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Electric Vehicle Charging Costs – Saving Money on Clean Energy

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people realize the benefits of using clean energy to power their transportation. One of the most commonly asked questions by prospective EV buyers is how much it costs to charge an EV compared to traditional fossil fuel vehicles.

The answer to this question varies depending on several factors, including the cost of electricity, the range of the car, and the efficiency of the battery. In this article, we will discuss the variables affecting the cost of charging an electric car and how to calculate those costs, both at home and on the go.

Cost of Charging an Electric Car

The cost of charging an electric car depends on several variables, including the region in which you live, time of day, and how you charge the vehicle. These variables come together to dictate the price you will pay for your clean energy.

Here are the variables that can affect the cost of charging an electric car:

Electric Vehicles – Not all electric cars are created equal. Different models have different efficiencies and charging capacities.

Some can travel more miles per kWh, while others require more energy to operate. It’s important to research the manufacturer’s range per kWh before purchasing a vehicle to see how efficient it is.

Fossil Fuels – The cost of traditional fossil fuels influences the cost of electricity in some regions of the country. If a region has fewer oil reserves, they may need to pay more for gasoline.

This can, in turn, lead to an increase in the cost of electricity. Clean Energy – Renewable energy sources like wind and solar help drive down the cost of electricity for consumers.

As these alternative forms of energy become more affordable and commonplace, they can further reduce the cost of charging electric cars.

Cost Calculation Formula

To calculate the cost of charging your electric car, you need to know the cost of electricity in your area and the range of your vehicle per kWh. Here is the formula for calculating the cost of charging your electric vehicle:

Total Charging Cost = Charging Time (hours) x Power (kW) x Cost of Electricity (kWh)

The total cost of charging your vehicle will depend on the cost of electricity in your area, which can vary from region to region. For example, if you live in California, where the average cost of electricity is $0.18 per kWh, and your EV’s battery has a charging capacity of 60 kWh, charging your vehicle will cost you around $10.80, which equates to roughly 300 miles.

Calculating Charging Costs at Home

Charging an electric car at home is incredibly convenient and is usually the primary way most EV drivers charge their vehicles. The cost of charging at home varies depending on how much electricity you use, the cost per kWh, and the efficiency of your vehicle’s battery.

Here’s what you need to know:

Formula for Home Charging Costs

To calculate the cost of charging your vehicle at home, you need to know the cost per kWh and your vehicle’s efficiency, measured by the miles per kWh or range. Total Charging Cost = Total Miles Driven / Miles per kWh x Cost per kWh

Using the equation above, let’s imagine that an EV driver has driven 360 miles, and the cost of electricity is $0.14 per kWh. The driver’s vehicle is estimated to have a range of 4 miles per kWh. Using the formula above, the driver needs to use 90 kWh to recharge the battery fully and will pay approximately $12.60.

Example Calculation

To make the example clearer, let’s work out the calculation step-by-step. Step 1: Deduct the total miles driven from the EV battery capacity to obtain the energy required to recharge the battery.

Energy required: 360 miles/4 miles per kWh = 90 kWh

Step 2: Multiply the energy required by the cost per kWh to know the total cost of charging the car. Total charging cost = 90 kWh x $0.14 per kWh = $12.60

In conclusion, the cost of charging an electric vehicle is typically lower than the cost of a gas-powered vehicle.

Although the charge time varies, EV users usually spend less time charging an electric vehicle than refueling a traditional vehicle, and when they do, they tend to pay less. By comparing various EV models, the cost of energy in your region, and knowing how much charge your EV possesses per kWh, you can make an informed decision on the most practical and cost-effective option that will suit your lifestyle when considering purchasing an electric vehicle.

3) Charging Costs with Commercial Chargers

While home charging is the most convenient way to charge your electric car, commercial charging is often necessary for longer trips or when you’re out and about. However, the cost of commercial charging can vary depending on several factors.

Let’s discuss the factors that affect commercial charging costs:

Network – Some commercial charging stations are affiliated with specific networks, which may require a membership fee. The cost of charging at these locations can vary depending on the network and membership level.

Type of Charger – Different types of chargers provide various power levels, meaning time and cost implications vary. For example, a Level 2 charger can cost more per kilowatt-hour (kWh) than a Level 1 charger, but it charges vehicles faster.

Formula for Commercial Charging Costs

Using the same formula we described above, you can calculate the cost of charging at commercial charging stations. Total Charging Cost = Charging Time (hours) x Power (kW) x Cost of Electricity (kWh)

For example, let’s say we need to charge an EV for four hours using a Level 2 charger with a power rating of 7 kW.

The cost of electricity is $0.21 per kWh. Using the formula above, the calculation is:

Total Charging Cost = 4 x 7 kW x $0.21 per kWh= $25.20

You can use this formula to calculate the cost of charging your EV at most commercial charging stations.

4) Comparing EV Charging Costs and Gas Tank Filling Costs

When it comes to paying for fuel, electric cars offer a cost-effective alternative to gas-guzzling vehicles. The cost of operating an EV can be significantly lower than operating gasoline-powered vehicles.

Let’s compare the cost of charging an EV to filling a gas tank.

National Average of Gas Prices and Fuel Tank Capacity

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the national average cost of gasoline was $3.39 per gallon as of August 2021. A small vehicle typically has a fuel tank capacity of 12 gallons.

Adjusting for Vehicle Range

To make an apples-to-apples comparison between an EV and a traditional car, we’ll use a couple of scenarios. Suppose an electric car travels 360 miles before requiring a full charge, and a gasoline-powered vehicle can travel 403 miles with a full tank of gas.

To cover the same distance, the electric car would need approximately $10.00 worth of electricity at a cost of $0.14 per kWh. The gasoline-powered vehicle would require approximately $41.00 worth of gas based on the current national average cost of $3.39 per gallon. The savings of the electric car over the gasoline-powered vehicle would be significant.

Final Take

In conclusion, electric cars offer a cost-effective alternative to gasoline-powered cars. With increasingly competitive electric car models and falling prices of electricity generation from renewable energy sources, the cost of charging an EV is becoming more affordable.

When you compare the cost of filling a gas tank with the cost of charging an electric car, you’ll find that electric cars offer significant savings. In addition to more affordable charging, EVs also offer a cleaner and more sustainable transportation option.

In conclusion, the cost of charging an electric vehicle (EV) depends on various factors, including the cost of electricity, the efficiency of the battery, and the type of charger used. Calculating the cost of charging an EV at home or on the go is simple by using the Total Charging Cost equation, and commercial charging stations charges can be estimated using the same formula.

Comparing EV charging costs to gas tank filling costs shows that EVs offer significant financial savings and a more sustainable mode of transportation. With the continually dropping prices of electricity generation from renewable energy, EVs are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional gasoline-fueled cars.

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