How do you pay for electric car charging?

As more and more drivers switch to electric vehicles, understanding electric vehicle charging has become crucial. It’s still a relatively new concept and many drivers won’t have used an electric charger before.

One of the most common questions from new EV drivers is how you pay for electric car charging. While most drivers will look to install a charger at home, some will rely on the public charging network, which comes with various payment options.

In this article, we’ll look at how to pay for electric charging and the different payment methods available to help EV drivers understand how to pay for electric car charging.

Do you have to pay to charge your electric car?

If you’re considering an electric car lease, you might ask if you need to pay for charging. The short answer is yes, although there can be exceptions. Some workplaces and public chargers are still free to use, allowing EV drivers to avoid making an electric car charging payment. However, this is becoming increasingly uncommon, and it’s more than likely that you should expect to pay for electric vehicle charging.

How do you pay to charge your electric car at home?

Access to an at home electric charge point is the easiest way to pay for charging. It will be connected to your home’s main electricity supply and tracked by your meter. The energy used for charging can then be added to your monthly bill as normal. When charging at home, the average electric car charging cost will depend on factors like your electricity rate, utility provider, charger output, and EV battery size.

How do you pay for public electric car charging?

There are lots of different types of public electric chargers in the UK, and almost all offer different payment methods. Each is designed to make them more accessible, intuitive, and easier to use. But for any new EV drivers, you’ll first need to understand these options and how charging an electric car works. Let’s look at how you can pay for public electric car charging.

Pay through a charging app

The most common way to use a charging station is through a charging app. There are several apps you can expect to use, including:

  • Octopus Electroverse
  • Bonnet
  • Chargepoint
  • Zapmap

Payment is usually taken through one of these apps, with pay-as-you-go and membership payment options available too. They allow users to pay across the charger network, regardless of the supplier or brand of electric charger.

RFID cards

An RFID card is another payment method used on certain charger networks. It stands for radio frequency identification, allowing drivers to use chargers simply by tapping on a card reader. You’ll first need to register the card online and connect it to your online account. It’s a good option if you don’t want to rely on your smartphone.

Credit or debit cards

Contactless credit and debit cards can also be used at most charge points, something which is being encouraged by industry experts and the UK government. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make an electric car charging payment. Contactless card payments at all electric chargers will likely become more common in the next few years.

Plug and charge

Certain charger suppliers are introducing a ‘plug and charge’ system into their networks. This has been developed to simplify the process and points to the future of electric cars. It allows drivers to plug their EV into a charge point and start charging instantly.

Rather than requiring payment authentication first, plug and charge sets an EV up with the data required to start charging instantly. Payment will then be taken from the details stored on the car.

What do I do if the electric car charging station payment system is down?

If you get to a charging station and the payment system isn’t working, you won’t be able to charge your car. Selected charge points will make this clear and display an error message, but other points should be available for you to use close by.

This might happen for a number of reasons — issues with the charging cable, a bad internet connection, or software issues can all cause a system to shut down. However, with a huge expansion in the electric charger network across the UK, you should be able to find another working charger easily.

To find out more about electric charging and learn about the benefits of leasing an EV, why not get in touch with Synergy. Our team can help support your transition to all-electric.