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Home/News/How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

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Curious about “how much does it cost to charge an electric car?” It’s a straightforward question with a somewhat complex answer, dependent on multiple factors such as your local power prices, your EV’s battery size, and your charging setup. In this exploration, we’ll break down these variables to give you a clearer picture of what it really costs to keep your EV running.


Unveiling the Cost to Charge an Electric Vehicle

Transitioning from a gas-powered car to an electric vehicle (EV) is a significant shift. Potential EV buyers often have concerns about understanding the expenses associated with charging their new vehicle. These costs are influenced by various factors, such as electricity rates in your area, battery size, and charger type.

The cost of charging an EV can be affected by:

  • Fluctuations in local electricity prices
  • The size of the EV’s battery (larger batteries offer more range but also come at a higher charging expense)
  • The type of charger used for recharging (Level 1 chargers may take longer but are cheaper compared to Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers that provide faster replenishment time at greater costs).

Electricity Rates: The Core of Charging Costs

The expense of charging an electric vehicle is greatly affected by the cost of electricity. The average rate for electricity in the United States currently stands at 16.21 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This can differ significantly among states with some having rates as low as 11.19 /kWh such as Idaho, Missouri and Wyoming while others have higher rates up to 27.42 /kWh.

Time-of-use pricing strategies can also impact EV charging costs where discounted prices are offered during off-peak hours resulting in a lower price per kWh used during those times. Opting to charge your EV during these off-peak periods can lead to additional savings on overall charging expenses.


Battery Size Matters

The size of an electric vehicle’s battery significantly affects its charging time and cost. Commonly, electric car batteries have capacities varying from 20kWh to 100kWh, with larger sizes providing longer ranges but also resulting in higher charging costs due to their increased energy capacity.

Similarly, the length of a vehicle’s charge is determined by its battery size. A bigger battery means more time needed for charging. For instance, it takes approximately 8 hours using a 7kW charger point to fully charge an electric car equipped with a 60kWh battery.

Henceforth, keep in mind that the capacity of your EV’s battery directly impacts both its recharge duration and expenses. Smaller batteries might mean shorter wait times at stations yet result in limited driving range while larger ones provide extended drive distances but may lead to higher costs when topping up on electricity charges.

Choosing Your Charger: Level 1, 2, or Fast DC Charging?

The choice of charger for your electric vehicle can significantly impact its charging speed and cost. Standard Level 1 chargers, which use regular outlets, are the most economical option with rates averaging between $0.15 to $0.30 per kWh. They also have the slowest charging time of up to 20 hours.

There are various types of chargers available for electric vehicles.

  1. Level 1 chargers provide a standard charge time ranging from 8-12 hours at an affordable price.
  2. Level 2 chargers offer a quicker charging solution, typically ranging from 4-6 hours, but come at a higher price point.

Public Charging Networks: Convenience at a Cost

While charging an electric vehicle at one’s residence may be the most convenient and budget-friendly option for many, public networks for electric car charging provide a vital service to those on the go. These networks offer various types of chargers, including Level 2 and fast DC options, each with its own level of convenience and cost.

The price of utilizing these public charging networks can significantly differ based on factors like location, membership status, and speed of charge. While some networks offer complimentary access to their services, some may impose fees depending on either energy consumption or duration of use.

Commercial Charging Stations: Speed vs Expense

When in need of a quick top-up for your electric vehicle, commercial charging stations are the ideal choice due to their faster charging times. This convenience may come at a higher price as DC fast charging stations typically charge between $0.40 and $0.70 per kWh, more expensive than both home and Level 2 public charging options.

The cost of using these stations can also vary depending on factors such as network providers or membership benefits that could potentially offer better rates. It is crucial to consider all aspects when selecting where to charge your EV.

Council Car Parks: Navigating Free and Paid Options

An alternative for charging an electric vehicle is using council car parks. These parking facilities often offer free EV charging stations, with only the parking fee to be covered by users. It should be noted that while the actual service may not incur a charge, electricity rates can still contribute to a higher overall cost.

To take full advantage of these offerings, it’s advisable to consult local government guidelines and check parking websites for comprehensive details on payment methods and both complimentary and paid options available.

Solar Power: Sunlight to Kilowatts

The use of solar power for charging electric vehicles is an eco-friendly and economically feasible solution. By harnessing the sun’s energy through solar panels, one can generate electricity both for their home and vehicle at a lower cost, especially during peak sunlight hours when maximum solar production occurs.

To reduce costs associated with EV charging, utilizing solar power also promotes sustainability in this process. This renewable source of clean energy minimizes environmental impact and helps decrease the carbon footprint involved in powering electric vehicles.

The Impact of Solar on Home Charging

Solar panels have a significant impact on the cost of charging your electric vehicle at home. By producing your own electricity, you can avoid the fluctuating rates charged by utility companies and decrease your reliance on the traditional power grid.

Utilizing high-efficiency solar panels allows for more electricity production, resulting in faster EV charging times and greater energy savings overall. Over 15 years, choosing to charge an electric vehicle with a residential solar system could save anywhere from $7,500 to $12,400.

Maximizing Solar Investment During Daylight Hours

To make the most out of your solar investment, it is advised to charge your electric vehicle during peak daylight hours, typically between 10 AM and 4 PM. This enables you to fully utilize your solar energy production and lower charging costs for your EV.

In case you generate more solar power than needed during daytime, storing the surplus electricity can be a viable option for use on cloudy days or at night. This can be accomplished through either battery storage systems or intelligent charging stations specifically designed to absorb and retain energy from vehicles.


Plug-In Hybrid EVs: Bridging the Gap

As the popularity of fully electric cars increases, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are gaining traction as a viable alternative for those not ready to make the full switch. Combining an internal combustion engine with an electric motor and battery, PHEVs offer drivers flexibility in fuel sources. This can be a more cost-effective option for many individuals.

To charge a PHEV, it must be plugged into an external power source such as standard electrical outlets or EV charging stations. An onboard charger then transforms AC current into DC power to replenish the vehicle’s battery.

PHEVs: A Cheaper Alternative?

The overall cost-efficiency of PHEVs is highly impacted by a few key factors, including the price of battery packs, fuel expenses, vehicle performance, and average annual driving distance. Surprisingly enough though, PHEVs have been proven to have lower lifetime maintenance costs compared to conventional vehicles, making them an affordable option for many drivers.

There are numerous reasonably priced models of PHEVs currently available on the market, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander ES PHEV and Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid.Their cost-effectiveness depends largely upon elements like EV battery prices, fuel efficiency, and upkeep expenditures.

Pertaining specifically to purchasing a high quality yet budget-friendly plug-in hybrid electric car, it’s essential that buyers take into consideration various aspects such as upfront costs, battery life, hp ratings, durability, potential tax credits or rebates, gas mileage, cost associated with service checks & other maintenance procedures in order to select one suitable for their needs.

Fuel Savings vs. Charging Costs for PHEVs

When determining the overall value of PHEVs, it is essential to compare their fuel savings and charging costs. On average, a PHEV can result in an annual saving of around $791 on fuel expenses compared to traditional vehicles.

The cost of charging a PHEV can vary greatly depending on where and how one charges it. While home charging may offer significant savings, using public charging stations could be more expensive. Both fuel savings and charging costs should be taken into account when evaluating the cost-effectiveness of PHEVs.

Running the Numbers: EV Charging Cost Calculators

There are numerous online tools available to help you understand the expenses associated with charging your electric vehicle. These calculators use details like your specific car model, electricity rate, and estimated charging time to give you a customized estimate of how much it may cost.

These calculators should only be used as a general guideline. For a more precise estimation, it is recommended that you carefully analyse your monthly energy bill and calculate the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by dividing the total cost by the amount of kWh consumed during that period.

How to Use an EV Charging Calculator

Utilizing an EV charging calculator is a straightforward process. One simply needs to input information such as the vehicle make and model, duration of charging time, electricity rate, and the tool will estimate the cost for recharging your electric vehicle.

When analyzing these results, it is important to compare them with your typical monthly electricity expenses. This can help you better understand how much money you could potentially save by switching over to an electric car.

DIY Calculation: kWh Rate x Battery Capacity

If you wish to determine the cost of charging your electric vehicle yourself, a basic formula can be used: EV Battery Size (kWh) multiplied by Electricity Rate ($ per kWh) equals Charging Cost ($). This calculation allows for an estimation of how much it would cost to charge your EV based on its battery size and the rate at which electricity is charged.

Please note that this is just a general estimate and actual costs may vary. Several factors such as time-of-use rates, efficiency during charging, and speed of charging can all have an impact on the final expense.

Long-Term Savings: Comparing EVs to Petrol Cars

When considering switching to an electric vehicle, it is important to take into account the potential long-term savings. Although the upfront cost of an electric car may be higher than a petrol one, its running costs can be significantly lower.

Surprisingly, on average, maintaining an electric vehicle costs approximately 2 cents per kilometre while for a petrol car it is around 7 cents per kilometre. Compared to traditional diesel or petrol cars, annual running expenses for an electric vehicle are about 2.5 times more economical.


The Future is Electric: Incentives and Government Support

In response to the increasing awareness of climate change and the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint, governments around the world are offering incentives for purchasing electric vehicles. This initiative is also being promoted in Australia where there has been a growing push for electric cars.

These incentives offered by countries such as Norway, which has one of the highest rates of EV sales, and various EU nations include tax exemptions or reductions on EV purchases. They may also cover benefits like free or discounted access to charging infrastructure, use of bus lanes and toll roads, as well as parking privileges. These measures not only make owning an electric vehicle more affordable, but also play a significant role in promoting their widespread adoption.

By providing attractive incentives such as purchase subsidies and support for necessary infrastructure like charging stations, these initiatives aim at encouraging people towards choosing eco-friendly options like EVs over traditional gas-powered vehicles. Such efforts not only help individuals contribute towards reducing emissions, but ultimately lead us towards creating cleaner cities with healthier air quality.

Electric Car Ownership: Beyond the Charge

There are various factors to consider when owning an electric vehicle, not just the cost of charging. Aspects like battery durability, driving range, and accessibility of charging stations also play a crucial role in decision-making. Although traditionally petrol cars have had longer ranges than electric ones, this gap is closing as technology advances.

To lower fuel costs for operating an electric car compared to a petrol one over time, maintenance expenses are typically reduced as well. Furthermore, because there is constant development in charging infrastructure, it has become increasingly convenient for individuals who own or wish to purchase an electrical automobile.


Charging an electric vehicle (EV) cost depends on factors like electricity rates, battery size, and charger type. Home charging is generally cheaper, while public charging networks cater to on-the-go needs. Solar energy can further reduce costs. Beyond charging, consider an EV's battery life, range, and charger availability. The future is increasingly electric, with government incentives and tech improvements making EVs more accessible.

For a seamless transition to an eco-friendly ride, visit Westside Auto. They offer a range of electric car for sale suited to your lifestyle and budget. Embrace the future with Westside Auto's EV options.

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