How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle in California? – Point.LA | Team Cansler

Although zero-emission vehicle use continues to grow and California dominates the market, there are still factors hampering its ability to achieve mass adoption. These can be reservations about performance, safety and quality – but also concerns about range anxiety and charging costs.

So let’s try to break down how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle in California.

How we calculated the cost

It’s difficult to come up with a number that applies to every EV driver. Even within a state there are variables – such as B. the mileage driven, the type of vehicle and battery as well as the type of charger and whether the car owner chooses to fill up at a public filling station instead of installing a personal charging station at home.

But the general formula for calculating the cost of charging an electric car is pretty simple: divide your car’s maximum range by its range per kWh, then multiply it by the average cost of electricity per kWh.

This number, range per kWh, is an estimate that can vary greatly depending on the vehicle and also driving factors. Driving more intensively, for example uphill in the wind, would reduce your overall range per kWh as the car requires more power.

Regardless of driving conditions, however, you’ll likely always pay more to charge an electric vehicle in California than in other parts of the country.

The average cost of electricity in California in August was about 27 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). That is quite high compared to the nationwide average price of around 16 cents per kWh. In part because California’s “fixed” costs of running its electric system are used to offset public programs, including wildlife control.

Additionally, based on data from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration and Energy Commission as well as the US Energy Information Administration, we calculated that the average California driver spends about $230 monthly, or about $2,760 per year, on gasoline.

Tesla model 3. Photo: Tesla


Suppose you drive a Tesla Model 3, one of the most popular Tesla cars.

Tesla says the standard 2022 Model 3 long-range battery has a maximum range of 350 miles per full charge, and while it doesn’t list range per kWh, auto analysts at Edmunds estimate it at around 25 kWh/100 miles, or 2.5 miles. All things considered, it should cost around $29.36 to fully fill up a Model 3 in California — but keep in mind that you can only use Tesla’s network of proprietary superchargers if you don’t have an adapter.

Or, as the US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates, charging a Tesla Model 3 costs about $550 a year.

Tesla’s Model S 2022 sports car, on the other hand, requires more charging for higher performance. It costs $39.05 per charge, or about $1 per 25 miles.

Teslas are more expensive to charge than most of their counterparts, thanks in part to their Supercharger network – which will be a worthy trade-off for most drivers, given their speed and roughly charging an EV from 0% to 80% can 30 minutes.

An R1T in Rivian Blue at the main entrance of the Normal, IL facility.\u200bAn R1T in Rivian Blue at the main entrance of the Normal, IL facility.

Courtesy of Rivian


If you’re one of the few driving a 2022 Rivian R1T electric truck, a charge will cost you around $17.66. Rivian’s battery models vary in range, but at the high end they last 400 miles on a full charge. The DOE estimates that driving 25 miles in a 2022 R1T will cost about $1.68, or about $1,000 per year.

Rivian’s other model, the R1S, is priced almost identically (it costs about 20 cents less than the R1T, according to our estimates).

Black and white cars side by side 2023 Nissan Leaf charging.Photo: Nissan

Nissan Leaf

The base model of a 2022 Nissan Leaf comes with a 40kWh battery pack. The DOE estimates that this version of Nissan’s affordable commuter car has a maximum range of 149 miles and achieves about 3 miles per kWh, which is pretty close to the overall EV average.

Using this information, we can estimate that the Nissan Leaf will cost around $13.41 on a single charge. The DOE calculates that the annual fuel cost of a 2022 Leaf will be $650.

File:2023 Ford F-150 Lightning.jpg – Wikimedia


Ford’s much-touted F-150 all-wheel-drive electric truck debuted last May to much fanfare, including a test drive by President Joe Biden.

The F-150 Lightning has a maximum range of 230 miles and, on average, higher fuel costs than competing electric trucks like Rivians. On average, a charge costs about $12.67, although the DOE estimates this will work out to about $1,050 per year.

That year, Ford also released an electric Mustang, the Mach-E SUV. The standard Mach-E has a peak range of 247 miles on a full charge and gets about 3 miles per kWh. A full charge of the Mach-E costs about $22.23, and the DOE expects annual charging costs to be about $700.

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