How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

By Angela Monroe - September 10, 2020

How-much-does-it-cost-to-charge-an-electric-car

Driving past service stations without a care in the world for the price of petrol: Something EV owners never get sick of. But electricity isn’t free either.

So how much does it cost to charge an electric car? We investigate…

EV Charge Costs in Dollars:

Australian coins

Costs of charging depend on the battery size and location. In Australia, a full charge on average when charged at home costs around $13. This is obviously far less than an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle and one of many money saving ideas you can apply to your life. 

Here are four popular EV options and their ballpark EV charge costs:

Electric Vehicle:  Full Charge Cost        Battery Size        Range
Tesla Model S Long Range $22.00 100 kWh 713 km
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range      $11.00 50 kWh 460 km
BMW i3 $9.24 42 kWh 260 km
Nissan Leaf  $8.80 40 kWh 315 km

 

Note: These are based on electricity cost of $0.22 per kWh (off-peak average).

In Australia, different states have different electricity prices which also depend on peak times so EV charge costs can vary considerably:

Location        Average Price Per kWh
WA    around 39 cents
SA     around 38 cents
VIC     around 28 cents
QLD     around 28 cents
NT    around 26 cents
TAS    around 25 cents
NSW    around 25 cents

 

If your current car is costing you too much – repair bills and running costs, it may be time to sell or trade it in. Upgrading can save a lot of money and stress.

EV Charge Costs in Time:

checking watch

It’s easy to overlook the time it takes to charge EVs as we look at hip pocket damage first. Did you know that a full charge (0 to 100%) on some long range EVs with large batteries can take up to 50 hours when charged from a standard home outlet?

Compare that to 5 mins at a petrol station, the low running dollar costs of EVs can lose appeal.

Fortunately, there are numerous charging options available and most EV owners would not find themselves charging their vehicles from zero to 100%.

Types of chargers in Australia:

two charger in wall socket

Level 1
Lowest and slowest charging option. Uses standard residential power outlets.
Time Vs Distance: Around 7.5 – 15 km per hour of charge.

Level 2
This uses a dedicated power circuit just for charging an EV. They are common options for home charging. It requires installation of stronger electrical equipment.
Time Vs Distance: Around 18 – 40 km per hour of charge.

Level 3
These are the most powerful EV chargers. They are not common in residential homes but usually found in public charge stations. They require heavy duty cables and safety equipment. These are designed for quick top ups during a coffee break.
Time Vs Distance: Up to 420 – 450 km per hour of charge.

Bidirectional Charging:

This kind of charging pushes the cost of charging an EV down even more. In a nutshell, bidirectional charging allows users to power their homes from their electric vehicles. The EV acts as a battery on wheels, or temporary battery on wheels at least.

Why would you want to do this? Because of electricity peak time costs. The cost of electricity in Australia significantly changes depending on when you use it. Off peak is typically 10pm to 7am and prices drop dramatically during this time.

If EV owners charge their vehicles during off-peak hours, use the car for a work commute, then power their homes via the EV batteries during peak hours, they’ll save a lot of money over time. It means having the ability to use electricity at off-peak rates, 24-7.

End of the Day…

EV only sign

Future proofing your home with an EV, solar panel array and bidirectional charger is a sizable investment but as tech improves, prices come down. This article has covered time and money but the biggest benefit of EVs is environmental one. If you’re considering an EV and check out an EV cost calculator and know the pros and cons of EVs.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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