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2022-09-03 08:48:40 By : Ms. Jennifer Wu

Electric vehicle ownership has its ups and downs. Just as the national average for a gallon of gasoline hit over $4.90 for a regular gallon in June 2022, fully 62% of respondents to a Forbes Wheels survey of electric vehicle owners said they pay less than $150 per month to power their electric vehicles. That’s as much as some gas-powered car owners are paying at each fill-up. 

Low energy costs are a big upside, however, it’s important to note that an equal percentage of respondents said that they “always” or “frequently” feel anxious about their vehicle’s range, and adjust their travel plans to suit.

Owning an electric car that fully relies on battery power can still be considered fringe when looking at the small percentage of total car sales (it adds up to about 2 million EVs on U.S. roads, overall). But with nearly every carmaker on board with electrification, more EVs are hitting the streets. EVs hit over 5% of car registrations as of March 2022, according to S&P Global Mobility data. It was around 3% less than a year ago.  

With the growing numbers come consistent and persistent confidence issues: worries about range, charging access on the road and at home, costs to charge and impediments to charging. But electric fueling costs are mercifully staying low, even if upfront costs are up, for EVs and gas-powered options alike. The average cost for a new EV is about $60,000, up from the overall average of around $45,000 for a new car.

As more and more consumers consider going electric, Forbes Wheels and OnePoll queried existing EV owners on their recent experiences with range, charging and operational costs.

After surveying 500 EV owners across the country earlier this month, we found that range anxiety is still elevated across gender, age and location. Survey results from previous years showed overwhelming charging worries. Even with more long-range options and increased public charging locations, especially for faster charging, battery-powered cars make drivers anxious about taking trips or everyday drives. 

Geographically, Americans are worried no matter where they’re based. Range anxiety levels seem to match where EVs are sold. The Midwest has the smallest share of new EV registrations, while California dominates, according to the S&P Global data. 

So it tracks that the most EV-friendly state of California has a drop in frequent worries about long-distance travel or regular battery-powered driving. Midwest drivers were the most stressed about charging on the go, despite efforts to add more fast charging along major cross-country thoroughfares. It’s not enough. 

When it comes to public charging, 30% of our respondents say they rely on networks like ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVgo and others. Almost a quarter said they use a Tesla Supercharger station, which in the U.S. is only available to Tesla owners across about 3,500 stations.

But almost 35% say these public plugs could be better, while a high 57% of Southwest-based drivers feel this way. Even though over 40% of all those surveyed have reliable access to a Level 2 charger at home, worries about fast-enough charging or even just finding a station with working or available plugs plague drivers. 

Across the U.S. there are more than 145,000 gas stations, according to 2021 data. There are only a few pockets around the country where refueling is a concern. Electric chargers are always being added with as many as 46,000 stations nationwide, but not fast enough to keep up with accelerated EV sales. 

When drivers do make it to a public station, it isn’t always smooth. Respondents reported issues with crowds, pricing, blocked chargers (sometimes by a parked non-EV car) or access to plugs and overwhelmingly broken plugs and difficulty even finding the chargers. These results broadly mirror some of the issues Forbes Wheels staff have experienced directly while evaluating popular EVs.

Often located in parking lots at malls or behind buildings, low-lying charger signage can be harder to track down compared to well-marked gas stations. A separate issue from worrying about having enough range, this is charging anxiety. 

The bright spot in our survey came from how much drivers are spending to refuel their EVs. While gas prices keep inching up with all the geopolitical instability, EV drivers are still spending less to keep their vehicles running. Their monthly totals between home charging and plugging in while out for nearly 40% of our drivers surveyed fall between $80 and $150. Almost 100 people, or 20%, said they spend even less each month: only between $40 and $80. 

Charging at home is always a cheaper option, especially if mindful owners charge at certain times of day when electricity rates are lower. The U.S. Department of Energy puts Level 2 home charging costs at $6 for a full “tank” on a 54 kWh battery with a 200-mile range.

While June’s gas prices hit record highs, kilowatt-hour rates at public chargers stayed about the same. It varies by state, but at a California Electrify America station, fast charging rates range from $0.31 to $0.43 per kWh. That means filling up a car like the Nissan Leaf Plus with a 60-kWh battery should cost about $19 from empty to full. 

Over 60% of our survey respondents say they drive up to a max of 50 miles on a typical day and that doesn’t change much based on location. So even with a smaller 200-mile range battery like on the Leaf, most vehicles don’t need to recharge often for daily needs. This makes for more affordable ownership, despite inflation and the war in Ukraine.

The EV ownership experience continues to be a wild roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Until public charging infrastructure becomes more available and reliable across the U.S. and not just in EV hotspots, confidence in battery-powered vehicles will continue to waver.

This online survey of 500 U.S. adults was commissioned by Forbes Wheels and conducted by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. Data was collected on June 2, 2022. This survey was overseen by the OnePoll research team, which is a member of the MRS and has a corporate membership with the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). For a complete survey methodology, including geographic and demographic sample sizes, contact

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