How much does it cost to own an electric vehicle? Sadly, it’s too early to say. Variables including long-term maintenance costs—which should be very low—and resale value are still unknowns. But, there are some expenses we can estimate with a degree of precision, including charging costs.
We know, for example, what electricity costs in any given market, and we know how much electricity an EV uses. So, while we can’t, yet, tell you how much your Chevrolet Bolt EUV, for example, will cost you to operate for ten years, we can predict what your home-charging electric bill will come to.
For the purposes of this exercise, lets assume the average EV owner drives about as much as the average American driver. According to the Federal Highway Administration, that’s 14,263 miles a year, or 274 miles per week. To simplify the math, we rounded that figure to 275.
We looked at charging costs in five markets, including the three largest U.S. urban areas, and two more-rural locations. As you can see from the charts below, New York and Los Angeles are expensive when it comes to the price of electricity, while Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska residents buy their power for bargain prices, all things considered.
We looked at five popular electric vehicles, including the Ford F-150 Lighting large pickup, and the Tesla Model Y compact crossover. Also included in this exercise are the subcompact Chevrolet Bolt EUV, the compact Audi Q4 e-tron crossover, and the popular Kia EV6 compact crossover. All of our example cars, except for the Bolt, are equipped with AWD.
The MPGe rating, seen on the charts below, is provided by the EPA, and allows consumers to compare the energy consumption of electric vehicles to gasoline-powered cars and trucks. The math is simple: 33.7 kWh of electricity is the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline. So, how Much Does it Cost to Charge an EV? Read on…
Oh, and for the purpose of comparison, buying a week’s worth of gas at $3.50 a gallon for a vehicle averaging 25 mpg would cost $38.50.
Note: Electricity costs may vary within a given city. Costs used for calculations below are the most representative we could find at the time of publishing.
More electric-vehicle news and reviews
How Much Does it Cost to Charge an EV?
Audi Q4 e-tron
Chevrolet Bolt EUV
Ford F-150 Lightning
Test Drive: 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
Test Drive: 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line
Tesla Model Y
Note to my friend Stan Milam and his WCLO radio listeners: Electricity in Janesville, Wisconsin, currently averages $.145 per kWh. Thus, the weekly cost to charge the Audi Q4 e-tron is $14.36, Chevrolet Bolt EUV $11.57, Ford F-150 Lightning $19.14, Kia EV6 $12,37, and Tesla Model Y $11.17.
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