How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Vehicle?

December 9, 2023

One of the biggest selling points of owning an electric vehicle is that charging the battery is cheaper than fueling a car with gasoline – especially as fuel costs have gone through the roof.

It costs about $60 per month to charge an electric vehicle, based on average electricity prices and driving habits.

But the actual cost and your savings will vary depending on local electricity rates, the car model, driving habits, and the charger used. We break down average prices, factors that affect charging costs, and more so you can decide if going electric is right for you.

How much does charging an EV with solar panels cost?

Key takeaways

How much does it cost to charge an EV?

The average cost to charge an electric vehicle at home is around $60 per month.

But, just like gas-powered cars, the total cost to fill up your battery will vary with a number of factors, including:

Electricity prices

Estimated monthly cost to charge an EV in each state.

Electricity prices heavily impact how much driving an EV will cost you. The higher the electricity rates, the more it’ll cost to charge your EV. Some of the most expensive states to charge an EV include: 

Even with those high electricity prices, charging up an EV can still be cheaper than buying gas. 

Car model

The exact car you purchase also impacts how much it costs to charge. It will cost more to fully charge an EV with a bigger battery – just like it costs more to fill up cars with a bigger gas tank. 

Most EVs have similar-sized batteries, but some are more efficient than others. EVs with higher ranges won’t need to be charged as often as others. Here’s how much it costs to fully charge some of the most popular EVs on the market:

Average estimated cost to fully charge different EV models at home.

Car model EPA estimated range Est. home charging cost*
Tesla Model Y 330 miles $10.14
Ford Mach E 250 miles $13.56

Chevy Bolt

259 miles $11.47
Hyundai Ioniq 5 303 miles $11.61
Kia EV6 310 miles $11.61
Ford F150 Lightning 320 miles $14.70

Chevy Bolt

*Assumes 85% charging efficiency and an average electric rate of $0.15 per kWh

How often you drive will determine how frequently you need to give your car a charge. Do you have a long commute to work? Do you take your car on road trips often? These are questions you should be asking yourself when you shop around for an EV – or any car, for that matter.

To give you a better idea of how much you could look forward to paying each month based off your driving habits, take a look at the chart below:

Type of commute Avg. monthly miles driven Charges each month* At-home monthly charging cost
Average commute 1,230 miles 5.5 $56.59
Long commute* 2,400 miles 11 $113.19

Personal use driving

625 miles 3.8 $39.10

Personal use driving

*based on the average EV range of 220 miles

Where and how you charge

You can charge your car at home or at a public charging station.  While charging at home costs an average of $60 per month, charging at a public charger can cost between $116 and $258 monthly! You can see why charging at home is more cost-effective!

There are three main types of EV chargers:

Using public charging stations is great when you’re on the road, but you shouldn’t rely on it as your primary source of charging. 

Where you are located in the U.S. can make a huge impact. Not only does it influence your electricity rates, it determines how far you’re driving. If you live somewhere rural, you may have to drive further to get to your destination.

The climate can also change how often you need to charge your EV. When it gets cold, the car’s battery won’t hold a charge as well, so you might have to charge your car more often during a harsh winter.

Cost to charge an EV vs. fueling a gas car

Charging your EV using home solar will only cost you a fraction of what you’d pay for gas each month.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average gas price across the U.S. in 2023 is about $3.65 per gallon. That works out to about $158 per month on gas, based on the typical American commute and the average car’s fuel economy. That’s almost $100 more each month than charging an EV!

Remember, there are a number of factors that will impact your actual savings when driving an EV. In states where electric rates are high, the savings might not pencil out the same.

The cheapest way to charge your car is charging your car at home, and it’s even cheaper when you have home solar panels. Solar electricity costs about $0.06 per kWh over 25 years, bringing your monthly charging cost to about half of what it is using grid power.

How many solar panels do you need to charge your EV?

EVs have lower maintenance costs. On top of fuel savings, drivers can save extra money on maintenance costs. For example, drivers can save an additional $25 to $50 every few months on oil changes by purchasing an EV. It may seem like a frivolous amount, but every penny counts!

Are there any incentives for owning an EV?

Indeed there is!

With the help of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), there has been a real push for energy-efficient technology. The Alternative Fuel Refueling Property tax credit allows you to get a tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of materials and installation, up to $1,000 when you get an EV charger at home. There is also the Clean Vehicle tax credit. If you and your vehicle meet all of the requirements, you can get a tax credit up to $7,500 when you purchase an EV.

Besides these federal incentives, different states offer incentives for owning an EV or installing an EV charger. For example, New Jersey offers an EV incentive program that offers up to $4,000 for the purchase or lease of new, eligible, zero-emission vehicles and a $250 rebate for installing an eligible charger to your home.

Find out what incentives are in your area

Owning an EV can already save you money, but did you know that you can save even more by charging your vehicle with solar panels?

According to our 2023 EV report, charging your vehicle in good solar states costs about $0.06 per kWh – that’s a whole $0.10 less than at-home charging without solar!  Calculate that with the average kWh consumption of your EV, you’d pay around $22.50 per month to charge your EV with solar power. That’s only $0.02 per mile of range and less than half the amount you’d pay without solar!

Keep in mind that this would involve you installing solar panels to your home – so if you have solar panels or plan to get them soon, you’ll be paying next to nothing to drive an EV over the 25-year lifespan of your solar system.

Not only is charging an EV with solar cost-effective, but it’s also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and become a more energy-efficient household. If you’re unsure about whether your house is suitable for solar panels, look no further. You can use our solar calculator to learn everything you need to know about how much you can save when making the switch to solar.

This content was originally published here.

How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Vehicle?