How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

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Electric car plugged into a charger

As the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) continues, a fundamental question remains: what does it cost to charge an EV? On average, it costs $0.05 per mile to charge your EV, but the price you pay depends on where you live, your electricity source, your EV battery, and more. 

While you likely have experience filling up a gas tank, charging an EV battery is a totally different experience. We’ve created this guide to help you understand the various factors that impact your EV charging costs and how these costs compare to similar gas-powered cars.

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Key takeaways

  • It costs an average of $56 to charge an electric car monthly and $674 a year if you only charge at home.

  • You can expect to pay around $0.05 per mile to charge your EV compared to $0.13 per mile to fuel your gas-powered car.

  • You'll likely pay more upfront for an EV than a comparable gas car, but EVs are typically more cost-effective over their lifetime.

  • The cost of charging an EV depends on several factors, including your electricity source, the size of your EV's battery, the type of EV charger you use, where you live, and when you charge your EV.

You’ll need to understand two key data points to calculate your EV charging costs: the electricity required to charge your EV’s battery and the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. The simplest way to calculate this is to use your utility’s electric rate and your EV’s battery capacity, but keep in mind that the amount of energy needed to charge your EV is greater than the battery size. Not every unit of electricity recruited to charge your EV makes it to the battery, meaning that some energy is lost during the charging process. 

The total amount you pay to charge your EV depends on the type of charger you use, where you live, when and where you charge, and more. On average, you can expect to pay around $0.05 per mile in EV charging costs. Let’s break down the charging costs of popular EV models using the average cost of electricity in the U.S. (16.19 cents) and recharge event energy data filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

How much does it cost to charge a Nissan Leaf?

EV Make And Model
Energy Required To Charge Battery
Cost To Charge Battery
Range Of Distance
Charging Cost Per Mile
Nissan Leaf S45 kWh$7.29149 miles4.9 cents
Nissan Leaf SV Plus65 kWh$10.52212 miles5 cents

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model 3?

EV Make And Model
Energy Required To Charge Battery
Cost To Charge Battery
Range Of Distance
Charging Cost Per Mile
Tesla Model 3 Standard70 kWh$11.33272 miles4.2 cents
Tesla Model 3 Long Range88 kWh$14.25341 miles4.2 cents
Tesla Model 3 Performance94 kWh$15.22315 miles4.8 cents
Learn more about Tesla charging costs.

How much does it cost to charge a Hyundai IONIQ 5?

EV Make And Model
Energy Required To Charge Battery
Cost To Charge Battery
Range Of Distance
Charging Cost Per Mile
Hyundai IONIQ 5 SE Standard Range66 kWh$10.69220 miles4.9 cents
Hyundai IONIQ 5 SE88 kWh$14.25303 miles4.7 cents
Hyundai IONIQ 5 SEL88 kWh$14.25303 miles4.7 cents

How much does it cost to charge an Audi Q4 e-tron ?

EV Make And Model
Energy Required To Charge Battery
Cost To Charge Battery
Range Of Distance
Charging Cost Per Mile
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron86 kWh$13.92242 miles5.8 cents
Audi Q4 e-tron86 kWh$13.93265 miles5.3 cents

Charging your EV is typically cheaper than filling up your gas-powered vehicle; you'll pay around $0.05 per mile to charge your EV compared to about $0.13 to fuel your gas-powered car. 

As of February 19, 2024, the average gas prices are $3.28 per gallon for regular gasoline and $4.06 per gallon for premium. In addition to where you live, the cost of fueling a gas-powered car depends on the size of the gas tank and the type of gas required. You'll pay more for gas if your car is less efficient (meaning it travels a shorter distance per gallon of gas) and if you're driving more in the city than on highways. 

How much does it cost to fuel popular gas-powered vehicles?

Make And Model
Fuel Tank Capacity
Miles Per Gallon (MPG) - Combined City/higway
Cost To Fill Up Tank
Range Of Distance
Fueling Cost Per Mile
Toyota Corolla Hatchback13.2 gallons35 MPG$43.30462 miles9.4 cents
Honda Civic LX12.4 gallons36 MPG$40.67434 miles9.4 cents
Kia Telluride AWD18.8 gallons22 MPG$61.66414 miles14.9 cents
Porsche Macan*19.8 gallons21 MPG$80.39416 miles19.3 cents

*The Porsche Macan requires premium gas. All other vehicles listed use regular gasoline.

Cost per charge/tank for popular EVs and comparable gas vehicles

Vehicle Category
EV Charging Cost Per Mile
Gas Fueling Cost Per Mile
Compact hatchbackNissan Leaf: 4.9 centsToyota Corolla Hatchback: 9.4 cents
Compact sedanTesla Model 3: 4.2 centsHonda Civic LX: 9.4 cents
Mid-size SUVHyundai IONIQ 5: 5.7 centsKia Telluride AWD: 14.9 cents
Luxury crossover SUVAudi Q4 e-tron: 5.3 centsPorsche Macan: 19.3 cents

Charging an EV is usually cheaper than filling up a gas tank, but the price difference depends on several factors. 

1. Your electricity source

Charging your EV with grid-produced electricity will typically cost you more than with a home solar energy system. Additionally, programs like community solar, community choice aggregation (CCA), or a green power plan (GPP) can reduce your electricity costs and, thus, your EV charging costs. 

Learn more about alternative electricity sources. 

2. Your EV's battery size

The larger the battery, the more you’ll pay per charge. At the same time, a bigger EV battery usually translates to a longer range and lower cost per mile. Using our calculations from above, it’s almost $4 cheaper to fully charge a Nissan Leaf compared to a Tesla Model 3, but when you consider range, the Nissan Leaf actually costs more per mile. 

3. The type of EV charger you use

Charging your EV is more complicated than the energy storage capacity of the battery itself. Some energy is lost as heat, some keeps the battery at an adequate temperature, and some escapes as transmission loss. The type of charger you use can impact the amount of energy expended on a charge. 

EV chargers are classified as Level 1 (L1), Level 2 (L2), and Level (L3). Level 1 chargers (120-volt chargers, using a regular outlet) and Level 2 chargers (240-volt standard home EV chargers) convert alternating current (AC) electricity from your home into direct current (DC) electricity that your EV's battery can store and use. The heat produced by this AC-to-DC conversion causes some energy loss.

Level 3 chargers (400+ volt chargers found at charging stations) provide DC electricity, so no conversion losses occur. While L3 chargers are more efficient, their rapid charging capabilities can cause battery degradation. If you can, it’s best to save your L3 charging for long road trips or when you need a quick charge in a pinch.

Learn more about EV chargers.

4. Where you live

Electricity costs vary across the country. Many Northeastern and Western states have the highest electricity costs, while some Midwestern and Southeastern states have the lowest.

Temperate climates are ideal for EV charging. If you live in a particularly hot or cold climate, it’ll require more energy to keep your battery at a safe temperature, leading to greater energy losses. 

5. When you charge your EV

Certain utilities have rate structures that adjust over the course of the day or year based on demand. Known as time-of-use rates or time-varying rates, these rate structures generally charge more when electricity demand is high, like in the middle of the afternoon on a hot day. 

If your utility uses such a rate structure, you'll typically pay less to charge your EV at night.

EV charging infrastructure is expanding in the U.S., creating more options for public charging. Most public chargers are either Level 2 or Level 3 and range in price from free to an hourly or per kilowatt charge, depending on the charger and location. 

In some cases, your company or office building may offer free EV charging stations to employees and visitors. With something like that available to you, your daily commute in your EV could be free. If you can charge enough to get a complete charge, you may be able to decrease your overall cost of charging since you won't need to plug in at home as much.

You may be subject to parking charges at a parking meter or deck in addition to charging costs. Usually, you can check apps like Plugshare or ChargePoint to see the price, availability, and even the charger's status (such as tips from other EV drivers who have used it and any issues with charging there).

The range of your EV depends on the make, model, and any upgrades you choose. EVs generally can't travel as far as traditional gas-powered cars, but EV ranges are becoming more competitive as battery technology advances.

Distance per charge/tank for some popular EVs and comparable vehicles

Vehicle Category
EV Range Distance
Gas Vehicle Range Distance
Compact hatchbackNissan Leaf: 149 milesToyota Corolla Hatchback: 462 miles
Compact sedanTesla Model 3: 272 milesHonda Civic LX: 434 miles
Mid-size SUVHyundai IONIQ 5: 220 milesKia Telluride: 414 miles
Luxury crossover SUVAudi Q4 e-tron: 265 milesPorsche Macan: 416 miles

EVs and traditional gas-powered vehicles will both get you where you need to go, but there are a few key ways they differ.

Increased energy efficiency: A higher percentage of energy used to fuel an EV converts to usable energy. Don't usually travel as far: An EV's battery typically needs to be recharged before a similar gas-powered vehicle would need its gas tank refilled.
No direct release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere: If you're not powering your EV with clean energy, your electricity source may contribute to emissions (though still far less than a gas-powered vehicle).Take longer to "refuel": You're probably used to filling up your car's gas tank whenever it's empty. EVs generally require more planning. Even with the fastest Level 3 EV charger, you should expect charging to take about 15 minutes. If you have an EV charger installed at your home, you can charge while you sleep.
Less maintenance: Since EVs don't have an internal combustion engine, the maintenance costs are often considerably lower.Generally, have higher upfront costs: You may need to pay more upfront for an EV than a gas-powered vehicle (but it could still be less expensive in the long run). Tax incentives and rebates can considerably reduce your EV's sticker price.
Not impacted by rising gas prices: With gas prices reaching an all-time high in recent years, an EV will save you from paying to fill up at the pump. You’ll still be impacted by changing electricity rates, but it’s usually much cheaper to fuel an EV than a gas-powered car.
May save you time on your commute: Many states have carpool or high occupancy vehicles (HOV) lanes that EVs qualify to use. So, you can hop in the carpool lane by yourself and avoid some traffic.
Learn more about the pros and cons of EVs.

How much does my electric bill go up with an EV?

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the average U.S. driver travels approximately 13,476 miles each year (or 1,123 miles/month). If you use an average charging cost per mile of $0.05 per mile and only charge your EV at home, your electricity bill will increase by about $56 each month. That cost may be lower if you charge at work or other free public charging stations, or you may pay nothing if you have solar panels and charge your EV at home. 

How long does it take to charge an EV?

Depending on the level of charging, the range of your EV, and the amount of charge you need to replace, charging an EV can take as little as 10 to 20 minutes at a Level 3 charger or as long as 20 to 40+ hours using a Level 1 charger (standard outlet).

If you're looking to lower your EV charging costs, one of the best ways to do so is by going solar. Set up a free account on the EnergySage Marketplace to compare custom quotes from our network of vetted installers. If you plan to charge an EV at your home, make a note in your account so installers can size your system to accommodate powering your car with renewable energy.

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