Although electric car owners aren’t stuck stopping at fuel stations and paying for gasoline, EV ownership isn’t free. Even when drivers aren’t plugging into an electric charging station and paying for the service, electric cars plugged in at home are drawing plenty of juice to rack up an electricity bill.

So, where are the cheapest and most expensive cities to drive electric? A new study from Crescent Electric, via Forbes, looked at the average cost of gasoline and electricity in the United States’ 52 largest cities to show the difference.  The study assumes a traditional car is returning 30 mpg combined, which is quite generous.

SEE ALSO: Liquid Battery Could Enable EVs to Recharge in ‘Seconds’

Those looking for frugality will find solace in New Orleans, Louisiana, where annual charging costs are just $54.03 compared to fueling a car for $137.28 yearly. The other top cities where driving electric won’t pinch an owner’s bank account are:

  • Salt Lake City, Utah ($59.47)
  • Louisville, Kentucky ($60.70)
  • Seattle, Washington ($61.50)
  • Cincinnati, Ohio ($64.00)


On the flip side, electric car owners in New York City, New York, will spend on average $157.16 to juice their vehicle. Rounding out the top five most expensive cities are:

  • Atlanta, Georgia ($131.76)
  • Riverside, California ($129.85)
  • San Diego, California ($123.33)
  • Phoenix, Arizona ($120.99)


When comparing fuel prices to electric-car charging, EV owners will save the most money in Seattle ($212.87 annually), Chicago ($197.23), Phoneix ($188.15), Atlanta ($184.39), and Los Angeles ($184.20).

Other factors to consider about the study: the data considered a city resident’s daily commute—not miles driven to run errands or drives for pleasure on the weekend. The national average commute in the U.S. is 15 miles each way. When looking at yearly mileage figures (12,000 to 15,000 miles annually), the savings can quickly overshadow a gasoline-powered car over multiple years.

[Source: Forbes]