Making a conscious effort to live a green lifestyle takes courage and usually a high up-front investment. Because electric car charging only cost about $0.04 per mile to drive, usually your return on investment is pretty respectable. However, keeping your charging costs low is key to maintaining your electric advantage. Here’s how.
Electric Car Charging – Get a Faster Charge
When you shop for your EV, make sure you invest in one with a faster charger. Electric cars with smaller charge capabilities will cost significantly more to charge, and the time necessary to fully charge will limit your driving range. EVObsession.com recommends the Tesla Model S and X because one hour of charging can add at least 29 miles. Tesla models can also use the Tesla Supercharger network, which is quickly growing across the U.S. and Europe and could potentially add 170 miles in just 30 minutes of charging.
Electric Car Charging – Increase Fuel Efficiency
Just like a traditional gas-run vehicle, an EV with better efficiency won’t cost you as much to “fuel.” TireBuyer.com recommends increasing efficiency by choosing tires with reduced rolling resistance, like the Continental ProContact ECOPlus. In addition, consider turning on your EV’s “economy” mode, which may limit some performance aspects like acceleration, according to FuelEconomy.gov. Other common sense methods apply as well, such as avoiding hard braking and limiting usage of heating and air conditioning.
Electric Car Charging – Switch Your Utility Rate
Ask your utility company if it has an EV charging rate plan. You might be able to save 25 percent or more on your typical charging rates. For example, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., offers several options depending on the EV owner’s needs, such as single meters — with costs based on time of use — or dual meters.
Electric Car Charging – Top Off at Work
If you have a 120-volt charging cord and a socket at work, take advantage! You could pick up an extra 25 miles worth of electricity if you plug in during your eight-hour work day. But make sure your company is on board before plugging in.
Electric Car Charging – Plug in to the Right Network
Since the most cost-effective way of charging your EV occurs at home, try to curb your public charging to a need-only basis. If your public charging needs are relatively low, it’s best to go with a pay-as-you-go network like ChargePoint. But the best way, of course, is free. Use PlugShare to find the locations of free charging stations in your area.
Electric Car Charging – Charge at the Right Time
As it turns out, your daily commute isn’t the only thing that gets jammed up. The electrical grid is also busier (and more expensive) during peak daytime hours. To avoid the electrical rush hour and optimize your charge, consider subscribing to a time-of-use plan and set up your car to charge after midnight when most people are sleeping. Doing this could cause your charging price to drop from $0.12-0.13 per kWh to $0.05-0.10.
Electric Car Charging – Get a Separate Meter
If your home’s current electrical panel and meter are located near where you plan to charge your car, it might be a good idea to install a separate meter for EV charging. This could help keep your home’s electrical rate on a lower tier, which will cost significantly less per month. A word to the wise: Consult with your utility company before deciding to get a separate EV meter. Digging trenches and running conduit may be more costly than it’s worth.