 56 cents per kWh hour. For a fast charger, you’ll pay around 65 cents per kWh. If you’re driving an EV with a battery size of 60 kWh, this means you’ll pay around €33 for a standard charge at a public electric car charge point. Use a fast charger, and you can expect to pay around €39.

It’s worth noting that the charging cost may vary depending on the charging network and location of the station. Therefore, it’s essential to check the cost before initiating charging. 

In conclusion, charging your EV at a public charging station can be a convenient option, and the cost can vary depending on the charging network and location. 

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Even if you find the cost to charge electric cars in Ireland affordable enough, charging times are something you’ll need to consider. Some vehicles can be partially charged in as little as half an hour, while others need half a day before a battery is fully charged.

With a standard EV charger and 60 kWh battery, you can expect an empty battery to become fully charged in around 8 hours. A model like the Volkswagen ID.5 with its 82 kWh battery can take up to 12 hours to fully charge, although a fast 22 kW electric car charge point can restore an empty battery in just 8 hours.

Can solar panels reduce the cost of charging an EV? 

Utilizing solar panels to charge an electric vehicle is a great way to reduce costs while also promoting a green lifestyle. By producing your own electricity, you can significantly reduce your dependence on power companies and decrease their negative impact on the environment. 

The process involves installing solar panels that are compatible with a solar inverter. The inverter is responsible for converting the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the panels to alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used to charge your electric car. It’s important to choose the right size of solar panel based on your energy needs and personal preferences. The placement of the panels should also be carefully considered to maximize energy output. 

When charging with solar panels, a kWh meter is used to track the energy generated by the panels and how much is used to charge the EV. With advanced features in some electric vehicle chargers, you can even set a specific solar level that, once reached, automatically starts the charging process. This way, you never have to worry about running out of power or electricity bills. 

It’s important to note that energy conversion efficiency is a key factor in how much power your solar panels generate. “There are multiple factors to take into account here,” Slaven Litera, Wizer Energy’s Director of Operations, commented. “High-efficiency panels work more efficiently than their less-efficient counterparts. In the installation process, choosing the right solar inverter and keeping your solar panels well-maintained can also contribute to maximizing energy output and reducing costs. 

In conclusion, utilizing solar panels to charge an electric vehicle is a great way to reduce costs and promote sustainable living. By carefully selecting the right size and placement of panels, along with an efficient solar inverter and advanced EV charger (such as a Zappi charger), you can maximize energy output and build a cleaner, greener future. 

Conclusion 

So, how much does it cost to charge an electric car in Ireland at home and in public? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You’ll need to consider many variables, including battery size, type of charger, and electricity rates. However, there are several ways you can optimise the charging experience that make the cost of charging an electric car more manageable. For example, using an electric vehicle charge point at home using a smart meter or taking advantage of night saver rates can dramatically reduce the cost per charge.

While a public electric vehicle charging station is typically pricier, EVs and their supporting infrastructure are becoming more affordable and increasingly accessible. By exploring the different charging options available and rethinking the charging experience, EV owners can enjoy the benefits of a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly mode of transportation.

Need an EV charger installed? 

We have answered the question, ‘How much does it cost to charge an electric car?’. The next question is whether you want an EV or an EV charger.

If you need an EV charger installed at home, Wizer Energy can help. We offer professional EV charger installation services throughout Ireland. Whether you want a home charger installed in your garage or driveway or a commercial charger installed at your business location, Wizer Energy can provide a bespoke solution that works for your needs. 

Our website features detailed information about their EV charger installation services, including the types of chargers they install and the areas they serve. Our team of expert technicians can install a wide range of chargers, but the Zappi charger is a popular choice among our customers. 

So, if you need an EV charger installation, look no further than Wizer Energy, Ireland’s leading provider of EV charging solutions. You can fill out our contact form to get a quote.  

Author Bio

Martin Desmond

Martin is the Managing Director of Wizer Energy, with 30 years of experience in commercial and industrial electrical work. He has won awards in the commercial wiring arena and went on to study and train as an electrical engineer, preparing a PhD study in the area of Future Smart Microgrids. Since the late 1990s, Martin has had a keen interest in green and renewable energy, now utilised by working in the solar panel industry. After a life-changing injury from a fall at a height in 2007, Martin overcame it with a voltage generator embedded within his body. Being a qualified electrician since the 90’s, an electrical engineer since 2012, and utilising electricity generated within his own body, it’s hard to get more electrically qualified!

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Wizer Energy Ltd is a reliable, industry-leading solar panel provider in Ireland with a wealth of experience. 

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