Electric cars are becoming increasingly more popular lately which makes the EV ownership experience extremely relevant. As such, we need to be aware of what it means to own an electric car and how much does it cost to use an EV on a daily basis.
One of the most important aspects of EV ownership is access to reliable charging and how does charging a car compares to fueling up a traditional ICE car. Even though most people associate EV ownership with significantly lower running costs from the get-go, but this is not actually the case in most instances.
In order to properly understand how much money charging an EV costs, you first need to calculate how much does one kWh cost. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, an average household in the US pays an average of 14 cents for one kWh of electricity.
So, if your standard Polestar 2 has a 64-kWh battery you are looking at around $9 for a single charge. If you drive your car every day you are looking at an average of $25-$70 per month depending on how you drive your car and how efficient you are with both the charging and energy consumption.
Recharging an electric car vs fueling up a traditional ICE car
The most obvious efficiency comparison in the current automotive industry is between EVs and ICE cars. As such, AAA estimates that a $3.20 per gallon is somewhat of an average fuel price in recent times and a standard car is equipped with a 12-gallon fuel tank which means that filling up such a car costs around $38.
Different cars use different amounts of fuel because they differ as far as weight, aerodynamics, power, and size are concerned. As such, finding a general estimate is tricky, especially because MPG results tend to vary greatly depending on where you drive the car and how you drive the car.
If you are using a relatively standard 30MPG car a 12-gallon fuel tank should, in theory, be enough for you to drive around 360 miles between fill-ups. If you drive your car around 1000 miles each month that means you will have to refuel your car three times per month which equals $114 if the gallon price is $3.20.
As previously stated, numbers such as the current fuel price and how far a specific car can get vary greatly, but the pattern is almost always the same. Refueling an ICE car does cost more money than it does to charge an EV.
Charging your EV at home vs charging your EV on the go
You essentially approach charging your EV in two different ways. You can either opt to buy a decent wall charger and charge your car at home if you have access to a garage of some sort. This is the easiest and most convenient way to charge your car by simply leaving it on charge overnight.
However, if you street park your car or you still don’t have a dedicated wall charger you will have to charge your EV on the go which usually means charging it up during working hours or charging it using the current charging infrastructure in your area.
It’s better to simply rely on charging the car overnight at your home through a wall charger because this is the easiest and the cheapest way to charge a car. Most cars can easily be fully recharged through modern wall chargers overnight which means that you will always have a fully charged car.
Furthermore, electricity costs less during the evening which also works in favor of home-charging. Charging your car using the available charging infrastructure in your area is a bit more tricky as these can often be out of order.
Fast charging a car – Price and convenience
The general rule of thumb is that the faster the charge – the higher the rate. This means that fast chargers cost the most amount of money because they are expensive to install and because they deliver more electricity per minute.
Rapid chargers are capable of delivering up to 200 miles in just 20-30 minutes which greatly lowers the time needed to fully recharge a car. If you own the Polestar 2, a fast charger should recharge the car completely in less than 2 hours.
Multiple tests have shown that the Polestar 2 is capable of achieving a maximum charge rate of around 130-150kWh which means that a charge more powerful than this is not likely going to surpass this mark.
Is it worth it to buy an EV in 2021?
According to multiple different sources, more than than 54% of Americans are fond of the idea of buying either a hybrid or an EV as their next car. As time goes on this percentage should move towards EVs which means that buying an EV in the future is rather inevitable.
However, buying one now is more difficult to gauge because EV ownership highly depends on your ability to recharge the car easily and reliability. This means that if you have access to reliable and always accessible charging, buying one makes a lot more sense. Furthermore, if you primarily drive your car doing regular daily commutes, it is worth it to consider an EV as your next car.
Why should I buy an EV over a hybrid?
A hybrid is somewhat of a perfect middle ground between a full-on EV and a traditional ICE car which means that you should buy a hybrid if you are not 100% ready to transition into an EV. Plug-in hybrids can be used both as ICE cars or as EVs which gives you the flexibility needed if you forget to charge the car up.
On the other hand, an EV makes more sense if you are already familiar with how EVs work and you have no problems with charging the car.
Is charging an EV always going to be cheap?
No one can say for certain that charging an EV is always going to be cheaper than fueling an ICE car. It all depends on a myriad of different factors which can not be taken into account fully. This means that you will sometimes pay more money to recharge an EV than to refuel an ICE car.
When the mass application of EVs begins we will see how well our energy consumptions will cope with the available energy out there and this will likely boost or lower the price accordingly.