Savings on fuel costs is one of the biggest attraction for many buyers to purchase an electric car. The charging cost of an electric car is a subjective issue that is affected by many factors. These might include the battery size of your car, its battery management system, the initial cost of electric power, and, most importantly, the type of charging station you choose.
This article will discuss the important factors that affect the charging cost of an electric car. We will also expand on the cost of charging an electric car at different types of charging stations. At last, we will provide information on the cheapest way to charge an EV.
Read on to know how much does it cost to charge an electric car!
How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?
The cost to charge an electric car depends upon two variables. One is the battery size of your EV, and the other is the type of charging station. It might be misleading to quote a figure as there is a huge degree of variation between charging costs for different electric cars.
Consider the charging cost of a unit mile instead. It would cost you between $0.04-0.15 to charge an electric car for a single mile depending upon the type of charging station. Multiply this cost by the range of your electric car, and you will get the total cost to charge any electric car.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Charging an Electric Car
A variety of factors affect the cost of charging an electric car. Let’s see some of those:
- The existing level of battery charge. Because charging a battery from 50% to 100% is going to cost way less than charging it from 10% to 100%.
- Different states have different prices for electric power units. So, the initial cost of electricity is going to have a big impact on the cost of charging an electric car.
- Some chargers are more efficient than others. So, if you charge with a high-quality charger that offers less resistance, you can save some money.
- A large battery pack will cost more to charge as compared to a small battery pack.
- The selection of charging stations can have a huge impact on the charging cost of an electric car. The cost may vary between 4 and 15 cents to gain a single mile of driving range.
- Modern EVs are laced with cutting-edge battery management systems. These systems are designed to maximize the output and efficiency of the battery. It will cost lesser to charge an electric car with better BMS if all the other factors remain constant.
Cost to Charge an Electric Car on Different Types of Charging Stations
The cost to charge an electric car varies with the choice of your charging station. Let’s briefly discuss the cost of charging an electric car at different types of charging stations:
Cost to Charge an Electric Car at Home – Level-I
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 2.3 kW. Now, let’s consider the example of Hyundai Ioniq 6. It has a battery pack of 77.4 kWh. Charging Ioniq 6 at the level-I charging station will take 34 hours and consume 85 units of electricity.
The average cost of one unit of electricity in the US is 16 cents ($0.16). For 85 units, you have to pay $13.6 in total. Ioniq 6 can deliver a range of 340 miles on a single charge. So, the cost of charging the Hyundai Ioniq 6 comes out to be 4 cents ($0.04) per mile.
Hence, it costs 4 cents per mile to charge an electric car at a level-I charging station. It is 60% less than the average cost of driving a gas-powered car for one mile.
For more info read A Beginner’s Guide to Electric Car Charging at Home.
Cost to Charge an Electric Car at a Public Charging Point – Level-II
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 we will calculate the cost of charging an electric car at a power output of 10 kW.
Now consider the example of the Tesla Model 3. Tesla Model 3 is laced with an 80.5 kWh. Charging Model 3 at the level-II charging station will take 8 hours and consume 89 units. If the price of 20 cents per unit is used in this example, the total cost of charging comes out to be $17.8. Tesla Model 3 has a range of 310 miles, therefore, a cost per mile of 5.7 cents ($0.057).
Hence, it costs 6 cents per mile to charge an electric car at a level-II charging station. It is 40% less than the average cost of driving a gas-powered car for one mile.
Cost to Charge an Electric Car at a Rapid Charging Station – Level-III
These are the fastest type of charging stations. 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. Consider the example of the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
It has a battery pack of 98.0 kWh and a range of 310 miles. To charge this battery, you would need 110 units of electric power. At a price of 40 cents per kWh, the total cost of a single charge would come to $44. Therefore, a cost per mile of 14 cents ($0.14).
Hence, it costs 14 cents per mile to charge an electric car at a level-III charging station. It is 40% higher than the average cost of driving a gas-powered car for one mile.
The case of a Tesla Supercharger is different. Here Tesla owners can enjoy exclusive benefits and lower costs of charging. To read about the cost of charging a Tesla, please read our article on it.
Cost to Charge an Electric Car Vs. Fuel Costs of a Gas-Powered Car
We saw that the charging cost per mile for an electric car comes to about 4 cents for a level-I charging station, and for a public charging point, it can go up to 5 cents per mile. However, if you decide to go with a DC fast charger, the charging costs will significantly rise up to 14 cents per mile. So, how does this compare with the fuel costs of a gas-powered car?
Gas-powered cars also come in different engine configurations, each of which has a different fuel mileage. So, to draw a fair comparison, let’s take the example of one of the most popular gas-powered cars in the US, the Honda Accord.
Honda Accord has a combined fuel mileage of 34 mpg, which is quite an impressive figure. At a rate of $3.6 per gallon of gasoline, the per-mile cost of running a Honda Accord comes to about 10 cents. This means that charging an electric car at a level-I and level-II charging station costs about 60% and 50% less than running on gasoline.
However, the cost of charging an electric car at a level-III charging station is a whole new ball game. It is up to 40% more expensive in comparison to the cost of running a gasoline car. But if you take saving on maintenance costs into account, these costs might level out. Still, there won’t be any benefits if you’re continuously charging your electric vehicle at a rapid charging station.
What is the Cheapest Way of Charging an Electric Car?
The charging cost of an electric car and the time of charging have an inverse relation. The longer it takes you to charge your EV, the cheaper it is going to be. So, home charging is by far the cheapest method to charge an electric car. It will cost you only 4 cents per mile of driving range. However, it is also the slowest. It can take somewhere between 36-48 hours.
Take the case of the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Mach-E is laced with a 98 kWh battery pack. At a domestic socket with a power output of 2.3 kW, it will take around 44 hours to fully charge your battery. This will cost you $16 in total. In contrast, charging Mustang Mach-E at a rapid charging station costs around $45. But the time of charging comes under 30 minutes.
So, charging cost is always a tradeoff. You ensure the best of both worlds by installing a mobile charging station at your home. They will provide you with higher charging speeds and still cost the same as level-I charging. For example, the home charging station of Mustang Mach-E takes 11 hours to fully charge the batteries. However, the cost of $16 stays the same.
But there is a catch. You have to pay an upfront $799 to install a fast home charging station. However, it is a worthy investment, in my opinion. You can save considerable time and money by investing in a fast home charging station. To know more about home charging solutions, read our article: What are EV Charging Station Contractors? Everything You Need to Know.
Find more details about EV Charging Station Contractors.
Final Word, How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?
Switching to an electric car can ensure great savings. However, you need to be aware of the factors affecting the cost of charging an electric car outlined in this article. I also want to clarify that the cost to charge different electric cars at different charging stations can have a fair bit of difference.
Therefore, it might be best to consider the specific case of your personal EV. I hope this article was helpful in providing a general answer to the question of how much does it cost to charge an electric car. What are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comments below.