Electric vehicles (EV) are the future of transportation. These vehicles don’t rely on fuel, so you don’t have to worry about gas prices.
That said, you can’t power your electric vehicle for free. Charging your EV does come with a cost, though it’ll likely be less than you’d pay for a gas-powered vehicle.
In this blog, you’ll learn how an electric vehicle may impact your power bill in Texas, plus easy ways to lower these costs at home.
Will my electricity bill go up if I have an electric vehicle?
If you charge your electric vehicle at home, you will pay a higher electricity bill. Like any other appliance or device plugged into your home, your EV increases your household energy usage when it’s charging. Increased usage means higher costs, so expect your power costs to change after buying your vehicle.
Unlike most household appliances, however, your EV won’t be plugged into your home at all times. You will only need to charge your vehicle when the battery is low, minimizing the amount of electricity it will use at home.
Additionally, you can charge your vehicle at public charging stations. Using a public electric vehicle charging station decreases the amount of energy you consume at home, but they also have higher overall charging costs.
How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle in Texas?
Since EVs consume electricity, charging costs depend heavily on the price of energy, which is charged by the kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Energy is measured by watts. A kilowatt equals 1,000 watts. Your power company tracks how many kilowatts of electricity your home consumes per hour during a billing period. It then multiplies the number of kilowatt-hours of energy you consumed by the electricity rate the provider charges.
In Texas, for example, the average cost of electricity is about 13.3¢/kWh. If your home used 1,000 kWh during a billing period, you would pay about $133 for your power that month.
Now that you know how your electricity provider charges for your energy usage, let’s consider the cost of charging your electric vehicle at home.
Standard electric vehicle batteries hold a charge of about 50 kW. Driving 100 miles in your EV consumes about 36.4kW on average. One hundred miles is about the maximum range for standard EVs, so you will need to recharge your vehicle after this amount of use.
To calculate the cost of charging your vehicle, multiply the amount of energy you need to replenish by your power company’s energy rate. If you have a standard EV and pay the state’s average kWh rate, for instance, your energy bill would increase by $4.84 every time you charge your electric vehicle in Texas.
Of course, your costs will depend on how often you drive your vehicle. If you don’t have to recharge it often, you will pay less for your energy costs. The average person might pay $45 per month in charging costs while someone who drives less would pay a lower amount.
At the same time, you may pay more to charge your EV if you rely on public charging stations more than your at-home charger.
Public charging stations can be found at gas stations, restaurants, stores, and public parking spots. These stations generally charge higher rates for electricity. You might only pay $5 to charge your EV at home, but a public station can cost between $6 and $16 per use.
You can find free charging stations in some areas, so plan ahead if you have a lot of driving to do. Even if you have to charge your electric vehicle while you’re out, these cost-free options can offer significant savings.
Tips for lowering the costs of charging an electric vehicle
1. Learn about EV programs and discounts
Some energy providers offer discounts, rebates, and other incentives to electric vehicle owners. Reach out to your utility provider to see if it offers any ways to save.
You may also be able to find other programs, such as monthly subscriptions for public charging stations. Rather than paying a high price for the amount of energy you use, you can pay a flat monthly rate to unlock lower energy costs. This might be a good option if you drive frequently and can easily find public charging stations where your membership applies.
2. Find a better electricity plan
Do you have the best power service and rates in your area? Paying a lower electricity rate will also decrease the amount you pay to keep your EV charged.
In Texas, you can choose the electricity supplier and plan that best fits your needs. Shop around to see if any providers offer better rates. Consider different plans that might lower your overall energy costs. Whether you have an electric vehicle or not, a switch may help you save.
3. Optimize your battery’s charge
Old and poorly maintained batteries don’t use energy efficiently. If you don’t take care of your EV battery, you will have to recharge it more often, even if you use it less.
To keep your battery healthy, keep it charged between 30-80% at all times. Charging it to 100% and/or letting it drain completely on a regular basis will wear on the battery.
Additionally, keep your EV out of extreme temperatures. Batteries that are frequently exposed to extreme heat and cold will degrade faster. To keep them operating efficiently, park your vehicle in the shade and the garage as often as possible.
4. Plan ahead
First, always make sure your vehicle has enough charge for your daily plans. If you run low while you’re out, you’ll have to spend the time and money required to charge it enough to meet the rest of your schedule.
Even worse, you may be forced to find the nearest public charging station rather than the cheapest.
Whenever possible, research the free and low-cost stations along your route. Investing the time for this extra step will help you save on charging costs wherever you go.