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How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Vehicle?

February 21, 2024 | Reading Time: 7 minutes

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular as gas prices rise and more brands produce hybrid or entirely electric cars.

Many people would rather charge up than fill up, especially as residential solar adoption expands and more people experience free energy generation.

But for those without solar systems, or wondering how much electricity their home EV charger will demand, we’ve broken down the costs of driving an electric vehicle.

Contributing Factors of the Cost of Charging an Electric Vehicle

Electric Rates

Electricity rates are one of the most influential factors in the cost of charging an electric vehicle. You’ll pay a cost per kWh, dependent on the type of charger you’re using and location at which you’re charging.

EV Model

Electric vehicles have different battery capacities determining how much it costs to fully charge. Hybrid vehicles can hold as little as 1 kWh while electric buses can exceed 600 kWh capacity.

Driving Demands

The amount the EV is driven will impact how often the car needs to be charged and how much it will cost. It’s generally recommended to keep your battery’s charge between 20% and 80% to optimize its health and longevity. How fast, how far, and how often the car is driven has a high impact on charging costs.

Type of Charging Station

There are multiple kinds of charging stations with different capacities and efficiency ratings.

Level 1

The Level 1 charging stations are compatible with standard outlets. They are the least expensive charger but are the slowest in delivering energy.

Level 2

Level 2 stations are the typical residential chargers. Initially, they’re expensive to install but charging your EV at home is generally cheaper in the long run. Level 2 stations are significantly faster than Level 1 stations and have higher efficiencies.

DC Fast Charger

DC Fast Chargers are typically found at public charging stations. They’re the fastest, most efficient, and most expensive EV charger. Their premium price are typically due to inflated electricity rates and additional service fees.

Electricity Source

Depending on where you’re sourcing your electricity from, the price you pay will differ.

While DC Fast Chargers typically maintain inflated electricity prices, home EV chargers (especially at a residence with solar panels) are generally the cheapest method of charging.

How Much Electricity Does an EV Need to Fully Charge?

The amount of electricity it takes to fully charge an electric vehicle is dependent on its battery’s capacity. There is a wide range for EV battery capacities depending on their make, model, and purpose.

Most mainstream EV’s range from 40 kWh to 75 kWh.

Average Electric Vehicle Cost Calculation

The simplified formula to find the cost of charging your electric vehicle combines the battery capacity, the electric rate, and the station’s efficiency.

Cost = (Battery Capacity x Cost per kWh) / Charging Station Efficiency

Example

If the electric rate is $0.25 per kWh, an electric vehicle with a 60 kWh battery capacity charged at a station with 85% efficiency would cost approximately $17.65 to fully charge.

How Many Miles Can a Fully Charged EV Go?

An electric vehicle’s range is calculated by multiplying the battery capacity by the vehicle’s efficiency. Most mainstream EV efficiency’s range between 3 and 4 miles per kWh.

Example

An EV with a 60 kWh battery capacity and an efficiency of 3.5 miles per kWh, would be able to travel approximately 210 miles with each full charge.

Can Solar Panels Charge My Electric Vehicle?

Yes, solar panels can charge your electric vehicle. In fact, this is the most cost efficient and sustainable way to power EVs as long as the solar system is big enough.

This is something to consider when initially sizing your solar system. Having a sufficiently sized system that can handle electrical demand from an EV charger can essentially power your car for free.

Isaksen Solar: We’ll Lead You to Bright Side

When we create your system, we’ll size it to meet not only your current energy needs but your future ones as well. If you’re considering purchasing an electric vehicle, we’ll discuss that during our initial consultation and make sure we create a system that’s the perfect size for you.

If you’re looking for your custom solar solution, we’re happy to answer any questions. Give us a call, (508) 717-3820, or get started on your free quote.