The cost of charging an electric van is determined by how much you’re paying per kW from your supplier. Charging your van from your home electricity supply at £0.14 per kW, a 67kWh battery will cost £9.38 to charge from empty to full. Charging from a rapid charge point at £0.30 per kW, it will cost £20.10 to fully charge the same battery.
Supermarkets and subsidised charge points can be free.
Calculating The Costs Of Charging An Electric Van
You can calculate the costs of charging any electric vehicle using a simple equation.
Price Per kW Of Electricity x Size Of Battery in kWh = Cost To Charge
Here are 5 examples of the most popular electric vans on the road today and their overall cost to fully charge from empty.
|Battery Size||Total Cost On Peak||Total Cost Off Peak|
|Renault Master ZE||33kWh||£4.62||£2.64|
* This is assuming you’re charging from home with a realistic peak rate of £0.14 per kW of electricity and an off peak rate of £0.08 per kW.
Electric Vans Vs. Diesel Vans Cost Comparison
Let’s look at 2 heavyweights of the van world. The Ford E-Transit and it’s diesel counterpart, the Ford Transit Panel Van. Here’s how they stack up against each other in running costs.
|Transit (Diesel)||E-Transit (On Peak)||E-Transit (Off Peak)|
|Range||951 Miles @ 45mpg in optimal driving conditions||217 Miles (Claimed) in optimal driving conditions||217 Miles (Claimed) in optimal driving conditions|
|Cost To Fill||£115.20 (96 litres @ £1.20 per litre)||£9.38 (67kWh @ £0.14 per kW)||£5.36 (67kWh @ £0.08 per kW)|
|Cost Per Mile||£0.12||£0.04 @ £0.14 per kW||£0.02 @ £0.08 per kW|
|Road Tax||Up to £250 per annum||£0 Nil||£0 Nil|
|Servicing Costs||*£800 per annum||*£0 Nil||*£0 Nil|
|Maintenance & Repair||**Unspecified||**Unspecified||**Unspecified|
* Consumable items such as drive belts, timing belts, oil changes and filters do not apply to electric vehicles and so can be eliminated from conventional servicing costs. Window washer fluid and power steering fluid a negligible.
** With an electric van requiring fewer moving parts to operate, there’s less to go wrong. A Ford Transit fuel pump, for instance, is notorious for failing and without any warning. At a cost of over £1000 supplied and fitted, repair bills are steep.
An electric vehicle requires no such parts so the cost of repair and maintenance is drastically reduced.
Side note: for an E-Transit to cover the same range as a standard diesel Transit on a single tank of fuel (951 miles) you would need to charge your electric van 4.38 times at a cost of £41.10 at £0.14 per kW or £23.49 at £0.08 per kW off peak.
- In real world terms, electric vans are around 2 thirds cheaper to run than an equivalent diesel model.
- They operate with fewer moving parts, cutting the cost of conventional servicing by up to 100%.
- Again, operating with fewer parts means less to go wrong eliminating the cost of many types of repairs expected of a diesel powered vehicle.
- Electric vehicles emit no CO2 and so are currently exempt from paying annual road tax.
- Charging your van at home during off-peak times, the cost per kW can be as low as £0.08, or £2.64 to fully charge a 33kWh battery from empty.
- There are grants and incentives available to help with the cost of buying, owning and operating an electric van.
The Cost Of Home Charging
The cost of charging an electric van at home will vary depending on your electricity supplier and your tariff. Also, the upside to charging at home is that you’re in complete control of when and how you connect to your charge point.
- You can choose the cheapest electricity supplier available.
- You ‘re able switch tariffs depending on your needs.
- Charge overnight while your van isn’t in use is an option.
- You can top up anytime for lower costs and faster charge times.
Assuming you’re paying £0.14 per kW for your home electricity supply, here is how much it will cost per hour to charge your electric van.
|Installation Type||Installation Cost||Cost Per Hour||Range Per Hour|
|2.3kW||3 Pin Socket||From £100||£0.32||Up To 8 Miles|
|3.7kW||Single Phase 16A||From £450||£0.51||Up To 12 Miles|
|7kW||Single Phase 32A||From £450||£0.98||Up To 17 Miles|
You may also be entitled to a £350 OLEV (Office Of Low Emission Vehicles) grant to help with the cost of installing a home charging system. You can find more information from the.gov.uk website here: Applying for an OLEV grant.
Costs Of Public Charging
Polar, who became BP Pulse in December 2020 currently charge a subscription fee of £7.85 per month which offers free charging at almost half of their 7000 charge points throughout the UK.
The other half will charge you per kW, the cost of which is depending on whether you’re a Pulse subscriber, on their free membership or you’re a guest.
|43kW AC Per kW||50kW DC Per kW||150kW DC Per kW|
You can view their full price plan here: BP Pulse Pricing
Others like Tesco have teamed up with Volkswagen to offer free charging in 400 of their stores. You can find out which stores are offering free charging on the Pod-Point website here: https://pod-point.com/rollout/tesco-ev-charging
Only the 7kW fast chargers will be free to use however with the cost of charging your electric van using one of their 50kW at around £0.23 per kW.
Cost Of Rapid Charging & Motorway Service Stations
Charging your vehicle at a motorway service station or using any of the rapid charge points across the UK is the most expensive way to charge your EV. With prices as high as £0.46 per kW at some charge points, a 50kWh battery can cost as much as £23 to fully charge from empty.
If you were in a hurry and money was no object, you can fully charge your van in under an hour at one of these charging stations. If you don’t like the higher tariffs imposed by motorway services however, then simply topping up will drastically reduce the cost of charging your electric van from an expensive rapid charger.
Ecotricity for example have more than 140 motorway charging stations dotted about the UK and currently charge £6 for 30 minutes use.
Cost In Miles Per kW
Calculating the cost per mile of your electric vehicle can be done using the following equation.
Cost to fully charge / max range = Cost Per Mile
Dividing your vehicles range in miles by the total cost of a full charge, you can find your typical cost per mile.
For instance, the total range of a Ford E-Transit (as claimed by Ford) is 217 miles. The total off-peak cost (£0.08 per kW) of charging a van with a battery capacity of 67kWh is £5.36.
Dividing £5.36 by 217 miles gives us £0.02 – your cost per mile.
Cheaper Electricity Means Cheaper Charging Costs
With the cost of diesel at the pump remaining steady through the day, the cost of charging your electric van can drop drastically if you’re topping up at home and benefitting from much cheaper rates offered by an off-peak tariff.
The biggest pro to owning an electric van however is free charging at many public charge points across the UK such as those found at BP Stations, Aldi and Tesco, as well as others located in subsidised charging stations.
So, now you know the true cost of charging an electric van. Cost per mile is barely a third of that of a corresponding diesel equivalent and with no road tax, zero conventional servicing and government incentives to encourage the use of an EV, maybe now is the time to think about opting for a newer, greener, cleaner version of what is effectively the same vehicle.
We also written another excellent article on the top 5 EV vans with the longest range. Feel free to check that out 🙂