And according to Consumer Reports, the cost of charging an electric vehicle is almost always cheaper than fueling a gas-powered car – sometimes by hundreds of dollars.
But that depends on the type of car and where in the country you live. Here's everything you need to know.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
An electric vehicle’s fuel efficiency can be measured in kilowatt-hours per 100 miles.
For example, if electricity costs 10.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, charging a 200-mile range 54-kWh battery would cost about $6. Charging a vehicle that consumes 27 kWh to travel 100 miles would cost three cents a mile.
The national average cost of electricity is 10 cents per kWh and 11.7 cents per kWh for residential use. Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Vehicle Testing compares the energy cost per mile for electric-powered and gasoline-fueled vehicles.
For example, at 10 cents per kWh, an electric vehicle with an efficiency of 3 miles per kWh would cost about 3.3 cents per mile. The gasoline equivalent cost for this electricity cost would be just under $2.60 per gallon.
Prices vary by location as well. For example, Consumer Report found that West Coast electric vehicles tend to be less expensive to operate than gas-powered or hybrid cars, but gas prices are often lower than electricity in New England.
Public charging in California costs about 30 cents per kWh for Level 2 and 40 cents per kWh for DCFC. Here’s an example of the cost breakdown using a Nissan LEAF with a 150-mile range and 40-kWh battery:
Level 2, empty to full charge: $12
DCFC, empty to full charge: $16
Many cars also offer complimentary charging for the first few years of ownership or provide credits to use for free charging. You can check the full estimated cost using the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Cost Calculator.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
This depends on the type of charger you're using. Charging with a Level 1 charger takes much longer to reach full battery than a level 2 charger or a DCFC, or Direct Current Fast Charger. Here's how much time you can expect to spend charging your electric vehicle: