How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

With all the concerns about our carbon footprint, more and more people are switching to electric cars. 

If you’re considering buying an electric vehicle (EV), you may wonder how much it costs to charge. Even though EVs are much cheaper than petrol and avoid all those nasty emissions, the price will vary significantly depending on where and when you charge them and the size of your battery. 

We’ll cover everything you need to know about the cost and time it takes to charge an electric car in Australia. Let’s dive in.

How Much Does It Cost to Fully Charge an Electric Car in Australia?

This handy reference chart will give you the average cost to recharge your battery, depending on your charge level.

Charge LevelAverage Cost (per kWh)Small EVsLarge EVs
Level 1$0.15 – $0.30 $11.50 – $23$22.50 – $45
Level 2$0.20 – $0.25$15.30 – $18.40$30 – $36
Level 3$0.30 – $0.60$23 – $46$45 – $54

Level 1 Charging Stations

Level 1 stations are basic home chargers that plug into your wall outlet without any additional infrastructure. They’re the slowest and cheapest, but the cost can vary significantly depending on your electrical provider. 

Another factor is that if you use it during peak hours, you’ll pay much more than letting it recharge overnight during off-peak hours when your electricity is the cheapest. Generally, it’ll cost between $11 and $45, depending on your EV size, electricity rates, and when you charge it. 

Note that you always have the option of installing a faster charger at home and still pay the same rate per kWh based on your electrical provider. You just need to invest in additional equipment and have it professionally installed. 

Level 2 Charging Stations

These public charging stations work much faster than Level 1 home chargers. Depending on your battery’s capacity, you can expect to pay between $15 and $36 for a full battery. Remember to factor in parking fees if you use one in shopping centres or office buildings. 

Level 3 Charging Stations

Level 3 is your rapid charging option, found in some public charging stations, especially those located near major highways. It charges the fastest, but you’ll pay more, typically between $23 and $54, depending on the size of your vehicle. 

How Much Does It Cost To Charge an Electric Car at Home?

When you charge your car at home, you’ll pay less than at public charging stations, regardless of what level of charger you have installed. However, that cost depends on your battery’s size, electricity rates, and charger use. 

If you recharge during off-peak hours (mostly at night), you’ll pay less than in the morning and early evening. On average, to get a full battery at home, you can expect to pay between $11 and $45, depending on the size of your EV. 

Does Having Solar Panels in My House Reduce the Costs?

Solar panels can significantly reduce or even eliminate your electrical bills, depending on the size of the system you get. Then, you can use your solar energy to charge your EV instead of using your utility company. If you have a big enough system, it will significantly reduce or even eliminate the cost of charging your electric car. 

If you want a powerful enough system to provide electricity for both your home and car, consider connecting EcoFlow’s DELTA Pro portable power station to your household electricity. It’s the most affordable whole-home backup solution, expandable to up to 25kWh of electricity storage and up to 3200W of solar charging when chaining 2 x EcoFlow DELTA Pros together with a Dual Voltage Hub and 8 EcoFlow 400W Rigid Solar Panels

Depending on your energy usage, you should get enough electricity and battery storage for your home and charge your car with solar. In addition to calculating your household energy needs, There are a few other things to consider when installing home solar panels. For instance, consider the Balance of System components you will need to ensure easy integration into your home.  

The bonus is that EcoFlow’s DELTA Pro is still portable enough to recharge your vehicle for emergency use. While it alone won’t give you a full charge, it’s like carrying a petrol can in your petrol-powered vehicle. 

If you’re going on a long journey to the outback, you can bring EcoFlow Portable Solar Panels with you and recharge your portable power station anytime you’re parked.

Another home charging option is setting up a solar carport. While these are most common in commercial applications, you can easily set one up at home with solar panels and the right balance of system. Then you can charge your car while parked at home. 

How To Calculate the Cost of Charging Your Electric Car

Calculating the cost of charging your electric car is similar to figuring out the cost of filling up a petrol tank for a combustion engine vehicle, where you simply multiply the tank capacity by the price per litre of petrol. 

The only difference here is that the battery capacity is in kWh (kilowatt-hours, the same units as you see on your electricity bills) instead of litres, and you multiply it by the cost per kWh for electricity. 

Battery Size(kWh) x Electricity Rate(cost/kWh) = Cost

So, for an average 40kWh battery and an average electricity rate in Australia of $0.31/kWh:

40kWh x $0.31 = $12.40

Remember, these are for residential electricity use. Public charging stations, especially rapid charging stations, charge a premium for their services. You would need to find the rates of those stations to calculate the cost. 

How Long Does It Take to Fully Charge an Electric Car?

The time it takes to charge your car depends on the following factors. 

  • The level of charger used. Level 1 is the slowest, taking 5-16 hours, while level 3 offers the fastest rates of 20-60 minutes. Some newer ultra-fast chargers can get you back on the road in as little as 10 minutes. 
  • When calculating the length of time, be sure to factor in a 10% loss of your charger’s power (multiplied by 0.9) to account for the loss when your charger’s AC electricity is converted into DC energy used in your battery. The loss is small, but it does add up.
  • Battery capacity – bigger EVs have bigger batteries and take longer to charge. 
  • If your battery is not fully empty, it charges faster. But we’ll assume here it’s empty. 

Let’s calculate: 

Time to charge = battery capacity / (charging power x 0.9)

If you have a 40kWh battery and use a Level 1 home charger at 3.7kW:

40kWh / (3.7kW x 0.9) = 12 hours

Or, using a slower Level 2 charger at 7kW charging power:

40kWh / (7kW x 0.9) = 6.35 hours

Level 3 chargers vary between 50kW and 400kW. Let’s say you’re using a rapid 200kW charger:

40kWh / (200kW x 0.9) = 0.22 hours (13.2 minutes)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Charging an Electric Car Cheaper Than Fuel?

Yes, charging an electric car is cheaper than using fuel. An average standard electric car battery charged at home costs only $11.50 – $23, while using a public Level 3 charger costs $23 – $46. Your average petrol car costs about $73.10 to refuel in Australia in 2023.

What Is the Cheapest EV Charging Station in Australia?

The average charging station in Australia costs between $0.30 and $0.60 per kWh. Of those available, Chargefox tends to have the cheapest rates, offering slower charging (up to 22 kWh) for $0.30 per kWh, while its rapid chargers cost up to $0.60 per kWh.  

Final Thoughts

Given the financial and environmental costs of using petrol, getting an electric car is becoming increasingly appealing. If you’re considering making the switch, be sure you know your car’s battery capacity to know how much you can expect to pay using the different charging options and how long those options take to give you a full charge. 

Of course, you can always invest in an EcoFlow DELTA Pro portable power station and charge it at home with your EcoFlow 400W Solar Panels so you can recharge your EV for free. You can even pack it with you for peace of mind next time you go to the outback so you have backup power in case the next charging station is a bit too far.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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