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European Alternative Fuels Observatory

Electric vehicle recharging prices

EV recharging prices ecosystem

This section is powered by data from Eco-Movement

Latest update of the data: 2022.06.03.

The experience of recharging an electric vehicle (EV) is in many ways different from that of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle (ICE). One of the notable differences is the price of recharging an electric vehicle. While ICE vehicle drivers are faced with only one price - the one offered at the fuel station - EVs have a wider range of options for refuelling, making the recharging pricing ecosystem more competitive and diverse, and the consumer experience more complex.

One reason is that because EV users can use both private recharging (at home or at work) and public recharging, prices are much more flexible and tend to vary depending on the recharging connector used as well as other variables.

Generally speaking:

  • Normal power recharging (e.g., at home) is the least expensive option
  • High-power (fast) recharging is the most expensive option on the market today

All EV drivers use a mix of home and (semi-) public recharging options. In this section, the different recharging options and their prices in Europe are displayed.

At home and at work recharging

Home and work recharging are currently the most popular options among EV users. In Europe, more than 70% of recharging is done at home or at work. These recharging points typically have lower power output and a longer recharging time, which translates into lower prices. Home and work recharging are generally considered the cheapest options for EV users.

The price of recharging at home or at work depends on several variables, most notably the electricity price, but also applicable taxes, levies and network charges in the country or region. To avoid peaks in demand and network congestion, variable (electricity and network) pricing has become more mainstream in many EU Member States. In those cases, the recharging costs will depend on the time of day at which electric vehicle users recharge their vehicles. It will be cheaper to recharge electric vehicles during off-peak hours, e.g., during the night.

It should be noted that the cost of recharging vehicles at work varies between organizations as some companies offer free recharging to their employees while others may decide to charge a (cost-reflective) fee.

Private recharging

At home and at work recharging

The graph above shows average electricity prices for household consumers in the EU Member States. Half-yearly (semesterly) electrical energy price with kilowatt-hour measurement in EUR, excluding taxes, levies and network charges. Band DC: 2 500 kWh < Consumption < 5 000 kWh. For more information about electricity prices, please visit: Eurostat.

Public recharging

Public recharging comes in two options: alternating current (AC) recharging points and direct current (DC) recharging points. AC recharging stations can be normal power, medium, and fast recharging stations that use alternating current. In general, most AC chargers are normal power recharging stations installed on streets in parking spaces. These stations tend to charge a higher price than home/work recharging stations but are still cheaper than DC recharging stations and significantly cheaper than traditional fossil fuel prices. DC recharging stations can also be normal power, medium and fast (or even ultra-fast), but are typically used for fast recharging. The power output of these recharging stations is higher than that of AC recharging stations and prices reflect this.

For more information on AC and DC recharging stations, please read our specific content on Recharging systems.

Another distinction that is often made, is between “fully” public recharging points, and “semi-public” recharging points, even though both are considered “publicly accessible” for the purposes of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and proposed Regulation. The former category refers to on-street recharging points and highway recharging infrastructure, which are normally available for use 24/7. In contrast, the connotation ‘semi-public’ refers to recharging points erected on private domain, subject to specific, though non-discriminatory, access restrictions, e.g., in terms of opening hours or use, such as the requirement to make use of the associated facilities. Examples of those include recharging points in car parks of large warehouses or convenience stores, underground car parks, at hotel and catering establishments, etc.

Prices at public recharging stations vary depending on whether you have a subscription with an electro-mobility service provider (eMSP) or pay as you go (ad hoc).

Ad hoc pricing vs eMSP pricing

The right for EV-drivers to recharge ad hoc has been prescribed by Art. 4(9) of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive. It requires that all electric vehicle users can recharge at any publicly accessible recharging point “without entering into a contract with the electricity supplier or operator concerned”. The proposed Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation clarifies this further by specifying that the end user should not be required to register, conclude a written agreement, or enter a longer-lasting commercial relationship with the operator of the recharging point at which he seeks to recharge his vehicle, beyond the mere purchase of the service.

eMSP recharging, by contrast, consists of a contract-based recharging system in which EV users sign a contract with Charge Point Operators (CPOs) that gives them access to the infrastructure.

There are many variations of recharging contract types:

  1. Pricing contracts with a high monthly fee offering a lower recharging session rate.
  2. A recharging session rate set with no visible connection to the CPO infrastructure.
  3. A recharging session rate as a composite of the rate set by the CPO + a surcharge.
  4. Separate rates for international roaming.
  5. Others

Both ad hoc and eMSP prices are generally composed of one or more of the following price components:

  • An energy price component, which reflects the power (in kWh) effectively transferred to the vehicle
  • A time-based price component, which reflects the time (expressed in minutes or hours) the electric vehicle is connected to the recharging point and/or effectively occupies the parking space adjacent to the recharging point
  • A flat-rate session fee, which is invariable no matter how long the EV is connected to the recharging point or how much energy is off-taken
  • Other fees, e.g., roaming fees (for eMSP prices only), penalty fees for long parking etc.

In most eMSP contracts, in addition a (monthly, yearly) subscription fee applies.

Composition of pricing schemes of CPOs in Member States

The below graph provides an overview of the degree of application of the three most frequently applied ad hoc price components in the different Member States + EFTA countries + United Kingdom.

Composition of pricing schemes of eMSPs in Member States

The below graph provides an overview of the degree of application of the three most frequently applied eMSP price components in the different Member States + EFTA countries + United Kingdom.

Subscription fee

The following graph shows the average monthly eMSP subscription fees in the different Member States + EFTA countries + United Kingdom:

Overview of currently applicable eMSP and ad hoc prices (2022)

The next chapter provider insight into the whole range of prices, which consumers face at recharging points in the EU, EFTA countries and the United Kingdom. Acknowledging that different recharging speed segments have different prices, we split the graphs into AC and DC categories. Prices are segmented according to the proposed AFI (Alternative Fuel Infrastructure) Regulation, resulting in 3 AC and 3 DC segment categories. Please visit Recharging systems page for further information.

To illustrate the standard deviation of prices, we show the minimum and maximum eMSP price values in each European country, focusing on the most frequently applied energy price component (€/kWh), time-based price component (€/minute) and flat-rate session fee (€/session), while also indicating the average ad hoc price for each component. The arithmetic means are created based on average ad hoc prices in these categories.

Please note that most ad hoc and eMSP prices are formed by a combination of these three price components, where for instance a high session fee may be combined with a low energy price component and vice versa, or even made up of one of these price components alone. Please also be aware that most eMSPs apply a fixed (monthly/yearly) subscription fee in addition to the session-variable price components.

 

Energy price for AC recharging (€/kWh)

This graph shows the minimum and maximum eMSP energy (€/kWh) price (blue column), together with the average ad hoc energy price (orange dot) in the different Member States + EFTA countries + United Kingdom, for AC recharging (Category 1 (AC)).

Session fee for AC recharging (€/session)

This graph shows the minimum and maximum eMSP flat fee (€/session, blue column), together with the average ad hoc flat fee (orange dot) in the different Member States + EFTA countries + United Kingdom.

Time fee for AC recharging (€/minute)

This graph shows the minimum and maximum eMSP time (€/minute) fee (blue column), together with the average ad hoc time fee (orange dot) in European countries.

Energy price for DC recharging (€/kWh)

This graph shows the minimum and maximum eMSP energy (€/kWh) price (blue column), together with the average adhoc energy price (orange dot) in European countries, for DC recharging (Category 2 (DC)).

Session fee for DC recharging (€/session)

This graph shows the minimum and maximum eMSP session fee (€/session, blue column), together with the average ad hoc session fee (orange dot) in European countries, for DC recharging (Category 2 (DC)).

Time fee for DC recharging (€/minute)

This graph shows the minimum and maximum eMSP time (€/minute) fee (blue column), together with the average ad hoc time fee (orange dot) in European countries for DC recharging.