The Cost Of Charging An Electric Vehicle In USA Averages 15¢/kWh

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The cost of charging electric vehicles varies depending on multiple factors, including electricity price, charging equipment type, installation cost, and number of miles driven. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory studied data on all-electric vehicle (EV) use and charging to determine a weighted average cost of charging an EV. They found that the national average EV charging cost ranges from 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 27 cents per kWh, with an average of 15 cents per kWh.

Based on current charging behavior patterns, the average assumes that 81% of charging was at home, 14% at the workplace or public station, and 5% with a DC fast charger. This translates to an average vehicle lifetime fuel cost savings of $3,000 to $10,500, offsetting or exceeding the higher upfront cost of EVs.

Notes: Gasoline conversion to Btu using gross heating value 125,000 Btu/gallon. Electricity conversion to Btu using 3,412 Btu/kWh.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “News Release: Research Determines Financial Benefit from Driving Electric Vehicles,” June 22, 2020. Fact #1149 Dataset.

Part of the 2020 Fact of the Week series.

Editor’s note: Clearly, this doesn’t really capture outliers like me who spend $0 charging. I have spent $0 charging our Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (SR+) in our one year of ownership, and before that spent $0 charging a BMW i3 REx for one year (and just $2.26 on gasoline). —Zach Shahan

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