Amanda Drago
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How to Lower Charging Costs for an Electric Car

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A person putting a charging cord into an EV
Photo: General Motors

Whether you’re looking to make the switch to an electric car or have just purchased one, you may be concerned about how much you’ll need to pay in charging costs. However, if you follow these steps, you can reduce these costs and potentially make EV ownership more budget-friendly than traditional car ownership.

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Pick the right time

Many locations in the U.S. offer time-of-use electric rates. These rates mean that you will have to pay more to charge at peak times and less to charge during off-peak hours. If you live in a city that has this program, charge your EV late at night to save the most money since a majority of people are asleep and not using much electricity then.

Compare charging stations

If you don’t have a charging station at home or are planning to take a road trip, you’ll need to use a public charging station, and these are not created equal. Each charging network has its own pricing structure, so if you have a few options nearby, be sure to compare costs before choosing one.

Three Chevy Bolt EVs lined up and getting charged at charging stations
Photo: General Motors

Take advantage of free charging

A lot of automakers offer free charging for a limited time after you make your EV purchase. Once this time is up, you may also find free charging stations at shopping centers. Although you likely won’t be shopping long enough to completely charge your battery, you should still be able to get a few miles of extra range.

Charge at work

Some employers have charging stations in the parking lot. Often these require no payment from you for at least a few hours. However, make sure to ask your employer before using one since they may assign employees to specific stations.

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If you’re smart about where and when you plug in, you can significantly lower the costs of charging your electric car.