Find Out the Real Price of Charging an Electric Car

Determining how much it costs to fill a gas tank is pretty straightforward, but estimating the cost of an electric charge can be more difficult. The use of electric vehicles is on the rise, with advancements being constantly made to improve the user experience. 

More chargers are being added daily, and technology is continuously being improved. Several different types of charging are available, such as slow charging using at-home charging stations to fast charging at gas stations. 

The cost varies from station to station, but we’ve compiled a general guide for the price of a charge for your electric vehicle.

Level 1 and Level 2 charging will be your best option if cost is a concern. Level 1 charging can cost as little as $10 per full charge and does not require any special equipment.

However, Level 1 is exceptionally time-consuming and impractical. Level 2 charging costs around $11 per full charge and takes around 8 hours for a full battery. 

Types of Charging for an Electric Car + Cost

There are three main charging options available. Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. These can be done at both home and public charging stations.

Level 1 Charging

Level 1 charging is the slowest and cheapest method available. It uses standard 110 volts, the same as in your house, and requires little or no special equipment or electrical installation.

Level 2 Charging

Level 2 chargers can be found both at home and in public spaces. A unique piece of equipment must be installed to convert the volts into 240. This makes the installation more expensive but also means you can charge your vehicle two or three times faster than level one. 

Level 3 Charging

Level 3 charging is the fastest and most expensive charging option. It requires 480 volts, which allows cars to be charged in less than 1 hour. 

Let’s get into the different types and how much they usually cost.

Home Charging- Level 1 and Level 2

Many electric car users install a home charging setup to leave their vehicle overnight to charge fully.

Assuming you have a garage and/or access to the power grid, charging your electric vehicle at home is a great and cost-effective option. 

How long does it take?

You can access both level 1 and level 2 charging at home.

For level one home charging, you use a basic 110-volt charging unit that plugs into a standard electrical outlet. It will take between 8 and 24 hours to charge an empty battery. 

Whereas for Level 2 charging, you can hire an electrician to install a 240-volt line in your garage to give you more power. With level 2 charging, you can charge an empty battery in as little as 4 hours. 

How much does it cost?

Level 1 charging at home will cost you around $10 per day, which is highly affordable compared to other methods.

Level 2 charging at home will cost a similar amount per day. However, the initial cost is much higher.

You will need to spend between $250 and $400 to hire an electrician to install the 240-volt lines, plus you will need to purchase the electric unit itself. These units cost between $300 and $1200. 

Although Level 2 charging is initially much more costly. It allows you more freedom in the long run, as you will need significantly less time to charge the vehicle. 

Public Charging – Level 2

Many public charging stations use Level 2 chargers. These are useful if you plan to stay somewhere for several hours and are okay with waiting for the vehicle to charge up.

These often reside outside supermarkets, petrol stations, and public parking spaces. 

How long does it take?

Public Level 2 chargers take roughly the same time as the home versions. It will take between 4 and 10 hours to charge an empty battery.

However, many EV owners find these public Level 2 chargers helpful in topping up the charge rather than receiving a full charge.

How much does it cost?

The cost for public Level 2 charging varies significantly. Many stations are actually free-to-use, and the stations are used to incentivize customers to visit that supermarket or shopping center. 

The average cost for pay-per-use stations is around $1 per hour or $2.50 per charge. While other charges per kWh.

This can range from approximately $0.11 and $0.15 per kWh or $2 to $8 to fill up completely. The cost is relatively low as the stations are time-consuming and much less practical than fast chargers. 

Public Charging – Level 3

Level 3 is the fastest type of charging available, called fast charging. Level 1 and Level 2 charging uses alternating current (AC), whereas Level 3 uses direct current (DC). 

Level 2 chargers require 240-volt electrical sources, such as the ones used for an oven or a dryer. Level 3 chargers require a 480-volt electrical source, such as those used to power industrial motors and heating appliances. 

You cannot install Level 3 chargers at home. Instead, you can find them at apartment complexes, workplaces, shopping centers, fuel stations, and hotels. 

How long does it take?

This additional voltage means you can charge your vehicle’s battery up to 80% of its capacity in 30 to 45 minutes. 

How much does it cost?

All the extra power comes at a price, as these chargers are the most expensive. Most Level 3 chargers are pay-per-use and are usually paid by the minute. A full charge will cost between $10 and $30 for a full charge, averaging out at around $15 for a charge for most users. 

What’s Telsa Supercharging?

Tesla uses its dedicated Supercharger network, with over 25,000 stations worldwide. These stations only work for Tesla vehicles.

The stations offer four charging options with varying costs, and the price varies due to the location. Typically speaking, a Supercharge will cost around $0.45 per kWh. A full charge with a Supercharger will cost around $22, and charging to 80% (which is more common) will cost around $18.

Which Charging Option is the Cheapest?

Level one chargers are the cheapest. You use the power supply you have at home, and there is no need to install anything. However, each night you will need to charge the vehicle, and you may only achieve a partial charge depending on the car.

This will cost around $10 per day to charge the vehicle. But it means you cannot use the car for at least 8 hours daily. 

Sometimes your electric provider will offer you a special rate for using additional electricity overnight when the demand is at its lowest. 

However, the cost will vary significantly depending on where you live. For example, those who reside in Maine pay almost double for their electricity compared to those in Nebraska. 

Does Each Electric Vehicle Cost the Same to Charge?

No. Different EVs have different battery capacities. Generally speaking, the larger the battery, the more electricity it will hold, and therefore the more it will cost to charge the vehicle each time. Smaller batteries must be charged more regularly and cost less each time. 

Is Charging an Electric Vehicle Cheaper than a Tank of Gas?

Many people purchase electric vehicles to save money. However, charging costs are tough to determine, as charging stations charge incredibly different rates.

However, it has been found that electric vehicles are cheaper to own and run than standard gas vehicles. The cost of a charge is considerably lower than filling a gas car, plus dozens of government subsidies make purchasing an electric vehicle more affordable. 

However, there are many costs to consider, such as upkeep, garage costs, and depreciation, which makes the discussion much more complicated. 

The use of electric vehicles is on the rise. This is good news for those who already own an EV. As demand will mean more stations will be installed, the technology will become more streamlined, and your EV experience will improve. 

In addition, the cost of charging an electric vehicle is significantly lower than refilling a gas tank. However, there are more factors to consider than affect one’s decision to purchase an EV.