Recharging Electric Vehicles Is More Affordable Than Most People Think

Electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity, but they still only represent a small fraction of the overall automotive market.

That’s about to change as a number of automakers are working on new and more affordable electric vehicles. While adoption continues to be an issue, a study from is highlighting one of their lesser known benefits – low recharging costs.

As part of the study, the company determined the average cost of electricity in 36 countries around the globe. Taking the cost per kWh, they then calculated how much it would be to recharge a Tesla Model S with a 100 kWh battery pack.

According to the study, Americans typically pay $0.13 per kWh so this means the Model S can be recharged for $13.00. That’s pretty cheap, but it’s nearly twice as much as it would cost in Chile.

Australia and Canada were tied for second at $11.00, while South Korea wasn’t far behind at $12.00. European counties were significantly more expensive as the cost to recharge in Norway, Switzerland and Luxembourg was $20.00. The UK and Japan were tied at $22.00, while Germany and Denmark were the most expensive at $33.00 and $34.00, respectively.

Also Read: 74% Of American Drivers Say Electric Cars Are The Future

The study focused on recharging at home, but how much you’ll pay depends on a number of factors including when and where you charge. For example, Electrify America charges a flat rate of $1 per session and $0.25 to $0.99 per minute (depending on the charger’s power rate). The company also offers a $4 monthly pass that eliminates the session fee and lowers the charging cost to $0.18 to $0.70 per minute.

H/T to Forbes

  • brn

    “Americans typically pay $0.13 per kWh”
    $0.13 may be the rate for electricity, but that’s not all you pay. You pay to have the power transported to your residence. You pay taxes. You pay service charges. Take that rate and multiply it by about 2.3.

    So the cost to put 100kWh in an EV is closer to $30, or about 11 gallons of gas.

    • Mill0048

      In South FL, I paid $0.11 per kw last month, all in (total bill divided by KW used). I know not all parts of the US are the same, but where does this info come from that taxes and fees are 2.3x the rate?

      • brn

        Looking at my bill. 🙂

        The BIG uptick is the delivery charge. They charge you as much to deliver the electricity to your house as they charge you for the electricity.

        • TrevP

          Wow you are lucky. My tax rate is over 7%. We’ve run the math and we would save money by purchasing a Tesla. Your area has a lot to do with whether its worth it or not.

          • Wallace

            Teslas are holding their value exceptionally well. Because of that you could purchase a $39,500 Model 3, pay $5k down, finance 5 years at 5%, pocket the $3,750 tax credit, sell the car at the end of those five years and end up paying less out of pocket than if you had done the same with the lowest cost Camry.

        • Mill0048

          Wow, that sucks. I figured South FL is cheap because the nuclear power plant and economies of scale (large pop). I didn’t realize there was a percentage delivery fee on other areas.

    • Dude

      You might pay more than that but that doesn’t apply to everyone. If you’re paying 2.3 times $0.13 then you’re far from average. You’d be second place in the most expensive electricity by state (only below Hawaii) I pay $0.1469/kWh, taxes and fees included. I’ve also never heard of a delivery charge even though >80% of my cities electricity comes from distant sources.

    • RobSez

      In Middle Tennessee (Nashville area), I pay $0.103 to $ 0.105 per kWh all-in including taxes, fees, etc. Prior to the most recent rate increase taking effect in April I paid between $0.094 and $0.098 per kWh all-in (total bill amount / kWh used). That rate was stable for eight years as opposed to the price of gas on the corner which seems to adjust about every eight hours. The variation is adjusted for maintenance and delivery costs when fuel for trucks and other power company vehicles is high or low. Our EV is our only car and costs between $32 and $46 per month to operate. Spread across 12 months the average is $38.

    • Exotics

      No its not

    • Exotics

      Let me guess, you drive a gasoline vehicle and know all about cost per kWh on Carscoops comment section. Right

      You are going to tell me how much it costs to charge electric vehicles? I’ve been plugging in my cars for the past 6 years.

      The cost simply doesn’t compare to gas. Paying for finite toxic gas is literally stupid.

      • brn

        Never said it wasn’t less expensive to charge EVs. Just saying it’s a lot more (for me) than this article suggests. My comments in another article say I’d love to be a hybrid household. We’ve two vehicles and I think one should be an EV.

        It’s too bad you have to resort to insults. Turns a lot of us off.

  • Six_Tymes

    its NOT any cheaper. these are lies and skewed numbers. my brother has an ev, and so does his friend has a model S. and by the time we see a large change over, do you really think electricity rates wont skyrocket? come on, this is dumb discussing this now. the fact is, when 50% or more of the population has switched to ev’s (whenever that might be). Electric companies will become the next “big oil” or “big pharma.” We are screwed either way.

    • TrevP

      It is cheaper. At least for now. If you own a home and charge the car at home you hardly notice a difference in your power bill. It’s more expensive to heat a hot tub. When you are only commuting to and from work (which most people do) it makes sense. I have several neighbors that have Tesla’s who have showed me how they work and that it is actually less expensive than driving an ICE. Even got one that has solar panels on their roof and stores all of their energy. So they are off the grid, not on the city power, they have 2 Teslas and all the energy they generate is free. They actually get paid for the energy they generate if they didn’t use it. Only had it 5 years and its already paid for the equipment install. Now they are making money and driving for free.

    • Ben


    • Dude

      It 100% absolutely is for the vast majority of people. If you claim otherwise then I’d like to see some sources.

      The price of electricity is not going to suddenly exploded because electric cars become popular; neither will happen overnight. Every year for the last decade the US has added at least 10 giga (billion) watts of electrical capacity. From 1990 to 2016 the average price of electricity increased from 9 to 12 cents per kWh despite the tech boom and population increase of over 50 million. Yes, more capacity will be needed, as that is always the case, and there are a few states where getting a hybrid would be more environmentally friendly, but capacity is a non issue.

      image (U.S. Energy Information Administration, Monthly Energy Review, August 2016)

      • Wallace

        EVs may help the cost of electricity decrease. US onshore wind is generally stronger at night than during the day. Normal demand is down at night. There’s only so much wind capacity that can be added before late night demand is met. After that any more generation would have to be curtailed.

        Bring EVs to the grid and have then charge when other demand is low. Now wind has a market into which they can sell more electricity. Install more turbines with which to charge EVs and then add more inexpensive wind-electricity into the rest of the 24 hours.

        Wind and solar are now the least expensive unsubsidized sources of electricity.

        We could drive down the cost of electricity even more by making EVs into dispatchable loads and use them when solar and wind peak, creating more market for both.

    • Dude

      If you conservatively assume the 75kwh Model 3 charges at 85% efficiency and gets a real world range of 280 miles, while driving the average 15k mi a year paying a way above average 18 cents per kwh to charge, you get… 15k / 280 = (53.57 charges * 75kWh) * 1.15 efficiency penalty = 4621 kWh annually * $0.18 = $832 a year to charge. On average Americans pay $1400 a year to fill up their car (2017, U.S. Energy Information Administration)(though the avg cost for the Prius is $800). This price gap is well documented by EV owners because of course they want to tell you all about it. They are right though.

      I don’t know about this “big electricity” fear, but given that the utility industry is already extremely regulated federally and by municipalities (since electricity is /already/ a necessity even without electric cars) I’ll be concerned if it starts happening. The growth of the renewable energy sector is already diversifying the industry.

    • karmat

      Right now there’s too much of a difference between peak power demands during the day and off-peak demand at night. Where I live the price is 7.7 cents per kWh at night and 15.7 cents during peak daytime hours. People being encouraged to charge at night will be good for the power grid, providing a more consistent demand between night and day, and smart chargers can smooth things out even further. This makes it easier to rely on primarily solar, nuclear and hydroelectric units, and reduce the number of gas turbine generators that need to start and stop each day. I don’t know what the price will do in the future, but I think they’ll need to make sure it’s cheaper at night.

    • RobSez

      The EPA rule of thumb is it takes an average of 33 kWh to go 100 miles. Get your electric bill and divide your total bill amount by total usage. Example if your total bill is $120 and your total usage is 922 kWh, your cost per kWh is 13 cents per kWh. Now figure out how many miles you drive in a average month. I drive about 1,400. Take that number and divide it by 100 and you get 14. Now multiply your number by 33. In my case that is 14×33= 462. Finally, 462 kWh multiplied by .13 (13 cents/kWh) equals $60.06 for the month. That’s $60 to drive for the whole month. Now, assuming you are driving that same 1,400 miles in a car that gets 35 mpg, it’s going to take 40 gallons of gasoline. Gas costs about $2 a gallon, right? So that’s $80 to drive for the month. Your mileage may vary. I’m averaging about $38/month because I drive very efficiently and I’m paying less than $010 per kWh.

    • Exotics

      Lol. You make a statement saying its not cheaper but provide no proof. Fail.

      It costs me ~$1 on electricity to drive 20 miles in my EV. It is stupid cheap.

      My electricity is generated with a large solar panel array and electricity is renewable, gas is not.

      Educate yourself man

      • GS27

        So about the same price as driving a new 800-mile range diesel Ford F-150, that in most cases cost nearly half the price of a Tesla off the lot? I love EVs as much as the rest, but some of you are extremely gullible if you think EVs costs will remain low as they become more popular.

        • TheBelltower

          So you are basing an opinion on costs that may or may not increase in the future?

    • That’s because you don’t understand that energy wise oil and electricity cost the same. There is no room to increase electricity prices (tax them). As well as you can create your own electricity source so the grid has to stay affordable or people will simply install their own supply of power. It’s another big myth to slow down the change. Don’t fall for it.

      • GS27

        Haha. Do you realize it’s literally illegal to live off-the-grid in some parts of the US? This means in these areas you MUST have electricity connected to your home, and even if you don’t use it there is still a monthly base price just to have it connected. That should tell you that electric companies are just as powerful and corrupt as big oil.

      • GS27

        lol. Do you realize in some areas of the US it is literally illegal to be disconnected from the power grid? And even if you are connected and never use it, you still have to pay a fee just to be connected. If that doesn’t tell you how corrupt the entire system is, then I guess you’re hopeless.

        • You don’t need to disconnect from the grid to install solar panels.

    • GS27

      Electric companies are already on the same level as big oil and pharma. The people here praising electric companies are in for a wake-up call when/if EVs take off.

      A few years ago a family member had to go out of state for over a month. Electricity to the entire house was shut off from the main breaker before they left. Turns out there was a base charge of $19/month, even if it’s not used. Hilariously, the previous month (when the person was home) was something like $45, and they are the type who keeps a large TV on 24/7, heat/AC blasting, all of the lights on etc. AEP charges whatever they feel like charging around here. I can only imagine having an EV.

      • Dude

        It’s a base charge. Obviously you pay it even if you don’t use electricity for a month. And $45 is less then half the average US electric bill anyway so I don’t see any basis for your complaint.

    • TheBelltower

      Dude, you’re way off. I have an X. Compared to my old Range Rover, which is about the same interior size, I pay much less to travel the same distance. I only drive it Friday through Sunday, and I go through about 100kw/hr each weekend at .28 per kwhr. There are no time-of-day savings through LIPA and I don’t have solar yet. Worst-case, I’m paying about $28 in electricity per week. But I do use supercharging, which is free, and I get free charging in my parking garage in the city during the week. So in reality, I’m seeing about an extra $50-75 per month on my electric bill compared to at least $400/month on my credit card in fuel for my old Range Rover. Even assuming I don’t take advantage of any free charging, which I do, the savings in fuel would be around 50%

      • TrevP

        Gotta love the Range Rovers. Gas hogs. I’ll never get rid of mine but we plan to buy a Model 3 or S soon as our daily. Which will save us money considering we are filling up 2 cars with gas. Both not the most economic.

        • TheBelltower

          While I’d love to say I went to Tesla for the “economy,” that wasn’t really the reason. It was the performance. And unless somehow some day I’ll be able to “fuel up” an ICE vehicle in my driveway, I will never buy another non-EV as my main car. Except for classics, of course. I don’t miss the gas station regimen at all. If you’re going to buy an S, wait until at least September for the upcoming refresh.

  • Exotics

    Free Supercharging on older Teslas. Charging at home during off peak hours is stupid cheap. 12 cents per kWh for me in SoCal. My EV costs nothing to drive.

  • At least speaking for the UK, these prices are irrelevant . As soon as it reaches close to mass adoption the Government will step in a tax the backside off it..

  • Super Rob

    Just buy a $100k EV, put $25K of solar panels and you can drive for FREE!!!!

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