The expense of charging your electric vehicle (EV) is something you should factor into your travel budget. It can be difficult to put a price on that. Electricity costs vary by state and there are a variety of chargers and charging networks to choose from.
Many modern electric vehicles can travel over 200 miles on a single battery. It’s possible that you’ll need to charge your car multiple times for long travels. Depending on the level of charger you use, recharging your EV on the road can cost anywhere from $10 to $30.
Taking an EV on the road is now just as cheap as taking a gas-powered car on the same route. Despite its apparent simplicity, this calculation can be made more difficult by a number of circumstances.
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car?
From nearly dead to nearly full, the typical cost to charge an electric vehicle at a public charging station is between $10 and $30. Remember that the price of charging your electric vehicle while on the road, at a public charger, will be much more than the price of charging it at home.
However, the price of gasoline for ICE (internal combustion engine) automobiles is more consistent than it is for EVs. There are a number of causes for this:
Wide variation in electrical power costs: Typically, commercial charging rates are two to three times as high as those for private homes. Price differences across commercial charging stations on the same network can exceed 50%. In contrast, the average variation in petrol prices is less than 10%.
Charger and battery varieties: The time it takes to fully charge a battery depends on factors such as the charger used, the battery’s current charge, the ambient temperature, and the charger’s operational state. As a result, the time required to recharge a battery may also vary widely.
Pricing: Various commercial chargers employ varying pricing structures, making direct price comparisons difficult. Common pricing structures include those based on per-kWh, per-unit-time, and per-session measures. Per kilowatt-hour (the amount of charge you get for $1) this results in widely varying charging charges.
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The charger’s kind is an additional consideration. In other words, not all EV chargers function in the same way. There are three levels, as follows:
- Chargers at Level 1 are the least efficient. A full charge for your car can take up to a day.
- A charge of up to 28 mph can be delivered at Level 2. Level 2 costs anywhere from $1 to $5 per hour. The price per kilowatt hour ranges from twenty cents to twenty-five cents.
These kinds of charging stations are commonly located in malls.
- Level 3 charges, often called direct current fast chargers (DCFC), are the quickest available. They can cost you anything from $10 to $30 each charge but can get your battery almost fully charged in under an hour.
Between $0.40 and $0.60 is what you may expect to pay per kilowatt-hour.
Tesla’s own charging infrastructure is known as “Superchargers.” It costs on average about $0.25 per kWh to use these chargers, so recharging to full capacity for 250 miles would cost about $22 (unless you bought a Model S or Model X between 2012 and 2016, in which case it’s free).
Formula for the Cost of Charging an Electric Car
The cost per kilowatt-hour (CPK) is calculated using the vehicle’s range (VR), the range per kilowatt-hour (RPK), which is roughly 3 to 4 miles, and the cost per kilowatt-hour (CPK).
Charging Cost = (VR/RPK) x CPK
Let’s use 1,200 monthly miles as an illustration. Subtract the 3 miles per kWh range from that total. The resulting monthly consumption is 400 kWh. Then, you must increase that by your price per kilowatt-hour.
The monthly cost would be $100 if you used a Level 2 charger while traveling and the rate was $0.25 per kilowatt-hour. A vehicle’s range (and hence, its price) will be reduced for a road trip.
Saving Money on Your EV Road Trip
Consider the time and money it will take to locate a commercial charging station. Avoid unnecessary time spent driving around and waiting for your EV to charge by planning your route around the locations of EV charging stations. The price of your travel will increase due to these added miles.
You can take measures to lessen and even estimate the expense of your EV road trip. Before you leave, map out your itinerary so that you may stop by charging stations when you need to. Make use of the time while your EV is charging by scheduling activities. You can find several resources to assist you.
Apps like A Better Route Planner and PlugShare complement Tesla’s own built-in navigation system. Additionally, EV charging points can be highlighted on Google Maps.
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You may cut costs on electric vehicle (EV) charging for road trips in a variety of different ways as well:
- If you want to get the most of your charging time, look for stations near places you frequently visit, such restaurants and supermarkets.
- Pick lodgings with access to charging outlets. You won’t have to waste time in an unfamiliar city hunting for a charging station and they’re usually free.
- If you have them, please bring your charging cable, extension cord, and adaptors. This will open up the possibility of using additional charging options.
Finally, don’t expect every charging station to entirely replenish your battery. Just enough energy to get you to your next destination comfortably, so you can use your time traveling rather than waiting for it.
Can You Take a Big Road Trip in an Electric Car?
An electric vehicle (EV) is ideal for cross-country travel. The average range of modern electric vehicles is around 200 miles. With proper preparation, taking a long road trip in an electric car is just as easy as traveling in a gas-powered car.
How Long Does It Take to Charge an EV on a Road Trip?
The length of time it takes to recharge an electric vehicle while traveling is variable depending on the charger type. It can take up to 24 hours on some chargers to fully charge your EV, while others can do it in under an hour. In under 15 minutes, Tesla Superchargers can fully recharge a vehicle.
How Do I Calculate My EV Road Trip Charging Cost?
Manual estimation is possible, albeit it can be challenging because to the variety of networks and pricing. If you want to know how much charging will cost and where the nearest chargers are, you could download an app like EEVEE Mobility.
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The Bottom Line
When taking your electric vehicle on the road, expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $30 every charge. That can make using an EV on the road more expensive than using a regular car. Apps like A Better trip Planner and PlugShare can help you plan charging stations along your trip, which can help you save money.
When feasible, charge your device at a grocery store or a hotel. While longer trips in an EV could incur higher costs, owning an EV has a considerably cheaper total cost of ownership. Electric vehicle (EV) owners may anticipate significant savings on both maintenance and gasoline expenditures, according to a survey by Consumer Reports.
It was discovered that EVs have far lower maintenance expenses, and that the money saved by charging at home more than makes up for the money spent charging while on the road.
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