How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Last updated:


by David Em

If you’re thinking about getting an electric car, knowing how much it costs to charge the car is essential. Learn how to calculate it.

Close-up of a person charging an electric car.
Photo courtesy of Canva.

How it works

The most-asked question about electric cars is how much it costs to charge one. It’s a valid and important question because you’re comparing it to the cost of gas.

Related: How electric cars work

By understanding how much you’ll save with an electric vehicle compared to a gas-powered vehicle, you can make an informed decision.

To accurately estimate the cost, you’ll need to find out how much electricity costs where you live. With electricity, you pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The U.S. Energy Information Administration states that the average cost per kWh is 14.19 cents.

It varies depending on where you live. Finding out how much it’ll cost in your area will lead to an accurate calculation.

After you find the cost per kWh, you’ll need the battery capacity for the car that you’re interested in.

Once you have the cost per kWh and the battery capacity for an EV, you’ll be able to estimate the cost per charge.

Then, you can use it to compare with how much it costs for you to fill up a tank of gas and see how much you can save.

Cost of charging an electric car

To figure out how much it costs to charge an electric car, you need to have the cost per kWh and battery capacity for an EV. For the example, we’ll use the 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric and the nation’s average cost per kWh, which is 14.19 cents.

The 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric has a battery capacity of 64 kWh regardless of the trim. To figure out the cost for a single charge, multiply 64 by 0.1419. It equals 9.08, which means it’ll cost $9.08 for a full charge.

With a larger battery capacity comes a slightly higher cost. For example, Tesla Model S Long Range AWD has a battery capacity of 100 kWh.

Using the same cost per kWh, you’ll multiply 100 by 0.1419, which equals 14.19. To fully charge the 2021 Tesla Model S Long Range AWD, you would pay $14.19.

Faster charging costs more

Charging at home is the best and most cost-effective way to charge an EV. However, you can use public stations that offer fast charging. It comes at a higher price, though.

The main benefit is that it can get you back on the road within 15 to 30 minutes and add up to 80% of the range.

Pricing can vary depending on location and the network. Tesla has its own Supercharger network, and the average cost per kWh is 28 cents. You can also go to other networks, such as EVgo and ChargePoint.

If you want to use fast charging, expect it to double the cost of charging your car at home.

Related: How long do electric car batteries last?

The bottom line

Compared to the cost of filling up a tank of gas, charging an EV is inexpensive. You’ll save a good amount of money every year. However, your energy bill will increase. Overall, an electric car is great for the environment, and you’ll get fuel savings.

Featured image courtesy of Canva.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of EV Unleashed, the leading resource for unbiased electric vehicle news, reviews, and buyer’s guides.