There are a couple of common ways to charge an electric vehicle. One is to simply plug into a standard electrical outlet. The second is to use a public network. And the last one is to invest in a home charging station.
Is it cheaper to charge an electric vehicle at home or at a public charging station?
Using a simple plug is the cheapest option but presents many inconveniences in terms of comfort compared to the other two options, especially a longer charging time.
If you drive long distances and need to charge your electric vehicle quite fast, we recommend you invest in a home charger or use public infrastructure. Now, you’re probably wondering if the most convenient and cheapest solution is to charge your electric car at a public station or to use a home charger. Actually, it depends on many factors. Use our tool to find out if it is financially interesting for you to invest in an EV home charging point or if you should simply rely on the public charging infrastructure.
Should I invest in an EV home charging station or use the public network? Which option is the cheapest?
With the tool below, you can calculate your break-even and see after how long you could start saving money if you buy a home charger and decide if it really makes sense in your situation or if you should just use the public infrastructure.
Select a currency
Select your preferred distance unit
Select your daily driving distance:
Select the energy consumption of your EV: kwh/100
Charging power in kW
Public charging cost
Charging cost per kWh
Select the type of any additional cost
Home charging cost
Electricity cost per kWh
Cost for buying the charging station
Estimated breakeven: years and days
When thinking about buying a home charging station, you might ask yourself at which point you will actually start to save some money in comparison to charging your electric car at a public station. As you could see above, this question cannot be answered easily. It depends on the energy prices, the prices for public charging, and the energy consumption of the specific driver and its electric vehicle.
To go further and get a feeling for the question we want to give you two examples of calculation of the break-even point.
The first example is for a driver who drives 60 miles/km a day on average.
The graphic shows the costs of charging at home and in public. The investment for a charging station is assumed at 500 $. We see, that after a little less than 4 years the user starts to save money when charging at home.
The second example is for a driver who drives 100 miles/km a day on average.
We can see that the EV owner with a high daily driving has equalized his investment after almost 2 and a half years.
In general, we can say, that the lower the energy price for charging at home is and the higher your daily consumption for charging is, the faster the investment for a home charging station is reasonable.
Public charging infrastructure
First of all, you should check the status of the publicly accessible charging infrastructure in the area you’re living in. Indeed, we can notice an expansion of charging points but infrastructures still need to improve accessibility for the general public.
Some operators of public charging stations give the opportunity to find charging stations in different areas. When you plan to rely on public charging stations, you should ensure, that the given infrastructure allows different charging options for you.
Public charging is a convenient option to charge while on the way.
When you consider relying entirely on public charging on a daily basis you should keep in mind that some points can hardly be planned.
If a public station is out of order or other EV owners are using the station, it is hard to stick to your charging plan.
With a home charging station, you have the option to charge at exactly the time you planned to and you can ensure, that no other car is blocking your charging station. But charging at home requires an investment.
The examples we have calculated, show a rather conservative approach to defining the break-even point. The break-even depends on your average driving distance and the energy market.
Calculating the charging costs is only one step in deciding if a home charging station is reasonable for your situation. The comfort of charging at home is hard to compare with the investment in a home charging station. If you think about buying a home charging station, we recommend you read our guide to buying the right home charging station for your electric car.