Electric vehicle charging: How many EVs are charged per second in the UK? Hippo finds out…

Date Posted 2nd January 2023
Read Time 6 min read

The popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK has significantly increased over the last decade. And rightly so. This has been a joint effort between manufacturers and Government policy, which in the UK, is speeding ahead with the Road to Zero strategy. The plan aims to transition road transport to zero emissions-only vehicles by 2040.

With the spotlight on greener modes of transport,Hippo Leasing took a deep dive into the world of EVs with a particular focus on just how many are now being charged every day.

We’ve compiled charging data from the US and UK’s most popular electric cars to find out not only how many are being charged a day – but how many are charged per second.

The results are quite staggering! Read on to discover more.

You can also see EVs being charged in real-time here.

First, let us look at the UK overall. The first big standout is Tesla.

According to our data, every minute that goes by four Tesla Model 3 EVs are charged on British soil. This is so high in comparison to the rest of the cars in the Top 10 Most Popular EVs list, that it’s double the amount of the UK’s second most charged EV, the Kia e-Niro, which has two vehicles charged per minute.

Not only that, but due to the Model 3’s popularity, it’s charged so often in the UK (243 per hour) that the combined number of Audi e-tron, Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona and MG ZS charges (237 per hour) is still less than the total number of Model 3 charges.

The Kia e-Niro has the second-highest charge rate behind the Model 3, with two e-Niro cars charged per minute in the UK. This is still an impressive number, as it’s charged around the same number of times a year as the combined number of Nissan Leaf and Vauxhall Corsa-e charges.

A breakdown of UK EV charging data.

Turning our attention to across the pond and landing in the USA, Tesla continues to dominate. In fact, they dominate even more than they do in the UK.

According to our research, there is a Tesla (Models 3, Y & S) charged around every two seconds, totalling over 15.8 million Tesla charges per year. Additionally, there are more Tesla Model 3, Y and S cars charged every minute (30) than there are between the rest of the cars found in the United States’ Top 10 Most Popular EVs list, combined! (14.4)

What about outside of Tesla? Well, EV charge most after the Tesla is the Ford Mustang Mach-E, racking up over 1.7 million charges in a year. This is still an impressive figure, as there are 5.5 times more Mach-Es charged than a Tesla Model S, and over double the number of Model S, Porsche Taycan and Hyundai Kona charges combined.

A breakdown of US EV charging data.

Average Number of EV Charges Per Second

Let’s now take a look at some of the averages for car charges in the UK and US.

On average, there is an EV charged every 40 seconds in the UK, with nearly 800,000 electric vehicles charged a year. The top 10 most popular EVs in the UK have a combined number of almost 8 million charges per year.

As for the United States, in comparison, they charge an EV every 13.4 seconds, working out to around 2.35 million charges per year. Their top 10 most popular EVs have a combined number of almost 24 million charges per year.

Tesla’s Charging a Fortune

After calculating the number of charges per car, we then used Zap Map’s Public Charging Costs Calculator to determine how much the US and UK are spending at the plug.

Tesla Charging UK

Unlike in the USA where three Tesla Models (3, Y & S) all feature in the top 10 most popular EV list, here in the UK only the Model 3 can be found. Despite this, it’s the nation’s favourite EV, selling nearly three times more than the Kia e-Niro in second.

With so many Model 3’s on UK roads, there’s also a lot of charging and thus, a lot of spending. EVs are known for their cheaper running costs compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, but when you see how much the UK spends charging their Tesla Model 3s, you wouldn’t think so.

Every year, UK drivers spend an estimated £57.5 million topping up their Tesla Model 3s. That breaks down to around £158,000 a day, resulting in a spend of around £1.82 per second.

Tesla Charging USA

As stated above, the USA loves a Tesla. Their Model 3 is also, like in the UK, the nation’s favourite, closely followed by the Model Y in second place and their Model S sneaks into the top 10. Due to this, and the fact that there are more people and drivers in the USA, it won’t come as a shock that the spending on Tesla charging is higher than in the UK. However, by how much more, may do.

Tesla Model 3

If we look at the Model 3 by itself, per year drivers in the US spend approximately £213 Million ($234 Million) on charging the nation’s favourite electric motor, a £155.5 million ($175.8 million) difference compared to the UK. When boiled down, that’s around £583,000 per day ($655,000) and £6.74 ($7.57) per second.

Tesla Total

Now, when we look at Tesla charges overall in the US, per year that spending increases to a massive £434 Million ($487 Million) just on charging Tesla Model 3, Y and S electric cars. That breaks down to £1.2 Million ($1,3 Million) per day and £13.75 ($15.45) per second.

Electric Car Leasing with Hippo Leasing

As you can see from our research above, electric cars are becoming increasingly popular not only in the UK but around the world. If you want to lease an electric car, you can do so with Hippo Leasing. We have a wide range of electric leasing deals available, getting you behind the wheel of a brand-new electric car for a great price.

If you need help with an electric car lease or have any questions about car leasing in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll help you find the right car and deal for you.


To figure out the number of charges for each car, we took the following steps:

  1. First, we need to know the most popular electric cars in both the UK and US markets as well as the units sold by each of those car manufacturers. We managed to source the information from HeyCar for the UK data and CarAndDriver for the US.
  2. Next we need to know the range of each of the cars, which we sourced from EVCompare.io.
  3. After that, we needed an average distance to work from. We decided the best option was to use the average annual mileage per driver according to the United States Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
  4. Then we needed charging costs, so these were calculated using ZapMap.
  5. All this then gave us annual costs, so we then simply calculated the cost per day/hour/minute/second from there.

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