As the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) accelerates, a key question arises for potential and existing owners: “How much does it cost to charge an electric car?” This guide delves into the financial aspects of EV ownership, offering a comprehensive breakdown of EV charging costs. By understanding the various factors that influence these costs, you can make informed decisions about sustainable transportation.

Understanding the Basics of EV Charging

Before exploring the costs associated with charging an electric car, it’s vital to grasp the basics of EV charging. This includes familiarizing yourself with the different types of charging stations and their impact on charging efficiency and time.

Types of EV Charging Stations

  • Level 1 Charging (Slow Charging): Utilizes a standard household outlet, offering a slow charging process that typically adds about 2-5 miles of range per hour.
  • Level 2 Charging (Home and Public Charging): Requires a 240V outlet and provides a faster charging option, ideal for overnight use at home or quick charging in public stations, adding about 10-60 miles of range per hour.
  • DC Fast Charging (Rapid Charging): Found at commercial charging stations, this is the fastest charging option available, capable of adding up to 100 miles of range in just 20 minutes, perfect for long-distance travel.

The Cost to Charge of An Electric Vehicle

The cost to charge an electric car can vary significantly, influenced by several key factors. Understanding these factors is crucial in assessing the overall costs.

Key Factors Influencing EV Charging Costs

  • Electricity Rates: The primary determinant of charging costs, varies widely by region and time of day.
  • Charging Location: Home charging is generally more cost-effective than public or commercial charging stations, which may include additional fees.
  • Type of Charging Station: Level 2 chargers tend to be more economical compared to the premium-priced DC fast chargers.
  • EV Efficiency: The energy efficiency of your EV affects the amount of electricity required for charging, thereby influencing the cost.

Estimating Your EV Charging Costs

To calculate the cost of charging an electric car, use the formula:

Cost per kWh×Battery Capacity in kWh=Total Charging Cost. Adjust this formula according to your EV’s efficiency and the specific electricity rates from your provider for a precise estimate.

State By State Cost

Across various states, the cost of electricity and driving electric vehicles presents a diverse landscape. In Victoria (VIC), residents enjoy the lowest electricity rates at 21.12 cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh), resulting in an average full battery recharge cost of $13.73, which translates to an average expense of $3.80 per 100 kilometers.

Moving north to Queensland (QLD), the rates climb to 25.45c/kWh, pushing the cost of fully charging a battery to $16.54 and making the cost per 100 kilometers $4.58. This affordability of electric vehicles (EV) makes a noticeable rise in cash for car services in the Sunny Coast and Brisbane, highlighting an increasing trend towards more sustainable modes of transportation and the disposal of older vehicles in an environmentally friendly manner.

In New South Wales (NSW), the cost scenario slightly escalates with electricity rates at 28.54c/kWh, a full battery charge costing $18.55, and the journey cost per 100 kilometers pegged at $5.14.

South Australia (SA) tops these comparisons, where electricity is priced at 36.13c/kWh. Here, fully charging an electric vehicle’s battery costs $23.48, leading to a cost of $6.50 per 100 kilometers.

EV Charging Cost Comparison

EV Charge Cost Chart

Charge Level Est Cost per kWh Small EV Full Charge Cost Large EV Full Charge Cost
Level 1 (Home) $0.15 to $0.30 $11.50 – $23 $22.50 – $45
Level 2 (Public or Commercial) $0.20 to $0.25 $15.30 – $18.40 $30 – $36
Level 3 (Rapid Charging) $0.30 to $0.60 $23 – $46 $45 – $90
Level 4 (Super Fast Charging) $0.30 to $0.80
Ultra-fast Charging $0.30 to $0.85

Charging Levels and Details

Level Power Range Added per Hour Charging Time Typical Location
Level 1 – single phase (home charging) 2.4-3.7kW 10-20km 5-16 hours Home
Level 2 – slow, single phase (home or commercial) 7kW 30-45km 2-5 hours Home, office blocks, shopping centers, car parks
Level 2 – fast, three-phase (public) 11-22kW 50-130km 30 mins – 2 hours Urban roadside
Level 3 – fast charge (public) 50kW 250-300km 20-60 mins Regional near highways, motorways and key routes
Level 4 – super fast charge (public) 120kW 400-500km 20-40 mins Regional near highways, motorways and key routes
Ultra-fast charge (public) 350kW 1000+km 10-15 mins Highways and motorways

Network-Specific Charging Costs

Network Cost Rate
Chargefox-owned 50kW DC $0.45 per kWh
Chargefox-owned 350kW DC $0.60 per kWh
Evie Networks 50kW DC $0.50 per kWh
Evie Networks 350kW DC $0.65 per kWh
BP Pulse 75kW DC $0.55 per kWh (variable at some locations)
Ampol AmpCharge 150kW DC $0.69 per kWh
NRMA 50-150kW DC $0.54 per kWh
NRMA 175kW+ DC $0.59 per kWh
Tesla Superchargers 150kW/250kW DC (Tesla) ~$0.40 to $0.85 per kWh (variable)
Tesla Supercharger 150kW/250kW DC (non-Tesla) ~$0.75 to $0.85 per kWh

How to Maximize EV Charging Cost Efficiency?

Optimizing the cost efficiency of charging your EV involves several strategies:

  • Off-Peak Charging: Leverage lower electricity rates during off-peak hours, typically at night, to reduce costs.
  • Home Solar Panels: Installing solar panels can significantly lower or even negate charging costs by generating your own electricity.
  • Public Charging Network Subscriptions: Some charging networks offer subscription plans that can provide cost savings for regular users.


By considering the type of charging, electricity rates, and your specific charging habits, you can effectively minimize costs. Stay informed and seek out efficient charging solutions to make your electric & hybrid vehicle experience enjoyable and economically viable. Keep exploring ways to charge your EV efficiently, embracing the benefits of electric driving while managing the costs involved.

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