How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car In Colorado?

Real world cost to charge an electric car in Colorado using current Xcel Energy rates.

Somewhere along the lines, the entire country got divided into liberals and conservatives and the one hates the other one and thinks they are trying to ruin the country, and vice versa. Of course, once you get off of Twitter or whatever online/social media/internet/news website thing there is and get out into the real world where the sun shines, and people actually buy cars and drive them to work and stuff, things aren’t really that crazy.

Out here in the real world, you might wonder if you live in Colorado how much it would actually cost you to charge an electric car. Let’s find out.

I Bought an Electric Car and I Charge It at Home

I’m not a political nutjob, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Just kidding.

I am a regular guy though, and I did buy an electric car. Why? Why not? I like cool new technology and electric cars are cool new technology. Regular cars have basically run the same for over a hundred years now. Dig black goo up out of the ground, and burn it. Boooring.

Plus, with some of the tax credits and incentives some car makers are offering, you can lease an electric car for a normal monthly car payment instead of choosing between buying 8 years old or dropping $700 a month.

I’ve had my electric car for a couple of months now, and it’s awesome. How awesome? We didn’t plan on getting the wife an electric car but she keeps driving mine because, “Why would I pay for gas?”

She’s not wrong.

But, electricity isn’t free either, so… How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Electric Car Charging Costs

Alright. Let’s get one thing straight. This is about charging your electric car at home in your garage, or something similar, using a charger you own, without any help from solar panels or windmills, or whatever.

I don’t have any experience with charging an electric car at work, or at a parking garage, or some sort of public charging spot. (Actually, that’s not true, but I got 12-months of free charging, so… the cost to charge my electric car there is zero, but that’s not a fair comparission of what it really costs.)

Xcel Energy Electric Car Charging Rates

Here in Colorado, most of us get our electricity from the public utility known as Xcel Energy. Xcel is regulated by a public utilities comission here in Colorado and, I think, in most of the states around us. As such, they have to be pretty public about how much they charge us for our electricity, and why.

That being said, they get to adjust the rate every quarter (I think) based upon how much it costs them to generate it by burning natural gas, or whatever. So, our electricity rates are not set in stone and they go up and down depending upon how much it costs to generate electricity in their giant electric plants. But, at least they have to tell us how much it costs ahead of time.

Effective May 1, 2024, and continuing until July 31, 2024, the following rate sheet is in effect.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge an Electric Car In Colorado? 1
From the Xcel Energy Rate Book based on standard residential time-of-use service

How Much Electricity Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car

I’ll have to come back and update this article periodically because my usage of the car effects my ability to write this article and express exactly how much it costs to charge an electric car in Colorado using Xcel Energy. So, here we go, update numero uno.

As you can see from the table above during June 2024 (now), my electricity costs $0.07749 per kWh during off-peak hours. My charger is set to begin charging at 9:00 pm and going through 6:00 am. If you are wondering about when on-peak and off-peak hours are, good for you. You aren’t a mindless politics drone chanting your side’s talking points.

  • On-peak is from 3:00pm to 7:00pm
  • Mid-peak is from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Off-peak is everything else.

So, 6 hours a day costs more than the other hours. Oh, and all weekend hours are off-peak as well.

My Level 2 Home Charger (oh, that’s right… level 2, baby.) ran from 9:00pm to about 4:11 am. Remember, how long it runs is irrelevant to cost. I get charged based upon kWh, not time, or anything like that. It make sense. Running your dryer for 20 minutes uses way more electricity than running your Winnie the Pooh nightlight all night. (Don’t act all tough. You know you have a nightlight.)

The number that matters is that it used 54.3484 kWh. (If you are curious, that added 192 miles of range to my particular electric car battery.) If we take 54.3484 * $0.7749 = $4.1145, or about $4.11 or $4.12 depending on whether you are an optomist or a pessimist. Sweet.

Is Charging an Electric Car Cheaper Than a Gas Car In Colorado?

Yes. It is way cheaper to charge an electric car than buy gas for a regular car in Colorado.

To check my math, you can just calculate how much gas it would take to add 190 miles of range to your internal combustion engine vehicle and multiply that by how much gas costs per gallon where you live and use your greater than and less than operators.

Here in the Denver metro area gas is $3.10, or so, a gallon most places. My old CRV gets like 22 or 24 MPG according to the dashboard, so 190 miles of range would take 7.92 gallons of gas, or 7.92 * $3.10 = $24.55. Yikes. If I got 30 MPG then 192/30 = 6.4 gallons * $3.10 = $19.84. Yeah, that’s not much better.

What about 40 MPG!? 192/40 = $14.88. I guess better mileage isn’t the answer. There’s only one way out of the buying gasoline and wasting money forever trap.

charging an electric car cost - the mask

Hold onto your lug nuts. It’s time for an overhaul! (I went with this over It’s Electric, boogie woogie… because the Mask is a pretty awesome movie that I don’t get to work into everyday conversations enough.)

Yes. An Electric Car Is Way Cheaper to Charge Than a Gas Car

Now, if you are here for a political left vs right holy war, I’m sorry to dissapoint you. All I’m interested in at this point is how much it costs to charge my car compared to how much money I used to flush down the toilet each month buying gas.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not selling off my oil stocks, and those sweet, sweet 4% dividends. This country loves its gas-guzzling cars (are you sure I can’t get an F-550?) and somebody has to buy all that oil and gas, but it doesn’t have to be me.

If you need me, I’ll be over here feeling smug.

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