More Australians embrace green technology every year, switching to electric cars and enjoying the perks of driving an EV. Compared to other countries, Australia is still in its infancy when it comes to EV sales, but there’s no denying that electric cars are steadily becoming hot property. In 2022 electric vehicles sales in Australia almost doubled, with 2023 expected to be an even bigger year for EVs, with more affordable models on their way and a growing charging infrastructure.
There are many reasons to upgrade to an electric car, from contributing to a cleaner environment to having a smooth and unique driving experience. Still, the most significant is how much you’ll save with no hefty fuel costs.
The cost of charging your EV depends on multiple factors, such as battery size, charging time, using a home or public charger and even vehicle weight.
TIP: To avoid long waiting times, go for small and quick top ups to get you through the day instead of fully charging your EV each time you plug it in.
As of May 2023, the average home electricity cost in NSW is $0.31 per kWh, and it takes about 18 kWh of electricity to travel 100 km in your EV. That means you’ll pay $5.6/100 km if you charge your EV at home. If you opt to charge it using a public DC fast charger, with the average rate of $0.40/kWh, you’ll be paying $7.2 to travel 100 km.
In comparison, the average petrol car in Australia needs 11 litres of fuel to travel 100 km. With the average petrol price of $2 per litre in Sydney, you’re paying $22 per 100 km. That’s almost four times more expensive compared to an EV.
What’s great about EVs is that there are ways to reduce their charging costs even further. Here are the best tips to get lower charging fares.
There are three charging options in Australia for now:
*Depending on your region and your household energy tariff
For home charging, you can use a standard AC wall socket or install a dedicated EV charger. The first option is the easiest one — you just need a compatible lead, and you can plug your EV just as you do with your laptop or smartphone. Unfortunately, this charging option is the slowest, and your car might need over 18 hours to fully charge depending on its battery size.
The best home charging solution is installing a dedicated charging unit. Despite its slightly higher upfront cost, you get to charge your EV three times faster than using a standard power outlet for the same cost per kWh. This one stays the cheapest and most convenient EV charging option. You can fully charge your car overnight, and you’ll most likely be able to get through the day without any top-ups.
Splend and JET charge have an exclusive offer for NSW rideshare drivers who want to install a home charger. You can get the Pulsar range, a compact and minimalistic home charger, for a $33 subscription per month and a one-off installation fee.
The cost of charging your EV at home depends on your car’s battery size and household energy tariff. Here are the average electricity costs for at-home charging in Australia by state and the estimated charging costs for a 69kWh battery EV, the Polestar 2 Standard Range EV.
*Estimations based on the reference price in each state. For NSW and VIC, this is an average of the tariffs across different network areas.
These costs can be lowered by utilising the time-of-use tariff options or green energy solutions. Around 70% of Australian EV owners also have a home solar system that allows them to run their EVs for almost no additional cost.
Australia is starting to heavily invest in public charging, counting now over 3,700 charging stations across the country, with 1,000 located in NSW and new ones being installed every month. Access to these stations is also easier than ever, thanks to the numerous charging apps that help you locate the nearest charging station.
You can use destination charging stations in car parks, community centres, shopping centres, libraries and famous landmarks for driving through the city. If you’re planning a road trip, there are rapid charging stations on highways, so you won’t be left empty.
IMPORTANT: Always keep a compatible charging cable or an adaptor in your boot because some destination stations don’t have their own cables.
Most of Australia’s public charging stations are Level 2 AC 22kWh chargers, adding around 40 to 100 km per hour. Level 3 charging stations, fast or ultra-rapid stations, are less common in Australia and are mainly located on the coast. Since they’re the fastest option available, some of them fully charge your car in less than 45 minutes, but you’ll be paying a higher price.
The charging costs depend on every network’s electricity fares and special conditions — limited charging time, additional parking or idle fees.
Here are the most popular charging networks in Australia and their average fares to get an idea of how much you’ll be paying to charge your EV.
To put these numbers in context, here’s the average price you’ll need to pay to fully charge some popular EV models using public chargers.
The good news is that there are also free EV charging stations, with some places of business offering incentives to encourage early EV adoption. Check your city’s charging stations’ fares using the PlugShare map.
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