“A conservative rule used mostly is that an electric car gets 3 to 4 miles per kWh,”. So divide the total miles you drive each month by 3, to get the kWh you would use monthly. Multiply that number by your cost per kWh. The dollar or cedi amount you get will most likely be lower than what you pay each month to buy gasoline or petrol.
To put this into perspective, let’s give an example. Let’s say you drive about 1,000 miles per month. For an EV, you will use 333 kWh in that timeframe. Using the U.S. household average from May 2021 of 14 cents per kWh, it would cost $46.66/month to charge an EV.
The average cost per kWh for Ghanaian households as of January 2021 average from 32.6 Peswes per kWh for the 0-50 tariff category and 61.4 peswes for the 51-300 tariff category. So using the 51-300 tariff category because your car might be charging between that range per hour, it would cost you Ghc 204.5/month to charge an Electric vehicle for 1,000 Miles or 1,609.34 kilometres. Just remember the tariff rates are different for residential and non-residential.
Do the Numbers Add Up Electric Vehicles vs Fuel Vehicle?
Again, to keep things digestible, let’s use a simple formula.
Suppose you put 1,000 miles on your vehicle which is the same as 1,609.34 kilometres each month, for example, and pay 61.4 peswes in your area for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. In that case, this pegs your at-home EV recharging bill at Ghc 204.5 per month (based on the calculation of 3 to 4 driving miles equaling one kilowatt-hour). Even if you increase your electric rate to 94 peswes per/kWh, your EV recharging cost will be Ghc 313.33.
So the formula would be for Cost of charging would be = (Distance in miles / 3) * Cost per Kwh in your location
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How Does the Recharge Cost Of Electric Vehicles vs Fuel Vehicle Compare?
Let’s use the 2019 Honda CR-V AWD 1.5 L, 4 cyl, Automatic (variable gear ratios), Turbo, Regular Gasoline which has 30 MPG combined city/highway consumption.
The average cost per gallon is $4.088 (Ghc 24.53) in Ghana and $3.18 per gallon in the US as of this writing.
So let’s say your regular monthly travel is 1000 miles or 1,609 kilometres and you use the 2019 Honda CR-V AWD 1.5 L which consumes 1 gallon per every 30 miles or 48.3 kilometres.
You will need to fill the car with 33.3 gallons of fuel over the month or period involved to cover the 1000 miles or 1,609 kilometres.
So 33.3 gallons * $4.088 (Ghc 24.53) = $136.27 (Ghc 817.67).
Using the Honda CRV will cost you Ghc 817 for the whole month compared to Ghc 204.5 or Ghc 313 if we decide to use the highest tariff charge of 94 peswes per kWh in Ghana for the electric vehicle. This means you will be saving between Ghc 7,358 to Ghc 6,056 every year using the EV compared to the Honda CRV in Ghana.
Remember this is only an estimate since fuel prices and mileage are so variable though. But considering few cars and SUVs come anywhere close to delivering a 30 mpg combined average, my conservative estimate in this scenario makes it clear that recharging will cost less than keeping a car refuelled. The financial gap narrows with a more fuel-efficient car, but it remains.
Also, remember Electric Vehicles enjoy regenerative braking that charges the battery as you use it. Regenerative braking turns your car’s kinetic energy into electricity to charge its battery and boost efficiency. So my above estimates exclude this benefit because it varies from car to car but it has a small margin of impact on the analysis.
Electric Vehicles vs Fuel Vehicle charging stations: availability and cost
Most electric cars nowadays can go about 200 to 350 miles on a single charge with 400 miles + expected soon, and the availability of public electric car charging stations is growing. (Currently, there is 72,000 electric vehicle charging stations in the US, compared to 136,400 gas stations, CNBC has reported meanwhile china has 1,680,000 charging stations. But in Ghana, there is none except at individual homes. So it (theoretically) should be rare to find yourself running out of power with no vehicle chargers nearby.
Many EV owners buy their charging stations for home use. The cost of installing one in your home varies, and if you live in a shared apartment getting one put in may be tricky. For the cheapest model, which gives you 5 miles of charge per hour a vehicle is plugged in costs between $300 and $2,300 for the unit and installation, according to Fixr.
Unlike a typical 240-volt Level 2 home recharging system, Level 3 chargers are prohibitively expensive for a private individual to have installed. Tesla has its own dedicated Supercharger network. The rates can vary widely depending on region, timing, the model of Tesla being charged and not others EVs can charge on their network as of now, and even if you choose Tier 1 or Tier 2 recharge speeds (the latter being quick but more expensive).