Like a gas tank, the larger the battery, the more it costs to “fill” it. Smaller battery packs cost less but get less mileage per charge than larger capacity options.
For a real-world example, let’s look at Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 EV
. The base model has a 58 kWh battery. So a driver in Texas, where we’ve set the rate per kWh to be 12.8 cents, would have to pay about $7.54 to charge it empty at home. At a paid Tier 2 public charging station like this one in Houston, they would pay $12.18 to charge a depleted battery at the maximum rate of $0.21/kWh. At this DCFC station near a Walmart owned by Electrify America, our hypothetical driver would pay $0.32 per minute at the maximum rate of 350kW of power, which adds up to $9.60 per half hour of charging time.
However, the battery will most likely not die every time someone goes to a public charging station to recharge. The rate paid will depend on the amount of energy that is actually consumed or, in the case of per-minute rates, the charging time. Some stations charge a session fee of a few dollars in addition to the fee per kWh. If you’re paying a subscription fee through a provider like the EVgo app, that’s another cost.
The efficiency of the battery pack and the demands that daily driving places on it will also determine your mileage per charge. Sporty models like the Porsche Taycan are designed to put a lot of power into the engine for more speed, so you use more energy per drive and ultimately get less range. That means more charging sessions and more money paid per month.
Unlike gasoline cars, many long highway trips drain an electric vehicle’s battery faster than driving around town. If you regularly travel long distances, that’s something else to consider. Heavy use of infotainment and climate control systems will also affect battery life. The more you use the battery, the faster it will drain and the more often you have to pay to charge it.
How much does it cost to charge at a fast charging station?
Prices range depending on the station.
- 12.07 cents per minute for 25 kW charging (+5% GST)
- 21.13 cents per minute for 50 kW charging (+5% GST)
- 27.17 cents per minute for 100 kW charging (+5% GST)
Each session at our stations is billed per second. After your charging session, you will receive an email receipt with a breakdown of your charge, including the time you charged (in minutes and seconds) and the cost of the session before and after the 5% GST is applied.
Freight rates are approved by B.C. Public Utilities Commission and are based on the maximum kW output of the charging station, not the actual kW output received or requested by the vehicle.
Parking fees may apply
Please note that rates at fast charging stations do not include parking fees. Be sure to check the signage or PlugShare to see if a specific station requires paid parking. Currently, the following sites have a parking fee that is collected by the host of the site:
- Vancouver – Homer Street (collected by City of Vancouver)
- Vancouver – Kerrisdale (collected by City of Vancouver)
For other charging networks in B.C., check PlugShare
to find locations, charging costs and parking fees before you go.
How long can I charge at a fast charging station?
Station Tag Check the signage at the station for the parking tag. In general, we recommend the following time limits depending on the power level of the charger, especially when another vehicle is waiting:
- Higher power levels: less than 30 minutes
How long will my charge take?
Factors that influence charge time
Charging time will depend on the battery’s state of charge (how full it is), the size of the battery, and environmental factors such as outside air temperature. Every make and model is different, and you’ll know your car after you’ve used a fast charging station a few times.
Charging over 80%
Even with a fast charger, most vehicles will charge slower by 80%. This “trickle charge” is related to the vehicle, not the charger. To continue charging past 80%, we recommend switching to a Level 2 charger which provides a lower charging cost per minute and will free up the fast charger for others.
Costs Are Unique to the Driver
So is it cheaper to charge an EV than to fill up a tank with gas? As of this writing, yes. Even in markets where electricity is more expensive, it costs less to recharge an EV than to fill up a tank of gas.
In short, how much it costs to charge an electric car depends on multiple factors, from the capacity of the battery to the charging methods available to you. When shopping for an EV, think about things like how many miles you drive, the EV battery capacity you want, and whether you can charge it at home.
Electricity prices in your area will affect the cost, whether it’s best to charge at home or at public stations. If you have to use the public ones, think about your access to the free stations and how reliably you’ll be able to use them.
All of these factors will determine the average cost of charging your EV. In the end, the cost to you will depend on the unique math of your driving habits and needs.