Charging Costs

Driving an electric vehicle results in large fuel cost savings over time, as the cost of charging an electric vehicle at home is much lower than that of driving a conventional gas-fueled car.

The per-mile cost of energy for an electric vehicle depends upon the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, measured in kilo-watt hours per 100 miles, and the cost of electricity. The Vehicle Cost Calculator is a tool that allows you to compare the cost of charging an EV with the cost of fueling a regular car and measures savings over time. The U.S. EPA also provides estimates for the cost of fuel for EVs, showing that many electric vehicles cost less than $1 per 25 miles worth of fuel.


Real-Time and Off-Peak Electric Rates

Many residential consumers, regardless of whether they own an electric vehicle, can save money by switching to a real-time or off-peak electric rate. Utilities and suppliers offer dynamic rate structures to encourage consumers to shift electricity use from high-demand (peak) hours to low-demand (off-peak) hours.

Benefits of switching to a real-time or off-peak electric rate include:

  • EV owners that plug-in overnight can save hundreds of dollars per year on a real-time or off-peak rate vs. the default flat rate
  • By shifting your electricity use to off-peak hours, you help reduce carbon emissions from less-efficient generation facilities that contribute to climate change
  • Use of real-time and off-peak rates can improve the overall reliability and efficiency of the electric grid

Real-time rates are available to residential electricity customers in Illinois through Ameren and ComEd.  Both utilities have designed programs to make hourly pricing changes transparent, providing customers information about day-ahead pricing online, by phone or through email, text, or Twitter.

Some Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers (ARES) in Illinois now offer off-peak rates to residential customers as well (see the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Plug In Illinois website to learn more about electric choice in Illinois and see specific off-peak rate offers made by ARES)


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