How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Fast read

The majority of Electric vehicles can be charged with several different chargers, each with a price and speed set before plugging in. The battery's size and the charger being used affect how long it takes to charge an EV. In simple terms, the larger the battery, the slower it will take to charge, and the slower the charger is, the slower it will be charged.

Depending on the charger type and the electricity cost in the area, charging an EV might be expensive. The cost of operating an electric vehicle (EV) and its carbon impact can be significantly decreased by charging the EV at home using a solar power system and a car charger. Other public charging stations are available, although they could cost more and have longer lines.

What are the ways and costs of charging an electric car?

As the electric car landscape continues to evolve, more manufacturers are incorporating electric models into their line-up, offering diverse choices for consumers. Notably, the size of batteries and driving ranges for these electric models show significant variations. Electric cars cost varying amounts as well as time to charge because of factors such as battery size and type of charger.

This is unlike traditional vehicles which have a fixed refuelling time. Electric cars may take longer or shorter to charge depending on the specific battery and charger being used. Traditional vehicles, on the other hand, always take the same amount of time to refuel.

In the current Australian market, various manufacturers offer electric cars, each boasting different charging times. This variation is primarily attributed to differences in battery size and the type of charger employed by each brand. The evolving technology presents consumers with a spectrum of choices, each tailored to specific preferences and driving needs.

Australia currently features three main types of public chargers, with each succeeding type being faster than its predecessor. The availability of diverse charging options further adds to the flexibility and convenience for EV owners. To learn more about charging stations for electric cars in Australia, you can read our detailed article. The article discusses the different types of chargers that are available.

tesla charging port
Electric car charger brands vary extensively in their charging capabilities and vehicle suitability

Some specific samples

Tesla suggests using a standard car charger for about an hour to quickly charge the battery. If the battery is very low, it is recommended to leave it charging for a full day.

The Nissan Leaf is a small electric car in Australia. It has a light battery that takes 4 to 8 hours to charge. The charging time varies depending on how much the battery is drained. It also depends on the state of charge when the car is plugged in.

The Nissan Leaf is an electric car in Australia. It has a small battery. The battery takes 4 to 8 hours to charge. The charging time depends on how drained the battery is. It also depends on the state of charge when the car is plugged in.

The Leaf also offers a faster charging option, which can be as short as 30 minutes. Nevertheless, some experts claim that a slower charge, and therefore more time waiting for the electric car charging to complete, will increase battery life.

This is because electric car batteries are not getting hot in a slower-charge environment. In addition, current electric car battery technology does not like to see car batteries being pushed and overheated.


Battery size  

3.6kW charger

7.2kW charger

22kW Fast charger 

43-50kW Rapid charger

Nissan Leaf40kWh11 hrs 6 hrs6 hrs1 hr
Tesla Model S100kWh27 hrs14 hrs9 hrs2 hrs
Audi e-tron95kWh26 hrs13 hrs8.5 hrs2 hrs
BMW i343kWh12 hrs6 hrs 4 hrs 1 hr
Hyundai Kona64kWh17 hrs 8 hrsN/A1 hr
Mercedes EQC80kWh22 hrs11 hrs 11 hrs1.5 hrs
Porsche Tycan93kWh25 hrs12.5 hrs4 hrsN/A
Tesla Model 375kWh20 hrs10.5 hrs6.5 hrs N/A
Tesla Model X100kWh27 hrs 14 hrs9 hrs2 hrs

Several other variables may impact charging time. These include:

  • Hour of the day – If you are charging your electric car during peak hours, your EV will draw less power from the grid
  • Ambient Temperature – Extreme cold/hot conditions can affect your battery’s ability to draw power and sustain it.
  • Electric car battery level – If an EV is below 20% or above 80% charged, then charging times can be significantly slower or faster
  • The number of electric cars charging – This applies primarily to public charging stations, as you can expect when there are a lot of EVs charging at a public station, the rate at which power can be delivered will decrease, and access waiting time could increase.
electric car charger being held
Charging your electric vehicle (EV) is exponentially cheaper than fuel

What is the cost of an electric car charge?

Electric cars often claim to require 10 to 18 kWh of electricity to cover a distance of 100 km. When this electricity is sourced from renewable energy, such as a high-quality residential solar system, it not only keeps the operational costs of the electric car low but also contributes to a reduced carbon footprint.

Charging an electric car at home through a residential solar system and a charger brings about several advantages. Firstly, the cost of running the electric car is minimised as the energy is harnessed from a renewable source. Additionally, the environmental impact is diminished since the electricity comes from clean and sustainable solar power.

Conversely, if the electric car is charged directly from the grid and consumes 16 kWh to cover 100 km, and the local cost of electricity is 30 cents per kWh, the electric car trip’s electricity cost would amount to $4.80 (16 x $0.30). This cost is only about one-third of what a regular petrol car would spend to travel the same distance.

In summary, the method of charging significantly influences the cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits of electric cars. Utilising residential solar systems not only reduces operational expenses but also contributes to a greener and more sustainable mode of transportation.

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