What is the most expensive country for charging an electric vehicle?

Jacob Stiles

Aug 14, 2023

Purchasing a car can be a daunting decision. There are many factors to consider when determining what car is right for you and your budget. Not only do you have to consider the upfront cost of the vehicle, but also the ongoing costs of driving it. One of the most impactful choices you can make is whether to get a traditional, internal combustion engine powered car, or to get an electric vehicle (EV).

One of the reasons you might want to consider an EV is the potential savings from charging your vehicle instead of buying petrol – fuel can be very expensive, and electricity might be a more economical choice. Plus, with renewables on the rise in many places (including Australia)1, driving an EV is greener than ever!

As specialists in comparing energy prices and helping Australians to lower their bills, we wanted to find out which country was the cheapest place to charge an EV, and where you could find the most savings in electricity costs by going electric over petrol.

To this end, we looked at data for 50 different countries around the globe and compared them to see who has the most electrifying deal, and who is getting charged too much!

The car we used to compare costs was the most current model of the Hyundai Kona, as it comes in both a traditional petrol and a pure electric version. We compared the Elite variant of both types to make the comparison as fair as possible and chose to look at the standard range engine of the electric variant.

The Hyundai Kona Electric (standard range) has a 39.2kWh battery, and an estimated range of 305km.3 Meanwhile, the petrol model has a 50L fuel tank with an estimated range of 806km (calculated from the listed fuel consumption data).2

Here’s what we found.

The cost of charging an electric vehicle around the world

CountryAU Dollars per 100km (EV)AU Dollars per 100km (petrol)Percent savings per kilometre by choosing an EVPrice to charge standard Kona Electric battery (AUD)Price to fill tank of Kona (AUD)Difference in cost (AUD)Charge cost as a percentage of refuel cost
United Kingdom$7.94$17.8055.39%$24.21$143.43$119.2216.9%
New Zealand$3.71$15.5776.18%$11.31$125.47$114.169.0%
United States of America$3.48$9.6864.07%$10.60$77.99$67.3913.6%
Costa Rica$3.11$14.1778.06%$9.48$114.20$104.728.3%
South Africa$2.92$12.1676.01%$8.89$97.97$89.089.1%
Republic of Korea$1.95$12.8284.78%$5.95$103.31$97.365.8%
United Arab Emirates$1.53$8.3781.77%$4.65$67.47$62.826.9%


Table showing the price per 100km to drive an electric vs petrol powered vehicle, in Australian Dollars.Table showing the price per 100km to drive an electric vs petrol powered vehicle, in Australian Dollars.

The most expensive countries to charge an EV

  1. Denmark & Italy

Denmark and Italy tied for the most expensive countries to charge an EV. In both nations, EV owners would need to spend AU$11.26 (US$7.49) on electricity for every 100km they drive. This is more than double the average of all the countries we studied, which was AU$4.85 (US$3.23) per 100km.

In both nations, it would cost AU$34.34 (US$22.85) to fully charge their battery from empty.

Denmark was also the fourth most expensive nation to fill up a petrol tank, costing AU$152 (US$101.15) to fill up the full 50L tank of a petrol Hyundai Kona.

Italy was not nearly as bad for petrol users, coming in at 20th most expensive with an AU$125.40 (US$83.45) price tag for a full petrol tank.

The prices per 100km of the petrol model in these nations was AU$18.86 (US$12.55) and AU$15.56 (US$10.35) respectively, both more expensive than the overall average of AU$13.79 (US$9.18).

Interestingly, of the countries we looked at, Italy had the least incentive (in terms of fuel cost) to choose an electric model over an internal combustion engine, with drivers only saving 27.62% of their fuel bill per kilometre by going electric.

  1. Germany

Germany was the second most expensive country on our list. The nation has a rich automotive history and is home to some of the biggest names in traditional car manufacturing including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen.

However, despite this pedigree, owners of our chosen electric vehicle would be paying AU$10.83 (US$7.21) per 100km of driving – more than double the average across all countries.

When the battery runs flat, German EV owners would need to spend AU$33.05 (US$21.99) for a full charge.

The European nation performed slightly better when looking at gasoline prices, falling from third to eighth most expensive, with a price of AU$17.80 (US$11.84) for 100km of petrol-powered driving.

German EV owners are saving 39.12% of their fuel bill per kilometre compared to traditional vehicle owners, the fourth lowest of the countries we looked at.

  1. Belgium

Belgium ranked third on our index, with EV owners needing to spend AU$10.20 (US$6.79) on a charge to get 100km.

Meanwhile, petrol users were forking out AU$16.75 (US$11.15) to get the same distance, ranking Belgium as 13th most expensive for gasoline refills.

Belgian EV owners are saving only 39.13% more money per kilometre compared to their petrol counterparts (only 0.01% more savings than Germany, making them the fifth worst of the nations on our list in this metric).

  1. Lithuania & Austria

The fourth most expensive spot on our list was another tie – this time between Austria and Lithuania. Both European nations would cost EV owners AU$9.77 (US$6.50) worth of electricity every 100km.

The largest Baltic state, Lithuania, fares slightly better than its central European counterpart in terms of gasoline prices. Lithuania was priced at AU$15.33 (US$10.20), versus Austria’s AU$15.85 (US$10.55) for every 100km of driving under petrol power.

However, this means overall Austria has slightly better incentive to choose an EV, with 38.33% savings (compared to Lithuania’s 36.23%) per kilometre for electricity over gasoline powered vehicles. This puts Lithuania and Austria in second and third worst respectively in this metric.

  1. The Netherlands

Coming in at number five, energy prices in the Netherlands would set EV owners back AU$9.56 (US$6.36) for every 100km they drive.

Petrol users fare a little bit worse at AU$18.38 (US$12.23) per 100km (sixth most expensive). Overall, the price per kilometre for electric vehicles in the Netherlands is 47.99% lower than for petrol vehicles.

Of the most expensive 5 (or in this case 7) nations on our list, the Netherlands has the highest fuel cost incentive to get an EV, however it is still far below the average savings of 66%.

The cheapest countries to charge an EV

  1. Argentina

Conversely, the cheapest country on our list to charge an EV was Argentina. This South American nation let owners fully charge up their car’s battery – from empty – for as little as AU$2.12 (US$1.41). That comes out to only AU$0.70 (US$0.46) per 100km, less than 6% the cost per kilometre of recharging in Denmark or Italy.

At this rate, an EV driver could travel the entire Highway 1 (a 14,500km national highway in Australia that stretches around the entire coastline of the country) for just over AU$100 (US$66.55)!

In fact, Argentina is the nation with the most cost incentive to drive an EV. Incredibly, driving an EV in Argentina will save you 92.59% of your fuel cost per kilometre.

Despite this, Argentina still boasts comparatively cheap petrol prices – 100km of driving used only AU$9.38 (US$6.24) worth of petrol, putting Argentina in 7th place overall for cheapest countries to fill up a petrol tank.

If a driver were to travel the same Highway 1 using a petrol vehicle (at Argentinian rates) they would be out more than AU$1,360 (about US$905).

  1. Malaysia

Costing just AU$0.97 (US$0.64) for 100km of driving, the southeast Asian nation of Malaysia took second place for cheapest places to charge an EV. Interestingly, Malaysia was also the cheapest nation on our list when it came to gasoline cost (AU$4.19 / US$2.79 per 100km), making it a relatively affordable place to refuel no matter your engine!

  1. India

The most populous country on earth4 was also the third cheapest place on our list to charge an electric vehicle. Owners of a Hyundai Kona Electric in India could recharge at a rate of AU$1.43 (US$0.95) per 100km. India also took the second-place spot for percentage savings, with 88.26% saved compared to the price per kilometre of petrol.

  1. United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) scored incredibly well on both our EV and gasoline metrics. Coming in fourth place for cheapest EV charging, 100km worth of charge was just AU$1.53 (US$1.02).

Conversely, the UAE came third cheapest for petrol prices, with a rate of AU$8.37 (US$5.57) per 100km.

Overall, a driver in the UAE could save 81.77% of their fuel bill by going electric.

  1. Vietnam

Coming in fifth cheapest in both categories, Vietnam proves to be a relatively affordable nation for vehicle owners looking to refuel or recharge. On average, Vietnamese EV owners would be paying AU$1.55 (US$1.03) for 100km worth of charge, while traditional vehicle owners were saddled with AU$9.37 (US$6.23) per 100km.

Per kilometre, Vietnamese vehicle owners save 83.51% by choosing an EV.

Where could you save the most?

Of all the countries we looked at, Norway and Iceland boast the biggest net savings when charging a battery compared to filling a petrol tank. Choosing an EV will save you more than AU$150 (approximately US$100) per top up in both nations. The next biggest savers in this metric on our list are Switzerland (AU$139.36 / US$92.74), Israel (AU$133.99 / US$89.17) and Greece (AU$130.16 / US$86.62).

However when we look at percentage savings per kilometre, as previously mentioned, Argentina saves EV drivers more than 92% of the equivalent cost of petrol (as well as being generally the cheapest nation on our list in dollars per 100km for electricity).

The other top performers in this category were India (88.26%), Norway (87.40%), China (86.97%) and Iceland (86.40%). The average in this category was only 66% savings!

It is interesting to note that even in the cases where a nation ranks better or the same in our list of petrol prices versus the list of electricity prices, the price per distance of electric vehicles still vastly outperforms their internal combustion counterparts.

How does Australia compare?

Compared to the other nations we looked at, Australia performs barely above average when it comes to EV charging prices. In Australia, it costs EV owners AU$4.50 worth of electricity per 100km of driving, making it the 28th cheapest overall. From empty, it would cost AU$13.72 to completely charge the 39.2kWh battery of the Hyundai Kona Electric.

On the other hand, Australia boasts decently low fuel prices, coming in ninth cheapest on our list at just AU$79.89 to fill a 50L tank – notably better than the global average of AU$111.15. This comes out to AU$9.79 per 100km.

Overall, the high electricity price and lower petrol price creates comparably little incentive to go electric compared to the other nations on our list – at least as far as refuelling/recharging prices are concerned.

However, there are still savings to be had, and there are other reasons to consider an EV over a traditional petrol vehicle. For example, the environmental benefits cannot be overlooked and by driving an EV, you could reduce your carbon footprint, decrease noise pollution, and help contribute to cleaner, fresher air – especially in cities where the density of vehicles is much higher.

Additionally, as renewable energy becomes more prevalent, the emissions intensity of electric vehicles will continue to fall. For example, according to the 2022 Climate Transparency Report, Australia produced an average of 625.6 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilowatt hour of energy produced in 2021, higher than the G20 average of 444.7 gCO2/kWh.1 However Australia’s emissions intensity is also decreasing at a rate of 18.1% over 5 years compared to the G20 average of only 8.1%.

This means that in Australia, drivers of the Hyundai Kona Electric could effectively produce 80.41 grams of CO2 for every kilometre driven, compared to 148gCO2/km for the petrol variant.2

Head of Energy at Compare the Market, Meredith O’Brien, explained that if you have solar panels, charging your EV during the day whenever possible can help offset the electricity cost of running an electric vehicle.

She also mentioned that in Australia, a number of energy providers offer special EV rates to charge overnight (during off peak times), to help drive down the cost of running an EV.

“These rates can be significantly lower than normal peak rates for electricity,” she said.

O’Brien also said driving an EV is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint, but it’s not the only thing you can do to live a greener lifestyle.

“As well as driving an electric vehicle to reduce your carbon footprint, you could consider investing in better home insulation where possible – even through the use of blinds or curtains – drying your clothes on the line instead of in the dryer and turning appliances off at the wall when not in use,” O’Brien explains.

“You could also consider switching to a green energy plan that supports ongoing investment into renewable energy sources to help reduce your carbon footprint.”

If you are thinking about switching energy plans, why not try Compare the Market’s free energy comparison service to see what energy plans are available in your area? By considering a range of options, you can look for a deal that works for you.


This dataset ranks 50 different countries across the globe based on their electricity and gasoline prices, and the cost of refuelling / recharging a Hyundai Kona / Hyundai Kona Electric respectively. An estimate for the range of the petrol Hyundai Kona was calculated using the provided fuel consumption value.

Electricity and petrol price data was sourced from GlobalPetrolPrices.com, using the most recent publicly available statistics for both metrics (September 2022). The price to charge the Hyundai Kona Electric and the price to refuel the petrol variant for each nation was calculated by dividing the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour by the battery capacity of the standard range Hyundai Kona Electric. Then, we took the cost per litre of fuel and divided it by the tank capacity of the petrol Hyundai Kona Elite.

This data was used to calculate other useful datapoints for each nation, including:

  • The difference in cost between recharging and refuelling
  • The cost of a charge as a percentage of the cost of refuelling
  • The cost per 100km of driving for both the EV and petrol models
  • The percentage savings in cost per kilometre of the EV over the petrol variant
  • Average and median values for each datapoint.

The countries were then ranked based on the price of recharging per 100km driven in the Hyundai Kona Electric.

To calculate the equivalent grams of CO2 produced per kilometre of driving for the Hyundai Kona Electric in Australia, we first divided the range of the vehicle by the size of the battery. This gave the kilometres driven per kWh of electricity. We then divided the energy intensity (grams of CO2 per kWh produced) by this number.

All prices originally in USD were converted to AUD using XE Currency Converter on 17/05/2023.

All calculations have been made with the assumption that the charging process of the electric vehicle’s battery is 100% efficient. This assumption was made for the sake of simplicity.