EV Charging vs. Gas: We Do the Math to See Which is Cheaper

Whether or not EV operating costs are actually cheaper than a gas-powered car is a hot debate on Reddit. We settle the debate with math and an EV expert.

EV enthusiasts — particularly the ones with vanity license plates like “GAS LOL” — like to brag about the cost savings of charging their electric vehicle compared to fueling a gas-powered car. Lowering fuel costs is the main reason the EV-curious think about going all-electric in the first place.

In June 2022, gas prices hit a record, averaging more than $5 per gallon nationwide, and though they’ve since fallen by 26% to around $3.70 as of May, the volatility has many drivers looking at alternatives — such as EVs.

The debate on which is cheaper to run is all over Reddit, TikTok, and other social media platforms. One Reddit user states they now spend $70 more on their electricity bill from at-home charging compared to $330 a month in gas previously. Some Reddit users argue against the actual savings.

So which option is cheaper: EV charging or fueling a gas car?

The price of gasoline is volatile and, in some areas, expensive. While electricity also varies in price, “it’s significantly cheaper” than gasoline, says Anastasia Boutziouvis, solution product manager at ChargePoint, a company that operates the world’s largest network of EV charging stations in North America and Europe. That means recharging an EV likewise tends to be significantly less expensive than topping off a gas-powered car’s fuel tank.

When considering the costs of fueling or charging an electric car versus a gas car, the differences are stark and fairly obvious. EVs are propelled by electricity and utilize batteries to store that electricity, which need to be recharged. Gas-powered cars, or those outfitted with internal combustion engines, are fueled by gasoline, and drivers need to have gas in the vehicle’s fuel tank in order to drive.

Using averages from government data sources, we do the math and map out for you all the charging and fueling costs side by side in a month’s time.

Monthly comparison:

  • EV charging per month: $66.56 recharging costs
  • Gasoline car (ICE) per month: $182.50 fuel expense

In conclusion, while there are upfront costs associated with installing a home EV charger, the ongoing cost of charging an EV is significantly cheaper than fueling a gas-powered car, especially when considering the volatile nature of gas prices.

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