Where It's Cheapest to Own an Electric Car, Palo Alto Puts Charging in Building Code

Palo Alto has taken another step toward its goal of being carbon neutral by requiring that new homes be wired for electric car charging.  

The Palo Alto City Council changed the building code to include that requirement because it’s much cheaper and easier to wire when a house is being built. It can cost less than $200 to wire a new home, about four times less than installation at an existing  home, Palo Alto’s Mayor Greg Scharff told the San Jose Mercury News.

Palo Alto is one of the cities where electric vehicles are catching on – it just happens to be the home of Tesla Motors.

In March, the city voted to use only carbon neutral sources of electricity from now on, effective immediately. In June, it signed a power purchase agreement for 80 megawatts of solar from several nearby plants that will supply 18% of the city’s  electricity. It got a great deal at 6.9 cents per kilowatt hour – a price that competes with wind and natural gas. Last year, the city approved a feed-in law for locally-produced solar energy.

10 Best States for Electric Cars

States with the lowest electricity rates and the highest gas prices give electric car owners the biggest bang for the buck – and California ranks 9th, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). 

In California, it costs about $3.99 per gallon to fill up with gas compared to $1.53 per "gallon" for the electricity to charge a car.

On average across the US, it’s about three times cheaper to fuel up with electricity than petroleum, but its cheapest in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.

Here are the top 10 states for the cheapest refueling of electric cars:

Electric Vehicle charging costs

Use DOE’s calculator to find out your costs:

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