Though you can find electric cars for under $40,000, the initial cost of an electric car is more than a fuel-powered car. Still, many people are willing to invest huge sums of money in shiny electric vehicles. Because they want to reap the benefits of an electric car.
There are many advantages of owning an electric car, but getting rid of fuel costs has got to be on top of that list. With ever-increasing fuel prices across the world, fuel cost is a major burden on any average working-class person. Electric cars offer a partial solution to this problem.
Because there is always going to be some cost of charging electric cars. This article will present a detailed cost analysis of charging an electric car at different types of charging stations. In addition to that, we will see to what extent an electric car cuts down on the fuel costs of a gas-powered car.
So, let’s dive right into it!
Cost of Charging an Electric Car Vs. Fuel Costs of Gas-Powered Car
Before we dwell on the EV charging costs, let us discuss the fuel costs of conventional cars. So, we have a fair point of comparison to understand the saving offered by an electric car.
Gas-powered cars have been around for a century. It is pretty straightforward to calculate the fuel cost of a car powered by an internal combustion engine. If you know the fuel average of your car, it is very easy to calculate the fuel cost. Let us proceed with the example of the Honda Accord.
Honda Accord is one of the most popular cars in the US and worldwide. It offers an impressive fuel mileage of 38 mpg on highways and 30 mpg within the city area. This means that the combined fuel average of the Honda Accord is 34 mpg.
Now, as of this week, the price of one gallon of gasoline in the US is about $3.3. At this price, every mile you travel on Honda Accord is going to cost approximately $0.098. Similarly, for every 100 miles, you will be paying $9.8, give or take.
Bear this figure in your mind. We’re going to bring it up during its comparison with the cost of electric car charging in the next sections of this article.
Cost of Charging an Electric Car at Different Types of Charging Stations
As you might already know that there are three different types of charging stations. Based on the maximum power output, voltage infrastructure, and charging time, the charging station is classified as level-I, level-II, and level-III.
The cost of charging an electric car is affected by a number of other factors as well. But the most important factor that affects the cost of charging an electric car is the type of charging station. Other factors such as geographic location, car batteries, and quality of the charger is also important but not as significant as the type of charging station.
We’ll consider the case of charging your electric car at each type of charging station one by one. So, let’s get started!
Cost of Charging an Electric Car at Home (Level-I Charging Station)
First of all, we have the level-I charging stations. Most electric cars can be charged at home. All you need to do is to plug your car’s charger into any normal 110 V socket available at home. This is the cheapest method of charging your electric vehicle but also the slowest.
The maximum power output of the regular sockets at home is between 3 and 3.6 kW. Now, let’s consider the example of the Hyundai Ioniq 6. It has a battery pack of 77.4 kWh. At this speed, it going to take no less than 22 hours to charge your electric car (from 0% to 100%).
If Hyundai Ioniq 6 was drawing 3.6 kW of power for every hour, then, in other words, it was consuming 3.6 kWh or 3.6 units of electricity every hour. Now, you need 22 hours to charge your car fully, so the total number of units consumed by the car will be approximately 79.
The average cost of one unit of electricity in the US is 16 cents ($0.16). For 79 units, you have to pay $12.64 in total. According to Hyundai, Ioniq 6 can deliver a range of 340 miles on a single charge. If you divide the total cost of a single charge by the range, you will get the cost of charging.
The cost of charging the Hyundai Ioniq 6 comes out to be 3.7 cents ($0.037) per mile. Similarly, for 100 miles, you will be paying $3.7. Now, if you remember, the Honda Accord’s cost per 100 miles came out to be $9.8. This is way less in comparison to that.
Hence, it costs 3-4 cents per mile to charge an electric car at a level-I charging station. It is approximately 70-80% less than the average cost of driving an ICE engine car for one mile.
Cost of Charging an Electric Cars at 240 V Charging Station (Level-II Charging Station)
Next up is the level-II charging station. These are the most common type of charging stations found in public places such as parks, schools, offices, and highways. The working voltage at these charging stations is between 208 and 240 Volts.
You can easily install a level-II charging point in your own house. Though it is going to cost you somewhere between $1,000 and $2,000 in total, it will be worth it. The amount of time you can save on charging by installing a level-II charging station is amazing.
The power output of a level-II charging station starts from 7 kW and goes up to 19 kWh. But level-II charging stations with power output in excess of 10 kW are very rare to find. So, for all practical purposes, we will calculate the cost of charging an electric car at a power output of 10 kW.
So, here we are going to consider the example of another electric car, the Tesla model 3. Tesla Model 3 is laced with an 80.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. At a charging point with a maximum power output of 10 kW, it is going to take almost 8 hours to fully charge your electric car.
This means that a total of 80.5 kWh or 80.5 units of electricity will be consumed in charging your Tesla Model 3. If the same price of 16 cents per unit is used in this example, the total cost of charging comes out to be $12.88. Tesla Model 3 has a range of 310 miles, therefore, a cost per mile of 4.1 cents ($0.041). For every 100 miles, you will have to pay $4.1.
Hence, it costs 4-5 cents per mile to charge an electric car at a level-I charging station. It is approximately 50-70% less than the average cost of driving an ICE engine car for one mile.
Cost of Charging EV at a DC Fast Charging Station (Level-III Charging Station)
These are the fastest type of charging stations, also called commercial EV charging stations. All companies are trying to develop a DC fast-charging network.
But the cost per kWh is very high at a level-III charging station. You can expect to pay somewhere between 35 and 45 cents at a level-III charging station. For the sake of calculation, we will use a median price of 40 cents per kWh.
Consider the example of the Ford Mustang Mach-E. It has a battery pack of 88.0 kWh and a range of 270 miles. To charge a battery of 88.0 kWh, you would need 88 units of electricity.
At a price of 40 cents per kWh, the total cost of a single charge would come to $35.2. Therefore, a cost per mile of 13 cents ($0.13). For every 100 miles, you will be paying $13.
Hence, it costs 12-15 cents per mile to charge an electric car at a level-I charging station. It is approximately 30-50% more than the average cost of driving an ICE engine car for one mile.
You can see that the cheapest way of charging an electric car is at home. Charging at a level-II home station will cost the same, but you would have to pay extra installation charges.
It is important to note that some places offer free-of-cost level-II charging, but they are beyond the scope of this article. Similarly, some level-II charging stations charge higher unit rates as compared to regular electricity rates. So, this option will be more expensive than level-II charging at home.
At last, we saw that level-III DC fast charging is even more expensive than gasoline. It is true that this option saves time, but you can say bye-bye to your fuel savings by turning to electric. In fact, you will end up paying more for fuel costs.
Hence, it is evident from the examples and discussions above that the most suitable and cost-effective way of charging an EV is installing a level-II charging station at home. Because it offers ease and the best cost once the investment in the charging station is recovered.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do let us know in the comment section down below.