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Here’s the Deal on How Much It Costs To Charge an Electric Vehicle and How Much You Can Save

The Edison Electric Institute projects that by 2030 there will be 26.4 million electric vehicles on the road in the United States. Beyond stepping away from our reliance on fossil fuels, cost is one of the biggest reasons so many are ditching their internal combustion engines and finding themselves behind the wheel of a new electric vehicle. From tax breaks for EV purchases, to the convenience of waking up with an entirely re-fueled car, there are many benefits to EVs, but as the expression goes, if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. And the good news is, EV charging makes both. Charging an EV can be much more cost efficient than gasoline powered automobiles, and sometimes it can even be free. But as with anything, there are variables, so to know exactly how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle (and therefore, how much you could save), let’s take a look at some of the factors that go into the price of charging an EV.

Older man charging and electric car

What Affects The Overall Cost of Charging an Electric Vehicle?

As with anything car-related, there are many variables with owning, fueling, and maintaining an electric vehicle. For instance, the price of electricity fluctuates throughout the year and is different depending on where you live. Overall, though, it is far cheaper to fuel an EV than ICE vehicles. How much cheaper is dependent on several factors, some of which we will highlight here:

1. What Vehicle You’re Charging

Different types of cars require different amounts of energy. Whether it’s derived from finite resources such as petroleum, or from renewable energy, the simple fact is each vehicle varies in fuel costs no matter the type. A large electric SUV, which we are poised to see many more of in the not too distant future, is going to take more energy to fuel, and therefore cost a bit more, than a small compact EV. KBB reports, however, that regardless of what type of EV you choose, they are usually cheaper to fuel than a comparable, gas-powered counterpart. Also, to entice prospective buyers, some new EV purchases come with entirely free charging . So when considering how much it costs to charge an EV, the type of EV you choose is a big factor.

2. Where You Charge

Location, location, location. Businesses know it, and with good reason. Where your business is located  matters, and it also factors in to how much it costs to charge electric vehicles on your property. Whether you charge at home (usually the cheapest option), while shopping at a mall, or in another state on an adventure, where you charge will affect the total cost of charging an EV. This is because of a few factors.

For one, electricity costs vary based on your location. Motor Trend reports that the average price to charge a 60-kilowatt-hour Tesla Model 3 is $6.83 if you charge overnight at home. But costs vary by state. In states like Wyoming, Utah, Louisiana, and Oklahoma you can fully charge an EV for under $5 overnight. But, if you charge the same car in California, the cost will be more than $15. However, this is also true for refueling an ICE car at a gas station, so while the prices are indeed higher in California, the potential savings could be too.  At the time of this writing, the national average gas price is $3.948 per gallon and the average fuel tank is 14.5 gallons, making the average cost of a fill up around $57.25. That stated, most ICE do have a larger range per tank than the standard EV with EVs averaging about 250 miles per charge vs 413 for vehicles with gas engines. Nevertheless, charging electric vehicles is still usually the cheaper option.

solar panels over a parking lot

3. The Type Of Charging Station You Use (And How You Use It)

Along with where you charge, how you charge can be just as important. This mainly comes down to what kind of charging station you’re using and the location of where you’re charging. Like EVs themselves, there are different types and levels of charging options. We have a detailed breakdown of each here, but in summation there are three main levels, which get more expensive as you level up and charging time decreases. Level 1 and Level 2 chargers are available for private use at home. Level 1 chargers usually come with the purchase of a vehicle and are the slowest and cheapest options. Every level up from there generally gets faster and more expensive. With the added convenience of quicker charging time comes added cost, whereas if you slow charge overnight at home, that is generally the cheapest option no matter where you live. For reference, California is the most expensive state to charge an EV, and users can expect 30 cents per kWh to charge on Level 2, and 40 cents per kWh for DC fast charging, which means about $12 to fully charge at Level 2, and $16 on a DC fast charger.

Contact HiON Distribution To Learn More

Electric vehicles are on the rise, and businesses that offer charging options can set themselves apart from their competitors. There are government incentives for businesses to install charging stations that can greatly offset the cost of installation and maintenance. . 

HiON Distribution is dedicated to bringing the best Enel X Way EV charging products to American businesses, and we’re ready to help you decide the best charging options for your situation.