Does Temperature Affect Electric Vehicle Performance? Yes, But the Details Matter

Does Temperature Affect Electric Vehicle Performance? Yes, But the Details Matter

2022 Tesla Model 3

Until charging stations are commonplace, owning an electric vehicle will require more planning and preparation than one would expect for a day’s drive. Range is the new MPG, however real-world range isn’t easy to pin down. When the U.S. EPA provides official range ratings, the figures are based on vehicles driving in controlled environments on a predetermined track. EV ownership is full of nuances, and one of the greatest is the affect of weather on range. Let’s explore how electric vehicles perform in cold weather, hot weather, rain and wind. 

Electric Vehicles in Cold Weather

Cold weather reduces EV range, but how much depends on how toasty you keep the cabin. Sub-freezing temperatures reduce range by between 12% and 30%, but that’s without the climate control on to warm the cabin. Data from AAA found that once the heater is turned on, EV range can drop by as much as 41%. Some real-world tests have found range losses closer to 50% with below-zero temperatures. That’s not good if you travel long distances across the northern states or the Interior West. More on specific impacts below.

Electric Vehicles in Hot Weather

Yes, hot weather does reduce EV range. According to research conducted by AAA, hot temperatures don’t have quite as great of an impact as cold temperatures, but it’s still noticeable. In temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the air conditioning on, driving range decreases  by 17% on average.

A 17% drop in range would mean that a Model Y normally rated for 330 miles on a charge would get closer to 273 miles. Not too big of a deal. For electric vehicles with less EPA-rated range, it matters more. The standard range 2022 Nissan Leaf normally gets 150 miles on a charge, but that would drop to 124 miles in 95-degree weather. Ouch.

Does Rain Affect EV Range?

Rain, snow and anything else falling from the sky does lower EV range. Why? It creates drag, and EV efficiency is all about aerodynamics. The heavier the rain, the greater the impact on range, even if temperatures are perfect for battery performance.

Speaking of which, what is the ideal temperature for electric vehicle battery performance? Geotab’s analysis of data from 4,200 EVs found that 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.5 Celsius) is ideal for battery performance. That’s not only perfect for maximum range, it’s great weather all around. Learn more in Geotab’s full report

How Much Does Wind Impact EV Range?

Similarly, wind’s impacts on electric vehicle range have to do with drag. Drag is in essence aerodynamic friction. Your fancy new electric car can’t slide through the air so efficiently with friction working on it. 

Wind can work against you or for you. With a steady tailwind pushing you along, it’s common to exceed range expectations even on the highway. When there’s a substantial headwind, range drops, and sometimes by quite a lot. The impacts of wind on EV range are much more noticeable at highway speeds. It’s possible to gain or lose up to 20% of expected range depending on wind direction.

Weather Impacts Depend on Model and Battery Chemistry

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Temperature impacts battery performance differently depending on battery type and overall vehicle engineering. Features such as a heat pump, advanced battery preconditioning and even heated seats are just some of the many ways that engineers can do their best to optimize EV performance in suboptimal weather. 

EV data specialists at Recurrent looked at data from all of the popular electric vehicle models. They found that EV range in hot and cold weather varies widely from one make and model to another. 

Here’s how some of America’s most popular electric vehicles are affected by cold weather and summer heat. 

MakeModelRated RangeReal-World Range (70 deg F)Cold Weather Range Loss
TeslaModel 3353 miles339 miles335 miles (-5% from rated range)
TeslaModel Y330 miles320 miles323 miles (-2% from rated range)
TeslaModel S405 miles397 miles380 miles (-6% from rated range)
TeslaModel X351 miles326 miles326 miles (-7% from rated range)
FordMustang Mach-E305 miles284 miles198 miles (-35% from rated range)
ChevroletBolt259 miles254 miles171 miles (-34% from rated range)
NissanLeaf226 miles237 miles205 miles (-9% from rated range)
HyundaiKona258 miles288 miles240 miles (-7% from rated range)
Audie-tron222 miles224 miles206 miles (-7% from rated range)

For a full breakdown of Recurrent’s findings, check out their 2021 report here

It’s Not Just EVs….

The U.S. Department of Energy says that vehicles powered by traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) also suffer efficiency losses as a result of hot and cold weather. ICE vehicles are especially impacted by hot weather due to air conditioning power requirements. The Department of Energy estimates that ICE vehicles lose about 25% of their typical fuel economy when operating with air conditioning on high settings. 

One major difference between EVs and ICE vehicles is the affect of cold weather. Electric vehicles use quite a bit of energy to run the heater, whereas ICE vehicles redirect heat generated by the engine and therefore avoid significant effects on efficiency. 

Although EV charging stations are becoming commonplace around major cities, many interstate highways have sparse charging infrastructure. Until charging stations are more reliable and easier to find, driving an EV in cold and hot weather will complicate EV ownership and delay EV adoption. A national charging network is on the way, and public fast-charging networks are growing quickly. With EV market share soaring every month, it’s imperative that we find solutions to this seasonal challenge that affects millions. 

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2022 Consumer Reports Car Brand Rankings Announced

2022 Consumer Reports Car Brand Rankings Announced

Mazda CX-30 rankings

Every year, Consumer Reports sends dozens of car models through half a million miles of track testing and data collection. The non-profit organization buys all of its test cars anonymously from dealers and does not accept free samples from automakers. The Consumer Reports testing regimen includes more than 50 scientific tests on every vehicle it evaluates. 

The respected organization combines their findings with survey data from their 6 million subscribers to publish their annual Consumer Reports brand rankings. The pinnacle of the Consumer Reports’ annual rankings is the overall scores tallied for each brand.

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In 2022, Consumer Reports scored 32 automotive brands based on their overall scores in reliability, consumer satisfaction, road testing and safety. This year’s rankings bring surprising changes and a new leader.

Subaru Overtakes Mazda as the Top-Ranked Auto Brand

Subaru climbed two spots to number one in the 2022 Consumer Reports brand rankings. The Japanese automaker known for standard all-wheel drive dethroned Mazda with an overall score of 81. The 2022 Subaru Forester has ranked among Consumer Reports’ top picks for the 9th consecutive year. Fascinatingly, six of the top 10 brands in 2022 are Japanese automakers: Subaru, Mazda, Honda, Lexus, Toyota and Infiniti. 

The highest ranking American automakers in 2022 are Buick (72), Chrysler (71), and Dodge (67). Cadillac and Ford just barely passed the test, scoring 63 and 62 overall. Chrysler and Dodge have been known for reliability issues in the past, so it’s great to see them improving. Likewise, BMW’s luxury vehicles have long been known for their maintenance expenses, so to achieve #3 overall is a notable feat. 

As more automakers make advanced safety features standard on their models, the weight of Consumer Reports’ safety scoring is separating the winners from the losers.

The Best Car Brands in 2022

With Subaru now number one overall, Mazda falls to second place, followed by BMW, Honda, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, Mini, Toyota, and Infiniti. Here are the overall brand scores from Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports car brand rankings top brands
Consumer Reports car brand rankings
Source: Consumer Reports

Tesla Slips With Polarizing Steering Wheel 

Tesla fell seven spots to #23 in Consumer Reports’ overall brand rankings. In a press release, Consumer Reports cited the so-called ‘yoke’ steering wheel in the refreshed Tesla Model X and Model S as causes for concern and consumer dissatisfaction. Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports told Automotive News that Tesla’s tendency to push the limits is partly to blame. “It dropped more than any other automaker, kind of due to their own decisions,” he said.

Consumer Reports Green Choice Awards Remain Hybrid-Focused

2022 Toyota Prius
2022 Toyota Prius

Everyone’s talking EVs, however Toyota’s hybrid powertrains remain the top-rated low-emissions choice at Consumer Reports. As part of their focus on low-emissions transportation, CR included the Green Choice designation for the second year. Toyota (9th overall) leads the Green Choice awards with 11 hybrid and plug-in hybrid models on the list. 

What’s particularly interesting about this is the fact that Toyota has yet to release a single fully-electric vehicle. Their first, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, is due to arrive later this year. 

You can access the detailed 2022 Consumer Reports brand rankings with a membership to the non-profit. 

Electric Car Safety: Here’s What the Data Reveals

Electric Car Safety: Here’s What the Data Reveals

Model 3 crash test

Your opinion of electric vehicles likely depends on which side of the news you’ve seen. If you know anything about the Chevy Bolt hazard, you might even scurry to the other side of the street when you encounter one. But does the data support EV skepticism, or is the big picture something different altogether? Do we even have enough data to draw firm conclusions? It’s important to get down to the facts, and that’s our goal today. Here’s what crash test ratings, vehicle fire statistics and real-world data can tell us about electric car safety in 2022.

EV Crash Test Ratings

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conduct standardized crash testing for vehicles that possess the potential to become popular and sell in big numbers. If it’s popular, they’re going to crash it and collect data. These two crash testing programs don’t treat electric vehicles any differently than they would a traditional combustion-powered vehicle. 

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As a refresher, here are the crash tests conducted by the NHTSA and IIHS:

  • Frontal Crash Test
  • Side Pole Crash Test
  • Side Barrier Crash Test
  • Rollover Resistance Test

The following additional tests are conducted by the IIHS:

  • Moderate-Overlap Front
  • Driver’s-Side Small-Overlap Front
  • Passenger-Side Small-Overlap Front
  • Side Impact
  • Roof Strength
  • Head Restraints
Volkswagen ID.4 crash test

How do electric vehicles perform in these crash tests? Take a look at the limited data we have.

EV crash test ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) does not provide overall ratings. They instead provide dozens of ratings for many different safety metrics. You can check out their ratings here.

Takeaways From Crash Test Results

Model Y crash test

This data from the NHTSA and IIHS shows that while data is limited (but growing), all EVs tested so far have received excellent solid ratings. In fact, all eight electric models tested by the NHTSA in 2021-2022 earned five-star ratings. Considering that over 70% of EVs sold in the US are Tesla models, these ratings do represent the vast majority of EVs on American roads today. Still, far more testing is needed with so many electric models coming in 2022

The IIHS sees the trends in their own data: EVs are actually making passenger vehicles safer than ever before. In a 2021 IIHS report on electric vehicle safety, they shared what they’ve learned so far.

Evidence is growing that electric vehicles are at least as safe as conventional ones, with two more vehicles that run exclusively on battery power earning safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, an updated analysis of insurance data shows injury claims are substantially less frequent for such vehicles.”

Those are powerful words from an insurance-minded crash-tester. We definitely need more electric car safety testing. EV sales made up 6.5% of American auto sales in 2021, and that figure is expected to reach or exceed 40% by 2030. One useful safety test would be comparing how long it takes to extinguish a fire for each EV model. I’d love to see that testing implemented for the safety and preparedness of our first responders. 

Are EV Batteries Safe?

Whether you prefer a vehicle that requires gasoline, diesel or battery packs, all vehicles are built to haul around what are essentially concentrated energy sources. That’s how the vehicle converts potential energy in the form of combustible carbon or electrons into kinetic energy to get you from A to B. The latest and greatest battery chemistries pack more power than ever before into battery cells, but they also claim to be safer. However, any concentrated energy source is volatile under certain conditions. That’s why we don’t light matches at the gas pump. What about EV batteries? Are they a fire hazard worthy of extraordinary caution?

The YAA team recently dug deep into the latest EV battery fires that have made the news, and our findings certainly shed light on the facts. Here’s a summary of what the data and engineering investigations featured in our EV battery fire report reveal.

Firefighting and DOT Fire Stats

Data compiled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the US Department of Transportation shows that among all vehicle types, there’s an average of one vehicle fire per 19 million miles driven. Both the NFPA and the Center for Auto Safety say there is not yet a centralized database for electric vehicle fire statistics. In an effort to address the lack of information surrounding EV battery fires, Tesla decided to begin releasing statistics in their annual impact reports.

Data From Tesla

Tesla’s 2020 Impact Report says that from 2012-2020, there’s been one Tesla fire per 205 million miles traveled. The fact that Tesla models made up 79% of American EV sales in 2020 highlights the relevance of their data. Unfortunately, other automakers haven’t released comparable data (we’re looking at you GM!). We’re hopeful that will change soon.

Electric car safety - Tesla fire data

Source: Tesla

This comparison doesn’t hide the fact that one other EV model has had major problems. The ongoing Chevrolet Bolt recall is costing GM and battery supplier LG a few billion dollars to resolve. There have also been sporadic incidents with other EVs. The Hyundai Kona briefly made headlines with multiple fires, but a fix was quickly implemented. It seems like every Tesla fire makes it into the news, even though there are not many. 

Despite the statistics showing just how rare and isolated the events are, EV fires are real, and every one is worthy of proper investigation. The same goes for any vehicle fire. 

Electric Vehicle Fire Hazards: First Responders

Electric Silverado electric car safety
2024 Silverado EV WT

Although Tesla’s data suggests that EVs are less prone to car fires than combustion vehicles, there are major safety concerns for the firefighters who extinguish the flames when an EV fire does occur. Firefighters need special training to learn how to safely approach EV-related incidents, but only two-thirds of departments have had the opportunity due to funding constraints. Automakers need to come forward and support our first responders with training and resources to prepare for the electrification of the auto industry.

EV fires require A LOT more water to extinguish. Tesla’s First Responders Guide recommends 3,000 to 8,000 gallons of water on hand to put out a Tesla fire. Some fires have needed 30,000 gallons of water to extinguish. Basically, firefighters have to do whatever it takes to cool down the battery, and that’s really hard to do with so much energy densely packed into the pack. Once the fire appears fully extinguished, there’s a chance it could still flare up, even days later. Towing services and junkyards are advised to park damaged electric vehicles at least 50 feet from other vehicles in the yard. As EVs become more popular, that might not be feasible in just a few years.

EV Unintended Acceleration: What We Know

When cars launch full-speed ahead without warning, we have a major problem. Fortunately, that has not been proven to have occurred following dozens of investigations over the years. A number of serious accidents involving EVs have resulted in drivers claiming that the car accelerated on its own. Tesla vehicles have faced these accusations for years, but investigations have never found evidence of unintended acceleration. Plus, Tesla EVs are computers on wheels, and they maintain very detailed logs of all driver inputs. These logs are thoroughly inspected in every investigation. 

The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that reports of sudden unintended acceleration involving four different Tesla models were due to user error. In other words, the driver mistakenly smashed the accelerator pedal. With so much torque and instant feedback, that’s enough to launch a Tesla like a rocket. Depending on where that rocket is aimed, it could go launching right into harm’s way. The lesson here? Powerful EVs demand more attention than some drivers are used to. Electric car safety features can only go so far if drivers are careless or over confident.

Hyundai recently recalled 2,700 2017-2019 Ioniq electric vehicles (the generation prior to the all-new Hyundai IONIQ 5) to correct a rare but scary defect that may cause the Ioniq to accelerate after the driver releases the accelerator pedal when in ‘limp mode.’ With no accidents reported, it appears as though Hyundai got ahead of this issue before anything tragic happened. As far as we (and the US government) know, no EVs have accelerated on their own without driver input. 

Tesla Autopilot Safety

2022 Tesla Model Y electric car safety

This is another headline grabber for Tesla. Anytime there’s a crash involving a Tesla on autopilot, it’s sure to make the news. Tesla Autopilot certainly has its faults, notably ‘phantom braking’ and difficulties with poor visibility. However, Tesla keeps track of their accident data from all Tesla vehicles worldwide, and this is what they’ve found as of December 2021:

In the 4th quarter, we recorded one crash for every 4.31 million miles driven in which drivers were using Autopilot technology (Autosteer and active safety features). For drivers who were not using Autopilot technology (no Autosteer and active safety features), we recorded one crash for every 1.59 million miles driven. By comparison, NHTSA’s most recent data shows that in the United States there is an automobile crash every 484,000 miles.”

Although this is not independently verified, it’s intriguing data to say the least. Could Tesla Autopilot really be safer than human drivers? Considering that 15% of motor vehicle accidents in the US are attributed to driver distraction, it may not be all that surprising. More automakers are offering level 2 autonomous driving features. As Autopilot-like technology increases, electric car safety will be under the microscope. Learn more about Tesla’s annual safety report here

YAA’s Take

Our goal at YAA is to provide you with factual information that’s useful for your decision-making process as you consider your next vehicle purchase. Why do we cover EVs so intently? Because industry insights show that major automakers are dead set on electrifying their entire lineups by 2035 at the latest. From Ford to GM and everyone in between, the story is the same. With hundreds of billions of dollars going towards EV development, it’s important to hold automakers accountable with such a nascent technology. 

Over 2 million EVs are already on American roads and global EV sales totaled 4.5 million in 2021 alone. This is just the beginning. Sales of electric vehicles are expected to rise 75% to more than 8 million in 2022. Electric car safety is more important than ever. Are EVs safe? So far, it looks like electric vehicles are at least as safe as combustion vehicles. But when things go awry, EV fires are far more difficult to extinguish than what we’ve seen in the past, and that’s a concern worth addressing promptly at all costs. If you’re thinking about going electric for your next vehicle purchase, rest assured that EVs from Tesla, Ford, Volkswagen, Hyundai-Kia and others are ranked up there with the very best in the entire industry. 

YAA Just Launched a New Search Engine to Make Buying Your Next Car Easier!

We have thousands of EVs (and other vehicles) listed today. Each listing includes industry insights, empowering data and the true TotalPrice that will make buying a car the transparent process it should’ve always been. Check it out here!

How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car? Here’s How You Can Save Money Charging an EV

How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car? Here’s How You Can Save Money Charging an EV

EV charging costs

Update: Every day that we wake up to higher gas prices, the case gets stronger for EV adoption. If only EV prices weren’t sky-high. With gas at $4.50, the average American driver commuting 15,000 miles per year can easily save $150 per month or more by going electric. Check out the details below.

Charging an electric vehicle is a whole new experience, one that brings advantages and disadvantages for drivers. If you’ve been stopping at gas stations for decades, the thought of plugging in and waiting for your car to charge may be a bit too much to swallow. But over 80% of EV charging is done at home, where the cost savings are greatest. Two out of three American drivers are considering going electric for their next vehicle, and billions of dollars are being funneled into EV development and infrastructure. 

EVs have a higher upfront cost than combustion vehicles, so it’s important to find ways of making up for the expense with fuel savings. Unfortunately, not all charging options are affordable. Here’s how you can save money when charging your EV in 2022. 

The Cost of Charging an Electric Car at Home

EV charging costs

When do you usually charge your phone? While you sleep at home? Oddly enough, for most drivers, that’s exactly how their EVs are charged! Data from the US Department of Energy shows that the vast majority of electric vehicle charging is done at home. Whether you plug in to a simple 120 volt outlet in your driveway or have a more powerful 240 volt outlet in your garage, charging at home is usually the most affordable way to power up. 

In the US, the average residential electricity rate is $0.14 per kilowatt-hour, however rates vary widely from one state to another. In Hawaii, the average rate is a whopping $0.34 per kWh, while it’s between $0.10 and $0.14 per kWh in more affordable energy states like Washington and Texas.

What does that all mean? Say you have a level 2 charger capable of filling up your battery from empty in about 7 hours. Plug in every evening, and wake up with a full battery every morning. What did that full ‘tank’ of electrons cost? Let’s consider a real-world example. The 2022 Tesla Model 3 has a 82 kWh battery, so at average American residential rates, at home charging a Tesla Model 3 at home costs just $11.48 for a full charge. That’s enough electrons for 358 miles of driving. 

What about if the same Model 3 owner lived in California instead? At typical California residential electricity rates, the same charge would cost $18.04. Considering that a tank of gas costs over $75 today, the savings add up. But clearly, it depends on the rates you pay for power and miles driven per year to maximize savings. If you’d like to know more about average residential electricity rates in each state, you can find that information here

Here’s How Much a Typical EV Driver Spends on Charging at Home in Every State

Note: this includes business and commercial rates. The average residential rate is $0.14 per kilowatt-hour.

Here’s how much EV drivers from each state can expect to pay for a full charge. The examples below specifically reflect an EV with an 82 kWh battery, such as a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y. My own Hyundai IONIQ 5 has a 72.5 kWh battery.

The stark difference between home charging and public fast charging highlights the fact that going electric likely only brings savings when most charging is done at home. 

StateResidential Electricity Rate ($ per kWh)Cost of Charging to 100% at Home (82 kWh battery)EV Fuel Savings Compared to Filling an 18 Gallon Tank at $4.50/GalAnnual Savings: 15,000 miles/year, 25 MPG versus 300 miles on a charge
Alabama$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
Alaska$0.23$18.86$62.14$1,757
Arizona$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Arkansas$0.11$9.02$71.98$2,249
California$0.22$18.04$62.96$1,798
Colorado$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
Connecticut$0.23$18.86$62.14$1,757
Delaware$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
DC$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
Florida$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
Georgia$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Hawaii$0.34$27.88$53.12$1,306
Idaho$0.11$9.02$71.98$2,249
Illinois$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
Indiana$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
Iowa$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Kansas$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Kentucky$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
Louisiana$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
Maine$0.18$14.76$66.24$1,962
Maryland$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
Massachusetts$0.23$18.86$62.14$1,757
Michigan$0.18$14.76$66.24$1,962
Minnesota$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
Mississippi$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
Missouri$0.11$9.02$71.98$2,249
Montana$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
Nebraska$0.11$9.02$71.98$2,249
Nevada$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
New Hampshire$0.21$17.22$63.78$1,839
New Jersey$0.16$13.12$67.88$2,044
New Mexico$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
New York$0.21$17.22$63.78$1,839
North Carolina$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
North Dakota$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
Ohio$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Oklahoma$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Oregon$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
Pennsylvania$0.15$12.30$68.70$2,085
Rhode Island$0.22$18.04$62.96$1,798
South Carolina$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
South Dakota$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Tennessee$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208
Texas$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Utah$0.11$9.02$71.98$2,249
Vermont$0.21$17.22$63.78$1,839
Virginia$0.13$10.66$70.34$2,167
Washington$0.11$9.02$71.98$2,249
West Virginia$0.14$11.48$69.52$2,126
Wisconsin$0.15$12.30$68.70$2,085
Wyoming$0.12$9.84$71.16$2,208

The Hidden Costs of Charging an Electric Car

EV charging costs

If you already have a 240 volt dryer outlet within reach, you’re all set for just about any scenario. If you don’t, you’re left with two options. If you drive less than 40 miles on most days and live within a reasonable distance of a public charger (in case you need it), you will save the most money by using the so-called ‘trickle charge’ supplied by the charger included with the car. You simply plug into a standard three-prong 120 volt wall outlet. This is called level 1 charging.

Depending on the vehicle, trickle charging typically adds 3-4 miles of charge per hour to the battery, or about 40 miles per night if you leave your car plugged in. So, how much does it cost to charge an electric car? If the above scenario describes your driving habits, you’ll just pay the same residential electricity rates that your pay to power your home.

If that’s not quite enough recharge for your daily needs, you’ll either need to make weekly visits to public fast chargers, or spend anywhere from $800 – $2000 on installation of a level 2 charger. Level 2 chargers supply more power in less time. They plug into a 240 volt outlet, the exact same kind that is used for dryers, ovens and other large appliances at home. 

If you already have a conveniently located dryer outlet within reach of where you park the car, you can purchase a power splitter for as little as $300. Splitters send charge to the home appliance (such as a dryer) when needed, and then divert power to charging the car when the appliance is not in use. This saves A LOT of money versus getting electrical work done!

Do I need to install a charger?

In summary, if you drive less than 40 miles a day, it usually makes the most sense to avoid the costly level 2 charger and stick with a regular wall outlet. If you drive significantly more, consider installing a level 2 charger or simply topping off your battery once or twice a week at a local public fast charger to avoid the expense of electrical work. 

How Much Does Public Fast Charging Cost?

Tesla supercharger

First, there’s one thing we need to make clear. Electric vehicles are not meant to be charged at public DC (direct current) fast chargers every time a charge is needed. It stresses the battery, and it costs a lot more than charging at home. For instance, fast chargers can charge a Model 3 from 10-80% in less than 20 minutes. That much energy transfer puts wear on the vehicle’s battery management system. Fast charging is great for road trips or when you’re in a pinch, but that’s all they’re meant for. 

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Tesla Superchargers

How much can you expect to pay for charging at a public DC fast charging station? Let’s consider the two largest charging networks in the nation: Tesla Superchargers and Electrify America.

As of early 2022, most Tesla Superchargers charge $0.28 per kWh of electricity. For a 2022 Tesla Model Y with a 82 kWh battery pack, that adds up to a cost of $22.96 to go 330 miles on a charge. Some Superchargers have variable pricing dependent on demand charges, as noted on Tesla’s Supercharging support page. “Certain Supercharger stations offer on-peak and off-peak rates. The rates and peak times are both displayed in the navigation application on the touchscreen.”

Depending on state and local regulations, some Tesla Superchargers charge per minute, rather than per kilowatt-hour of electricity. Tesla recently updated the rate structure for their per-minute Superchargers. With Tesla’s plug-and-charge, customers simply plug in the vehicle and the charger communicates with the car, begins charging and bills the customer’s Tesla account. 

Here’s how the updated rate structure is tiered in 2022:

Tesla Supercharger

Source: Tesla 

Electrify America

ev charging station

Over at Electrify America, customers can either pay $0.43 per kWh of electricity, or become a Pass+ member for just $4/month and charge at $0.31 per kWh. Having such an affordable membership plan is an interesting approach. That is to say, it almost seems like Electrify America is aiming to become a subscription that everyone with an EV will buy into for a sense of range security, even if they rarely use the network. Down the road, I’m sure prices will go up.

For a Ford Mustang Mach-E, filling up the 98 kWh battery from empty will cost $30.38 with the Pass+ membership. However, the cost jumps to $42.14 without it. Clearly, the fuel savings we often associate with going electric evaporate if charging costs are too high.

Cost of Charging to 100% at a Tesla SuperchargerCost of Charging to 100% at Electrify America as a MemberCost of Charging to 100% at Electrify America as a GuestCost of Filling up an 18 Gallon Tank of Gas at $3.25/Gallon
$22.96$25.42$35.26$58.50

Some Drivers Don’t Spend a Dime on Charging

EV charging costs

If you know someone who pulls up to Tesla Superchargers in their 2014 Model S and leaves without paying a dime, don’t expect the same perks when shopping for a 2022 Tesla. Early adopters received free supercharging ‘for life’, and there are plenty of Tesla owners out there who keep driving their high-mileage, slow-charging old Model S just for the free charging incentive. 

If you’re hoping to score free charging with any of the 2022 EV models, I’ve got good news for you. Many 2022 models come with free charging at Electrify America charging stations. These new EVs all come with a free charging incentive for a limited time:

  • Audi e-tron (250kWh at Electrify America, or about 1,000 miles of driving)
  • Audi Q4 e-tron (250kWh at Electrify America, or about 1,000 miles of driving)
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E (250kWh at Electrify America, or about 1,000 miles of driving)
  • Hyundai IONIQ EV (250kWh at Electrify America, or about 1,000 miles of driving)
  • Hyundai IONIQ 5 (2 years of free charging at Electrify America, 30 minutes per session)
  • Hyundai Kona EV (250kWh at Electrify America, or about 1,000 miles of driving)
  • Lucid Air (3 years of free charging at Electrify America)
  • Mercedes EQS (2 years of free charging at Electrify America, 30 minutes per session)
  • Polestar 2 (2 years of free charging at Electrify America, 30 minutes per session)
  • Porsche Taycan (3 years of free charging at Electrify America, 30 minutes per session)
  • Rivian R1T and R1S (12 months of free charging at Rivian’s Adventure Network and Waypoint chargers; continued free charging with Rivian membership subscription)
  • Volkswagen ID.4 (3 years of free charging at Electrify America, 30 minutes per session)

Some employers, especially large corporations and tech companies, offer free charging for EVs at dedicated parking spots. However, if your employer doesn’t offer charging, maybe you can be the one to spark the idea and help make it happen. 

Ever thought of installing solar panels on your roof? 

Prices have plummeted in recent years, and having an EV is yet another incentive to go solar. Most utility customers can participate in a net metering program that compensates homeowners for unused solar electricity contributed to the grid. If the sun is shining bright while you’re away at work, you still receive bill credits for the unused power your panels generated. The utility bill credits you’ll receive may cover the entire cost of charging your car. That’s 100% clean, free power for both your home and transportation!

YAA’s Take on the Future of EV Charging 

How much does it cost to charge an electric car? As you can see, it depends on utility rates, incentives and if you charge at home or at public fast chargers. Fuel savings is one of the greatest benefits of switching from a combustion vehicle to an electric vehicle. As your consumer advocate, we want to make it clear that EVs don’t always save money. However, for the vast majority of American drivers, affordable electricity rates mean that at least $1,000 could be saved each year by going electric. And that doesn’t include the lower maintenance costs that most EVs have. For those who are fortunate to have a place to plug in at home or work, switching to an electric vehicle is a no-brainer. 

Have any questions or comments? How are you feeling about the electrification of the auto industry? Let us know in the comments below, or check out the YAA Community forum at joinyaa.com. You can also reach out to me at justin@joinyaa.com.

Every Electric Vehicle On Sale in 2022: Wait Times and Price

Every Electric Vehicle On Sale in 2022: Wait Times and Price

Hyundai IONIQ 5

(Updated for Summer 2022)

As anyone who’s fallen head over heels for one of the many 2022 electric vehicles and clicked that ‘Order’ button can attest, just because you can order an EV in 2022 doesn’t mean you can drive it home this year. This was a problem I faced myself, but I finally broke the code and got a Hyundai IONIQ 5 at MSRP (here’s how).

Soon after I began my online car search, it became clear that if I wanted a brand-new vehicle, my options were limited by availability. To make the most of the situation, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about the availability and estimated delivery times for EVs on the market today. Here’s what we know as we kick off the new year.

Note: These are fully-electric models that can either be ordered now or purchased at a dealership today. Many more have been announced but are not yet officially available.

MakeModelClassStarting MSRPEstimated Delivery/Lot Availability*
Audie-troncrossover SUV$65,900Available Now
AudiQ4 e-troncrossover SUV$43,900Available Now
AudiRS e-tron GTsedan$103,445Available Now
BMWiXSUV$88,050Mid-2022
BMWi4sedan$55,400Mid-2022
CadillacLyriqSUV$62,990Late-2022
ChevroletBolthatchback$31,000Available Now
ChevroletBolt EUVcrossover SUV$33,500Available Now
FiskerOceancrossover SUV$37,4992023
FordMustang Mach-Ecrossover SUV$43,895Available Now
FordF-150 Lightningtruck$39,9742023-2024
GMCHummer EVtruck$99,995Mid-to-late 2022
HyundaiIONIQcrossover SUV$33,245Available Now (Discontinued)
HyundaiIONIQ 5crossover SUV$43,650Available Now
HyundaiKonacrossover SUV$34,000Available Now
JaguarI-Pacecrossover SUV$69,900Available Now
KiaNirocrossover SUV$39,990Available Now
KiaEV6crossover SUV$42,115Available Now
LucidAirsedan$77,400Mid-2022
MazdaMX-30crossover SUV$33,4702022 - CA Only
MercedesEQSsedan$102,310Available Now
MercedesEQBSUV~$55,000Late 2022
NissanLeafhatchback$27,400Available Now
NissanAriyacrossover SUV$47,125Late 2022
PolestarPolestar 2sedan$45,900Available Now
PorscheTaycansedan$82,700Available Now
RivianR1Ttruck$67,5002023
RivianR1SSUV$70,0002023
SubaruSolterracrossover SUV$46,220Mid-to-late 2022
TeslaModel Ssedan$94,990Late 2022 - 2023
TeslaModel 3sedan$46,990Mid-to-late 2022
TeslaModel XSUV$104,9902023
TeslaModel Ycrossover SUV$62,990Late 2022 - 2023
ToyotabZ4Xcrossover SUV$43,215Mid-to-late 2022
VolkswagenID.4crossover SUV$40,760Mid-2022
VolvoXC40 Rechargecrossover SUV$55,300Available Now
*For a vehicle ordered in May 2022, unless there's existing dealership supply.
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What Does It All Mean? Supply and Demand Are Out of Whack

A few things might stand out to you on this list. Not a lot of options are available if you need a new vehicle right now. VW Group’s new EVs are available at many dealerships, although there are reports of major dealer markups. It’s quite easy to find EVs of the previous generation on dealer lots. Think Kia eNiro, Hyundai Kona EV, Nissan Leaf and the like. 

The vast majority of 2022 electric vehicles are crossovers. No surprise there given the sales trends over the past decade. Honda doesn’t have a single EV arriving in the North American market until the 2024 Prologue electric SUV. That is surprising considering the popularity and good reputation of the brand. What will it take for automakers to catch up to demand? An end to the chip shortage would be a great step in the right direction. There’s also the supply versus demand factor. Ford, Rivian, Tesla and VW are all swamped with orders well into 2022, and even into 2023. All except Tesla are EV newcomers who are facing the same production ramp-up struggles that Tesla just barely survived a few years ago. We’ll update this page regularly as more information becomes available, so save it to your bookmarks!

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below, or shoot an email to justin@joinyaa.com.