How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car?


To charge an electric vehicle you do have to pay, whether that be at a public charger or a charger at home is completely up to you. Electric cars continue to expand as more are being released by companies and more are being bought by people. Knowing how much you will have to pay to keep that vehicle running is important. Having a budget for an electric car is practically the same as having a budget for a gas car. Planning out and making sure you have enough charge and how much you will have to spend is both a part of having an internal combustion vehicle or an electric vehicle.

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car? On average it will cost around $10 USD to fully charge an electric car. Knowing the price of electricity in your area and the size of the battery in the electric vehicle you want to charge is all you need if you want to estimate how much it may cost. If electricity costs $0.10 per kWh and you have a 70 kWh battery, it will cost you $7 USD to fully charge.

This formula, (electricity cost in $ per kwH) x (size of battery in kWh) = (cost to fully charge), allows you to find almost exactly how much it may cost to charge an electric vehicle at your state’s rate. As stated before there are also some other factors that will increase or decrease how much you will have to pay to charge an electric vehicle, one of the biggest being where you charge at home or a public charger. We will dive deeper into some other reasons as well as 

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car At Home?

If you want to pay the least amount of money to charge your electric vehicle then charging at home will probably be your best bet. It is important to note that if you do want a faster charger at home then an initial investment of around $1,000 may be needed to install a charger. Another important factor that was discussed before would be the price of electricity in your area. Simply put, the higher the electricity price where you live the more you will have to pay to charge an electric vehicle.

The cost of electricity every month will be available on your electrical bill and subtracting the average from before you had an electric vehicle from how much you paid when you charged an electric vehicle would give you a good estimate of the monthly cost, however you would need to have bought and used an electric vehicle to do this.

Charging an electric vehicle will probably cost you around $40 to $80 monthly depending on how much you drive it and how much electricity is in your area. The price to charge an electric vehicle per month may be exceptionally higher than this average if you drive the vehicle a lot and the cost of electricity is high.

We can actually use the same formula that was stated before, (electricity cost in $ per kwH) x (size of battery in kWh) = (cost to fully charge), to determine how much you would probably pay to fully charge an electric vehicle. Because there are no extra fees when charging your electric car at home, using the base electricity price in your area is the best way to determine how much it may cost.

Here is a link to average electricity prices for each state, https://www.eia.gov, these prices can also be found by doing a simple search online. Below is a list of some popular electric vehicles and their battery sizes so you can kind of see how much it may cost to charge one of those vehicles.

  • 2018 Tesla Model S 100D – 100 kWh
  • 2018 Tesla Model X 100D – 100 kWh
  • 2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range – 80.5 kWh
  • 2018 Chevy Bolt – 60 kWh
  • 2018 Nissan LEAF – 40 kWh
  • 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf – 35.8 kWh
  • 2018 Ford Focus Electric – 33.5 kWh

How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car At A Public Charging Station?

Public charging stations, for the most part, are set up as a business. This means that they will have higher rates than what you may find at home, but sometimes they are in convenient locations when you need a charge, and if you use a level 3 public charger then it can charge it nearly 400 times as fast as some home chargers. Public chargers will usually cost between 12$ to 45$ depending greatly on the size of your vehicle. There are also two main types of public chargers that you can use, level 2 and level 3 charger.

Level 2 chargers are the most common kind of public charger. They are usually not incredibly fast at charging and will usually take a few hours to fully charge a vehicle. Level 2 chargers generally have a rate of about $0.20 to $0.25 per kWh, but this is commonly changed depending on where you live and what companies chargers you are using. Using the battery and that price we can once again find the cost of how much it may cost to charge an electric vehicle. Average prices of $12 to $25 are common when using a level 2 charger.

Level 3 chargers are the fastest kind of charger that public chargers have to offer. Tesla superchargers are probably the most common example of a level 3 charger. These chargers are capable of charging most electric cars to about 85% in less than an hour. It would probably cost around $23 to $45 to charge a vehicle on one of these chargers.

Rates of these chargers tend to be around $0.40 to $0.60 per kWh because of the technology and costs that are associated with these chargers. Level 3 chargers can also only be found in public as homes are unable to support the amount of electricity that a level 3 charger requires to quickly charge an electric vehicle.

How Much Does It Cost To Use A Tesla Supercharging Station?

It is important to note that Teslas are really the only vehicle that can use Tesla superchargers, which will hopefully soon change. The cost to use a supercharger is generally about the same as using most level 3 chargers, however like before the price to use these vary from place to place depending on electricity costs and other factors.

Certain apps and other things may allow you to check the prices of superchargers in your area. Using the same equation mentioned before, found in the third paragraph from the top, you can calculate how much it may cost to charge your vehicle using the size of the battery as well as the price of electricity.

When using superchargers, or most chargers in general, there are two ways that it can charge you for its use. Number one, the charger will make you pay according to the time that you spent at the charger and the level of energy that you used. On average $0.26 per minute for above 60kw is normal, while below 60kw $0.13 is about the average, again these will vary greatly depending on where you live. It can also charge you for about how much electricity that you pull out of the charger.

On average it will cost about $0.28 for every kWh that is drawn from the charger into the battery. Expect a price range of $10 to $30 when using a supercharger. Prices will reflect the cost of energy where you live for the most part.

For some Tesla owners it may be possible to use a supercharger for free. It is important to note that it is not healthy for a battery to be constantly using a supercharger for charging as it forces the battery to uptake such a high amount of energy in a short amount of time.

Some Tesla’s made before 2016 have lifetime free supercharging, generally only people who bought it directly from Tesla before then may have this feature. It is still possible to receive free charging for limited amounts of time. Sometimes free supercharging will be given when you purchase a new Tesla or when you refer someone and they buy a Tesla. Usually 1,000 miles of free charging will be given when free charging is earned.

How To Save Money By Using Free Chargers Or By Charging At Night.

Luckily for most people, charging an electric vehicle aligns perfectly with the lowest electricity costs. Peak hours for electricity use are usually around 5:00, give or take an hour or two. Electricity prices after this peak will decrease which leads to the lowest time for electricity prices which is during the night.

Plugging in and charging at night, when electricity costs are at their lowest, is your best bet if you want to pay the least amount of money while also having some convenience in your life. Doing a little bit of research on your own state or area’s electricity prices throughout the day can help you make the best decision when it comes to charging your vehicle at the lowest cost.

Sadly free chargers are becoming less and less common. As electric vehicles start to become more common, the incentives that may come with the vehicle become less common. One of those being free charging. However it is still possible to find free charging from place to place but it may not be the smartest idea to only rely on free charging when charging your electric vehicle.

Some apps may be capable of telling you where free chargers can be found. Tesla vehicles are probably the most common electric vehicle that still occasionally has free charging but it is in no means something that can just be happened upon and some action generally has to be taken to receive free charging from Tesla. 

Some charging station companies may also offer discounts on their chargers if you purchase a subscription from their company. Depending on where you live there may be select companies that have charging stations in that area. If you are unable to charge at home then it may be wise to purchase a subscription service from that company and use their chargers.

Although you will probably still be paying more than what you would be at home, it can decrease the amount of money you would have to pay if you just used random electric chargers everyday. Although buying a subscription this does kind of restrict you to one company’s chargers, for most people that is okay. Make sure that you need the subscription and services before purchasing.

Does Saving Money On Fuel Make Electric Cars Worth Their Price?

On average electric vehicles tend to cost more than internal combustion vehicles do. Electric vehicles tend to be anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 more than a similar internal-combustion vehicle. This is quite a big price gap when it comes to paying for the vehicle, however it does cost a lot less to maintain and power an electric vehicle than it does to maintain and power an internal combustion vehicle. This means that somewhere the lines of how much it costs to use an electric vehicle and internal combustion vehicle cross, but where do these lines cross and does it really make that big of a difference.

Electric vehicles only cost around 3.3 cents per mile while being driven while gasoline vehicles cost upwards of 15 cents per mile. 12 cents per mile driven really doesn’t seem like the biggest gap but it is a big enough difference that it may offset the cost. If a vehicle is able to get to 100,000 miles, which is a considerable mileage but doable for both electric and gasoline vehicles if maintained correctly, then we can see that there is a large gap in how much someone may have paid to power the vehicle. Around $15,000 will have been spent on powering a gasoline vehicle for that far while only $3,300 would have been spent on the electric vehicles for the same amount of miles, leaving us a difference of $11,700.

Another important factor that may increase the cost of using a vehicle over time would be maintenance. It is easy to see that electric cars also cost less than a gasoline powered vehicle as electric cars don’t need things like oil changes and there is a considerably less amount of things that break and need normal maintenance on an electric vehicle. Some companies state that there is about a $330 difference yearly when looking at maintenance for an electric vehicle and a gasoline powered vehicle. This isn’t a huge amount of money but is definitely enough to buy a fancy dinner once a year if that is what you want.

Can Solar Panels On My House Charge My Car To 100% For Free?

If your home has solar panels that go directly into your home then yes, in theory you would be able to charge your car to 100% for free. The problem is that this may take a really long time depending on how many solar panels you have. Most solar panels are quoted to produce around 250 to 400 watts per hour. There are generally 20 to 25 solar panels put onto an average sized home. This means that if you have 25 solar panels each producing 400 watts, which is just about the highest output you can get, you will produce 10,000 watts per hour which is 10 kilowatts per hour. 

If you had a Tesla, or a vehicle with a 100 kWh battery, it would take ten hours to charge your battery. This isn’t terrible when it comes to charging an electric vehicle but this is also us assuming that your home can support 25 solar panels all producing their max load constantly for 10 hours. This sadly is not a very common occurrence. Another problem would be that you would have to charge your electric vehicle during the day, as there isn’t light during the night. This means that if you worked you wouldn’t be able to use that vehicle as an everyday vehicle if you wanted to only charge it using solar panels. 

Some electric vehicle companies do offer their own solar panel services, such as Tesla. If you have an electric vehicle and do really want to try and get into solar energy then make sure you look into both local and get in contact with your electric car’s company to see if they have any deals available.

Some local companies may not be able to wire the power to go directly into the vehicle as that is not what they usually do, so it may cost extra as it may be considered customized if you ask them to do that. Make sure to explore your options so you can make both a financially friendly choice and a choice that most greatly benefits you and your wants and needs with solar energy and electric vehicles.

Recent Posts