Trying to find out how much it costs to charge your new EV at home? While the price varies from household to household, you can expect to pay around 13 to 22 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in California, or about $4 to $9 per 100 miles of drive time.
Finding an exact cost can be tricky. Many factors are at play that can increase and decrease the cost of charging your EV at home, some of which include:
- Current electricity rates in California
- The energy plan you have
- The brand and model of electric vehicle you own
Then there’s the cost of purchasing the EV home charging equipment itself. The upfront cost of getting your home EV-ready should be factored into the total kWh cost above.
This blog is a simple cost guide for California homeowners considering purchasing an EV or already own an EV and want to be able to charge it at home. We’ll look at each cost factor above to give you the most complete picture of the cost of charging your EV at home.
Want To Speak With an EV Charging Expert? Give Your Friends at Burgeson’s a Call!
If you’d like to speak with one of our pros in person about installing new EV equipment, we can make that happen. Simply request an estimate, and we’ll reach out to set up an appointment in no time!
How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Vehicle at Home?
Imagine that your home already has the equipment you need to charge your EV. That includes an EV home charger and all the connections you need to make it work.
The natural next question is how much that EV is going to cost to charge on a monthly basis. In California, the average cost to charge an EV at home is about 18 kWh. kWh is the EV industry’s equivalent to miles per gallon (MPG). And just like gas prices, your kWh cost will vary for a variety of reasons, the most important of which we’ll look at now.
Electricity Rates in California
As of this writing, the current electric rates in California stand at 26 cents per kWh. That’s higher than the national average by about 20%. But it doesn’t tell the whole story.
You get a more holistic picture if you add solar power to the equation. Many homes across California are either solar-ready or solar-equipped. With solar panels installed, homeowners see a substantial reduction in kWh, putting it in line or below the national average (in some cases, a lot lower!)
Another benefit of solar is that it can mitigate some of the pain of increasing energy prices. Energy prices are fickle and can change at the drop of a hat. With solar panels, you’re more prepared to weather any cost hikes associated with California’s energy grid.
We’ll go into solar power in more detail below. For the time being, just know that while rates in California tend to be higher than the national average, they can be offset by solar thanks to California’s higher-than-average number of sunny days.
Your Home’s Energy Plan and Utility Company
Your utility company and the energy plan you’re on play a vital role in how much it costs to charge your EV. More specifically, the energy plans offered by your utility provider dictate the bulk of your overall monthly charging costs.
Let’s look at how utility plans impact charging costs:
- Time-of-use plans:Whenyou charge is more important thanhow often you charge. You’ll pay a premium to charge your EV during peak hours when the electrical grid is strained from overuse, and less during off-hours.
- Level-of-use plans: Your energy consumption dictates how much you’ll pay. A single kilowatt of energy will cost more at the end of the month than at the beginning of the month.
- EV-exclusive energy plans: Some utility providers have plans in place that have a separate cost associated with charging electric vehicles. These tend to require the installation of a meter in the home, which is different from the EV charging station itself.
If you’re unsure what plans are available to you, your utility provider will know for certain and can assist with changing your existing plan as well.
Your Brand and Model of Electric Vehicle
It will come as no surprise that the cost of charging an electric vehicle depends on the electric vehicle you’re charging. Every EV has a watt-hours per km (wh/km), a measure of its efficiency. The more efficient your new EV is, the less you’ll pay to keep it charged.
This factor is highly subjective to each vehicle owner. Any EV auto dealer in California will be able to give you a complete picture of each vehicle’s charging capabilities and costs.
The Upfront Cost of EV Chargers and Other Equipment
The above factors come into play after the home has been outfitted with the equipment required to charge an EV in the first place. But to get a complete picture of how much you’re actually spending on charging your EV per month, you’ll want to consider the amortized cost of purchasing and installing that equipment.
So, what kind of equipment are we talking about here? Well, it comes down to two types of equipment primarily: the EV charger itself (not optional), and any solar power system you have installed (optional, but highly recommended).
Let’s take a look at both in more detail.
EV chargers come in a variety of brands and models and may cost anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500+ to have installed by a professional. A major component in figuring the cost of charging your EV comes down to determining the household current your charger will require. Let’s go over the two types of chargers available for home use today, Level 1 and Level 2.
- Level 1 Charging: Requires a current of 120 volts. Best for use with Electric Vehicles with smaller batteries. They take longer to fully charge an EV but aren’t as expensive to purchase outright.
- Level 2 Charging: Requires a current of 240 volts. Best for use with more powerful EVs that can be on the road for extended periods of time. They charge much faster than Level 1 chargers, but have a higher upfront cost. These chargers could also require the home’s electrical panel to be upgraded and/or the need for a dedicated electrical circuit which increases the overall costs.
Solar panels aren’t required to charge an EV at home. However, they pair incredibly well with EV charging stations and can substantially reduce the cost of charging your EV.
So how much should you budget for a solar panel installation? The price to install solar panels in the Redlands and Inland Empire area typically ranges from $3 to $4 per watt but can be as high as $5 per watt.
At those per watt rates, homeowners in California can save on average $50,000 to $150,000 in energy bills over the system's lifetime. Homeowners who have an EV charger at home could see even more savings!
Want to Speak with an Actual EV Charging Expert? Burgeson’s Can Help!
Burgeson’s specializes in both solar panel installations and at-home EV chargers. Our electrical consultants are experts in the industry and will give you a custom assessment of how much it will cost to charge your EV at home and a better idea of your options.
When you’re ready to schedule an in-home consultation, call us at 909-792-2222 or request an appointment online using the button below.