Everything you need to know about the cost of charging an electric vehicle

Z Volt charging app charging stations

Everything you need to know about the cost of charging an electric vehicle

Electric vehicles are popular. Are you also wondering whether a pure electric car or a plug-in hybrid is right for you? The energy costs incurred for charging on a day-to-day basis are an important issue in the calculation of total costs – especially against the backdrop of rising electricity prices. This article summarizes everything you need to know about the charging costs of electric cars and plug-in hybrids, and provides valuable tips on how you can save money when charging.

Factors influencing the charging costs of an electric vehicle

The effective cost of charging an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid depends on where, when, with what infrastructure, and at what price you "fill up". 

  • Charging location: You have the choice – either charge your vehicle at home or at a public charging station. Keep in mind that charging at home is usually less expensive than charging at public stations.
  • Electricity price: The cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) varies considerably in Switzerland depending on the region and electricity provider. The Federal Electricity Commission forecasts an average electricity price for households of CHF 0.32per kWh for 2024. In some regions, the price may even rise above CHF 0.50 per kWh.
  • Time of charging: Some electricity suppliers offer rates with lower prices at certain times of the day. Use these off-peak times at night, for example, to reduce your charging costs.
  • Charging modes: Various types of charging stations are available in Switzerland, including normal household sockets, standard charging stations and fast charging stations. Charging at a public fast charging station is more expensive than at a normal charging station, but it also offers a significantly faster charging time.
  • Charging cards and memberships: Note that some charging stations require the use of charging cards or memberships. Clarify the associated costs before you register.

The cheapest way to charge is at home

Investing in a charging station in your garage will save you money in the long run, because charging at home is many times cheaper than charging on the road at a public charging station – and significantly cheaper than gasoline or diesel. With a wallbox, you can charge at a rate of approx. 50 km per hour (11 kW), depending on the power. Charging from a standard household outlet is not recommended. First, it takes a very long time, and second, the lines could overheat because they are not designed for such continuous loads.

With an average electricity price of CHF 0.32, charging at home costs less than CHF 5 for 100 km. 
When breaking down the cost of a home charging station, you need to consider the following items:

  1. Charging station: The German automobile club ADAC has tested various charging stations for electric vehicles. According to Ktipp, good devices are available from as little as CHF 650. 
  2. Installation: Individual costs for professional installation are added to the cost of the charging station.
  3. Electrical upgrade: If your home does not have sufficient electrical capacity to power the charger, you may incur additional costs to upgrade your electrical infrastructure.
  4. Additional functions: Some charging stations offer additional features such as Wi-Fi connectivity or smart home integration. These can increase the costs.
  5. Grants and discounts: Some cantons and municipalities have subsidy programs for the purchase and installation of charging stations for electric cars. These can significantly reduce overall costs.

With Z Volt you can also save on the go

Major price differences and unclear tariffs: Charging at public charging stations can be confusing. That's why it's advisable to research the exact cost before each charging process. Note that the cost may be composed of various factors: a start-up fee per charge, electricity consumption per kilowatt hour (kWh), and possibly even a parking fee per minute.

Zurich Switzerland, through its subsidiary Zurich Schweiz Services AG, is launching Z Volt, a simple solution that brings light into the dark: Simply download the app, open a free account, log your credit card and get charging right away. You only pay for the charge you use: Z Volt has no subscription fee or hidden costs. If you wish, you can order a charging card as a supplement to the app.

At all the charging points of our partners GOFAST, evpass and ChargeOne you benefit from attractive unit prices with the app: With car insurance at Zurich, you pay CHF 0.64 per kWh; the price without is CHF 0.69 per kWh. 

Click here to download in App Store or in Google Play.

Even more tips on saving

Three more tips on how to save money every day when charging your electric vehicle.

  • Energy-efficient driving: With efficient driving behavior you increase the range of your vehicle and reduce the charging frequency. The faster you go, the more the engine has to work. That's why it's worth slowing down a bit and using cruise control, especially on the highway. Recuperation also saves electricity: The engine brake in the electric car feeds energy back into the battery. 
  • Regular maintenance: Keep your electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid in optimal condition to maximize battery efficiency. 
  • Free charging stations: Did you know that you can even charge your vehicle for free at selected locations? Selected supermarkets, for example, offer this service during store hours. At gratis-laden.ch you will find a map showing the relevant charging stations.

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