Electric car charging costs
It is usually cheaper to charge an electric car than to fill up with gas. However, calculating the cost can be a little more complicated. Below, we cover how much you could expect to pay for charging at home, in public, or using a fast charger.
Charging at home
Buying and installing an AC charging station at home is often the cheapest way to charge an electric car as the electricity you use to charge your vehicle comes directly from the grid. This means there is no ‘middle man’ charging extra for the service and you simply pay the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) offered by your own energy supplier. Therefore, how much you pay for your electricity will have a big impact on how much you pay to charge your electric car in the long run.
You can find out how much the average price per kWh in the US is here. With this figure you can calculate how much it will cost to charge your electric car from 0 to 100 percent by taking the size of your electric car's battery, and multiplying it by the price per kWh. For example, a medium sized electric car with a 50 kWh battery at a price per kWh of $0.14 will cost around $7 to charge.
In addition, electricity costs change during certain times of the day. You are likely to pay more to charge during the day than at night. Usually between 10 pm and 7 am pricing is the lowest. Therefore, charging your electric car late in the evening or early in the morning can save you money on your electricity bill and your overall charging costs.
Charging in public
Generally speaking, charging at a public charging station will always be more expensive than charging at home. When charging at a public charging station, such as those at the workplace, supermarkets, or along the highway, you could be charged base on one, or a combination of the following factors:
- Connection fee: a fixed amount for each charging session
- Energy fee: a certain amount per kWh consumed
- Time fee: a certain amount for the duration of the charging session
Additionally, when you use a public charging station, you also pay for the service. A service fee is set by electric mobility service providers (eMSPs) for handling the changing transaction and could either be a fixed amount per charging session or a certain percentage of the total cost, or both, and is added to the total charging cost. As each provider has the freedom to set different rates, there is no standard charging rate for public charging.
Charging at a fast charging station
Charging at a DC fast charging station is the most expensive method of charging available and rates can often be nearly twice as much as charging at home. Reason being, you are paying for the convenience of charging at a much quicker rate than you would receive charging at an AC charging station—in minutes as opposed to hours. As with public charging, you may also be charged a connection fee, and/or a fee based on the amount of kWh consumed, or the duration of the charging session.
You might notice that the price of charging via a fast charging station is much more comparable to filling up a traditional gas vehicle. However, for the majority of EV drivers, fast charging only applies as an on-the-go option to top-up on longer journeys.
If you would like to read more about how much it costs to charge an electric car, then head on over to our blog that covers the subject in more detail here.