Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. These days I'm retired, and I can't by law give you advice. I do make mistakes, but I try hard to do my analysis thoroughly, and to make sure my data are correct. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. The expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

EV charging uses less energy than water heating

Charging an electric vehicle consumes less energy than several common household appliances. Annual energy consumption for a typical household shows that home heating consumes by far the most energy (11,300 kW-hrs) followed by water heating (4,700 kW-hrs) and charging an electric car (2,800 kW-hrs). Based on average driving habits and consumption rates for the Nissan Leaf, charging an electric car consumes just over twice as much energy as a refrigerator which consumes about 1,300 kW-hrs annually. While an electric vehicle adds to household electricity usage, it eliminates the need to purchase gasoline for that vehicle which would cost considerably more based on national average gasoline and residential electricity prices.


  • This isn't an average for all US households, only for those which had a Nissan Leaf.    
  • Given the Leaf's relatively short range at that time (the new Leaf has a much longer range), it was prolly mostly for urban driving.  If the car they owned had been a Tesla, the electricity consumption for their EV might have been a little higher because of Tesla's greater range, which would allow it to be used for intercity driving.  
  • The method of calculation includes the electricity used at charge stations outside the home.
  • On these data, if everyone had an EV, total electricity demand would rise 15%.

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