04.17.2014 - by Mary Kathryn Campbell
How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car?
By Tom Moloughney

There are many reasons for considering making an electric car the next car you buy or lease. Besides the many environmental benefits, the promise of energy security, the silky-smooth driving experience with instant torque available without delay and low maintenance, one of the best characteristics of electric vehicles is how little they cost to operate.

Nissan LEAF charging

Just as with gasoline cars, some are more efficient than others, but the average EV needs about 30 kWh of electricity to power the vehicle for 100 miles. For example, the EPA rating for the Nissan LEAF is exactly 30 kWh per 100 miles. A Tesla Model S 60 is rated at a combined 35 kWh per 100 miles and uses a little more energy since it’s heavier and more powerful than a LEAF, while the Chevy Spark EV has a combined consumption rating of 28 kWh per 100 miles. The consumption for all electric vehicles can be viewed at the US Department of Energy’s website: www.fueleconomy.gov

According to Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the sales-weighted average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States in 2013 was 24.8 mpg. The average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline in the US over the past three years was $3.53/gallon. By using 15,000 miles as the average amount of miles a person will drive in a year, the annual cost of gasoline for the average car will be $2,135 per year, using the average cost of gasoline from 2011 through 2013.

Tesla Model S charging

Electricity rates vary much more than gasoline across the country, but the cost is much more stable. Unlike with gasoline, there aren’t huge spikes in electricity rates if a refinery has a problem, and neither does the price skyrocket when there is political instability in one of the large oil producing countries as we have seen lately, since all of the electricity we use in America is domestically produced. The average cost of electricity in the US is 12 cents per kWh. Therefore the average person driving an average EV 15,000 miles per year pay about $540.00 per year to charge it. As mentioned, the cost of electricity can vary greatly depending on where you live, but in order to equal the price of the average gasoline car’s fuel costs, the price of electricity would have to be four times the national average, and cost 48 cents per kWh. Nowhere in the continental US does electricity cost even close to that much. So the average person would save roughly $1,600 per year in fuel alone, and that’s if gasoline prices remain around $3.53 per gallon. Gasoline prices do frequently spike up and down, but in the long run it always goes up. Electricity costs do eventually increase also, but not nearly at the pace of gasoline. Plus with fewer moving parts, EVs cost much less to maintain. If you combine the fuel savings with the reduced maintenence costs, it’s clear to see an EV will cost you much less in the long run, even if it costs a little more up front.

100 Watt light bulbs

Another great thing about electric cars is that you can easily reduce your electric bill by $40 to $50 per month just by being more efficient, and therefore completely eliminate your transportation fuel cost! You really can’t use less gasoline unless you drive less or buy a more efficient car, but you can reduce your electricity usage at home and still drive as much as you always have. Simple measures like a programmable thermostat and the use of compact florescent or LED light bulbs can make a big difference. In fact, five 100 watt light bulbs left on continuously for a year use nearly the same amount of energy as it takes to power an electric car 15,000 miles! Here’s how: Five 100 watt light bulbs use 500 watt. In 24 hours they use 12,000 watt-hours or 12kWh. In 365 days they use 4,380kWh. A typical EV that uses 30 kWh for every 100 miles will use 4,500 kWh to drive 15,000 miles. Simply by turning unnecessary lighting off at your home, you can drastically reduce or completely eliminate your annual transportation fuel cost. Try doing that with a gasser!

91 comments on “How Much Does It Cost To Charge An Electric Car?”
  1. Sal Cameli says:

    My LEAF just turned 1 year old and I’ve driven 12,348 miles and spent $370.00 in Electricity. That comes out to just around 3 cents per mile. In my old Gas car I would have spent around $1850. So almost 5X cheaper.

    In Maintenance I’ve spent $39 which consisted of (1) Tire Rotation Service and (3) Gallons of wiper fluid.

    1. Paula Harper says:

      So, you’ve had your Leaf for a year. What did the dealership tell you that the battery life was? How much to replace the battery when it dies?

      How many miles do you get on a charge?

      You sound happy with your purchase. We are looking at the 2015 or 16. I’d like a few years of history before I buy one. We purchase our cars and therefore are very cautious about what we buy.

      Thanks for your feedback!

      Paula

      1. Anonymous says:

        Not sure about the rumors yet but the ’16 model Leaf might get a distance boost they are talking about upping the battery so you can get 150+ miles out of it. I own a ’12 and I do love it but they are getting better with the technology so I say get the best one you can. Battery shouldn’t be a concern they are warrantied now for 100,000 miles to stay above 70% capacity so only a 30% capacity loss over 100,000 miles and they just came out with the replacement cost in case you want a new 100% battery, its 5500 dollars. Steep but not out of the question and nissan will finance it at a low rate or thats what they say.

        1. Anonymous says:

          Electric car technology, especially battery technology, is changing rapidly so the best thing to do is to lease a Leaf instead of buying one. I just leased a base model “S” (I don’t need leather seats and a Nav package for a car that will be used mainly locally) with the quick charging package and the lease cost per month is only $205. Furthermore, Nissan added an “EV-charge” card which gives me two years of free charging at certain charging networks. Three of the charging networks are in my area and have many level 2 (220v) and Fast Chargers (440v). My lease is for 2 years so that I can take advantage of the newer electric technology when it is up.

          1. Anonymous says:

            I lease my 2015 Leaf S for $139 per month. I had to trade in my 10 year old Nissan Sentra (28mpg) car (they gave me $2k for it) and put 3k down to get that lease rate. Financial picture is that I spend much less to drive the car but of course driving the car into the ground would have been cheaper.

            I get 10 cents per kw in Utah, and charge only 1/3 of the time at my home. 2/3 of the time it is at work (they get 5 cents per kw, industrial rate) or free at a Nissan dealership within 1/2 mile of my work. So, total cost in energy for me per year (1,000 miles per month) is $120.00! Yes, if I spread out the 3k down payment over the 3 year lease, and add the $139 per month payments I am paying about $2500 per year to drive. At the end of the 3 years I can buy the Leaf for ~ 10k. I may do so for my teenager who will be driving then.

            Old Nissan leaf would have been $900 – $1500 per year (depending on gas costs, 900 being the current super low price). ~100 oil changes plus about $500 per year in repairs (it was 10 years old and stuff was breaking down). So, yes, keeping the old car was cheaper, but not by too much if gas goes up to prior rates.

            I wanted to vote w/ my wallet…put money into innovation, not same old petroleum tycoons. If you’re going to buy a new car anyway, why not change things up a little and go for electric? It sure is fun to know that I spend less than 1 cent per mile (strictly considering fuel costs) to drive-due to freebie charging.

            I think that is is likely that in 20-30 years 1/2 of all cars will be alternate fuel, electric being my guess for the majority. But, who knows, maybe I’ll be wrong. But, what will happen when batteries give 5X more charge for the weight and solar panels are 5X cheaper for your home? It’ll be a 100 lb battery pack instead of the 550lb the Leaf requires now.

          2. Anonymous says:

            I meant “Financial picture is that….much less to drive the car (new Leaf) but of course driving the (old) car would have been cheaper…

          3. Anonymous says:

            sorry, I also have to specify that total cost is only $120 per YEAR. I hope my intent is clear. New electric car is not necessarily cheaper than keeping an old car that is reasonably reliable. But, it is a step into the future for me. I’d rather pay for new technology than just shunt thousands into oil, which is not new tech.

      2. zack says:

        What ridiculous nonsense. Hello? Depreciation. One of the least compelling reasons to buy an electric car is financial. you’ll more than lose out in depreciation than you ever save in gas. Buy it because it’s cool, or cute or the right color or you want to think better of yourself than the Prius drivers ( a fantasy that can’t be achieved). But don’t do it on financial grounds. Because the the upfront cost difference is enormous and the resale value is crap.

        I’ve got 44,000 miles on my Leaf. You can reliably drive 80 miles on a charge (you’ll never see 100 if you drive like normal people do). That’s 40 from your house and back, if no great elevation change, and you stay under 60mph. If you have to do that twice in one day, realize the car has to be parked and charged for a few hours somewhere. This is a severe limitation you have to accept (you cannot add 300 miles of range in 5 minutes like with a gas car). That means you can travel at a 10 to one ratio, 10 miles driven to 1 every one hour charging at 240V.

        Also realize my 1000 miles a month added 11 kwh per day to my home electric usage, a number that in many places will put you up into the second or third tier pricing scheme from your utility. I think of it as just under $5/100 miles driven. So yes you save about $400 a year compared to similar mileage in a Versa or Mazda 2. But their MSRP is $15,000.

        Compare that to the Leaf’s MSRP at $34,000. Yes tax credits netted to $26,000 but less than 4 years later I’ve lost $15,000 in depreciation. That’s the entire cost of a brand new car. A similar Versa depreciated around 50% but that’s $7500 in that same period, That alone should squelch the financial argument, but consider further.

        The entire battery pack in my 2011 Leaf was replaced under warranty at 37,500 miles (consider the enviro cost of that). Not for any kind of failure, just the predictable decay through regular usage, (oh, and get used to much less range, 60-65 miles for that last year as you wait for it to drop to the magic 9 bar number to qualify for the repair.) That warranty expires at 60,000 miles so I won’t get another free pack. Resale value at 8 years and 75,000 miles will be substantially less than an equivalent gas car. I think nearly worthless, because buying a new battery pack will equal or exceed the value of the car.

        Nobody shops for an eight year old Versa expecting to install a new engine and transmission the next day.

        So I can’t imagine the market demand will be very high for the 8 year old Leaf with 60 miles of range in it. Resale prices will have to reflect that reality.

        The major difference is that the range in the Versa doesn’t decay with age. It costs thousands less to buy initially, and it will likely keep somebody in transport well out past 175,000 miles.

      3. Jeff Carlton says:

        Good deals on used LEAF’s, and free charging change the Economic Equations:

        (#)Yes I got a good deal, but even better ones are periodically popping-up on CarGurus. When my 2-year LEAF lease ran out its residual value was comparatively too high vs the cost of many used LEAF’s. I moved on a deal in Fremont, CA: A 2013 LEAF SV (6.6 kW charger) with the Level 3 DC Charge Port/LED Headlight package. It was listed for $12,500, which I accepted without bargaining, and had 12,354 miles on it. It is totally clean appearance-wise. The battery capacity is like new: it charges to 100% and hasn’t lost any bars thus far. (#)I drove it 270 miles home to Reno using free public charging stations the whole way. It is a bit of a time commitment (I go on walks, read, or sometimes shop) but since getting it home I am charging it for free about 80% of the time at public level 2 charging stations. No, I did not get the federal tax rebate but I also avoided the new car depreciation losses which can be especially steep for electric cars, in part due to the federal rebate. (#)Nissan really pushed LEAF leases to help pump-up their monthly sales numbers. Leasing helped me on my first LEAF since the dealership subtracts the full $7500 tax rebate from the car price, and I might not have qualified for the full rebate income-wise. Nissan dealers push for LEAF customers to lease, not buy, is helping used LEAF buyers now. The pre-owned car market is being flooded with gently used post-lease LEAF’s causing dealerships to sell them several thousand dollars below book value. If you are willing to be a second owner, there are very reasonably priced LEAF’s out there. My advice is that you look for 2013 or newer SV or SL model so you guarantee the 6.6 kW charger to save time on level 2 charging. It is nice if you also find one with the level 3 charge port/LED headlight package to increase night driving efficiency and to further save time on charging if you live in an area, or will road trip through a region, that has public CHAdeMO chargers. (#)LEAF owners love their cars. LEAF’s score very high on the owner satisfaction measures. Most LEAF owners replace expired LEAF leases with the current year’s LEAF. When I have driven this car for 4-5 years I plan on replacing it with another post-lease LEAF, one of the coming next generation LEAF’s with their improved range. Or I might possibly upgrade even further to a post-lease on the coming Tesla Generation 3 car. Don’t rule out electric cars with the “they are too overpriced/not affordable” argument. Explore the pre-owned market first!

      4. Don says:

        Leaf is great ride, smooth!

    2. Peter S.Mulshine says:

      The electric rates for governments[&&&postal vehicles ]] are usually 1/2 to 1/3 the rate that homeowners pay,,government cars usually dont drive too far or many miles in a day.Almost all are idle during nightime when electricity rates are even CHEAPER!!!They can be timed to recharged then A huge part of gas purchases can be avoided thereby lessening the burden on motorists that still use gas!!!
      Maybe in the future Oil companies will ask for even more subsidies than they currently get.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Peters comment is an excellent one. By requiring local/state governments to use electric cars when conditions permit (miles being driven, load, etc.) would be a benefit to all taxpayers. Couple this with solar power which is abundant in my state to help with some of the recharging might help also. I say might because solar is still very expensive to install. I’m still seeing muni vehicles being used with no concern over cost. Large load carrying SUVand’s, cargo van’s, etc carrying only one person and empty of cargo being used for tasks that a small gas or electric car would be ideal for. If our governments would try to be efficient and display this efficiency to the public, in other words lead by example, that example might be catching. Maybe more citizens would be receptive to electric powered vehicles.

    3. Anonymous says:

      maybe you moron should compared the LEAF to a NEW FUEL EFFICIENT car comparable in size and weight to a LEAF and not your “old car”?

  2. JOHN T SHEA says:

    Luckily, no one has to buy an electric car to make the savings described in the last paragraph.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “sales-weighted average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States in 2013 was 24.8 mpg” includes all vehicles including heavy duty utility trucks, etc. and does not compare to the small electric cars sold. Therefore you are not making parallel comparisons. You should compare only small light-weight gas cars to electric cars.
    People who drive electric cars could be despised, because right now one of those electric car owners is stealing my electricity!!!! They have plugged into my outdoor plug without permission. This is making me very nervous because this plug is not a dedicated plug and could in fact cause my breaker to flip or perhaps even cause other damage. I just read on the afdc.energy.gov site that there are special requirements for in-home charging stations.
    So the bottom line is, recharge at your home. Do not drive your car to someone’s house and expect to charge at their house. Electric cars may have good applications but do not expect other people to pay for your charges.

    1. Anonymous says:

      If they are stealing anything, call the police or unplug them. Theft has nothing to do with electric cars

    2. Anonymous says:

      If you had full gas tank laying around on your front yard, I would come fill up my truck!

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Another great thing about electric cars is that you can easily reduce your electric bill by $40 to $50 per month just by being more efficient, and therefore completely eliminate your transportation fuel cost!…Simply by turning unnecessary lighting off at your home, you can drastically reduce or completely eliminate your annual transportation fuel cost.”

    Um, sure, if you believe in perpetual motion machines, then YES, you can completely “eliminate” any fuel cost of your electric car.

    Meanwhile, back in the physical universe in which the rest of us live…Even if you completely ELIMINATE (per the dictionary definition of the word, not the article’s new and unconventional definition of the word) all usage of light bulbs and other electrical items in your home and only use oil lamps for lighting like Abraham Lincoln, the only way you will ELIMINATE the cost of electricity to charge your electric vehicle is if you NEVER CHARGE your electric vehicle, or if you ONLY charge it at locations other than your home, or if you surreptitiously run an electrical cable to your neighbor’s house and steal his electricity. But in the universe of reality, the truth is that EVERY time you charge your electric vehicle at your residence, the electrical company will charge you for that electricity. Sorry, this cost CANNOT be eliminated, and the only way it can be reduced is by recharging your electric vehicle less.

    “Another great thing about electric cars is that you can easily reduce your electric bill by $40 to $50 per month just by being more efficient, and therefore completely eliminate your transportation fuel cost!”

    So what I hear you saying is that if you buy a gas car, you CANNOT reduce your electric bill by the same amount by being more efficient. What a STUPID CLAIM that has NOTHING to do WHATSOEVER with ELECTRIC CARS!

    What a useless article. Such misinformation is a mis-service to electric vehicle technology.

    1. Anonymous says:

      This cost can be eliminated if ones home were equipped with solar panels. Your electricity would come from the panels and you could use this to charge your car which can eliminate your electric bill. Boom

      1. Anonymous says:

        Solar panels have a monthly cost as well. Unless you have the cash to pay for them. So how does that factor into your 1600 a year savings?

        1. Anonymous says:

          actually they are right, typically they are intended for farm or other rural business owners,
          I don’t remember exact figures but I think they are around 200,000 with intall, the government is supposed to kick back a portion and utility company is supposed to kick back a portion, but you still have to front the cost, any apply for the credits once installed, I’ve never heard of a per month charge to have them, but I do know if your not using what energy you create the utility company pays you, and if you burn more then what you create then utility co. pays you, you still have to have your utility because theres times that your not going to be able to collect enough energy to sustain yourself, so bacicly your running meter backwards when your producing more then your usage, and your boxes are set up to switch back and forth between powers, accordingly, automaticly, my family are farmers and we had them installed and that’s how I know, but I don’t know the exact figures off hand, by the time everything is said and done, but once installed theroredicly in time your cost ends up paying for itself

          1. Anonymous says:

            correction if your burning more energy then what your panels are producing then you have to pay utility company what you used

          2. energetic says:

            solar companies ask prior to their 100% free install if you average $125 mo. elec bill . Then they size your roof sq. footage and then w/that figured they double the total number of panels you need and the 50% [remember they double the panels for what you require] the house doesnt use the solar co. sells it back to your local electric co. provider and they HAVE to buy it from you for same cost they would normally charge you to supply your power meaning you will be benefiting as your monthly charge for the energy the panels provide costs you a small fraction in the cost to you . Ingenious idea that works great. After your signed 20 yr. contract runs it course solar co. comes to you w/ 3 options re: THEIR equipment. !. they’ll upgrade all the system w/latest and greatest and have you sign another 20 yr. contract or 2.they’ll sell you the aged system you have for peanuts or 3. they’ll remove the system and put you back on city power. Its up to you . 75% accept another 20 yr. deal, keep pluggin’ away.
            Theres no better deal ,PERIOD. So re: “corrections” post that IS correct but around here they only furnish free system IF you’ll agree to their format where you have twice the power you can use , makes great sense to me and was going to do it w/solar city here in Dallas but sold my house .

      2. JimH says:

        BOOM! Really? What, did your Momma buy those panels for you so you aren’t out of pocket at all? I like Solar, but the assertion that the energy from them is free does not compute.

    2. Anonymous says:

      relax ace. by trying to appear intelligent by being overly semantic, you look like an idiot. Just take the spirit of the article for what it is>

    3. Anonymous says:

      Thank you!!!

      1. Anonymous says:

        your welcome

    4. Anonymous says:

      honestly I don’t think that’s what they were saying I think they were compairing the cost of driving an electric car to driving a gas powered car, maybe there are electric credits by converting to an electric car, I know you do drop electric bill 50% by going led, I know because I took a 200.00 electric bill down to 16.00 no I don’t have an electric car, but I know you can get 7500 a year back for having one, so that by itself would iliminate my gasoline or electric bill, period, so I know just what they are saying even if they didn’t explain it in terms everyone as a whole understands,

      1. MetaI says:

        “””but I know you can get 7500 a year back for having one”””
        But … but … you have to pay that 7500 first before getting it back.
        It’s like getting a “tax refund”: you get back what you already paid (yes, I know there are
        exceptions … single-parent households with children, etc). Your tax refund is not money
        from the government … it’s a refund of your overpayment.
        You don’t get anything for free.

        Electric cars are way too expensive. And they use cheap parts, so in reality they’d
        be even more expensive if they had used decent parts (good tires, etc).
        Insurance of EV is also more expensive when compared to similarly valued cars.
        Replacing the front headlights of a Prius could cost $1000 (search Google for this).

        Of course everyone has to do their own analysis according to their lifestyle.
        In doing so, consider the total cost of ownership: insurance, trade-in value, etc.
        In 5 years, your Leaf would be worth only 15%, while a Nissan Sentra similarly equipped
        would be 36%-40%. What would compel someone to buy a 5-yr old Leaf when there are
        newer technologies?

        Do your own case analysis.
        Texas, Nevada, and other places have cheap electricity, for example. Or how much
        you drive in a year. Many articles say you’d break even if you drive 60,000 miles/year,
        or gas was $10/gallon, etc.

        1. Jeff Carlton says:

          (#)Yes I got a good deal, but even better ones are periodically popping-up on CarGurus, …
          So, when my 2-year LEAF lease ran out its residual value was comparatively too high vs used LEAF’s…
          After bit of searching over a 3-week period I moved on a deal in Fremont, CA: A 2013 LEAF SV (6.6 kW charger) with the Level 3 DC Charge Port/LED Headlight package. It was listed for $12,500, which I accepted without bargaining, and had 12,354 miles on it. It is totally clean appearance wise. The battery capacity is like new: it charges to 100% and hasn’t lost any bars thus far.

          (#)I drove it 270 miles home to Reno using free public charging stations the whole way. It is a bit of a time commitment (I go on walks, read, or sometimes shop) but since getting it home I am charging it for free about 80% of the time at public level 2 charging stations. No, I did not get the federal tax rebate but I also avoided the new car depreciation losses which can be especially steep for electric cars, in part due to the federal rebate.

          (#)Nissan really pushed LEAF leases to help pump their monthly sales numbers up. It helped me on my first LEAF since the dealership subtracts the full $7500 tax rebate from the car price, and I might not have qualified for the full rebate income-wise. Nissan dealer’s push for LEAF customers to lease, not buy, is helping used LEAF buyers now. The pre-owned car market is being flooded with gently used post-lease LEAF’s causing dealerships to sell them several thousand dollars below book value. If you are willing to be a second owner, there are very reasonably priced LEAF’s out there. My advice is that you look for 2013 or newer SV or SL models so you guarantee the 6.6 kW charger to save time on level 2 charging, It is nice if you also find one with the level 3 charge port/LED headlight package also to increase night driving efficiency and to further save time on charging if you live in an area, or will road trip through a region, that has public CHAdeMO chargers.

          (#)LEAF owner’s love their cars. LEAF’s score very high on the owner satisfaction measures. Most LEAF owner’s replace expired LEAF leases with the current year’s LEAF. When I have driven this car for 4-5 years I plan on replacing it with another post-lease LEAF, with the next generation LEAF’s improved range. Or I might possibly upgrade even further to a post-lease Tesla Generation 3 vehicle. Don’t rule out electric cars with the “they are too overpriced/not affordable” argument. Explore the pre-owned market first!

          1. Anonymous says:

            Thanks for the information very informative .

          2. Anonymous says:

            Try eBay, too. Leafs sell for 9000 now. 2015-09-10

    5. Logical EV driver says:

      “Are you Kidding” is one of few rational voices on this thread. And has saved me considerable time replying with a lengthy retort. Hey, if I use my chainsaw less around the backyard, does that eliminate my transportation cost via my ICE vehicle? That’s the same flawed logic used by the author. When people defend this swiss cheese argument they damage their own credibility.

  5. Cody says:

    I took these calculations into consideration of how much it costs to go electric on a short level, basicly it costs $3.60 to go 100 miles in an electric car and $14.50 to go 100 in a 24mpg car! much cheaper in electric

  6. Inquisitor says:

    You might want to mention the battery chemistry efficiency (power out / power in). It takes more energy to charge a battery than you get out of it. For some battery chemistries it is nearly half. Fortunately lithium batteries are pretty good… around 0.80. So… in the real world, the cost to charge your car (above example) is really $540/0.80 = $675/year.

    FOR MY LEAF
    Leaf usage rate: L = 4.3 miles/kWH
    Battery efficiency: E = 0.8
    Power rate: P = 0.082 $ / kWH
    Gas price: G = $1.99 / gal

    Effective mpg = L * E * G / P = 83 mpg

    Between the low price for gas and electricity I have in my area, I’m not getting near the rate claimed by Nissan, but it’s still 4x better than my next best car.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Another thing to think about is the efficiency of your car. The first example said 24 mpg but your costs will be different if you already drive a gas efficient car the gets 35+mpg.

  8. Anonymous says:

    By the reasoning in the last paragraph, you could also quit eating and completely eliminate your transportation costs!

  9. Robert Plantz says:

    I’m very surprised that someone who “is a commercial property manager and restaurant owner” would assert that the savings from cutting costs in one area cannot be used in another area. If I save money by installing LED lighting in my home, I can spend that savings on gasoline for my car. He also ignores the opportunity costs of investing my capital in LED lighting.

    Reminds me of a neighbor who spent $20k for solar panels and now asserts that his electricity is free. No, he simply prepaid for about 10 – 15 years of electricity. After that, the cost will be greatly reduced.

    We each need to do our own analysis based on our particular situation. I have an all electric (including well pump) home in the San Francisco area. I always get at least into PG&E’s third tier, where electricity costs $0.27/kWh. Adding an EV would always take me into tier 3 — $0.32/kWh. Time of use metering makes things worse because the rates for my home use would go way up. And no, I will not restrict all my cooking, showers, room heating, etc., to 11PM – 7AM! So assuming I could get 3.5 miles/kWh, EV power would cost me in the order of $0.10/mile. The lifelong (137k miles) mileage of my 2005 Prius is 48.6mpg. The break-even point for me is gas costing $4.86/gal. And this does not take into account the premium cost of an EV.

    1. ricegf says:

      I certainly agree that “we each need to do our own analysis based on our particular situation”. Your electricity costs at 32 cents per kWh are surprisingly high in San Francisco – my cost in Texas right now is only 7.5 cents per kWh, less than a quarter of yours!

      Of course, the Prius was one of the first popular full hybrid electric mid-size cars on the market, so you’ve already chosen the benefit of electric technology. That gets you almost halfway there, even without a plug.

      With our cheap electricity, replacing my current 20 mpg Mustang with a Leaf make a great deal of financial sense for us. One size simply doesn’t fit all.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I feel that you are attacking rather than just making a rashional point. Some of what you say is true like “We each need to do our own analysis based on our particular situation.” but regarding your neighbor depending on how many kWhs he’s bringing in from his solar panels he could be using free electricity or may even be making money off of his solar investment. It’s entirely possible to buy enough solar panels to turn a profit off of them within as little as 5 years or less. I’m sure that’s not the case with your neighbor though. Regarding your electric bill going up to the next tier some electric companies have incentives that if you purchase or lease an EV for 3+ years then they’ll bring you down a tier so you’ll still be paying the same amount per kWh as you already are. When I leased my Chevy Spark EV the government had a rebate that gave me $2,500.00 which payed me back for my down payment. Because of where I live in CA I have not had to pay a single penny to charge my car in the 3 months 4,500 miles that I have driven it since there are so many free charging stations. As for the “higher cost” of the vehicle that’s not true because my lease is only $150 a month with ALL the options (including 30 minute SAE Combo charging port) and 1,500 miles a year which is cheaper than most of the leases I’ve seen for comparable gas vehicles with lower mileage allowance especially since they don’t get their down payment back like I did. You need to do a little more homework before posting next time.

      1. russ says:

        While you may very well have all those features in California, that DOES NOT mean the rest of the states have them. Nor does it mean that MOST of the states have them. The people who live in California have a realproblem understanding that their state is different than the other 49 states. If you have “free charging stations” there, good for you. Thre are no “free” anything in Florida or Michigan or any of the states between. As for the “rebate”, you have to remember that the federal tax rebate is only good for specific vehicles, not a general rebate for any EV. The vehicles must meet certain sales quotas in order to qualify. And again, your using California’s rules as though they apply across the entire country when you indicate that an individual can “make a profit” off of the solar panels installed. In many states, there are rules AGAINST any entity other than a Regulated Utility selling power at all. So I repeat, Do Your own homework.

    3. Jeff Carlton says:

      Here in Nevada when I switched to time of use rates the whole ‘tier’ system was replaced with flat time of use rates. I also got NV Energy’s Electric Car rate for all electricity consumed from 10 pm to 6 am. The base rate for this is about 5.7 cents per kWh year round but with the taxes, and other charges, and with the 100% renewable energy fee I voluntarily tack-on (about 4 cents per kWh, taxes figured-in) I pay just over 10 cents per kWh during that time.

      Time of use pricing saves me money overall. I do consciously avoid electric use in the summer (July through September) during our ‘Peak’ rate times (Monday to Friday, 1pm to 6 pm) when the base cost per kWh charge becomes exorbitant. Because I like to save money I also work to shift heavy electrical use away from the summertime mid-peak rate times which hug the peak rate times by 3-hours either side. The mid-peak base rate is half the peak time rate, but still more than triple the standard rate for the rest of the day and night. During the other 9 months of the year peak rates hardly factor in, adding less than 2 cents to the standard base electric rate per kWh, so electric use adjustments are hardly necessary. Being the cheapo that I am, though, I still like to save washing machine loads, showering when I can, and longer stove-use/bulk cook ahead projects till Electric Car rate times. Why not save money when I can?

    4. Marc Tucker says:

      It’s about saving the environment and the world. We shouldn’t be such selfish beings and realize there is a bigger picture to the world than our own pointless day to day existence! Save the planet!

      1. Ken G says:

        Aside from the cost of power verses gasoline and fluctuating rates on each, is anyone taking depreciation into account. That “new” Leaf, with the price of gasoline at 2.00 a gallon, is dropping in value pretty quickly. Compare it to the cost of a Versa (gas) and the depreciation on the Versa happens at a slower rate. That being said, buying a Leaf in the used market is the better deal.

      2. Joe Black, Sr. says:

        And how much oil was used in the production of those batteries and motors? No doubt that driving an electric car helps some, but until the prices come down and the charging stations are available, it’s still a novelty. The environmental impact of all of those dead batteries and the recycling is a big hurdle to get over. But, I am glad that there are people like you that will sacrifice other things to spend more of their hard earned money to protect the environment than they should. Someone has to pay for it, why shouldn’t it be you. But all of the extra electricity being used to manufacture and charge these machines will probably make my rates go up. If you really want to save the environment, get a horse!

      3. JD says:

        Some people don’t have the money to save the world. Those people are called the majority or poor people. If you have so much money, then yes, stop being selfish and buy a poor person a Prius. Oh, but wait, a lot of the working class also have kids and car pool with other moms, who don’t have time to stop and charge a car. Have fun shoving all those kids and their school backpacks into a Prius. Judging people without knowing their circumstances is a little messed up.

      4. Anonymous says:

        I fart in my gas tank when i can hold it works well and i feel good about my self saving the world then i look up into the sky and see Al Gore flying in his personal jet then i feel sad

  10. With technology development we have various kinds of luxury and hybrid cars which consist of several kinds of new innovative and unique features. But now days we have found that people are giving more preference to hybrid luxury cars instead of normal cars. But it is quite expensive to maintain a hybrid car and especially in terms of charging the car we need to visit different charging stations; for which we spend a little amount of penny. As due to the number of electric cars increases simultaneously the percentage of electric charging stations are also increases.

    1. Anonymous says:

      how much does it cost to charge your car

  11. Riley Steve says:

    Electric vehicles are the future of auto industry and after reading this blog I am fully satisfied and clear that in coming days people will surely opt for EV’s as these are far better than fuel cars. Electric vehicle benefits weigh more than fuel cars as it has low maintenance and protect our environment by turning the city into green city where you can see no pollution and live peacefully. Thanks for the post. Truly, it was a nice read.

    1. Anonymous says:

      What about the gas hybrids use? And the coal used to make electricity

      1. Dick says:

        Comparison of fossil fuel needed to supply the electrical energy necessary to drive 100 miles in an electric car that used 34KWh per 100 miles.

        “To express the efficiency of a generator or power plant as a percentage, divide the equivalent Btu content of a kWh of electricity (which is 3,412 Btu) by the heat rate. For example, if the heat rate is 10,500 Btu, the efficiency is 33%. If the heat rate is 7,500 Btu, the efficiency is 45%.”
        http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=107&t=3

        The Average Operating Heat Rate for Coal in 2014 was 10428 Btu/KWh and for Petroleum was 10814Btu/KWh. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_01.html So the efficiency of electricity generation from coal was 10428/3412 = 32.7% and the efficiency of electrical generation.

        from petroleum was 10814/3412 = 31.6%. (This does not include losses due to transmission and conversion to energy stored in the car battery).

        The energy content of petroleum is 34.2 MJ/L which is 36.1 KWh/gal. Since the efficiency of conversion of petroleum to electricity is 31.6%, one gallon of petroleum produces only 36.1 * 31.6% = 11.4 KWh of electrical energy. To produce the 34 KWh that is necessary to drive an electric car 100 miles (http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/decoding-electric-car-mpg.html
        ) would require 34KWhr/11.4KWh/gal = 3 gal. Both our Prius and our VW would go 120-150 miles on 3 gal of petroleum.

        Moreover, the electric vehicle using 3 gal of petroleum at the power plant would generate as much pollution as a gas vehicle that gets 33 MPG.

        I find these calculations troubling and I hope someone can find an error!

        Dick Roth

        1. Anonymous says:

          Also, the fossil fuel electric plant cannot operate viably if it only produces electricity for electric cars. It has to produce much more electricity than that so it ends up still putting out the same amount of pollution. Nothing is gained.

    2. watty says:

      And were is that energy being produced to charge your car batteries?? Lets stop kidding ourselves utilities are looking for growth every quarter. They wont spring for covering the country with solar panels to charge millions of cars ! and neither will you. By putting it in the utilities hands we run the risk of quadrupling the coal burning “clean coal or otherwise” . Does anybody have numbers on what the utility will have to ramp up to charge all our “private” transportation??

  12. redneckx says:

    I want to know how much it would cost to charge an all electric car at your own home using just a normal current like for appliances.

    PLEASE REPLY

    1. Anonymous says:

      It depends on your electric rates and how far you drive, (you won’t necessarily empty the battery every day).

      The average EV uses about 300 watts in the summer and 400 watts in the winter per mile. That means a 10 mile drive will use about 3kW to 4kW. Multiply that by how far you drive per year and your electric rate and you’ll know your cost.

      For example at $0.12 per kW, 10 miles would cost between $0.36 and $0.48. For comparison a gas car at $3 per gallon which gets 30 mpg would cost $1 to go the same distance.

      The cost of electricity doesn’t change if you charge at 110v or 240v this only affects how *fast* you charge (3.3kW charge will charge at ~ 10 miles of range per hour, 6.6kW at ~20 miles of range per hour).

      Think of your water bill, you pay for the amount of water you use, not how fast you use it.

    2. Anonymous says:

      my leaf is about $2 to charge empty to full. about 70 miles range.

    3. Anonymous says:

      Live in NJ, the utility company is PS&G. The electricity is about $0.19/kwh.
      My volt consume 29kwh/100mile in June, or 5.5 cents/mile. The range in my traffic condition is about 43 miles per charge. I never need gas in my daily commute.

      On another side, the cheapest local gas is about $2.3/gal (I always find cheap source, like Costco) . With my Altima hybrid, 34mile/gal, or 6.8 cents/mile.

      Not save much in NJ.

      There is EV friendly plan, which is $0.22 during peak hours (7:00AM to 9:00PM), and $0.11 off peak. However, the management fee for the plan is $11 more than the normal plan. The saving cannot compensate the extra charge.

    4. Anonymous says:

      2014 Mercedes B-class. 28KWH battery, PSE&G in NJ charges approx. $0.15 per KWh. Each charge will yield 62 miles in summer and 52 miles in winter. Cost per charge is about $4.2 (28*0.15). So the cost per mile for this EV is 4.2/52 = $0.08. A Camry claims 25 city and 35 mpg highway, let’s assume it gets 30 mpg on average. Regular gas in Jan 2016 is $1.8/gallon. Cost per mile for the Camry is $0.06. Mercedes required $1000 mandatory maint. each year for a lease EV. So the “cost savings” just ain’t there!

  13. Rebecca says:

    Actually the electric vehicle use can extend the energy sources like electric or hydrogen or natural gas wind etc. so they will make you expense less and you will save some bucks from it. But yes the cost will be more so you should be prepared for that

  14. Jerry says:

    just install 4KW solar panel from solar city. they offer 30 years $0 down financing at 4.2%.
    30 years warranty for all the parts.
    you pay what the solar panel produce by each KW. not a fix loan payment.
    I pay the same amount as I pay for the electric company, but the energy is 100% clean.

    planing to add more solar panel when I buy a EV in the future.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Install the solar panel where?

    2. dpkraft says:

      So where does one install a panel? It would look funny towing a trailer with a panel on it just to charge a car! Also, 4.2% interest really cuts into the savings…. I’ll just buy a Hybrid and drive…

      1. Anonymous says:

        elctricity is a fungible commodity, so it does not matter one iota if the electricity that the solar panel generates is not the same electricity that is used to charge the electric car.

  15. Anonymous says:

    in the end,

    it’s how much you paid for the car and how much it costs to maintain it, plus fuel/electricity costs.
    There’s the thing that electric cars are more expensive and need battery replacement. So in the end you may not save anything really.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Chevrolet was offering a $139 a month for any leases 36 months, which adds up to $5004. if You live in California, for a 3 year lease you get a $2500 rebate, and a $3000 rebate if you live in the San Joaquin valley, adding up to $5500 in rebates. I leased during the promotion and applied for the rebate, and was essentially paid $496 to lease it for 36 months. Within 3 years, the only maintenance that will be done are a couple tire rotations, and wiper fluid replacement. Which are all free. The car has almost no maintenance. It also doesn’t affect the electricity bill at all. With it charging all day when I’m home, doing all other normal activities, I’m getting about 20-21 KWH of electricity consumption per day, about $3 per day, including the car charging about 20-25 miles worth on the 120V outlet. The most expensive thing about this vehicle is the insurance. So really, since the monthly payments are taken care of by the rebates, the electricity is next to nothing even with it plugged in all day, all i’m paying for is insurance. So you may want to reevaluate your claim.

  16. Rhaman says:

    I see the costs and benefits past the cost of gasoline for the total environmental picture has more elements. First of all, I have solar panels that produce 6,700 kilowatt hours per year. In 2014 I paid out of pocket $5.35 for electricity. The Leaf saves on oil changes, the packaging, the transport cost, etc. associated with extracting, processing and transport of oil and the product. Air filters, fuel filters, coolant, transmission oils and services, etc. Zero. Apart from wiper blades, not much goes into a landfill. I estimate that 20% of electricity the car uses comes from public charging stations. At times, I pay for parking that I would need to pay for anyway, but charging the car is free. Most other times, no parking fee, no charging fee. In the long term, no spark plugs, no fuel injector service, flushes, and other car needs, projected on an eight year cycle, even brings more environmental benefits past the pollution not emitted. Four years and 33,000 miles later, the Leaf’s battery is holding full charge. The worries or concerns as to battery replacement are addressed by the warranty, no charge to the customer. Since the car is a Point A to Point A, meaning a source of power, only those living in cities with fast charging, either free or paid with a fee, can use a car for city driving without limits. My city has seven DC Fast Chargers and only one location charges a $2.00 per hour parking fee. Heaven. Nirvana. All for clean air, less landfill and a host of resources not used.

    1. ecar says:

      someone is paying for electricity @ the charging station. you cannot create electricity from a charging station

      hopefully there will be better technology sooner than later to drive cost down

  17. Anonymous says:

    Most people buy a hybrid to save on gas and to feel good about themselves on their carbon footprint. Depending on which Hybrid you buy in comparison to the same gas model, you would have to own it for over a decade (based on 15k miles a year @ 2.50 a gallon,(this fluctuates)) before your actual savings in gas kicked in to offset the difference in price you paid. Even if you got a tax credit from the government(entitlement) it may only drop it to 5 years, which ironically is how long people usually keep a car before getting a new one. As far as the cost to charge the batteries, unless you live in a self sustaining solar/wind/water powered house where do you think that electricity comes from? Yep, those big bad co2 producing plants you are trying to avoid by not putting their products in your tank, well, you use them to charge your battery. By the way, here is a website to a partial list of products we use that derive from fossil fuels. http://www.ranken-energy.com/products%20from%20petroleum.htm. So just to make my point, you aren’t changing a thing but as long as you feel good about yourself that’s all that counts right?

    1. Anonymous says:

      You are not taking into consideration that buying a used Hybrid with very low mileage is not much difference in cost to a gasoline powered vehicle these days. I own a Chevy Volt, purchased fully loaded with 40k miles on it for $16000 from Carmax. It will only need an oil change every 2 years since the gas motor doesnt run very much, the gas engine itself will last much longer than in a normal ICE car as well since it wont run as much. I am paying about $40 a month in Southern California (one of the highest electric rates in the country) to drive over a thousand miles a month. This car has already saved me tons of money over the few months I’ve had it and will continue to. Cost to replace batteries which are warrantied along with the entire charging system/propulsion system for 100k/8yrs is less than the cost of a transmission on a regular ICE car. Since the Volt and most electric cars hold about 30-%40 of the battery capacity unavailable for the driver to use, it is able to extend the life of the battery greatly, people are getting well over 100k miles and some over 200k miles with no noticeable difference in battery capacity.

      1. Anonymous says:

        I’ve owned a Prius since 2004. 12 years later and 168k miles it’s still going strong. When I bought it everyone made comments about the battery life. Amazing none of those people still have the same car they did in 2004. So not only saved on gas, maintenance, but also on not having to buy a new car every 3 years!!

        1. Anonymous says:

          But Prius drivers look like smug tools. You forgot to factor that in to the equation.

          1. Anonymous says:

            I don’t own a Prius, but if I ever see a Prius owner looking smug, it’s sure not because they are fools like you are.

      2. Taswell Smootz says:

        I am all for a cleaner environment and a smaller carbon footprint. Having said that, I believe that the cost of gasoline is kept artificially high to dissuade consumers from buying a larger cars. This is done by the government’s prohibition of oil drilling on public lands and over regulation of the oil refinery industry. CAFE standards that require (under threat of government extortion) that cars get more and more efficient cost lives. This can easily be proven by looking at the fatality rates of large cars vs small cars. More importantly, these laws were written by people who know nothing of what it takes to engineer an automobile. These same legislators hypocritly ride around in limosines and jets at taxpayer expense.

        I would lastly like to reiterate the earlier point of how we generate the majority of our electricity: through burning coal. Just because the carbon monoxide Isn’t belching out of your tailpipe doesn’t mean it isn’t spewing from a smokestake miles away.

      3. Taswell Smootz says:

        I am all for a cleaner environment and a smaller carbon footprint. Having said that, I believe that the cost of gasoline is kept artificially high to dissuade consumers from buying a larger cars. This is done by the government’s prohibition of oil drilling on public lands and over regulation of the oil refinery industry. CAFE standards that require (under threat of government extortion) that cars get more and more efficient cost lives. This can easily be proven by looking at the fatality rates of large cars vs small cars. More importantly, these laws were written by people who know nothing of what it takes to engineer an automobile. These same legislators hypocritly ride around in limosines and jets at taxpayer expense.

        I would lastly like to reiterate the earlier point of how we generate the majority of our electricity: through burning coal. Just because the carbon monoxide Isn’t belching out of your tailpipe doesn’t mean it isn’t spewing from a smokestake miles away.

        1. Anonymous says:

          “I believe that the cost of gasoline is kept artificially high to dissuade consumers from buying a larger cars”

          But actually, our gasoline prices are kept artificially low. In the US, prices are considerably lower than much of the world (outside the middle east, of course). Thanks, no doubt to big oil and their lobbyists.

          http://www.globalpetrolprices.com/gasoline_prices/

  18. Anonymous says:

    The one glaring problem many seem to conveniently ignore in is lion battery life cycle charging loss..Lion batteries loose capacity with each recharge and have definitive life cycle…accelerated charging even though the battery can safely handle it shortens the cycle recharge ratings and hence capacity…even the best treated within 2 years are looking at 60% in automotive rated use and efficiency drops off faster as you continue further..none of estimates ever seem to factor this well known loss

    1. Dawg says:

      It’s actually not nearly as bad as you imagine. Due to the battery management systems, these batteries can actually perform quite well over many years: http://www.teslarati.com/plug-in-america-tesla-battery-study/

  19. Anonymous says:

    The other issue is the battery life and disposal cost to get ride of them. Cost, convenance and size raise safety concerns. Ill stick with my beast. I stand a better shot of walking away from sn accident then those tin cans.

  20. Anonymous says:

    First lets consider the reason for buying a Ecar; the assumption that your Ecar will save you money, have you done the math based on the cost of living where you live IE electric bills and gas prices ETC. Or are you only buying a Ecar because you hate the greedy rich oil companies and how it’s destroying the planet ETC. ETC. well first… global warming doesn’t exist the way you think it does and second your why do you hate oil companies? because you been told by the liberal media that oil companies are evil, corrupt, polluting and all that jazz? if so, then your reasons for buying a Ecar may be based on completely irrational logic and you need to actually challenge what you’ve been told about big oil and gasoline vehicles. This involves doing your own research without allowing any bias to control what you think when you hear arguments that support big oil. I strongly suggest questioning everything you have been told by the liberal media and activists who tell you that oil is bad, you literally need to question everything you have been told about big oil. Because you have likely only heard arguments from people who hate big oil.

    1. Anonymous says:

      You provided exactly zero information in your rambling.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Mr. Anonymous, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      1. ecar says:

        so you say anonymous has no basis in his/her comment and idiotic.what is your basis of your rebuttal?

        you gave a zero insane rebuttal

      2. Anonymous says:

        happy gilmour, yeeaaaaahhhhhh!

    3. Anonymous says:

      You are misinformed. I leased my car for 0 at signing and 38 payments over 39 months of 178.99 for 15,000 miles on average per year. That is about $6800.

      I then minus the $2500 California rebate and that put me to $4300 which takes me down to $113 a month. I used to spend about $150 in gas, and since I only charge my new car at free public stations, -$150 puts me at -$37 a month. I don’t need oil changes or smog checks, so thats another -$20 a month to bring me down to -$57 a month.

      So, I will drive this car for 39 months for free, and be $2,223 richer to boot. Forget politics. I’m all about numbers, and they don’t lie.

      1. Anonymous says:

        If I did charge at home, based on PGE EV time of use rate it would cost me about $27 a month, so that would take my net gain down to $30 a month times 38 months, and I would still have drove the car for free and gained $1,140 doing it.

      2. WHC999 says:

        That sounds like a great deal!

        If you live in California.

        I don’t.

      3. Anonymous says:

        So you are a leech. You Take $2500 from the public tax coffers and charge at Free (who pays for these) public stations

    4. Gary says:

      The point isn’t to love or hate oil companies, but to love or hate the product they sell. Fact: they sell carbon that previously was underground. Fact: we have more carbon in our atmosphere than anytime in recent geologic history. Fact: temperatures basically go up when carbon content in atmosphere goes up. The science is clear…we must stop putting more ancient carbon in our atmosphere to stop climate change.

    5. Anonymous says:

      First let’s consider the reason for NOT buying a Ecar; the assumption that your GASOLINE CAR will save you money, have you done the math based on the cost of living where you live IE electric bills and gas prices ETC. Or are you only buying a GASOLINE CAR because you LOVE the GENEROUS oil companies and how it’s saving the FINANCIAL world, ETC. ETC. well first… global warming doesn’t exist the way YOU think it does, IN THAT IT ISN’T A FIGMENT OF YOUR IMAGINANATION AND DOES IN FACT EXIST, and second, why do you LOVE oil companies? because you been told by the CONSERVATIVE media that oil companies are GOOD, HONEST, RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR POLLUTION and all that jazz? if so, then your reasons for buying GASOLINE CAR may be based on completely irrational logic and you need to actually challenge what you’ve been told about big oil and ELECTRIC CARS. This involves doing your own research without allowing any bias to control what you think when you hear arguments that DISPARAGE big oil. I strongly suggest questioning everything you have been told by the CONSERVATIVE media and FOSSIL FUEL lobbyists who tell you that oil is GOOD, you literally need to question everything you have been told about big oil BY BIG OIL. Because you have likely only heard arguments from people who ARE PAID OR BRAINWASHED BY big oil.

  21. Norma Whelan says:

    The ONLY reason I got a Leaf was to be able to utilize the carpool lanes for my commute and the 2 bridge tolls I pay every day, are cut in half. This is in the SF Bay Area.
    What I have found out about electric vehicle ownership is this:
    There are very few “free” opportunities to charge.
    Many charging stations are in disrepair with no help in sight and/or already taken when needed.
    Range anxiety is really, “Finding a place to charge anxiety”.
    The cost savings are minimal, especially since the cost of gasoline has dropped, for now.
    The 2 year, free to charge card I received from Nissan, as an incentive, was/is not useful at many stations and in fact, is no
    longer accepted by the Blink Network at all, after one year of having it.
    The “Free” Level II charging unit, promised by Nissan at the time of purchase, NEVER materialized. It’s been a year and a half since I purchased the car.
    Some charging stations, because of their fees, actually cost over 10.00 for a charge that gives me 82 miles of driving. Not much savings there.
    Anyway, I wouldn’t buy an electric vehicle again, until the infrastructure supports it in a better way.

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