How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

by Hannah Stephens
electric vehicle being charged

Electric cars help you save money on fuel costs while protecting the planet. However, with even the most affordable EVs costing around $30,000 (CAD 39,996), it can be hard to know whether an electric car is the best option for your budget.

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Charging is where you actually could save some cash. Here’s how to find out if switching to an EV will really save you money.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car Battery From Empty to Full?

How much it costs to charge an electric car battery from empty to full depends on multiple factors, including your car's make and model, its battery capacity and the cost of energy where you live. According to EnergySage, it costs around $6.63 (CAD 8.84) to fully charge a Nissan Leaf S. Meanwhile, on average, Audi e-tron owners pay about $14.51 (CAD 19) for a full charge. Overall, charging an electric car typically costs around 5 cents (CAD 0.07) per mile.

However, these figures assume you pay the national average cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity. Energy costs vary widely between states, so charging your car could cost much more or less in many areas.

Let's take the Nissan Leaf S as an example. This model requires 45 kWh of energy to charge fully. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, electricity costs more in Hawaii than in any other state, at around 44 cents (CAD 0.49) per kWh, so you'd pay around $19.80 (CAD 26) to charge your car there. Charging the same model would cost significantly less if you pay the average price of just under 10 cents (CAD 0.13) in North Dakota. In this state, fully charging your car would cost around $4.50 (CAD 6).

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How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car Per Year?

The average cost to charge an electric car per year is around $674 (CAD 899). However, your annual costs depend on so many factors that they can be hard to estimate beforehand. Your yearly mileage, car model and local energy costs can all significantly impact your energy bills.

Bear in mind that this figure is based on average home charging costs. You could spend substantially more if you charge your car at public EV charging stations.

You can estimate your electric vehicle charging costs more precisely if you gather the following information:

  • Your approximate annual mileage
  • Your vehicle's range of distance
  • How much energy your vehicle needs to achieve a full charge
  • The cost of energy per kWh where you live

The average American motorist drives around 13,476 miles per year. Suppose a motorist drives a Nissan Leaf S and lives in the Middle Atlantic region, paying the regional average of 19 cents (CAD 0.25) per kWh. They'll pay around $8.55 (CAD 11) for a full charge, allowing the car to travel for 149 miles. Therefore, driving the car for one mile costs around 6 cents (CAD 0.08), adding up to roughly $773 (CAD 1,031) annually.

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How Does the Cost of Charging an Electric Car Compare to Gasoline?

EnergySage estimates that the electricity required to power an electric car costs around three times less than fuelling a comparable gas-powered vehicle. The average gasoline car costs around 14 cents (CAD 0.19) per mile to fuel, compared to 5 cents (0.07) per mile for an EV. However, how much you'll save depends on the cost of electricity and gasoline in your area.

How Can You Reduce the Cost of Charging an Electric Car?

EnergySage says installing solar panels is the most effective way to save money on charging your electric vehicle. This involves a significant initial outlay, but your panels should pay for themselves within 8 to 9 years because of energy savings. After that, you can charge your EV at home for nothing.

Another way to save money is to charge your vehicle during off-peak hours. Many utility companies offer lower rates per kWh to encourage homeowners to use electricity at night and reduce pressure on the grid during high-demand hours. You could also consider investing in a smart charger that automatically charges your car at the most affordable time.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.

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Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of eLocal Editorial Content is subject to the

Website Terms and Conditions.

The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.

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