Levelized Cost of Charging – A Detailed Assessment of Fuel Costs for Electric Vehicles in the United States

Brennan Borlaug, Shawn Salisbury, Mindy Gerdes, Matteo Muratori

March 2020 - Cost is a major driver of vehicle adoption and while much emphasis has been placed on the high purchase price associated with electric vehicles (EVs), it is important to also consider operating costs, including fuel. The cost to charge an EV varies depending on the price of electricity at different charging sites (home, workplace, public), vehicle use, by region and time-of-day, and for different charging power levels and equipment/installation costs. Despite this, most studies assume a single cost for EV charging. This paper provides a detailed assessment of the current levelized cost of charging (LCOC) in the United States, considering when, where, and how EVs are charged. The LCOC includes costs associated with the purchase and installation of charging equipment and retail electricity prices, derived from real-world utility tariffs. To contextualize the LCOC, we estimate lifetime fuel cost savings, comparing refueling costs for EVs to conventional gasoline vehicles over a 15-year time horizon.

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