Are you planning to buy an electric vehicle (EV) or do you already own one? Then you must have been wondering about the cost of EV charging. How much does it really cost to charge your electric vehicle at home or at a public charging station? Let’s break down the cost of charging an electric car and shed some light on this matter.
Home Charging: Level 1 and Level 2 Chargers
Level 1 chargers come standard with most electric vehicles. They don’t require special installation and can be plugged into a standard household outlet. So, the only cost you will incur with a Level 1 charger is the electricity cost.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the average residential electricity cost in the U.S is approximately 13 cents per kWh. If we consider an electric car with a battery capacity of 60kWh and a range of about 200 miles, charging it from zero would cost around $7.80.1
Edmunds2 and Kelley Blue Book3, it’s also where the most cost-effective EV charging happens. Picture this – the average American household electricity cost is around 16 cents per kWh, translating to roughly $60/month for 1,124 miles. In contrast, filling up a gas tank would run you about $129 for the same distance. Quite a difference, right?
Level 2 chargers, on the other hand, are more powerful than Level 1 chargers and can charge an EV faster. However, they require a special EV charging station installation at home, and the cost can range from $500 to $2000, including the charger and installation costs, such as professional labor and home modifications. The electricity cost remains the same, but your vehicle will charge much faster.
Fast Charging: Level 3 Chargers and Tesla Superchargers
Level 3 chargers, also known as DC Fast Chargers, can charge an electric vehicle to 80% in just 20-30 minutes, with costs generally ranging from $10 to $30 per session4. These chargers are usually found at commercial EV charging stations and can be a godsend for EV drivers on a long trip. The cost varies significantly from one station to another. Some stations charge a flat rate per hour, while others charge based on the amount of electricity consumed. Electrify America, for example, charges a fee starting from $0.48 per minute.5
Tesla owners have the added benefit of the Supercharger network, averaging around $0.25 per kWh. But watch out for those pesky parking fees at “free” charging stations, which could quickly turn your “free” charge into a cost2.
Public Charging Stations: What to Look Out For
While public charging stations are convenient for EV drivers on the go, the costs can add up. According to a Consumer Report, the average cost of public Level 2 charging is $0.49 per kWh, almost four times more expensive than home charging.6
But it’s not all doom and gloom! There are ways to mitigate these costs. Some cities offer free charging at certain public chargers, and EV infrastructure is rapidly expanding, providing more options for drivers. Charge points at workplaces, shopping malls, and restaurants often offer free or discounted charging, so keep your eyes peeled!
The cost of EV charging largely depends on where and how you charge your electric vehicle. While home charging, especially with a Level 2 charger, seems to be the most cost-effective method, public charging stations, with their convenience and growing infrastructure, play an essential role for EV drivers on the move. But with renewable energy sources becoming more prevalent, we may see a decrease in electricity costs, further reducing the cost of EV charging. After all, every mile in an electric vehicle is a step towards a greener future.
Just remember, as an electric vehicle owner, your charging costs will be significantly lower than the cost of fuel for a conventional vehicle. For an estimate based on your vehicle make/model and usage, see the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Cost Calculator to see what you would be spending on gas (or saving owning a newer EV!)
- Charging Electric Vehicles at home (no date) Alternative Fuels Data Center: Charging Electric Vehicles at Home. Available at: https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_charging_home.html (Accessed: 28 July 2023).
- Montoya, R. (2023) How much does it cost to charge an electric car?, edmunds.com. Available at: https://www.edmunds.com/electric-car/articles/how-much-does-cost-charge-electric-car.html (Accessed: 28 July 2023).
- Kurczewski, N. (2023) How much does it cost to charge an electric car?, kbb.com. Available at: https://www.kbb.com/car-advice/how-much-does-it-cost-to-charge-an-ev/ (Accessed: 29 July 2023).
- Webber, M.R. (2023) What does it cost to charge an EV on a road trip?, Investopedia. Edited by M. James. Fact checked by V. Velasquez. Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/cost-to-charge-ev-road-trip-5219817 (Accessed: 28 July 2023).
- Pricing and plans for EV charging (no date) Electrify America. Available at: https://www.electrifyamerica.com/pricing/ (Accessed: 28 July 2023).
- Linkov, J. (2023) How well do Tesla Superchargers Work for non-tesla evs?, Consumer Reports. Available at: https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/ev-chargers/how-well-do-tesla-superchargers-work-for-non-tesla-evs-a4713673565/ (Accessed: 28 July 2023).