# The Cost of Charging Your EV: What You Need To Know

A meme claiming to expose the true cost of charging an electric car is currently making its rounds through the internet. Maybe you’ve seen it:

Here’s what the full text says:

*“ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION TODAY, GUESS THE PRICE TO CHARGE. YEP, .32 CENTS A MINUTE. THAT IS $19.20 AN HOUR. IT TAKES 8 HOURS FOR A FULL CHARGE. THAT IS $153.60 FOR A FULL CHARGE. AND MOST ELECTRIC VEHICLES GET ABOUT 350 MILES ON A CHARGE. THAT IS $.44 A MILE. AN F350 PULLING A HORSE TRAILER GETS BETTER MILEAGE. HMMMM….😂”*

Cringe. As you’ve probably thought to yourself by now, this post is grossly inaccurate. It does not, in fact, cost $153.60 for a full charge.

Sorry, meme-making and renewable-hating person. You tried. And while this unfortunate memer’s math is technically correct, it’s not the math that’s the problem.

**It’s that no EV on the market takes a full 8 hours to charge.**

Assuming you’re starting at zero charge with a dead battery, it only takes an average of 3 hours and 36 minutes to charge up completely. (Steve DaSilva at Jalopnik breaks it down for the math nerds here, if you’re interested).

So, no — it does not cost $153.60 to charge your EV.

### That begs the question: how much does it actually cost?

Let’s take a look at the true cost of charging an EV.

We’ll start by considering electricity prices. Most people charge their EVs at home, so we use residential energy prices in these examples.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. household pays about 15 cents per kWh (kilowatt hours) for electricity, but the true cost will vary by state. As of May 2022, the average price per kWh in Massachusetts, for example, is about 24 cents.

Now, let’s factor in that most electric cars can travel 3 to 4 miles per kWh. To calculate the cost of your charge, divide the total miles you drive each month by 3. That will give you your monthly kWh usage. If you live in Massachusetts and drive 500 miles per month, for example, your monthly kWh usage is around 167.

Take your cost per kWh — in this case, 24 cents — and multiply it by 167.

**That equals roughly $40 a month for a full charge.**

Currently, gas prices in Massachusetts hover around $4.508 per gallon. Filling up the tank of a 2020 Honda Civic, which holds 12.4 gallons, would cost around $56.

**At 32 miles per gallon, driving 500 miles a month in a Honda Civic would cost you a little over $70.**

Of course, the price of charging an EV will go down if you live in a state with lower electricity costs. Take North Dakota, for example. With a residential rate of just under 12 cents per kWh, charging an electric car like a Nissan LEAF (40-kWh battery with a 150-mile range) would cost less than $5 to charge fully.

And this is all assuming you’re charging with traditional energy sources. If you’re charging with renewable energy, you could save even more, **given that renewable energy lowers your utility rates.**

### But what if I’m not charging at home?

You’ll plug your EV into a public charger, where electricity costs might be a bit higher — but still less than what it costs to fill up a gas tank. Public chargers in California, for example, cost users about 30 cents per kWh to charge on Level 2, and 40 cents per kWh for fast charging. (Level 2 charging just means faster than the slowest charging level available, but not quite as fast as fast charging).

So, it would cost $12 to fully charge that Nissan LEAF from empty to full using Level 2, or $16 with fast charging.

If you’re in Massachusetts, you can expect to pay around 60 cents to $3.40 per charging hour — and, in some cases, nothing at all.

Yep. There are** 555 free charging stations available **in Boston alone.

**Reminder kids: don’t trust every meme you see online!**

### The bottom line: EVs might be expensive upfront, but they’ll help you save in the long run.

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