EV public charging tariffs
How does pricing work for public and on-the-go charging?
The cost of public charging can vary greatly, with many operators across the network using different models and prices. Charging your electric vehicle whilst out and about is a great way to top up your battery, but read the below, so you always know what to expect and which tariff is applied.
The charging tariffs below apply to the UK charging network only. You can always find the actual price in the Shell Recharge app.
What are the tariffs for charging an electric car in the UK?
|Charge Point Type||Price per kWh (incl. VAT)|
|Shell Recharge Network|
|Ultra-rapid (150kW & above)||£0.85/kWh|
*A £0.35 transaction fee, with a maximum of £7.00 per month, is charged for all charging sessions except for those on our Shell forecourts or at Waitrose supermarkets.
**As of 3rd May 2023 ubitricity have introduced a new pricing structure. During off peak hours, between midnight and 7am, charging costs £0.37 per kWh.
How to find the best EV charging tariff via our app
You can find charging tariffs for all the charge points in our network in the Shell Recharge app. There, you can compare pricing and choose the best EV tariff for you. They can vary a lot because each charge point operator is free to decide which billing model to use. When charging your EV in the UK, it is more than likely that you will pay for your charging per kWh. That is to say, you will be charged for the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you charge for.
However, as the network providers - such as Shell Recharge - give access to the charging stations of many partners, each setting their own prices, there is no central price in a roaming network.
Get the most competitive rates
- When using the Shell Recharge charge card to charge on the Shell Recharge network, you benefit from competitive charging tariffs.
Use the app for EV tariff comparison
In the Shell Recharge app, you are able to see the price per kWh - plus, minute and blocking fees where applicable - for any charge point upfront. Use the filtering options to find a charge point that meets your criteria, based on speed or connector type. The map screen in the app will show you the available charge points nearby, and their associated tariffs, so you can compare. This allows you to make an informed decision on where you’d like to charge your car and for how much, with a clear and upfront comparison.
Rapid and Ultra-rapid charging
- Rapid and Ultra-rapid (DC) charging is a great way to charge if you need to get back on the road quickly, but is unlikely to be a part of your daily charging routine.
- Regular (AC) charging will fulfil most of your needs, by filling your battery sufficiently and costing you less, but it will take longer.
Shell Recharge EV charging tariff
With the Shell Recharge card and app, you can charge at Shell forecourts, plus get access to any of the other 300,000 charge points in the Shell Recharge network.
When plugging into any of these chargers in the Shell Recharge network (excluding charge points at Shell forecourts and Waitrose supermarkets), there is a transaction fee of £0.35, with a maximum of £7.00 per month. Once you have reached £7.00 per billing cycle, you will not pay further transaction fees for charging in the UK. The transaction fee amount is the same regardless of how much electricity is used or how long the EV is connected to the charge point.
When you plug in, along with the transaction fee, the charge point operator (CPO) will also bill you for the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) you charge. So, for a standard charge session in the UK, the bill will be £0.35 + £0.85 per kWh (Rapid 50 kW). In order to make pricing more transparent, all UK non Shell Recharge charge points in our roaming network apply standardised tariffs. This means one fixed tariff per kWh.
Charging models vary, in some countries, such as France, you might also pay per minute. This is more similar to a phone tariff. You can read more about charging in Europe here.
Do I need an EV charging subscription?
- You do not need a subscription to use Shell Recharge network
- The app is free to use
- The card is free to order
- You just pay a transaction fee and for the energy you use
- £0.35 + £0.85 per kWh (Rapid 50 kW)
How do I pay for charging my EV on the public network?
The Shell Recharge public network operates on a pay-for-what-you-use basis, with no subscriptions. You have two options, either pay with an activated Shell Recharge charge card or with a contactless payment method. Choose whichever options works best for you.
The easiest and most straightforward way to charge and pay is with the Shell Recharge charge card. Alongside tariff transparency, it is also the simplest way to pay for electric car charging. The app and card allow for subscription-free, monthly payments. An active app and charge card has payment details (bank account, etc) attached to it. This means, no matter which charge point you use or how many times you charge in the same country, you will only receive one consolidated monthly invoice. If you do charge in a different country, you may receive separate bills.
At selected charge points, you can also pay-as-you-go with a contactless card, this is easy too. By scanning a QR code on the charge point, you can also set up a one-time payment transaction. If it is possible, it will be shown in the charge point display screen.
However, using the app and charge card means you can see charge prices, plus, you can also keep track of your charging history. In general, you will also get lower prices at Shell DC chargers when using the Shell Recharge charge card. And don’t forget that with contactless payments, you won’t be able to see live updates on your charging status or receive a payment receipt.
The best way to see EV charging costs is with the Shell Recharge app
Check pricing in the Shell Recharge app
In the Shell Recharge app, you can find and navigate to public charge points. By selecting a charge point, you will immediately see its respective tariff.
Connect to the network
Shell Recharge will charge a transaction fee of £0.35 per charging session (with a maximum transaction fee capped at £7.00 per month) when you plug into to any charge point in the network.
Charge your EV
Once you have plugged in, begin your charge in the app or by tapping the terminal. Charge Point Operators (CPOs) will then charge you for the energy you consume. You can see the rates in the table above, but it is always best to check the exact price in the app.
Pay one monthly consolidated invoice
At the end of each billing cycle, you will receive an overview of all your different charging sessions, including the number of kWh charged and the duration of the charging sessions. The total costs shown consist of the tariffs plus the transaction fee from Shell Recharge. You will receive just one bill each month*, no matter how many times you plugged in.
*Be aware that if you charge across different countries, you may receive multiple bills.
Plus, be aware the transaction fee “cap” applies per country. For example, once you reach 20 sessions in England you will no longer be charged a transaction fee for subsequent charge session. However, you will pay a transaction fee if you then charge in France in the same billing cycle.
Home electric vehicle energy tariffs
If you own an EV and have a home charging point, an electric car tariff could help you save money. Many energy suppliers offer energy tariffs aimed specifically at electric vehicle drivers, who charge at home.
A two-rate tariff has two different electricity rates based on the time of day. The rate is often determined by the demand on the grid. Unlike a flat rate, which uses the same tariff all day, “off-peak” electricity rates cost less at certain times. If you plug in and charge during these hours, which is often overnight, you can charge for less. Our charge scheduling feature is great for this type of charging and means you can even set the charge session to start whilst you are asleep.
The discounted “off-peak” rates will also apply to other appliances in the home, not just your car. This means you could save even more if you have power-hungry equipment at home, like a dishwasher and tumble dryer. Read more about home charging and the many features you may benefit from.
Frequently asked questions about energy tariffs for electric cards
When plugging into the public network, the charging tariff is what you will pay for your charge session. In the UK, this is often based on a fee per kWh charged, but varies.
Some home energy suppliers also offer electricity contracts with varying tariffs, designed for people who charge their EVs at home. This offers two different electricity rates dependent on the time of day. Off-peak hours are usually during the night, and cost less than the rate they are charged during the day.
EV electricity tariffs can be difficult to explain because they can vary a lot. Each charge point operator is free to decide which billing model to use. So not only does the tariff change, but the pricing structure will also vary between charge points. We know this can be a barrier for some people, but the Shell Recharge app lets you check tariffs before starting a charging session. Additionally, the Shell Recharge app provides drivers with an overview of their charging history and easy monthly invoicing.
You can see the Shell EV charging tariffs in the table above, but always check the Shell Recharge app for exact EV charging prices.
Remember, there is no membership or subscription cost, the app is free to download and the charge card is free to order.
To avoid surprises, here’s what we suggest you do before plugging in
Choose a public charge point in the Shell Recharge app or find a location page
- Look up the current tariffs of a public charge point
- Estimate the cost of the session based on the charge point tariffs, your car and your charging needs at that moment (e.g. current battery level). Remember to include the transaction fee.
- Compare tariffs of available charge points nearby
This allows you to make an informed decision on where you’d like to charge your car and for how much, with no hidden surprises.
Charge point operators (CPOs), are companies that operate the charge points. They all use different pricing models. The mobility service providers (MSP) are the companies that connect all the charge points in a so-called roaming network, giving you access to the charge points of many different charge point operators with one charge card. Think of them a bit like your debit card. You may have an account with one bank, but the ATMs all have an agreement that even if it's operated by a bank different to yours, you can still withdraw cash from any ATM.
Each CPO is free to decide on the billing model for its charge points and how much a unit of charging (either minute or kWh) costs. As MSPs offer access to the charge points of many different CPOs, who all set their own prices, there is no single price in a roaming network. Agreements between specific CPOs and MSPs can be made, which can result in price differences between providers.
MSPs are free to choose how they charge drivers and which billing model they use, of which there are many. Sometimes you might pay different prices at the same charge point, depending on which charge card you use. As MSPs are also free to set their own tariffs for charging sessions, they can charge more or less than the energy price set by the CPO. Plus, they can add a minute, or session fee, and add a subscription fee.
At Shell Recharge, we collaborate with many different charge point operators to grow and maintain our charging network. To give customers clarity on our tariffs, we apply a flat rate tariff for all non-shell charge points with a fixed transaction fee of £0.35 with a maximum of £7 per month.
In general, you will get lower prices at Shell DC chargers when using the Shell Recharge app and charge card.
Unfortunately, political events are strongly impacting energy prices. This has led to a global energy crisis, the effects of which are trickling down and now impacting EV charging rates. Electricity is a finite resource and thus causing prices to rise sharply throughout Europe. Shell Recharge is closely in contact with all the roaming partners in our network, many of which have informed us that, if they haven't already, are increasing their prices.
Shell Recharge can not absorb the increase in energy costs applied by many partners and must also reflect any increases to our charging tariffs. Therefore, you will see increases in charging tariffs for both Shell Recharge and the wider roaming network. To avoid any nasty surprises, we always advise you to check your specific charge session in the Shell Recharge app before plugging in.
Charge Point Operators (CPOs) These are the companies that operate the charge points. CPOs install the charge point, take care of maintenance and determine which billing model (per kilowatt-hour, per minute or per charging session) applies. In many cities, public utilities operate their own charge points, additional to many private companies.
Mobility Service Providers (MSPs) / Roaming providers
These companies give you access to the charge points of many different CPOs. Because there are so many CPOs, the charging infrastructure is very fragmented. MSPs, or roaming providers, solve this by making agreements with CPOs and connecting their charge points in a so-called roaming network. Creating these connected networks simplifies it for you and often means you need just one charge card. Therefore, as a driver, you have the best charge point coverage possible, and you don't have to carry a wallet full of charge cards with you.
Always check the Shell Recharge app for EV charging prices, but read this article for a full breakdown.