Save Money on Transportation
Find out how much you can save when you drive electric
Automobiles typically rank as the second largest expense in a household budget. An electric vehicle (EV) can offset this cost substantially by lowering fuel and maintenance bills. According to the eGallon Calculator, EV charging in California costs roughly half the price of powering a standard gasoline vehicle for driving the same distance. Even if you charge your EV at a public station, it's still cheaper than filling with gasoline. When you charge at home, your savings increase greatly. There are various online tools that compare fueling costs between EVs and standard gasoline vehicles. To find out how much you can save by going electric, check out our Online Resources.
Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates – EV drivers may be eligible for special EV utility rates. With TOU rates, electricity costs vary based on the time of day when energy is used. During periods when electricity demand is low, participating customers are charged “off-peak” rates, which are often much lower than rates charged during other periods. EVs can be programmed to charge when you want—even when you plug your EV in during the day, you can set your vehicle to begin charging at night or when the rates are lower. This enables you to take advantage of lower rates and maximize your savings.
See below for examples of rate discounts from California utilities:
- California Municipal Utility Association (CMUA) - CMUA utility members provide customers access to Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) charging stations in your community, and access to various PEV charging rates in your home or business.
- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) - special EV rate discount of 2.5 ¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for off-peak energy consumption.
- Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) – PG&E’s EV rate plan encourages off-peak charging, when the cost of electricity is 16¢ per kWh, the equivalent of $1.40 per gallon.
- Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) – EV owners can get a 1.5¢ per kWh credit for charging between midnight and 6 a.m.
- San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) – Pay less than 9¢ per kWh when you enroll in the EV TOU 5 pricing plan.
- Southern California Edison (SCE) – SCE’s TOU-D Prime rate may help you save if you charge your EV at home between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Solar For Your Home – With a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, you can offset the additional electricity required for EV charging while also generating clean energy to power your home. It’s a good practice to first acquire your EV and charge it at home for a month or more to determine its impact on your electricity consumption. Then you can right-size your solar installation to cover EV charging and household needs. Many solar companies can install a Level 2 charging station at the same time they install your PV system.
Free Fuel with Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) – Currently, hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle automakers and hydrogen station developers are providing free fuel to support the growing market. FCEV drivers receive a complimentary fueling card that provides three years or $15,000 worth of fuel, whichever occurs first.
Vehicle Purchase/Lease Incentives – You can get up to $7,500 in federal tax credits for an EV. California also offers up to $7,000 from the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), depending on the vehicle make and model (see Eligible Vehicles).
CVRP rebates vary based on income levels with lower-income households eligible for increased amounts. Higher-income consumers are not eligible for CVRP rebates if their gross annual income is above the cap. The income cap applies to all eligible vehicle types except fuel-cell electric vehicles.