egallon comparision

It's true that electric vehicles cost more than gas-powered ones (except, of course, when they don't), but the running costs are dramatically lower. How much lower? To answer that question, the Department of Energy would like to introduce you to the eGallon.

Defined as "the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline," an eGallon is the DOE's new term for easily seeing how much you'll save filling up on electrons instead of gasoline. If you like using GasBuddy or MapQuest to find the lowest local price, you just might love the eGallon. After all, the national eGallon average today is just $1.14 – way under any gallon of gas you can find in the US.

Sadly, the eGallon calculator is just a rough average. You can't put in your own electricity rates, gas prices or your car's energy efficiency level. What you can do is plug in your state and see how the average gas price there compares to the average electricity price for an eGallon.

If you dig into the methodology (available in this PDF), you'll see the assumptions working in the background include 28.2 average miles per gallon, 35 average kWh per 100 miles and 12.33 cents per kWh. The eGallon calculator will be updated monthly with numbers from Energy Information Administration. This is good, because the current calculator is using a $3.42 nationwide gas price average from last December.
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Driving for $1.14 Per Gallon

Energy Department Releases State by State "eGallon" Prices to Let Consumers Compare Cost of Fueling With Electricity vs. Gasoline


WASHINGTON – The Energy Department today launched the eGallon – a quick and simple way for consumers to compare the costs of fueling electric vehicles vs. driving on gasoline. Today's national average eGallon price is about $1.14, meaning that a typical electric vehicle could travel as far on $1.14 worth of electricity as a similar vehicle could travel on a gallon of gasoline.

"Consumers can see gasoline prices posted at the corner gas station, but are left in the dark on the cost of fueling an electric vehicle. The eGallon will bring greater transparency to vehicle operating costs, and help drivers figure out how much they might save on fuel by choosing an electric vehicle. It also shows the low and steady price of fueling with electricity," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. "Not only can electric vehicles save consumers on fuel and reduce our dependence on oil, they also represent an opportunity for America to lead in a growing, global manufacturing industry."

On Energy.gov/eGallon, consumers can see the latest eGallon price for their state and compare it to the price of gasoline. Over time, consumers will notice that the eGallon price will be far more stable and predictable than gasoline prices. That's because the eGallon price depends on electricity prices, which historically are very stable; gasoline prices depend on the global oil market, which can be very unstable and are often influenced by unpredictable international events.

The eGallon provides a metric that is easily comparable to the traditional gallon of unleaded fuel. That comparison is made by calculating how much it would cost to drive an electric vehicle the same distance as a similar conventional vehicle could travel on a gallon of gasoline. For example, if gasoline costs $3.60 per gallon in your state and the eGallon price for your state is $1.20, that means that for $1.20 worth of electricity you can drive the same distance as you could for $3.60 worth of gasoline. The eGallon price varies from state to state based on the price of electricity.

In just the last couple years, significant cost reductions and improvements in vehicle performance have had a dramatic impact on the U.S. automotive market. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) in the U.S. tripled in 2012, with more than 50,000 cars sold. Sales are growing significantly again in 2013. Last year, the Chevy Volt PEV topped Consumer Reports' annual owner-satisfaction survey for the second straight year, while the Tesla Model S was awarded the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year.