How Much Does It Cost To Charge An EV With A Plug From Your House?


Published on October 29th, 2020 |
by Scott Cooney

October 29th, 2020 by  

I’m a nerd, and I love data. I also do home energy efficiency for a living, so when I got my Tesla last year, my housemates asked me what kind of impact it would have on our electric bill, and I wanted to be able to provide some data to them — 1) to showcase how cool EVs are, but more importantly, 2) so that they wouldn’t make me pay 80% of the bill.

So I decided to do a little experiment and document it. Here’s what I did:

  1. Plug in a watt meter, and measure the car’s electricity consumption from the wall outlet. In this case, I used a Kill-A-Watt meter. I plugged the watt meter into the wall, then my Tesla level 1 charging cable into the watt meter, then the other end of the cable into the car. I got a steady reading after a little oscillation period, of 1384 watts, or 1.384 kilowatts.
  2. Next, I let it charge for a couple of hours (2.5), and then measured how many miles it added to the vehicle. Turned out it was 14.
  3. Once I unplugged the car, I did the math, which you can see in the video below.

(This is on CleanTechnica’s Industry channel, which is our channel for unprofessionally edited, but still cool, videos. Subscribe here!)

In 2.5 hours, 14 miles were added. That means roughly 5.6 miles per hour of charging on the level 1 at my house. My Tesla says 6, so it’s pretty accurate.

The first data point I attempted to solve for here is miles per gallon equivalent on the Tesla. At the charging level (not the driving level, which may be fodder for another video soon), it comes out to 136 miles per gallon equivalent. As I mention in the video, that’s just one data point, but a pretty cool one.

The next is how much it costs. My battery is set to 220 miles for a full charge, so I applied the math and ended up with a pretty terrific figure for the cost of filling up the “tank.” First, I’d love to hear guesses in the comments below. Then, after you comment, check out the vid to learn more!


  • 11¢ per kilowatt-hour (our national electricity average cost here in the US)
  • 33.7 kWh is roughly equal to a gallon of gas (according to the EPA)



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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is a serial eco-entrepreneur hellbent on making the world a better place for all its residents. After starting and selling two mission driven companies, Scott started a third and lost his shirt. After that, he bought a new shirt at Goodwill and started this media company and once it was making enough, he was just smart enough to hire someone smarter than him to run it. He then started Pono Home, a service that greens homes, which has, by the end of 2019, performed efficiency retrofits on more than 13,000 homes and small businesses, saving customers more than $3.3 million a year on their utilities. Because he’s sadistic, he then started a zero waste, organic, locally made personal care line. Scott’s also addicted to producing stuff and teaching people–he was an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai’i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and Green Living Ideas, and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai’i.

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