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How much does it cost to charge an electric car in Houston?

November 19th, 2023

How much does it cost to charge an electric car in Houston?

The cost of charging your electric car will change depending on where and when you charge. Generally, the slower the charge, the cheaper and more affordable it will be.

Charging at home overnight is usually the cheapest way to charge your electric car. And specific electric car tariffs like Intelligent Octopus can offer you the best price at home.

At the other end of the scale, topping up your car with a rapid charger is the most expensive way to add miles to your battery (on average, using a rapid charger can cost around $0.25 per kWh).

But let’s dig deep and answer some of the most common questions about the cost of charging an EV by looking at Sarah’s charging costs:

Sarah Thompson is a forward-thinking professional and environmentally conscious commuter living in the suburbs of Sugarland, just outside Houston. Sarah's journey toward a greener lifestyle has led her to choose the Volkswagen ID.4 as her trusty vehicle for the daily commute to downtown Houston. This electric SUV is not only a reflection of her commitment to reducing her carbon footprint but also perfectly aligns with her need for a reliable and efficient mode of transportation for her busy work life.

Sarah's approach to electric vehicle (EV) ownership is meticulous and thoughtful, mirroring her commitment to sustainability. As a mother of three active kids, she's keenly aware of the financial aspects of EV charging, especially considering the distances she covers between Sugarland and downtown Houston.

With the city's electricity prices and the availability of various charging options in mind, Sarah has honed her charging routine to be as cost-effective and efficient as possible, ensuring it aligns with her budget and lifestyle.

Home Charging and the DriveFree EV Plan

Sarah charges her ID.4 at home with a Level 2 charger, taking advantage of the lower night time electricity rates to prepare for her commute each morning. The cost to fully charge the ID.4's 77 kWh battery at the average electricity rate of $0.12 per kWh is approximately $9.24.

Since Sarah benefits from unlimited free home charging through her DriveFree EV plan from Octopus Electric Vehicles she’s virtually able to eliminate her charging costs at home and maximize her savings.

Public Level 2 Charging

For midday top-ups or when staying downtown longer, Sarah uses the public Level 2 charging stations at GreenStreet Garage on Fannin Street. This centrally located charging spot is ideal for Sarah, allowing her to charge her ID.4 while she attends meetings, shops, or enjoys a meal.

Charging at these stations costs more than at home, with rates averaging $0.25 per kWh, bringing the cost to fully charge the ID.4 to around $19.25. Sarah will use these stations for no more than 10 - 15% additional charge on the battery so her cost usually doesn't exceed the $5 mark.

Fast Charging for Extended Trips

When Sarah plans a weekend getaway or needs a quick charge, she heads to the Electrify America station at the Walmart on Highway 6 in Sugarland. This station, with its 150 kW and 350 kW chargers, offers a rapid recharge for her ID.4, ensuring she's ready to hit the road in no time.

Charging the ID.4 from 10% to 80% capacity at these rates costs approximately $26.95, a worthwhile investment for quick and efficient top-ups on the go.

Comparison to Gasoline Fuel Costs

The economics of Sarah's EV charging strategy become even clearer when compared to the costs of fueling a gasoline-powered car. The cost-effectiveness of driving the ID.4, especially with home charging under the DriveFree EV plan, starkly contrasts with the higher expenses of gasoline, emphasizing the financial and environmental benefits of her choice.

Driving the 15,000 miles included in her DriveFree plan using a traditional vehicle, with Houston's average gas price at $3.00 per gallon and an average fuel efficiency of 25 mpg, would cost Sarah $1,800 per year. Now, that’s real money!

Through careful selection of charging locations and times, Sarah Thompson maximizes the efficiency and sustainability of her Volkswagen ID.4, making her daily commute between Sugarland and downtown Houston not just a journey, but a statement of her commitment to a greener future. Her story illustrates how integrating electric vehicles into one’s lifestyle can be both practical and rewarding, especially when leveraging the right charging strategies and resources.