Is it Cheaper to Charge an EV at Home? Here Are the Facts
One of the reasons people often buy electric vehicles is to avoid high gas prices. This is especially true now, since prices are nearly what they were during the 2008 recession. People could save a lot of money transitioning from fossil fuel to electricity. Still, both finding a place to charge EVs and negotiating which option is cheaper are factors that need to be considered.
Cost of an EV Charge at a Charging Station
Homeowners or renters who don’t currently have a charging station at home have likely been utilizing ones they can find around towns or cities. It’s also possible that their bosses installed a charger when adjusting to employee needs as they return to the workplace. While there may be some free places to get a charge, you’ll probably have to pay for the electricity.
As EV owners know, they’ll be paying kilowatts per hour instead of per gallon of gasoline. But how much a public station will run you varies by state. Some can be as low as $0.28 while others might cost upwards of $0.79.
The cost can also change according to charger types. A Level 3 charger is the fastest and a charge for 100 miles is anywhere from $6 to $17. Faster stations often run a bit of a premium for such quick refueling. While a Level 1 will run you less, it takes much longer to charge. There are also options for subscriptions, which often give a discount on kWh purchased.
On average, it takes about $10-$30 to recharge at a public station with a Level 3. A Level 2 charger can cost about $1-$5 an hour. Hence if you need to recharge a 300-mile car fully, the price will start to grow when the station charges more for electricity. Spending that much per charge will quickly add up regardless of the car’s efficiency.
Charging an Electric Vehicle at Home
Much like with public stations, the cost of at-home charging will vary by state and your particular utility plan. However, you’ll first need to front the cost of installing a charger.
People are mostly interested in the Level 2 charger. It costs much less than a Level 3 — which can be as much as $35,000 to install — but runs faster than a Level 1. The cost of the Level 2 charger can average around $300-$1200, but the price of labor and permits is what can make this process more expensive. How-To Geek estimates about $600 in labor fees to install the charger and proper licensing from the National Electric Code to cost $50-$160. However, the government often offers incentives to those looking to put EV charge stations in their houses.
With that information, the average cost of a home charger can run about $1500. If homeowners don’t feel like springing for a Level 2, they could stick with Level 1 charging. This means they would need to plug their vehicle into an outdoor socket or one in the garage. It skips the cost of installation but greatly increases the time a car needs to refuel fully.
Other than the upfront costs, it is cheaper to charge an EV at home than at a charging station. Because the station owners can set the price of electricity, you could end up paying much more for charging there than at home. Last year, the average electricity cost was about $0.13 per kWh. Someone who drives 1,000 miles a month would spend around $50 at most on powering their electric car at home.
On the lower end, they would spend the same per month as they would at a public station for one charge. Paying $30-$50 on 1,000 miles is much cheaper than $10-30 for each visit to the station.
Is it Cheaper to Charge at Home or at a Charging Station?
The answer is an at-home EV charge costs less than routine trips to the station. Average residential electricity prices are often cheaper than what public charging stations ask for their services. A garage or outdoor charger will increase savings despite a person’s spending on installation.