There’s no denying the fact that electric cars are fun to drive and crucial in preserving our environment. You don’t have to worry about toxic emissions, wasting fossil fuel, or taking it to a workshop for an oil change or extensive maintenance every 3 months. But the true cost of owning an EV Charging is still vague, and there’s still no clarity about the cost of charging an electric car at home and setting up a charging station.
The expense of charging an electric car involves a lot more than merely plugging it into the socket. Let’s take a closer look at how much it actually costs to charge an electric car at home, how much it costs to set up a charging station, how much it costs to use power, and how to calculate the total cost.
Calculating the Cost of EV Charging
We have to consider the following facts to work out the average cost of charging an EV;
1- Electric Car Mileage (distance covered by an EV per kWh of battery).
2- The battery capacity of the EV.
3- The average distance traveled in a year.
4- The average cost of electricity.
1- The average electric car mileage
An electric car uses 34.6kWh of battery energy to travel 100 miles on average, according to the motor vehicle authorities’ statistics. For 1 mile distance, the power consumption turns out to be 0.346kWh. The 100-mile is used here as a standard figure because it makes the calculations easier and the comparison with other values hassle-free.
2- Battery capacity of electric cars
As of now, the majority of EVs manufactured by different automakers have an average battery capacity of 43kWh, which is projected to increase exponentially in the coming years. Most electric vehicles have a battery capacity that falls in the 50-55kWh bracket, while some of these have less than 50 kWh as well. A few of the high-end electric cars are equipped with a battery pack of 100kWh+, which makes them capable of up to 500 miles of range.
3- Average distance in miles
This information is based on the average distance traveled by the drivers in the USA, irrespective of the powertrain. As per the latest data, people in the U.S drive their cars an average of 13,475 miles per year. This does not include commercial vehicles and public traveling, it only considers private journeys.
4- Average cost of electricity
In the U.S, 1kWh of electricity costs around 13 cents. This number is very important in determining how much it actually costs to charge an EV at home. Although calculations must be conducted using singular units of power, actual bills and prices are dependent on monthly payments rather than per unit of electricity.
Here is a summary of all the data points and sources utilized to compile the essential information;
- Average mileage of EVs = 0.346kWh per 1 mile (Link)
- Average battery capacity of EVs = 43kWh (Link)
- Average per year distance traveling = 13,475 miles (Link)
- Average cost of 1 unit of electricity in the US = 13 cents (Link)
Numerous other factors affect the overall cost of charging an EV in addition to these four fundamental statistics. These numbers give us an indication of how much it would cost the average American home to charge an electric vehicle.
Average Cost of Charging an Electric Car at Home
What would it cost you to charge an electric car at home after all those average numbers and calculations? Stop guessing; we have approximate costs for your consideration and future use.
On average, it costs $5.60 to charge a standard electric car at home in the US, and here is a breakdown of cost, based on time and distance;
Some other factors that impact the total cost of charging an electric car at home include;
1- Temperature and Climate
2- Charger Type (Level 1 or 2)
3- Type of charger used
4- Battery type and capacity
5- Driving habits and terrain
Cost of Setting up a Charging Station
Although it is expensive to set up a charging system at home, it is a one-time investment. The costs also fluctuate depending on the type and stage of the charger being installed.
Level 1 or Level 2 chargers are available to residential owners, whereas Level 3 chargers are only permitted for commercial charging station owners.
Level 1 Charger
Including labor and setup fees, a Level 1 charging station costs between $400 and $800. The most basic configuration provides up to 2.4kW of power and uses a level 1 charger.
In layman’s words, it provides 3-5 miles of EV range every hour of charging, which is wonderful for plug-in hybrid cars but not so great for EVs.
Level 2 Charger
A Level 2 charging setup can cost you around $2,000 to $2,500. However, it is much more capable and a better option than the standard 120V charging or Level 1 charger. It is perfect for day-to-day usage, as it gives your electric car 60-80 miles of range per hour of charging.
A dedicated 100Amp 240V circuit is needed for a Level 2 charger, along with a supply line from the circuit box. Up to $800 should also be added to the bill for this setup.
Level 3 Charger
These commercial-grade chargers are monsters in disguise and can provide nearly 20 miles of range per minute of charging. You need a license and a permit from the government authorities for this setup which is not available for residential installation. Level 3 chargers can cost up to $25,000 to establish, and can support multiple electric cars at a time.
Some Additional Costs
1- Labor charges: $1,000 – 1,200
2- Garage modifications: $1,500 – 2,000
3- Permits and licenses: ~$500