Here's How Much It Costs To Charge An Electric Vehicle

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

car driving by city
Photo by Adrian N on Unsplash

Wikimedia CommonsAlthough zero-emission vehicle use continues to grow and California dominates the market, there’s still factors hindering its ability to achieve mass adoption. These can include reservations about performance, safety and quality – but also, concerns regarding range anxiety and the cost of charging.

So, let’s try to break down how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle in California.

How We Calculated Cost

It is difficult to pinpoint one figure that will apply to every EV driver. Even within a single state, there’s variables – such as mileage driven, the type of vehicle and battery, plus the type of charger as well as if the car owner is opting to fuel up at a public station versus installing a personal home charging point.

But the general formula for calculating how much charging an electric car will cost is pretty simple: divide your car’s maximum range by its range per kWh, then multiply it by the average cost of electricity per kWh.

That figure, range per kWh, is an estimate that can vary greatly depending on vehicle and also driving factors. More intense driving, say, uphill in the wind, would lower your overall range per kWh since the car needs more power.

Regardless of driving conditions, though, you’re always likely to pay more to charge an EV in California than other parts of the country.

California’s average electricity cost in August was about 27 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Compared to the national average price of around 16 cents per kWh, that’s quite high. In part because California’s “fixed” costs of operating its electric system are used to offset public programs including wildlife mitigation.

Based on data from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration and Energy Commission, as well as the U.S. Energy Information Administration we also calculated the average California driver spends around $230 on gas monthly, or around $2,760 per year.

How Much Does It Cost To Charge a Tesla?

Tesla Model 3.

Photo courtesy of Tesla

So, say you drive a Tesla Model 3, one of the most popular Tesla cars.

Tesla says the standard 2022 Model 3’s long-range battery has a top range of 350 miles per full charge, and while it doesn’t report range per kWh, auto analysts at Edmunds estimate it to be around 25 kWh/100 miles or 2.5 miles. All told, it should cost about $29.36 to fully fuel a Model 3 in California – but bear in mind that you can only use Tesla’s network of proprietary Superchargers unless you have an adapter.

Or, as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimated, charging a Tesla Model 3 costs about $550 per year.

Tesla’s 2022 Model S sports car, on the other hand, requires more charging for higher performance. It costs $39.05 per charge, or around $1 per 25 miles.

Teslas are more expensive to charge than most of their counterparts in part because of their Supercharger network – which most drivers will find a worthy trade-off, given that they’re fast, and can charge an EV from 0% to 80% in about 30 minutes.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Rivian?

An R1T in Rivian Blue at the main entrance to the plant in Normal, IL.

Courtesy of Rivian

If you’re one of the few driving a 2022 Rivian R1T electric truck, it’ll cost around $17.66 per charge. Rivian’s battery models have varying range, but on the high end, contain 400 miles on a full charge. The DOE estimates that driving 25 miles in a 2022 R1T will cost about $1.68 or about $1,000 annually.

Rivian’s other model, the R1S, is almost identical in price (it costs about 20 cents less than the R1T, by our estimates).

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Nissan Leaf?

2023 Nissan Leaf charging.

Photo courtesy of Nissan

A 2022 Nissan Leaf’s base model comes with a 40 kWh battery pack. The DOE estimates this version of Nissan’s affordable commuter car has a maximum range of 149 miles, and gets about 3 miles per kWh, pretty much on par with the overall average for electric vehicles.

Using this information, we can estimate that the Nissan Leaf will cost around $13.41 to charge once. The DOE calculates that a 2022 Leaf’s annual fuel cost will total $650.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Ford F-150 Lightning EV?

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ford’s much-hyped electric F-150 all-wheel drive truck debuted last May to much fanfare, including a test drive from President Joe Biden.

The F-150 Lightning has a max range of 230 miles, and on average a higher fuel cost than competing electric trucks like Rivians. On average, it’ll cost roughly $12.67 for one charge, though the DOE estimates this will amount to around $1,050 annually.

This year Ford also released an electric Mustang, the Mach-E SUV. The standard Mach-E has a top range of 247 miles on a full charge, and gets about 3 miles per kWh. One full charge of the Mach-E will cost around $22.23, and the DOE surmises that’ll add up to a yearly charging expense of roughly $700.

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California Nursing Homes Tried Out Robot Waiters. The Guests Loved It

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

California Nursing Homes Tried Out Robot Waiters. The Guests Loved It
Image courtesy Servi Robots

Labor shortages are hitting many industries hard, but in senior living homes, lack of staff is even more of a problem, especially in dining rooms. In a bid to support a sagging workforce, some senior homes run by operator Front Porch are trying out hospitality robots.

So far, the Servi robots designed by Redwood City-based Bear Robotics have received a warm reception from both guests and customers. In a two-month pilot program with senior home operator Front Porch beginning in June, four of Bear Robotics’ Servi food running and busing robots were deployed in two Front Porch locations – San Francisco Towers, and Casa de Mañana in La Jolla.

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Could Amazon’s New Virtual Production Studio Eliminate the Cost of Shooting On Location?

Ilana Gordon
Ilana Gordon is an entertainment, culture, and tech writer originally from Connecticut. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
Could Amazon’s New Virtual Production Studio Eliminate the Cost of Shooting On Location?
Andria Moore/Amazon Prime

As the new owners of a 34,000-square-foot virtual production stage in Culver City, it was only a matter of time before Amazon discovered how to marry Web Services and emerging virtual production tech with the Hollywood system. The result is their newly announced Amazon Studios Virtual Production team—a group of around 20 creatives and engineers who will oversee and run production for the largest LED wall stage in the United States. Consisting of 3,000 LED panels (measuring 80 feet in diameter and clocking in at almost two and a half stories tall), along with 100 motion capture cameras, the wall offers performers and crew a three-dimensional environment in which to interact during filming.

Amazon’s volume wall is similar to the technology employed by Disney+ during the making of their Star Wars television series, The Manadlorian; technology that creator and executive producer Jon Favreau said in a behind-the-scenes look at the virtual production equipment used to create the show inspired a new approach to filmmaking. “We started to realize, let’s not just do green screen interactive light,” he said. “If we’re going to design the whole set in Game Engine ahead of time, maybe we can have some in-camera effects.”

Stage 15’s unveiling represents the next evolution in Amazon’s plan to establish itself as a dominant player in the content creation and entertainment market. Designed with the intention of saving studios money, the new stage—formerly used to create such classics as It’s a Wonderful Life and RoboCop—enables filmmakers to significantly reduce their reliance on shooting on location.

The question now is, at a time when the company’s budgetary concerns are still mounting, how will Stage 15 affect the studio’s plans for big ticket productions likeThe Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power?

When The Rings of Power premiered on the platform in September of 2022, it was the most-watched streaming program for that week. An impressive statistic until you consider that the studio paid one billion dollars to make the show’s first season—the most expensive single season in TV history. More importantly, at a time when studios are increasingly forced to answer for the environmental impact of their productions, The Rings of Power managed to generate roughly 31,717,906 pounds of carbon dioxide during production of its first season alone.

To put this context, one season of The Rings of Power is equivalent to between three and four films, and the amount of carbon dioxide the show generates equates to five times what the British Film Commission believes “an average “tentpole”, or blockbuster, film would produce.” Though Rings of Power established a sustainability team, which has implemented a variety of initiatives intended to combat some of the high emissions and waste the production creates, in a leaked memo someone on the sustainability team told The Guardian, “Every single person we spoke to is concerned about the environmental impact.”

In response to The Guardian’s report, Amazon said sustainability practices for the first season of the show “either met or exceeded industry standards, even during the height of the pandemic.” And that “the production made every effort to be a good corporate citizen and was compliant with New Zealand environmental laws and regulations.”

But Rings of Power is far from the first production to be accused of causing excessive ecological destruction. In 2013, environmentalists accused the producers of Mad Max: Fury Road of damaging the world’s oldest desert (located in Namibia) and endangering the area’s lizards and rare plants. Two years later, the filmmakers behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales were accused of allowing toxic waste to overflow into an Australian creek during filming. All of which is to say, no matter how hard producers try to control and protect the natural environments in which they’re choosing to shoot, the fact remains that there are no shortage of examples of filmmakers creating new or aggravating already-existing ecological issues in the process of creating their content.

It’s worth considering then, now that Stage 15 is operational, if premium series like The Rings of Power might be better suited by relocating production to virtual studio spaces even as Season 2 of the show started filming on location in the U.K. back in October—an area chosen because Amazon is reportedly looking to save money and establish a “multishow hub” in the area.

In the month since The Guardian report was published, it has caused some upset amongst fans, with one Redditor commenting that they were “seriously disappointed but not surprised…I know it's normal for the industry but they should do better.” Viewers seem to grasp the disconnect between spending millions of dollars to create an idyllic on-camera environment, while simultaneously destroying the real life environment that sustains us. One Redditor wrote that with one billion dollars, “you ought to be able to shoot entirely inside a studio and manufacture any background scenery you wish.”

Not to mention that in spite of what purists might believe, most fans don’t seem upset by the choice to move filming on Season 2 to another continent. And if they’re open to shooting in the U.K. they might also be open to the idea of shooting in a venue like Stage 15. As one viewer theorized on Reddit, it’s possible that the production’s focus on casting representation—a source of both conversation and contention amongst fans this season—might have eclipsed the attention paid to the environment.

Almost 100 years after the establishment of Hollywood’s Golden Era, it’s time to revisit what a studio system can look like—and how virtual production studios can help elevate our filmmaking process. The consequences of failing to do so, are simply too profound to ignore.

Did Vinfast Mislead Reservation Holders About Its First EVs?

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Did Vinfast Mislead Reservation Holders About Its First EVs?
Vinfast

Vinfast, the Vietnamese EV company with headquarters in Los Angeles, shipped its first order of vehicles to U.S. soil from Hai Phong, Vietnam on November 25th. The batch of 999 automobiles is due to arrive here in California on Thursday this week.

The VF8 SUVs on board will have the difficult task of convincing American buyers that an unknown, untested Vietnamese manufacturer can deliver on a new technology. And so far, the company appears to be off to a rocky start.

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