Charging your car
All you need to know about charging, whether at home, at work or on the go
Charging your car at home is convenient and simple, we can even help you install the right charger and pair it with the right green tariff to provide the best experience.
Charging at your workplace is useful, we can work with you to ensure you or your business can get the right charging solution set up smoothly.
How long will it take to charge my car?
The time taken to charge an electric vehicle depends on the size of the battery, what speed the battery can charge at and the speed of the charger. In simple terms, the smaller your battery and the faster the charger, the less time you will wait to charge your car!
"Roughly how long does it take to charge from empty to full?"
Time to charge = Size of car battery / speed of charger
Example: A 40kWh Nissan LEAF / 7kW home charger = 6 hours
Car battery sizes vary and they also have a maximum charging rate. All pure battery electric vehicles can charge at around 7kW (and much more on public chargers). However, some plug in hybrids are capped at 3.6kW.
To learn more about the cars we offer, check out our Cars page.
What are the different types of chargers?
Chargers have different power ratings. The speed depends on the kW rating of that charger, and the maximum speed the car battery can charge at. These can be broken down into three categories: slow, fast & rapid (though different names are used across the industry!).
Type of Charger
3.6kW = slow
7kW = fast*
50kW = rapid
150kW = rapid
Home/Work/Public (Long stay)
Public (Short stays)
Public (Short stays)
Avg miles added per hour
100+ miles (30 mins)
200+ miles (30 mins)
*If you have a driveway, you can typically install a 7kW home charger. Click here to learn more.
Charging at home
Charging at home is the most convenient and economical way to keep your car fully charged, especially if you have a dedicated home charging point. Drivers are able to plug-in their vehicle overnight and wake up to a full battery each morning! Pair that with our Octopus Go tariff (overnight charging at 5p/kWh) and save up to 90% vs. petrol or diesel costs.
The cost of the charge all depends on what electricity tariff you are using, specifically the unit rate
The average domestic unit rate for a standard tariff in the UK is around 17p per kWh, but Octopus provides dedicated EV tariffs which ensure you can charge cheaply - check out our Octopus Go tariff!
"How much will it cost to charge my electric car?"
Cost to charge up = Price per kWh * Battery size
Example for a 40kWh Nissan LEAF
on a typical standard tariff: £0.17 * 40kWh = £6.80
on Octopus Go off-peak rate: £0.05 * 40kWh = £2 (!)
Charging at work
Charging costs and types of chargers at work vary between different organisations and their needs. Some offer free charging to their employees, whilst some charge a tariff. Some provide open access to all employees and visitors, and some limit this to certain user groups.
To find out how Octopus Energy can provide your business with 100% renewable energy click here
To understand how Octopus Electric Vehicles can help your business access electric vehicles
please visit our Salary Sacrifice page.
Charging on the public network
There are thousands of chargers dotted across the UK - in fact, we have one of the most comprehensive networks in Europe! These are operated by various network providers, meaning that accessing these chargers and paying for their use depends on which provider you use (an App, membership card or contactless bank card usually).
Paying on the public network:
The cost to charge a vehicle is also dependent on the network provider and the charging speed.
Public chargers will have an associated tariff linked to the operator - you should check the cost before charging - Zap Map is always a good place to start! This is usually in pence per kWh, but could also be for time plugged in
All rapid charger locations will provide contactless card payments for you to carry out a charge even if you have not signed up to the network
Quick reminder: Tesla owners can make use of the dedicated Tesla supercharger network
Frequently asked questions
Electric vehicles don’t go far enough
It can be expensive to charge your electric vehicle
This is dependent on where you charge your vehicle. Charging from home can cost as little as 5p/kWh, depending on your energy provider. This means that a 40kWh Nissan LEAF can be charged to full for as little as £2, which is 90% cheaper than petrol or diesel. Public charging can be free if you are signed up to the specific network or it can range from 23-69p/kWh depending on the charger provider. In any case, it is nearly always cheaper than smelly and polluting petrol or diesel!
I could be stranded with the wrong charging connector
It takes forever to charge an electric vehicle
Type 1 or Type 2: what’s the difference and which fits into my car?
I can't charge my vehicle if I do not have off street parking/a home charger
There are not enough public charge points in the UK
I cannot get a smart meter to access smart EV tariffs
Most people are able to get a smart meter installed (you just need WAN coverage in your area, a little similar to having phone coverage). Please get in contact with your energy supplier to arrange an install. If you are an Octopus Energy customer please check out our blog to learn more about smart meters and find out how Octopus customers can get theirs installed.
What’s the difference between tethered and socketed (universal) chargers?
Not all chargers work for all cars
If you need assistance choosing your home charger please click here.
There is a limited choice of electric vehicles
Electric vehicles are too expensive
With the wide range of different models now available there are a variety of affordable electric vehicles on the market. Plus, whilst the upfront cost may be higher, don’t forget that the total cost of ownership is much more favourable for electric cars; with up to 90% savings over fuel costs, next to no maintenance requirements and many less moving parts to go wrong. If you are interested in leasing an electric vehicle please call our EV experts to discuss the cars in your budget.
Electric vehicles are never going to take off
Vehicle-to-Grid Charging - Powerloop
We are running an innovation project around Vehicle-to-Grid technology called Powerloop, which allows you to harness the power of bi-directional charging and power your home and the grid from your car! We have currently closed the project to new participants, but if you want to learn more about it please check out our Powerloop page.