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What's the cost to charge an EV in Eugene? (Hint: It hasn't changed since 2016)

December 05, 2019

electric vehicle plugged in to home charger

When deciding on a car purchase, economics are always a big factor. Savvy car buyers will consider more than the sticker price—loan interest rates, miles per gallon, maintenance costs and insurance premiums all impact overall affordability.

Since EV charging is unfamiliar territory for many of us, a little "primer" on electricity and charging costs might be useful.

As an EWEB residential customer, your electric pricing is made up of three charges: basic charge, delivery charge, and energy charge.

  • Basic Charge $20.50 per month (covers the fixed cost of services for things such as metering and billing)
  • Delivery Charge 2.624 cents per kWh (covers the costs to operate and maintain the wires, transformers, poles and other equipment it takes to send you power)
  • Energy Charge 6.524 cents per kWh (covers the costs of producing the electricity and sending it long distance to our distribution system)

Adding the Delivery and Energy charges together gives you the total cost per kWh of 9.148 cents. This price has remained unchanged since 2016. (For reference, the US average is 13.08 cents and Oregon average is 10.98 cents).

To figure out your cost of charging at home, multiply the vehicle's kWh/100 miles figure by EWEB's cost of 9.148 cents. That figure will tell you the cost per 100 miles. For example, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range with 26 kWh/100 miles would cost $2.38 to drive 100 miles. You can find the fuel efficiency for all EV models at fueleconomy.gov.

Another method that is slightly more complex, but more familiar to the average driver, is to calculate cost per e-gallon. 

What is eGallon?

The U.S. Department of Energy created the eGallon to help consumers better understand the cost of driving an EV. According to the DOE, the eGallon represents the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline. For example, if gasoline costs $3.60 a gallon and the eGallon price is $1.20, that means that for $1.20 worth of electricity you can drive the same distance as you would for $3.60 worth of gasoline.

Based on EWEB's residential electricity prices and an average gasoline fuel economy of 25 MPG, here are the eGallon prices for a few popular 2019 EV models:

    • Nissan LEAF:  $0.70/eGallon

    • BMW i3: $0.68/eGallon

  • Chevy Bolt: $0.63/eGallon

    • Tesla Model 3 Standard Range: $0.59/eGallon

  • Hyundai Ioniq: $0.56/eGallon

For comparison, the Oregon average price of gasoline today is $3.152 according to AAA

Of course, if you charge at a public charging station, your costs will be slightly different, but regardless of where you charge, you are certain to pay less to "fuel" an EV than a gas-powered vehicle.

The relative stability of electricity rates compared to gasoline is an added benefit. EWEB residential electricity prices, for example, have remained unchanged four out of the past five years and will again remain flat in 2020.