Is it Cheaper to charge an EV than buy gas?

How does charging an electric vehicle compare to buying gas for a combustion engine? What is the difference in cost when it comes to charging at home, or charging at a charging station. In this article we will compare a traditional Toyota Camry vs an EV for your daily commute and see what your potential cost savings actually are.

Gas vehicle for comparison

A regular old Toyota Camry gets about 28mpg city and 39mgh highway. The average commute is about 30 minutes a day. We calculate you will burn close to 1 gallon of gas per day. At the national average of $3.36 a gallon your weekly commute will cost you $15.12 and per month that works out to $60.48

Tesla Model Y

Now lets compare that cost to the most sold EV in America today which is the Tesla Model Y. The Model Y gets about 3.5 miles per kWh of power used. At a supercharger you will pay $0.25 per kWh. So for the average commute of 30 minutes if you only charged at superchargers your weekly commute would cost you $2.14 and your monthly cost would be $8.56

But what if you only charged your Tesla at home? Well this is a bit more dependent on where you live as electrical costs can vary significantly from state to state. However the average kWh cost for electricity in the us is $0.147. Thus your weekly cost to drive your Tesla if you only charged at home would be a measly $1.26 and your monthly cost would only be $5.04

Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt has a medium miles per kWh of 3 so the at home charge cost would be $1.47 per week or $5.88 per month.

Ford Mustang Electric

The Ford Mustang Mach-E only has a median miles per kWh of 2.7 so the at home charge would be $1.63 or $6.53 per month.

Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona has an officially stated miles per kWh of 4.4 so the at home charge would be 1 dollar and monthly charging cost $4 dollars.

What about the cost in California?

California is an national outlier because it has both a higher cost of gasoline and a higher cost of electricity. How does our pricing compare in California? Well the Camry model above would cost $21.02 per week and $84.09 per month when the state average for gasoline is $4.83. Then the cost to charge the Model Y

Will the fuel savings save me money on total ownership?

Lets compare a Toyota Camry with the Hyundai Kona, both cars are in a similar class, the Kona is more of a compact SUV but they both have the same number of seats at 5.

Purchase price of a Camry starts at $30,695. Over a four year period for a 30 minute commute you would spend $2,903.04 dollars in gas, a to keep it simple the only maintenance we will include is a oil changes at $120 per year or $480 total. This would bring all in cost of the Camry over 4 years of commuting to $34,078

Now lets compare that to the Kona. Purchase price starts at $23,890. Over that same 4 year period of commuting 30 minutes a day you would spend $192 dollars in charging. This would bring your all in cost to $24,082. This would make the Kona basically a whole 10k cheaper than the Camry. One thing to keep in mind would be the range. The standard Kona battery can only go 189 miles. While the Camry has a full tank range of over 600 miles. Another factor to consider is the federal tax credit. In 2023 they change the credit of $7,500 to be a discount against what you owe in taxes that year so you may not be able to take advantage of the full $7,500 but if you could that would reduce the cost even further to a mere $16,582


As the EV industry begins to mature and more manufacturers bring budget models into the EV fold the math for buying an EV vs a gas car begins to be a lot more attractive. Gone are the days of the only option for an EV being 60k plus. For the average daily commuter there are many options coming onto the market that can make an EV the more economical option and the ability to charge every night and never need to stop at a gas station is also a very alluring feature. For customers needing a more robust vehicle for long trips or multi hour daily commutes then budget options remain elusive.

Further Reading

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