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How much does it cost to charge an electric car?


Many people have been having pain at the gas pump over gas prices. An alternative option that many have been switching to is electric vehicle usage. So what exactly are the costs for using these different vehicles?


First, there are different plan types through your electric company. I will use the example of Consumers Energy based out of Jackson, Michigan for this article. Consumers Energy offers different plans for usage at different times of the day. If you are using the EV plan that they have designed, during the summer months of June 1st through September 30th you would pay 13.3 cents per Kilowatt Hour when charging at night between 11pm and 6am. You can program your vehicle to start charging at that time and stop charging at the cutoff time. During the winter those same hours will cost 14.1 cents per kilowatt hour. So to determine how much it costs to charge your vehicle, you will need to know how many Kilowatts the Battery holds.


Here are some common examples for you to get an idea:

  • Chevy Bolt- 66kwh battery (efficiency of vehicle is EPA estimated 29 kwh/ 100 miles)

  • Tesla Model 3 Standard range- 50kwh (Model 3 efficiency ranges from 25-30 kwh/ 100 miles)

  • Tesla Model S and Model X- 100kwh (Model S efficiency EPA estimated 28kwh/ 100 miles)

  • Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV- 77.4kwh battery (efficiency EPA estimated 30kwh/ 100 miles)


So then let's take a look. If we use the Tesla batteries for examples since they are the smallest and the largest, we should have a good range for costs.


ex. 1. summer: 50kwh battery X 13.3 cents/kwh = $6.65 in the summer months if completely empty.

ex. 2. winter: 50kwh battery x 14.1 cents/kwh = $7.05 in the winter months if completely empty.


ex. 3. summer: 100kwh battery x 13.3 cents/kwh = $13.30 in the summer months if completely empty. (note: Charging 100kwh battery from completely empty on a level 2 charger would take more than the 7 hours that the rate is at 13.3 cents/kwh- we just used this scenario for easy math and you can obviously charge at any time and rate when you need to)

ex. 4. winter: 100kwh battery x 14.1 cents/kwh = $14.10 in the winter months if completely empty. (note: Charging 100kwh battery from completely empty on a level 2 charger would take more than the 7 hours that the rate is at 14.1 cents/kwh- we just used this scenario for easy math and you can obviously charge at any time and rate when you need to)


If we want to look at a years worth of usage and compare the costs between electric and gas, here is a breakdown:

  • Americans travel on average 14200 miles per year. With an average mpg with gas of 30mpg and gas at $4/ gallon you would spend $1893/year on gas.

  • 14200/ a low estimate of 4 miles per kwh uses 3550kwh/ year. 3550 x an avg rate of 13.8 cents per kwh to charge you would spend $491/ year on electricity.

I hope this was helpful information. Check out my article on what to look for in a home to accommodate an Electric vehicle.


Written by Korey Rowlson

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