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How Much Does the Electricity Cost to Charge an EV?

A white electric vehicle being charged with electronic charger for EV suv's.

Doubts about how much it costs to recharge an electric car not only refer to the cost of the electricity needed to fill the battery, but also to the waiting time until the battery is fully recharged. Both factors must be taken into account and weighed before purchasing an electric car since they will condition the use made of the vehicle on almost a daily basis.

I just discovered recently that the cost of charging the battery of an electric car is calculated by multiplying its capacity by the price of electricity at the time we put it in charge. For example, if my car has a 50kWh battery, I plug it in during the off-peak part of the day (the price varies in some companies, but it is between 0.18 and 0.23 dollars per kWh). The total cost of recharging the car will be 11.5 dollars if I should take the highest cost as a reference. Most likely, I would have to adjust the contracted power of the light at home if I were to charge it in the wall socket. 

What is the formula used?

Charging cost of an electric car = battery capacity (kWh) x electricity price in that time slot (dollar/kWh). If I decided to charge my electric vehicle outside of the home, I could find a wide range of possibilities. There are certain free recharging points (such as in supermarkets or shopping centers) and normally those public plugs have a cost from 20 to 50 cents per kWh. This would mean a cost of between 10 and 25 dollars to charge a car with a 50kWh battery. 

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Secondly, there are the so-called charging stations. The price for charging the electric car here can range from 0.15 to 0.79 dollars/kWh, taking into account whether the charging posts are normal, fast, or ultra-fast. Thus, charging this same car could cost between 7.5 dollars to 39.5 dollars. It would still be cheaper than filling up the gas tank anyway. 

How long does it take to charge a car battery?

A contemporary electrical fast charger for PHEVs or other electric or hybrid vehicles.

As for the time a car can cost, it all depends on its characteristics and whether it has a fast-charging mode, which more and more models include. A conventional charge, the one recommended for when I am at home using a wall charging port and I am not in a hurry, is between 6 and 8 hours. This is extended to 12 and even 16 if I use a conventional plug.

With a semi-fast recharge, it can take about two hours to reach 80% of the car’s battery, and at fast-charging stations, it would take just half an hour, although this infrastructure is not yet widely distributed throughout the country. There are super-fast points like Tesla’s that need even less than half an hour to reach 80% battery capacity.

Related: 3 Types of EV Car Chargers

What is the monthly cost to charge an EV?

A mobile phone with car charging information and and EV being charged in the background.

The monthly bill for an owner of an electric car that travels about 20,000 km per year, will be the following according to the price per kWh:

  • Average current cost, 23 cents per kWh: 3.45 dollars/100km. Total month: 57.4 dollars
  • Current cost with an offer: 18 cents per kWh: 2.7 dollars/100 km. Total month: 44.9 dollars
  • Estimated cost decoupled night rate: 9 cents per kWh: 1.35 dollars/100 km. Total month: 22.4 dollars
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This estimate would mean that with a decoupled cost and with a night rate, the owner of an electric car could pay a monthly bill for charging his car 60.9% less than with the current average rates, and even 50.1% less than with the offer rates that could be found at the moment outside the regulated market.

Of course, with a cheaper cost of electricity, public charging would be cheaper, including fast charging. Something that would favor its expansion of infrastructure and, with all this, the increase in sales of electric cars.

Conclusion

An electric vehicle being charged at home for cheaper EV charging.

Recharging the electric car at home, beyond the free (albeit slow) public recharging sites, is going to be the cheapest place to do it. This is before an electric car recharging point can be installed in a home or community garage. This would cost you about 1,000 dollars. It is important to consider the rates that exist from the two types of market: the free market and the one regulated by the government. In the free market, an agreement has to be reached with the companies on price (kw/hour). 

In the government-regulated market, the government sets the maximum price that electricity companies can charge their customers. It depends on a specific day; the prices are different. To establish a guide, off-peak hours can be around €0.11/kWh, peak hours $0.24/kWh or flat hours $0.15/kWh.