Here are some ballpark figures for EV charging at home in Orange County, Calif.

SCE website:

If you’re thinking of driving an electric car, naturally, you’re wondering how much more will your electric bill go up per month and what do I need to know about charging to get the cheapest rates.

Here’s everything I found about electric vehicle charting rates in Orange County, California and how it compares, cost wise, if you used a regular gas car.

Orange County electricity rates for EVs

If you live in Orange County, your electricity is supplied by Southern California Edison.

SCE charges you per kWh based off of if you’re on their traditional tiered rate plan or TOU (Time of use) plan.

While, generally, a TOU plan specifically tailored for EVs provides the cheapest charging rates, with our example, we’ll go through how much more (or less) you’ll spend depending on which plan you decide on.

Here’s how much electricity costs per kWh under SCE’s traditional tiered rate plan.


And here’s how much electricity costs if you sign up for SCE’s TOU-D plan (specifically tailored for EV owners.)


You can use their rate comparison tool to determine, after you’ve gathered your charging needs data, which plan is right for you.

How much does a charge (fill up) cost?

While there are dozens of EVs to choose from, when it comes to your electricity bill, the most important thing to know is the size of your battery pack measured in kWh.

For our example we will use a Tesla Model 3 AWD (353 miles combined range) equipped with their newest 82 kWh battery pack.

We’re also assuming you’re charging with, at least, Level 2 charging (220V AKA your dryer plug or a dedicated Level 2 charger.)

According to Tesla Motor Club members, they’ve observed, on average, between an 80-95 percent charging efficiency from plug to outlet.

For our purposes, we will assume an 85 percent charging efficiency.

In addition, for our monthly electric bill estimates, I’ll plug in the 12,500 miles driven per year (1,041/month) as according to policy genius, that’s the average for a Californian.

For our Tesla Model 3, depending on what plan you’re on and assuming that 85% charging efficiency, here’s how much a charge costs.

From empty to a 100 percent charge assuming 85 percent efficiency (will draw 96 kWh to get 82 kWh.)

  • Tier 1 (28 cents per kWh)- $26.88
  • Tier 2- (36 cents) $34.56
  • TOU-D Off-peak Summer (21 cents)-$20.16
  • TOU-D Off-peak Winter- $19.20

(Most common scenario) From 20% to an 80% charge assuming 85 percent efficiency (will draw 58 kWh to reach 65.6 kWh.)

  • Tier 1 (28 cents per kWh)- $16.28
  • Tier 2 (36 cents)- $20.88
  • TOU-D Off-peak Summer (21 cents)-$12.18
  • TOU-D Off-peak Winter (20 cents)- $11.60

In other words, if you’re on a tiered rate plan commonly charging from 20 percent-80 percent expect to pay between $16-20 per charge and if you’re on the special TOU-D rate plan, about $12 per charge.

Over a month of driving (1,041 miles) you’ll need about three full charges (or five 20-80 percent charges) worth of electricity (or 241 kWh) which per month, depending on your plan, works out to.

Tier 1 (28 cents per kWh)- $67.48
Tier 2 (36 cents)- $86.76
TOU-D Off-peak Summer (21 cents)-$50.61
TOU-D Off-peak Winter (20 cents)- $48.20

Generally speaking, if you have a Tesla Model 3 with the 82-kWh battery, you can say charges will cost you between $12-$20 if you don’t charge from empty or up to 100 percent and, over a month, you can expect to see between a $50-$86 dollar increase in your monthly electric bill.

There are EVs that are more or less efficient with larger or smaller battery packs than the Tesla Model 3 so, depending on what EV you choose, knowing how much you pay per kWh, you can now figure out the cost for your particular situation.

How much am I saving compared to the gas equivalent?

Let’s compare the Tesla Model 3 to a BMW 3-series which gets 30 MPG combined.

To match the Tesla Model 3’s 353 miles range you’d need 11.7 gallons of gas.

Orange County’s average price per gallon as of this writing is about $4.65 so you’d spend $54.71 to drive 353 miles in a BMW 3-series.

Comparing gas vs electricity costs, if you’re on SCE’s TOU-D plan, it costs a third of what you’d pay to achieve the gas equivalent range.

Even on Tier 2’s rates, you’re spending a fraction of what you’d pay at the pump to fill up.

On top of the savings, you can say bye-bye to gas stations (at least when it comes to fuel fill-ups.)


Hopefully this gives you a better idea how much it costs to charge from home in Orange County, California.

As you can see, if you fit into TOU-D’s charging rates, it’s much cheaper to charge under that plan.

Regardless of plan, charges per charge are affordable and depending on your situation, doesn’t add that much of a dent to your overall electricity bill.

You’re not going to be spending hundreds in electricity per month, you’ll, at worst, add another $90.


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