Electricity Rates for Electric Vehicle Direct Current Fast Charging in the United States

Matteo Muratori, Joshua Eichman, Eleftheria Kontou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus Citations


While several efforts are promoting a widespread and convenient network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations to support electric vehicles, there is limited understanding of the magnitude and variability of the cost of electricity for these applications. This information gap may hinder optimal investing and planning for charging station placement and in turn affect electric vehicle adoption and usage. Here, we assess the electricity cost for different scenarios of DCFC station size and use based on over 7500 commercial and industrial electricity rates available for 2017 across the United States. Results show that the cost of electricity for DCFC varies dramatically, ranging from less than $0.10 to over $2 per kilowatt-hour, depending on station design and high uncertainty in use. The main driver of cost is low utilization, which results from a combination of few charging events and limited energy recharged during each event. Low utilization leads to significantly higher electricity cost, particularly for rates with demand charges; however, cost decreases rapidly as utilization increases. For high-utilization stations, selecting rates with demand charges can actually reduce electricity costs compared to non-demand-charge rates. Moreover, significant opportunities for cost savings based on existing rates include preferential charging during off-peak hours and limiting multi-plug station power so that not all plugs can be used simultaneously at maximum power.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number109235
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-73761


  • Charging stations
  • DC fast charging
  • Demand charges
  • Electric vehicles
  • Electricity rates


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