We covered how much it costs to buy an electric car in a previous post, so today we’d like to introduce you to another aspect of owning an EV: charging costs.
In today’s post, we’ll look at the average cost to charge an EV at home or on the go, installation costs for EV chargers, and factors that affect your final cost to charge your EV at home or at a charging station. Then, we’ll give you a rundown of charging costs for the most popular EVs on the market.
Let’s get started with average EV charging costs:
Home EV Charging vs Fast Charging Stations
Note: We’re going to base our pricing on a 0-100% battery capacity charge here (for simplified numbers), but a better model for pricing would be a 20%-80% charging cost. It’s never a good idea to run your EV’s battery all the way down to 0% (especially on the way to a Level 3 charger), and charging all the way up to 100% on a fast-charger can increase degradation.
There are 3 defined levels of charging that affect EV charging prices and speeds. Level 1 and 2 chargers are mostly used with residential and destination charging (though some Level 2 charging is also available at charging stations). Level 3 charging is typically provided by a charging station with faster charging speeds and higher pricing.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Vehicle at Home? (Level 1 and Level 2 Charging Stations)
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the national average cost of electricity as of January 2023 is 15.47 cents per kWh (or approximately $0.15 per kWh) for residential customers. Actual energy costs vary widely by state, with some as low as 9-10 cents per kWh and others up to 25-30 cents per kWh (Hawaii is the extreme outlier, with a 45 cent per kWh average rate).
To put these numbers in perspective, the average capacity of an EV battery in the US is around 60-75 kWh. With an average energy rate of $0.15 cents per kWh, it costs about $9.00-$11.25 to charge an electric car from 0-100% at home.
At the low end of energy pricing (in states like Vermont, Nebraska, and North Dakota), the charging cost for electric cars is closer to $5.40-$6.75. For the higher end of energy pricing (in states like California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire), the cost to charge an EV is closer to $15.00-$22.50. Hawaii, with its 45 cent per kWh average, is the most expensive state for charging EVs, with electric car charging costs averaging $27.00 to $33.75.
How Much Does It Cost to Use a Charging Station? (Level 3)
The average price per kWh at a Level 3 charging station in the US is around $0.33-$0.34. With these numbers, the average cost to fully charge an electric car at a fast charging station is around $20-$25 for a 60-75 kWh battery.
Want to know how pricing across charging networks stacks up? Here’s a roundup of the six most widely available chargers in the US:
As of April 6, 2023, the cost to charge your electric vehicle with Electrify America is about $0.48 per kWh for non-members and $0.36 per kWh for members. For the average EV battery pack (60-75 kWh), filling up at an Electrify America Charging Station will cost $28.80-$36.00 for non-members and $21.60-$27.00 for members.
In states that do not allow charging per kWh, Electrify America charges by the minute. Be sure to check out their website for a state-by-state rundown of pricing.
An average charging rate at Tesla Superchargers can run anywhere from $0.25 cents per kWh to over $0.50 cents kWh. These rates will get us to a Supercharger price between $15-$37.50 for the average 60-75 kWh battery (or $25-$50 for the 100 kWh battery on newer Model S and Model X).
Typically, Tesla charging costs are calculated per kWh of charging in states where that method is allowed. However, in some states Tesla Supercharging is priced per minute at four different rates depending on how much power you are receiving from the charger:
Tier 1 (Lowest Price Per Minute)
|Less than or equal to 60 kW||Greater than 60 kW, less than or equal to 100kW||Greater than 100 kW, less than or equal to 180 kW||Over 180 kWh|
Can you use a Tesla Supercharger with a non-Tesla EV? The answer is yes, but only in some locations. As of early 2023, select Supercharger locations in the US became accessible to non-Tesla EVs. At the time of writing, this only includes two locations in California and 8 locations in New York; we do expect to see more open up as the year progresses.
However, rates for non-Tesla EVs will be higher unless you also purchase a charging membership from Tesla. You can check out Tesla’s website for more information on the Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot Program.
Pricing for EVGo Fast Charging is plan-based, but you can use the pay-as-you-go feature for “as low as” $0.34 per kWh, plus a $0.99 session fee. A typical EVGo charge for the average electric car would cost about $21.39-$26.49 from 0%-100%.
The EVGo network is widely available in California (where you will pay by the minute), and fairly well spread out through the East Coast. However, coverage is somewhat lacking in many western states.
While widely available, pricing varies widely across ChargePoint locations. The chargers on ChargePoint’s network are owned by independent businesses who set their own prices. Some stations are free, while others charge a per hour or per minute fee.
ChargePoint Express and ChargePoint Express Plus stations are the Level 3 fast-chargers of ChargePoint’s network, and costs will likely be competitive and based on local energy rates, but you’ll have to download the app to compare pricing. We’d expect the prices to somewhat reflect EVGo and Electrify America, so filling up with a ChargePoint fast charger should be around $25 for the average electric vehicle.
Most Shell Recharge stations in the US are Level 2 charging ports, but the company is expanding its network daily to include more DC Fast Chargers. We weren’t able to find out much about pricing for the network, but Shell Recharge has roaming agreements with some of the other networks we’ve already mentioned. Like ChargePoint, we expect Shell Recharge stations to remain competitive with an average $25 price for charging an EV with a 60-75kWh battery.
Additional Electric Car Charging Costs
Energy costs are the primary part of the charging discussion for EVs, but the cost of EV charging equipment is also a factor worth considering. Let’s talk about some costs that may show up with both Level 1 and Level 2 charging equipment:
Level 1 (120V, 15-20amp)
Level 1 chargers run off 120V outlets (a standard outlet on a 15-20 amp circuit). A lot of people refer to Level 1 charging as “trickle-charging” because it does take the longest to fill up an EV’s battery. Level 1 chargers are typically included with your EV purchase, but not always (for example, Tesla stopped including Level 1 chargers with their vehicles in 2022, but you can pay another $230 to get one).
Level 1 Charging Pros:
- Lower installation cost: if a nearby outlet is already available, you won’t need to install anything
- Charging at work: some employers offer free charging while you work
- Longer battery life: causes less degradation of the battery than fast charging
Level 1 Charging Cons:
- Slow: not great for road trips or heavy commutes
- Lack of controlled charging: you may not be able to take advantage of your power company’s “time of use” discounts
If you do need to add an additional outlet for charging your EV at Level 1, expect to pay an electrician around $200-$300 for a simple install.
Level 2 (240V, 30A-60A)
Charging at a Level 2 rate is the fastest home option and is increasingly available in businesses such as hotels, car dealerships, and parking garages. A Level 2 setup can charge most EVs overnight, though the length of charging time and price varies.
Some Level 2 chargers—also known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)—can be plugged straight into a 240V outlet, and many people are lucky enough to already have one of these in a convenient location in their garage. However, if you don’t have one of these outlets or if you want to install a hardwired charger, installation costs can vary widely depending on location and whether or not your house will need an electrical upgrade first.
Level 2 charging equipment will typically cost around $500-$800, with higher end models going for around $1,000. Level 2 charger installation can cost anywhere from $400-$500 for a simple install to around $1,500-2,000 for an electrician to do a panel upgrade (typically an upgrade from 100 amp to 200 amp service).
Level 2 Charging Pros
- Overnight charging for most EVs: up to 3-7 times faster charging rates than Level 1
- Charging time controls: cost saving measures are available on many charging units, such as programming to charge during promotional periods from electric companies (and not during peak electric rates)
- Ideal for heavier commutes
Level 2 Charging Cons
- Not as fast as filling up with gas: still too slow for most road trips except as overnight charging
- Added installation fees: installation costs can include higher amp breakers, wiring, outlets, and electrician’s fees
Electric Car Charging Equipment Rebates and Incentives
The current push for EV adoption in the US comes with a few cost saving measures for new installations of charging equipment in the home. In many cases, you can find rebates and incentives for Level 2 chargers from government programs or from your electric company.
For example, the Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) currently offers a $250 rebate for residential customers who purchase an energy-star rated Level 2 charger for home use.
Want more info on Federal and state programs that can help you lower your electric car charger costs? Check out The Alternative Fuels Data Center website.
Best Practices for Charging Your EV
- Charge during off-peak hours, if possible. Make sure you check with your electric company to see if they offer any “time of use” discounts.
- Try to use Level 1 or Level 2 charging most of the time. Level 3 charging can increase your EV’s battery degradation rate
- If you are able to use free public charging or free charging at your workplace, go for it!
- If you live in a hot climate, charging inside the garage (or in the shade, if possible) will help keep your battery from damage due to overheating
- Preheat the battery in cold weather by finishing a charge as close to your next drive as possible
- Charge from 20% to 80%. Your battery doesn’t charge at a completely linear rate, so the first and last 20% take the longest and have the most impact on battery degradation rates. Many EVs will allow you to use their software to set your charging percentages.
Average Charging Costs for Popular Electric Vehicles
How much does it cost to charge a Tesla? What about charging a Nissan LEAF or a Chevy Bolt? To help you get a rough idea of what you can expect, we’ve compiled a quick reference table for the average charging costs of the most popular EVs in the US (determined by units sold in 2022) here:
Average Residential L1-L2 Charging Cost (from 0%-100%)
Average L3 Charging Station Cost (from 0%-100%)
|Tesla||Model S||60-100 kWh||$9-$15||$18-$33|
|Tesla||Model 3||54-82 kWh||$8-$12||$17-27|
|Tesla||Model X||60-100 kWh||$9-$15||$18-$33|
|Tesla||Model Y||60-78.1 kWh||$9-$12||$18-$26|
|Ford||Mustang Mach-E||75.7-98.7 kWh||$11-$15||$25-$33|
|Ford||Lightning F-150||107.6-143.4 kWh||$16-$22||$36-$47|
|Hyundai||IONIQ 5||58-77.4 kWh||$9-$12||$19-$26|
Remember, real world charging costs for all of these EVs are affected by variations in battery size over the years (we’re looking at you, Tesla and Nissan), charging location, and pricing tiers and fees at charging stations. It’s worth your time to do a little sleuthing in the area you’ll be using your EV so you can get a much clearer picture of what you might be paying to charge an EV.
One More Way to Lower Your EV Costs
If you are comparing electric vehicle charging costs to see how much you can save by going electric, why not maximize your savings by getting a new-to-you EV at a discount?
Buying a pre-owned EV can save you thousands off your initial investment, but the bad news is that filtering through used car inventories online can be exhausting.
The good news? We’ve taken the hassle out of the search with the most-intuitive filtering system available, right here on Find My Electric. You can narrow down your search by price, location, battery capacity, manufacturer, number of seats, AP hardware (for the Tesla fans), and more.
Check out our used EV listings to see what’s available today!