If you've ever wondered how much it would cost to drive to work using electricity as a fuel, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has an answer for you.
A new tool called an eGallon calculator tells you how much it costs you to drive an electric vehicle the same distance that you could go on a gallon of gas in a similar car. The unveiling of the new calculator is part of an effort by the DOE and the Obama Administration to get more drivers to consider electricity as a fuel.
The fuel for a vehicle such as the Nissan Leaf costs, on average, about one-third that of a similar gasoline-burning car. (Source: Nissan)
"Because electricity prices are a little different state to state, our eGallon tool shows how much an eGallon costs in your state, and compares it to the cost of gasoline," the DOE
website explains. "As you can see, on average, fueling your car with gasoline costs roughly three times more than fueling with electricity."
The website also provides a graph comparing the volatility of gasoline prices versus those of electricity. Predictably, gasoline prices on the graph are far more erratic.
The tool also shows that states vary dramatically in terms of the cost differences. In Idaho, for example, the cost of a gallon of gasoline is 4.4 times higher than that of an eGallon. In contrast, the state of Hawaii shows virtually no difference at 1.01. The national average is currently 3.2, with an eGallon running at $1.14.
The unveiling of the calculator is part of an effort to boost consumer interest in electric vehicles. A study by Pike Research earlier this year predicted that less than 1 percent of vehicles would be pure electric by 2020.
In determining the cost difference, the website does not factor in the higher initial costs of electric vehicles. A Ford Focus Electric, for example, costs approximately $20,000 more than a gasoline-burning Focus, and a Chevy Volt costs at least $15,000 more than a gasoline-burning Chevy Cruze, before incentives. The website also does not factor in the cost of home charger installation or battery replacement.
There is another way to make vast improvements in fuel economy, and it does not require any change in the vehicles at all. That method is to improve traffic flow and reduce or eliminate all of the waiting times when the MPG of any vehicle is ZERO! One additional way would be to remove driving privaleges from the stupidest 5% of drivers, which would include many of those responsible for the inefficient traffic flows. The unintended secondary effect would be an improvement in safety and a reduction in the number of collisions.
Just think, it was not that many years back when the targey was to have a vehicle whose emissions were water vapor and carbon dioxide. And now it has become the villian because some folks say that it is trapping the sun's heat. It may also be reflecting heat back into space, and, in a more interesting possibility, it may be that global warming causes increases of carbon dioxide.
And for all those fools who constantly tell me that "change is good", well, this may be leading to a change, and that may even possibly be good. My opinion has always been that change may be different, and only on occasion is change good.
I tend to believe that we can control them fairly effectively at the power plant, but that is not clear.
Removing or sequestering GHG at the power plant is on a lot more technologically shaky and expensive ground than perfecting and lowering the cost of the optimum EV battery. To do that with fossil plants would really raise electric rates.
In addition, your gasoline powered car puts out only miniscule amounts of greenhouse gases besided CO2.
That's like saying your car doesn't pollute, except for all its pollution. CO2 is the overwhelming GHG.
CO2 has beneficila effects as well as expected negative effects (e.g., increased plant growth), many of the others do not (e.g., NOX).
While it does have benefits too, more CO2 is either a net benefit (if we don't have enough) or a net problem (if we have too much), and we have way too much. So it's a net problem, not a mixed bag. There is zero benefit to adding more, unless you like driving climate change or want to attract more mosquitoes. Water is beneficial too, except when there's already a flood, and we're in a constant flood of CO2. We just don't see it like we would a flood of water in our streets.
Now, if I could just find about 3.5KW per hour solar cells, I would be driving on sunshine...
In many parts of the country like here in the southeast, you can purchase non-fossil fuel electricity from your utility at only a slight premium. It raises the cost of my fuel from 3 cents/mile to about 3.8 cents/mile. That's still about half the cost of gasoline for a Prius, and it's truly non-fossil fueled. No solar panel investment needed, though those are great to get too.
Having owned an electric car for 3 years (two different models) and several ICE vehicles for many more, I believe there is a much easier way to compare electric to gas vehicles. At the current price for a gallon of gas ($) how far can I get on the same amount ($) to charge my car ??
Forget all the theoretically energy in the different fuels and different methods of storing that energy... The bottom line is the $ cost, (right ?)....
It is simple, I would need an ICE vehicle that gets just over 100 MPG to break even with the electric car I drive (it is a TH!NK two seater). This is rather a straight forward calculation based on the price of electricity, price of gas and the efficiencies the TH!NK car. Everyone I talk to seems to understand when I talk about the equivalent MPG in this manner. Of course this would vary for different e-vehicles. This vehicle gets me back and forth to work reliably every say of the week and some week end trips into town for "stuff".
Now, if I could just find about 3.5KW per hour solar cells, I would be driving on sunshine and have some power to spare for the house.
Yes, I still have a pick-up truck when I have to haul something of size, but have not used it for several months..
Critic, you're pointing to a piece published by the right-wing "think tank" American Enterprise Institute and written by a long-time climate denier whose only science background is of the political kind. His "facts" have been debunked thoroughly. There's no scientific credibility to political hit pieces pulled from right-wing (or left-wing) propaganda. You're just cherry picking non-science (and nonsense) that aligns with your biased gut.
BrusselSprouts, you obviously know absolutely nothing about what you're stating. Total energy costs are not something that's just dawned on only you and that you're free to invent numbers for. They are well known and referred to as levelized cost of energy (LCOE). You might want to read up on that. And PV payoff is not over 10 years; it was less than 4 years as per more that 9 years ago. Since then costs of PV are maybe 1/3 or 1/4 of what they were then, so it's certainly less than this now:
Chuck_IAG, our democracy is representative. That means it's by proxy. We don't enact federal laws by referenda and certainly not by popularity polls.
To your second point, you're opening my eyes to absolutely nothing I didn't know, have thought about at great length, and debated with many people over many years. Also, let me remind you that our previous president asserted that "we are addicted to oil" and started (or continued) many of the fossil fuel reduction programs and green investment stimulus programs that have been mis-credited to the current president. Perhaps you'd be wise not be hypocritical about your own words and acknowledge the current president was elected twice to promote whatever programs he deems critical for the country and true to his promised platforms. Whatever the results, you'll survive it.
These vehicles are not practical for transportation. They are more golfcart than automobile. When the temperature is 10 degrees how far will one of these contraptions carry me? It must be safe in a collision and needs to provide creature comforts. It requires heat and defrosters and windshied wipers and headlights.
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