The U.S Department of Energy launched a new tool this month to help consumers compare the costs of fueling electric vehicles (EVs) versus fueling gasoline vehicles. The tool calculates the cost to drive an average electric vehicle the same distance that an average conventional vehicle could travel on one gallon of gasoline. The U.S. DOE dubbed this new form of measurement the “eGallon.” They hope the tool will assist consumers determine the cost advantages that come from fueling electric vehicles, and cultivate a more widespread market for electric vehicles.

“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.”

Currently, the 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. However, average gasoline prices vary based on locale and the U.S. DOE has addressed this issue by also allowing its website users to compare eGallon prices state by state. To use the tool, please visit http://energy.gov/maps/egallon.

Screenshot eGallon II

Pictured above is a screenshot of the eGallon tool, launched by the U.S. DOE earlier this month. The tool calculates how much it costs to fuel an electric vehicle on a state-by-state basis. Credit: U.S. Department of Energy.

egallon_chart

Pictured above is a chart released by the U.S. DOE, showcasing the historically stable price of electricity as compared to the volatile price of gasoline. The U.S. DOE notes that this is one of the advantages of owning an electric vehicle over a conventional one. Credit: U.S. Department of Energy.

While the tool is certainly useful in determining the cost of fueling an electric vehicle, there are other considerations that consumers must keep in mind when calculating the costs of purchasing and owning an EV. Electric vehicles, for instance, can have higher purchasing prices (although many of these can be offset by state tax incentives). In addition, the owner must consider the vehicle’s driving range, the amount of time it takes them to charge the vehicle, and battery replacement costs. For a more holistic view of electric vehicle ownership, visit http://www.afdc.energy.gov/calc, which features a tool to help calculate the total cost of ownership and emissions for makes and models of most vehicles, including alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.




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