If you're thinking about joining the 1.8 million electric vehicles already on the roads in the U.S., you're probably excited about the huge savings an electric vehicle (EV) will afford you in skipping the gas pump, especially now that gas prices have hit highs they haven't seen since the 2008 recession.
And with the White House pushing for 50% of all vehicles produced by 2030 to be zero-emissions vehicles, meaning battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles, getting up to speed on owning and operating an EV seems smarter and timelier than ever.
Even with less reliance on gasoline, charging your EV at home is still going to cost youbut how much exactly?
Four Factors that Impact What it Costs to Charge an Electric Vehicle
Charging an electric vehicle at home most likely won't double or triple your monthly electricity bill, but it will likely be the biggest drain on your home's total electrical usage. The increase in your electricity costs should be more than offset by savings on current fuel prices, however.
- Exactly how much an electric vehicle will increase your electricity bill depends on a number of factors, most importantly the . . .
- Number of miles you drive per month
- The efficiency of your EV in terms of kilowatt-hour per mile (which you can look up on the U.S. Department of Energy's "Fuel Economy" website)
- Local cost of electricity in kWh
Is it Efficient to Purchase an Electric Vehicle in My State?
For reference's sake, the average cost for a kWh in the U.S. was 13.75 cents in November 2021, the last time it was reported by the Energy Information Administration. Of course, that rate may vary based on your location. (The highest rate for kWh is 27.55 cents in Hawaii. The lowest is 7.51 cents in Louisiana.)
If you live in a part of the country with competing electricity providers, you'll want to make sure you're paying the best rate available to you. Find our Rate Comparison Tool at the top of the page and enter your ZIP Code to see current rates in your area and switch providers.
Sample Electricity Charges for Owning a Tesla Model 3
Let’s say you're planning on getting a Tesla Model 3 (the most popular-selling electric vehicle in 2021) and you drive about 1,000 miles per month (just under the average for U.S. drivers). With an energy rating of 0.34kWh per mile, charging your Tesla 3 at home over the course of a month will cost you . . .
0.34 kWh/mile x 1,000 miles x $0.1375 avg. electricity rate in the U.S.
= $46.75 additional cost to your monthly electric bill
. . . which is not bad considering what it would cost you in gasoline to travel those same miles.
Granted, there are other factors that could affect the formula above. These include the condition of your EV, extreme weather and temperatures, how much weight you're transporting, the altitude at which you're driving, and more. All of these could impact how your EV is operating below its EPA-rated efficiency.
What other Electric Vehicle Charging Factors Should I Consider?
Even with this formula for forecasting, hindsight will be 20/20. Pay close attention to your electric bill over the first few months with your new EV. Track the miles logged every month on your odometer along with the additional electricity usage on your monthly utility bill to get a more accurate sense of what charging your EV at home will cost you going forward.