Is charging an electric car cheaper than filling a car with gas? – geek review

Electric car charging fee
Anti Smile /

With gas prices skyrocketing and showing no signs of slowing down, we’re seeing more people debating a switch to an electric vehicle or a hybrid. If you’re on the fence about going electric and wondering, “Is charging an electric car cheaper than filling it up with gasoline?” you are not alone.

If you’re tired of feeling pain at the pump, you’ll be happy to know that in almost all scenarios, charging an EV is much less expensive than refueling with gasoline, or worse yet, diesel.

However, there are many different factors and things that you will want to know before jumping on your head first. The cost of charging an electric car at home is different compared to public charging stations, especially if you opt for faster charging. And just like gas, electricity prices can change with time and place. Here’s a breakdown of the cost of charging an electric vehicle and how it compares to filling up on gas.

Gas vs. Electricity: In Numbers

High gas prices that appear on the street sign
Laura Ganji Bond /

With an EV, instead of paying per gallon of gasoline, you’ll be charged per kilowatt-hour to charge the battery. Just as petrol prices vary at every gas station, the kilowatt-hour price varies greatly depending on where you live and, in some states, the time of day and peak hours. This makes it difficult to determine how much it will cost to charge an electric vehicle, but here are some averages.

according to Environmental Protection Agency (Environmental Protection Agency), the average new gas vehicle sold in the United States in 2020 had a combined fuel economy of 25.4 miles per gallon. Driving 100 miles in one of these vehicles would use approximately 3.9 gallons of gas.

Things get a little confusing when evaluating electric cars. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efficiency rating for electric vehicles is known as “MPGe,” which stands for miles per gallon equivalent. This rating gives consumers an idea of ​​how far an electric vehicle can travel on the chemical equivalent amount of energy as a gallon of gas.

The same EPA report states that an electric vehicle averages 33.7 kWh of energy to match one gallon of regular gasoline. The numbers haven’t been updated to take into account 2021 or 2022, so that’s as close as we can get.

The average MPGe rating for 2022 model electric vehicles sold in the US is around 97, so driving 100 miles in that hypothetical average vehicle would use 34.7 kWh of electricity.

Doing the math here with hypothetical gas prices, if you spend $4.50 per gallon of gas, it takes Roughly $18 to get 3.9 gallons and drive 100 miles. On average, the national price of electricity 1 kWh (at home) is about 0.14 dollars. Using an EPA rating of 34.7 kWh with average energy prices, It would cost roughly $4.85 to get 3.9 “gallons” of electricity to drive 100 miles.

I know this is a bit confusing, but the bottom line is that, on average, filling your EV with battery power will be 3-4 times cheaper than filling up a petrol car. Those numbers fluctuate, and in some states like Arizona, South Dakota, Oklahoma or Washington, electricity is cheaper and costs about $3.47 to drive a 100-mile EV.

So, yes, charging an electric car from your home is much cheaper than buying gas. However, these savings diminish quickly when traveling and using public chargers. And in some states, if you use fast chargers, you can spend more, but we’ll get to that below.

The cost of charging an electric car at home

Ford EV charging plug

Charging an EV at home is much less expensive than refueling with gasoline, and much cheaper than using a public charging station. This is a key aspect here and something you want to remember.

On average, most American households pay roughly 14 cents per kilowatt-hour, but that price can double during peak hours or in California and New York. On the flip side, that price is as low as 10 cents in Oklahoma. However, the average cost is $0.14 per kWh, which is much cheaper than gas. Just remember that some areas cost more.

Using the same calculations above, if it costs about $4.85 to get 3.9 gallons of electricity to drive 100 miles, you can expect to pay less than $15, on average, to drive 300 miles in an electric car. Most electric vehicles have a range of about 300 miles, so the cost to fill up an electric tank is $15. You can’t drive 300 miles in a gas powered car for $15.

The new Ford F-150 Lightning EV truck has a 131kWh battery. Paying $0.14 per kWh at home would cost $18.34 to charge your truck to 100% battery capacity. It’s slow and would take 6-8 hours to charge at home using a level 1 charger, but it’s cheaper than gas.

Keep in mind that you’ll likely need to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to put a charger in your home, and for faster home chargers, they can cost close to $3,000. So add that to your long-term calculations.

Most electric vehicle owners charge their cars at home, sitting on a charger all night. And given that most areas offer discounts on electricity at night when usage is low, this is the cheapest place and time to recharge your electric vehicle.

However, it may be impossible to install a home charger in some rental homes and apartments. If so, you will have to rely on public charging stations.

The cost of charging an electric vehicle from public chargers

Public electric vehicle charging place
Kevin McGovern /

If you can’t install an EV charger at home or plan to take many road trips, you’ll use public chargers. Again, things get confusing here, as charging speeds and cost can vary. Most public electric vehicle charging stations across the United States offer fast charging speeds, which means they are more expensive than a home charger.

Tesla is finished 30,000 SuperCharger worldwide, but the average cost is about $0.27 per kWh, almost twice what you’d pay at home. And in some states, like California, Tesla drivers see prices above $0.43 per kWh. So, instead of costing $15 to drive 300 miles after charging at home, you’ll spend about $44. In some cases, we’ve seen electricity prices reach over 50 cents per kilowatt-hour.

See the difference? Charging an electric car is completely cheaper than filling it up with gas, but it’s also confusing, and the price can vary greatly depending on where you’re charging, charging speed, and where you live.

There are more affordable public chargers out there, but they are also slow. Fast charging stations can take from 20 to 80% battery in about 25 minutes, but you pay for that premium. Location MyEV Has a detailed list Various shipping network sites, prices and subscription fees for those interested. You can often join a subscription service for a fee and get discounted rates, but it won’t be as affordable as if you were shipping at home.

And while you can find a slower charging station in public, no one wants to wait an hour for just 75-100 miles of battery power. As a result, most public stations offer faster, albeit more expensive, charging services.

If you plan to charge your new luxury electric car at home, it will be much cheaper than buying gasoline. However, these savings squander a bit with public fast charging stations. The price is still affordable, but the cost of electricity is going up, just like everything, so it may not last for long.

However, there is a silver lining. Until 2017, Tesla offered free supercharging for most vehicles, which was a huge plus. These days, we see big-name automakers like Volkswagen offering two years of free shipping with every electric vehicle purchase, and Nissan doing the same. Other brands like KIA have partnered with Electrify America and will give owners a limited free general fee.

It is important to remember that not everyone buys an electric car and expects significant savings on the pump. Everyone has their reasons. Plus, when you’re thinking about how the cost of electric vehicles will start to rise, you’ll need to weigh your options before making the switch.

All said and done, your mileage may vary, but that’s usually the case.

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