Make your home page

Saving money on filling up is not always guaranteed with electric vehicles

Electric vehicle cost savings vs. gas prices

INDIANAPOLIS — Does switching to an electric vehicle save you money on filling up your car?

I-Team 8 set out to answer that question for Hoosier families.

According to AES Indiana, EV savings vary entirely on where drivers charge their vehicles.

Choosing the fastest option might save motorists as much as they think compared to paying at the pump. AES Indiana said the cost of charging up an electric car can vary a lot.

Zac Elliot, portfolio lead of AES Electrifying, said, “We find that typically the most expensive way to charge is at fast-charging stations, or Level 3 stations, and, in our area, those average between 40 and 50 cents per kilowatt hour.”

According to research by Energy Innovation, that cost in Indiana still saves EV owners compared to gasoline, but AES says that equation changes when motorists account for road trips where drivers are traveling out of state where charging costs at fast charging stations can be higher.

“The highest prices are typically at those DC (direct current) fast-charging stations, so those serve people who are traveling long distances and that price can be equivalent to gasoline. What customers are paying for there is a very fast charge and the convenience of charging up quickly and efficiently while out on the road,” Elliot said..

The price can also vary based upon the type of electric vehicle. Elliot said, “Each battery, each vehicle, is more or less efficient, so that can certainly have bearing on how much it costs to charge up an electric car.”

The charging fees that start to get close to the cost of gasoline are only at the fastest, public charging stations. If you’re willing to wait a little longer for a charge, use a Level 2 charging station and savings start to return and add up.

“Those are typically in the 20- to 30-cent range but oftentimes those are offered for free,” Elliot said.

AES said the overwhelming majority of their customers aren’t choosing either of those options. Elliot said, “80+% of our customers in our service area charge overnight at home, and that’s much more cost-effective.”

The cost for charging at home is around 12 cents per kilowatt hour, but it is the slowest out of the three options.