Compared to gas-powered vehicles, electric ones are touted for their potential cost savings. With the current spike in gas prices, it’s simple to spend $100 or more on a tank (depending on your car type), making this statement more relevant than ever. Although the cost of charging an electric vehicle is often overlooked, it is one of the most common myths about these vehicles. Yes, you read it correctly; charging your vehicle will still cost you money.
I mean, how much, exactly? You might say there’s a wide range of possibilities. The price of charging an automobile can be affected by a number of factors, including the driver’s location, the kind of vehicle being charged, and the charger’s capacity.
A full automobile charge will often cost you between $5 and $30. If you have a smaller battery and charge at a cheaper site, you can get closer to the $5 mark. In addition, using a fast charger with a vehicle that has a large battery will increase your charging costs.
Simply multiplying the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) your car’s battery can store by the rate per kWh equals the total cost of charging your vehicle. Before beginning a charge at a public charging station, you should be given pricing information.
Let’s do the arithmetic and get a better idea of how much we can expect you to charge.
The Expense of Home Charging an Electric Vehicle
Charging an electric car in the garage at home is the most cost-effective option. Companies that provide public charging services must charge a fee to offset expenses like infrastructure development and, of course, to turn a profit. There is no need to worry about such things, and the only expense is the charger, which is the standard one that came with your car (or a speedier one if you’re feeling snazzy).
It might be difficult to estimate how much it will cost to charge at home due to the wide range of electricity rates. In 2021, the average retail price per kWh in the United States was 10.59 cents, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The national average varies widely from state to state. Cost per kilowatt-hour in Louisiana is 7.51 cents. Hawaii’s rate is significantly higher, at 27.55 cents per kWh. There won’t be any confusing price hikes at inconvenient periods.
The size of your car’s battery is another consideration. It has been estimated that the average battery capacity of an EV is 65.6kWh, based on data from the Electric Vehicle Database. That equates to an average cost of $6.94 in the United States for charging an electric vehicle at home. If you possess a Lucid Air Dream Edition with a 118 kWh battery and you want to charge it in Hawaii, you may expect to pay $32.51.
These estimates cover the whole range of possible charging times for an electric vehicle; nevertheless, you will often only spend a few dollars each charge, from 60% to 80%.
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Fees
Public charging stations are a another ballgame altogether. Fast-charging technology is expensive, and public charging businesses have sunk a lot of money into it, not to mention the expense of building charging stations and staffing them. In what way? Electric vehicle charging facilities are substantially more expensive.
Stations might charge at varying rates according on their availability and demand. Since so-called Level 1 chargers can take up to 24 hours to completely charge an automobile, they are most convenient to use at night. Most level 2 chargers have a maximum charging speed of 30 miles per hour. Level 3 chargers, often known as DC fast chargers, can typically recharge a vehicle to full capacity in less than an hour.
Given the high degree of cost heterogeneity, precise cost estimation can be a daunting task. One of the most well-liked networks in the United States is Electrify America (EA), which charges $0.03 per minute for Level 2 charging. However, most of the Electrify America chargers are fast chargers, which charge the same per-kWh fee regardless of charging speed. As of this writing, EA’s rate in California for non-members and Electrify America Pass members was $0.43 per kWh and for Pass+ members it was $0.31. As a result, the average full fee for a tourist is $28.21, whereas for a Pass+ member it is only $20.33. In addition, there is a monthly Pass+ price of $4.
Cost-free Recharging for Electric Vehicles
Keeping your electric vehicle charged at home is the most convenient and reliable option, leaving public charging stations for longer journeys or top-offs. However, there are still methods to avoid paying for charges.
To begin, there is always the possibility that your workplace provides charging stations that you may use at no cost. As a means to refresh yourself during the workplace, this is ideal.
Moreover, many public parking lots have free Level 2 charging stations. In the case of the Volta, it is possible to find free charging stations in your local shopping center. These can also be found in various grocery shops.
The maker of your automobile could also be giving out charging sessions for free. Those who purchased a Model S or Model X from Tesla between 2012 and 2016 were eligible for free charging. It’s very bad they no longer provide that option. However, several other automakers, like Audi, BMW, Ford, and others, provide at least a year of free charging at Electrify America or EVGo stations with the purchase of a new vehicle.
Using electricity from the grid is the final remaining “free” option for charging an electric vehicle. You might not need to buy power from your utility company if you install solar panels and a home battery system. It’s not truly free because you’ll need to invest in solar panels and batteries. On the other hand, if you already have them set up or were planning on doing so anyhow, charging your car with them will incur no additional costs provided your infrastructure can manage the load.
How Much More Expensive Is It to Fill up a Petrol Tank than to Charge an Electric Vehicle?
This question defies quantification, as it is very hard to pinpoint a precise answer. While there are many factors to consider when discussing electric car charging, there may be even more when it comes to filling up a gas tank, such as the fact that the price of gas fluctuates daily. In other words, you should heavily salt the next paragraphs. We’ll be discussing medians, and it’s quite improbable that your numbers will match up with mine.
According to AAA, the national average price of a gallon of normal unleaded gasoline was $3.804 on November 7. Since we couldn’t find reliable information about the typical gas tank size for cars, we’ll use 15 as a good ballpark figure. Assuming a price of $57.06 per gallon, that’s how much it would cost to fill up your tank.
On average, it would be $50.12 cheaper to charge an electric vehicle at home rather than at a public charging station. A guest charge at an Electrify America station is still cheaper than a regular gas fill-up by $28.85. About a 50% discount!
Charging an electric car typically costs less than filling up with gas. The exact amount you save will change based on factors such as the driving mode you choose, the location of your charging station, and more. Additionally, the purchase price of electric vehicles is typically higher than that of gas-powered vehicles. There is a full article here that compares and contrasts the purchase price, insurance, and maintenance costs of an electric vehicle to a gas-powered vehicle.