What Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?
What draws many consumers to the electric vehicle option is the lack of need for standard fossil fuel to operate the vehicle. But while electric cars don’t require standard fuel, their battery needs to be recharged via electricity.
Yet, compared to standard fuel-injected engines, the battery powered engine is less expensive to operate. What does it cost to charge an electric car, though? Is it that much cheaper than gassing up at the pump?
Electric vehicles don’t require constant fuel to operate, but owners need to plug their vehicles into an electric station to recharge the battery. Owners can use a long power cord to plug their vehicle into a standard outlet or purchase an actual charging station (which is often more efficient and quicker).
The cost of recharging an electrical vehicle is based both on the battery in the vehicle and the cost of electricity. Different parts of the country could have higher (or cheaper) electricity rates. This obviously affects the overall price to recharge the car.
The U.S. The Department of Energy offers a very easy Vehicle Cost Calculator to help owners of electrical vehicles calculate their electricity costs. Just select the make/model of the car and answer a few questions about driving habits.
For a really easy and quick comparison about the cost of electric vehicles compared to the standard engine type, though, car buyers just need to look at some simple figures. Car owners—or buyers—need to know the price of electricity in their area and the vehicle’s range.
The Department of Energy notes that a 200-mile range vehicle will cost $9 to charge completely if electricity is priced at $0.13 per kilowatt hour. Kelley Blue Book interviewed auto journalist John Voelcker who explained that most electric cars will get about three or four miles per kilowatt hours.
Knowing this, the 200 mile range would be divided by three and multiplied by the price of electricity. Now if car owners drive about 1000 miles per month, that cost would be around $45, give or take.
Kelley Blue Book also noted that charging stations could result in higher prices. These are stations that are available to the public, kind of like electricity gas stations. The site also explained that while some may be ‘free,’ they may charge for actual parking.
Those who are looking for electric vehicles might research the location of charging stations in their area and the cost. While overnight charging at home can ensure a fully charged battery, those who drive long distances during the day may need to recharge. And might need one of those public stations!
Installing a Charging Station
Electric car owners might opt to install a charging station for their car at home. However, they need to ensure that installation complies with state and local guidelines. To ensure compliance and that all the required permits are secured, car owners might turn to an electrician.
A professional electrician also may advise homeowners of other changes that they need to install their new station. Installation of the equipment just might not work in the home and upgraded electrical work might be required.
Electric vs. Standard Vehicles
The equation for determining the cost of operating an electric vehicle is fairly simple. But how does the cost of energy for an electric vehicle compare to the standard fuel guzzling option?
Keep in mind the math behind the costs of electric motors. If the price of a full charge is around $9 for a 200-mile range vehicle, similar costs need to be broken down for the standard car.
When calculating the cost of the fuel-injected vehicle, owners look at miles per gallon. If a vehicle can drive 30 miles per each gallon of gasoline, it would need about six and a half gallons for a 200-mile trek (to easily compare it to the electric option). If the price of gasoline is $3 per gallon, then the standard vehicle would cost around $20 to drive 200 miles.
This means that the electric vehicle costs half as much to operate the same distance as the standard fuel-injected engine. Again, though, these calculations can vary. Obviously, the price of gasoline fluctuates, and the price of electricity could vary per region.
However, it’s safe to say that the electric vehicle is much more energy efficient than a standard vehicle.
What’s the Best Electric Vehicle?
Choosing an electric vehicle might be based on price, model or even size. While many might assume that these vehicles are just smaller cars, electric vehicles now come in a range of sizes—even SUVs. These vehicles can fit large families and sports gear, too!
Car shoppers might research the different models on the market. There are many different makes/models, and prices can fluctuate from the $20,000 range to more than $100,000. Of course, there are many options in between.
Those who are choosing an electric vehicle for a long commute (thanks to its energy efficiency), they may focus on the range of the vehicle or even the MPGe (this stands for miles per gallon equivalent). Remember that to calculate the cost of charges, shoppers should divide the range by three or four and then multiply by the cost of electricity.
Many shoppers might be clueless as to what they are charged per kilowatt hour. Just grab a recent electricity bill, and all the data should be available. Then calculate the cost of the vehicle!
Used electric vehicles also may be an option in areas where these cars are incredibly popular. Those living in areas like San Francisco or Seattle may have a wider selection of used electrical models than in smaller towns or in areas where electric vehicles haven’t quite become mainstream.
Use Carzing to Find the Best Electric Vehicle
On the hunt for a new or used electric vehicle? Use Carzing to find the best electric car that fits the budget and lifestyle!
Carzing’s easy search engine lets users look for cars by make/model, price, body type or just by entering a few keywords. Looking for electric models? Type in electric or maybe EV.
Searches can be further streamlined by choosing other vehicle specifications like color or just by omitting new or even used options. Carzing also lets users sort their search results by price, distance, mileage, age (year) or even just by the best match.
If the results aren’t quite so plentiful, users can expand the geographic scope of their search. Type in the preferred radius and refresh the results.
Once buyers find their favorite electric vehicle, they also can use Carzing to get prequalified for financing. Search through different options to find the best loan terms or monthly payment amounts that fit the budget needs. Carzing also will let buyers understand down payment expectations.
Carzing lets the search for a new car feel more relaxed and stress free. There isn’t any sales pressure, and buyers are always in control. This lets the time at the dealership be minimized and focused on completing the credit application for financing and finalizing the deal.
Those who are looking to switch to an electric vehicle also should opt for a test drive at the dealership. Find the car that fits not just the budget but the individual, too. While buyers might love the look of a car in pictures, maybe they don’t love the seats or other aspects.
Test drives help buyers feel out the vehicle, too! Do the research via Carzing, and focus on the fun and the deal at the dealership!