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.

The Importance of Real-World Range With Electric Vehicles

The Importance of Real-World Range With Electric Vehicles

Ford F-150 Lightning

The EV Learning Curve: Why Is Range So Important?

As if anyone needed one more reason to be anxious, some of today’s electric vehicles have inspired a new kind of dread: range anxiety. If you’re new to the world of EVs, you may be wondering why electric vehicle range figures are compared and analyzed meticulously. Maybe you’re even skeptical of EVs because of the sub-300 mile ranges touted as the latest and greatest. The largest automakers are committed to electrification, and American drivers are finding that shopping for an EV is a different experience. There’s no doubt it takes some getting used to. Is the instant acceleration and cheaper fuel worth the learning curve that comes with EV adoption? 

Electric vehicle charging stations are still few and far between in most of America. Even charging technologies vary widely from one vehicle to the next. A few new EVs are behind the times when it comes to charging speed, most notably the Chevy Bolt. Others, like the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Porsche Taycan, are progressing forward with the fastest top-up times in the industry. Thankfully, charging an EV in America is about to get a lot easier in 2022. Billions of dollars in both private and public funding is being funneled into growing the nation’s public charging infrastructure over the next two years. EV range figures will likely become less defining for each new EV that hits the market as charging becomes quicker and easier to find. 

As we enter 2022, range is still top of mind for consumers. But estimating EV range is not an exact science. Some vehicles regularly exceed EPA mileage ratings, but many others fall short of the advertised figures. Here’s what consumers need to know about real-world range in today’s growing EV market.

Factors That Affect Real-World Range

Hyundai IONIQ 5

Speed is the number one factor that determines electric vehicle range. The relationship between city/highway driving and range is the opposite with an EV than you’ll find with a combustion-powered vehicle. With a traditional combustion vehicle, better gas mileage is achieved at highway speeds, usually between 50-70 miles per hour. That’s not so with EVs.

EVs are more efficient at lower speeds, even in stop-and-go traffic. Let’s consider the example of the best-selling Tesla Model Y. The 2022 Model Y’s combined range rating is 330 miles, or 125 mpg equivalent. A closer look at the city and highway figures tells an interesting story. On the highway, the US EPA calculates the Model Y’s fuel economy as 131 mpge. Real-world testing at 70 mph finds that the Model Y can make it about 275 miles on a charge. However, in city driving scenarios at lower speeds, the Model Y is good for an astounding 131 mpge, or over 350 miles of range. The story is the same for most other EVs: slower driving around town yields greater efficiency and more range.

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Why is speed such an important factor for electric vehicle range? It all comes down to something engineers can’t control, only accommodate: physics. At higher speeds, a vehicle encounters higher friction as it pushes through the air. Friction causes drag, and drag can only be overcome by more force. In this case, the additional force is supplied by higher power output from the electric motors. This is why EV stats often include the ‘drag coefficient’ along with horsepower, torque, curb weight and the rest of the usual metrics for comparison.

Weather Can Be a Blessing Or a Curse

2022 Tesla Model 3

Temperature, wind and even precipitation can all affect electric vehicle range, especially at higher speeds. Every battery-electric motor platform has an ideal operating temperature. Usually, the ideal temperature is somewhere near 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At the ideal temperature, the vehicle can attain up to 115% of its official rated range. That means a Ford Mustang Mach-E rated for 270 miles may actually make it over 300 miles on a single charge in perfect conditions.

Summer heat eats into range somewhat, but winter cold is the real range killer. Effects vary from one model to another, but it’s not uncommon for an EV to lose 30% of its range in freezing temperatures. Why? The cold itself is responsible for about 10% of the range loss, but it’s actually running the heater that demands so much energy, and range takes an even bigger hit. Winter weather is so problematic for EVs that many OEMs are installing heat pumps in their latest models in an effort to reduce range loss in the cold. 

As long-haul truck drivers know well, a headwind or severe crosswind kills range for all vehicles, regardless of fuel type. An EV normally rated for 250 highway miles might not even make it 200 with a strong headwind. On the other hand, a tailwind can extend range far beyond the usual performance. Once again, this is similar to what drivers of combustion vehicles will experience.

Rain and snow also reduce range by adding to drag. Think of it this way: any vehicle, electric or otherwise, uses more fuel to literally push through the air as precipitation falls onto it. 

Battery Wear Affects Electric Vehicle Range

GM Ultium battery

All EVs lose rated range as they accumulate miles on the odometer. It’s just a part of battery wear and tear. The range loss is greatest as the vehicle is ‘broken in’ so to speak. Tesla vehicles lose about 5% of their range within the first 30,000 miles of driving, but range loss slows down afterward. There are many examples of Teslas with 200,000 miles on the odometer that continue to carry 90% of the original range, and almost all retain at least 85% by this point. Other EVs show similar range loss over time. 

Battery degradation is unavoidable, but there are measures that EV drivers can take to minimize it. Limiting level 3 fast charging to only when necessary (such as road trips) is the biggest effort anyone can make to preserve the health of their battery. Charging at home on a level 1 or 2 charger to 80% or 90% state of charge is recommended for most EVs. Only when the extra mileage is needed should EVs be fully charged to 100%. One notable exception is the 2022 Tesla Model 3. Tesla has decided to put lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries in the standard range variants of the Model 3, making this the first EV on the market to withstand regular charging to 100% without notable battery degradation. Perhaps this was a factor in Hertz’s recent decision to buy 100,000 Model 3’s.

Does Electric Vehicle Range Make Road Trips Unreasonable?

With so many factors going into EV range, you might be wondering how one can reliably estimate the range of their EV in real time. Luckily, engineers saw the need for real-time range estimators and got ahead of this challenge. Today’s EVs include smart range estimators (that some affectionately call guess-o-meters) that factor in a number of variables to display the remaining range for the driver. Real-world range figures don’t necessarily make road trips challenging, but for the time being, it is something else for drivers to monitor while charging stations remain uncommon. 

Curious as to how your favorite electric vehicles match up in real-world range? The EV experts over at InsideEVs have compiled a database of how every model they’ve tested firsthand performs in the real world. Some EV models far exceed their official EPA ratings, while others come up short. Below are a few of their more notable findings. 

Source: InsideEVs

The Takeaway From YAA

Electrify America

Today’s EVs are expected to retain 85-90% of their original range after 100,000 miles, and possibly even over 200,000 miles. This normal range loss is due to battery wear after repeated charging and discharging cycles. Real world range is something for EV shoppers to bear in mind when comparing models. Remember: If an EV is EPA rated for 250 miles, it will likely only achieve 225 miles on a full charge after 100,000 miles of driving. 

The data from InsideEVs shows that some automakers consistently underperform their ratings, while others exceed expectations. Will range anxiety turn buyers away, or will tech and sporty handling compel more drivers to think about going electric? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We’ll continue to keep you informed as electrification overtakes the auto industry.