CONSULTATION | Find out how gas prices and EV charging costs compare in all 50 states.

Over the past two years, this story has been heard everywhere from Massachusetts to Fox News. My neighbor even refuses to charge his Toyota RAV4 Prime Hybrid due to what he calls crippling energy prices.The main argument is that electricity prices are so high that they erase the benefits of charging over charging. This gets to the heart of why many people buy electric vehicles: According to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of potential EV buyers said “saving on gas” was one of their top reasons.

The answer is not as simple as it seems. Simply calculating the cost of gasoline and electricity is misleading. Prices vary depending on charger (and state). Everyone’s charges are different. Road tax, rebates and battery efficiency all affect the final calculation. So I asked researchers at the nonpartisan Energy Innovation, a policy think tank that works to decarbonize the energy industry, to help me determine the true cost of pumping up in all 50 states, using datasets from federal agencies, AAA and others. You can learn more about their useful tools here. I used this data to take two hypothetical trips across the United States to judge whether gas stations would be more expensive in the summer of 2023.

If you are 4 in 10 Americans, you are considering buying an electric vehicle. If you are like me, you will have to pay a heavy price.
The average electric car sells for $4,600 more than the average gas car, but by most accounts, I’ll save money in the long run. The vehicles require lower fueling and maintenance costs—estimated savings of hundreds of dollars per year. And this does not take into account government incentives and the refusal of trips to the gas station. But it is difficult to determine the exact figure. The average price of a gallon of gasoline is easy to calculate. Inflation-adjusted prices have changed little since 2010, according to the Federal Reserve. The same applies to kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. However, charging costs are much less transparent.
Electricity bills vary not only by state, but also by time of day and even by outlet. Owners of electric vehicles can charge them at home or at work, and then pay extra for fast charging on the road. This makes it difficult to compare the cost of refilling a gas-powered Ford F-150 (the best-selling car in the United States since the 1980s) with a 98-kilowatt-hour battery in an electric vehicle. This requires standardized assumptions about geographic location, charging behavior, and how energy in the battery and tank is converted into range. Such calculations then need to be applied to different vehicle classes such as cars, SUVs and trucks.
No wonder almost no one does this. But we save your time. The results show how much you can save and, in rare cases, how much you can’t. What’s the result? In all 50 states, it’s cheaper for Americans to use electronics every day, and in some regions, like the Pacific Northwest, where electricity prices are low and gas prices are high, it’s much cheaper. In Washington state, where a gallon of gas costs about $4.98, filling up an F-150 with a range of 483 miles costs about $115. By comparison, charging an electric F-150 Lightning (or Rivian R1T) for the same distance costs about $34, a savings of $80. This assumes that drivers charge at home 80% of the time, as estimated by the Department of Energy, as well as other methodological assumptions at the end of this article.
What about the other extreme? In the Southeast, where gas and electricity prices are lower, the savings are smaller but still significant. In Mississippi, for example, gas costs for a regular pickup truck are about $30 higher than for an electric pickup truck. For smaller, more efficient SUVs and sedans, electric vehicles can save $20 to $25 at the pump for the same mileage.
The average American drives 14,000 miles a year and can save about $700 a year by buying an electric SUV or sedan, or $1,000 a year by buying a pickup truck, according to Energy Innovation. But daily driving is one thing. To test this model, I conducted these assessments during two summer trips across the United States.
There are two main types of chargers you can find on the road. A Level 2 charger can increase range by about 30 mph. Prices for many businesses, such as hotels and grocery stores hoping to attract customers, range from about 20 cents per kilowatt-hour to free (Energy Innovation suggests just over 10 cents per kilowatt-hour in the estimates below).
Fast chargers known as Level 3, which are nearly 20 times faster, can charge an EV battery to about 80% in just 20 minutes. But it typically costs between 30 and 48 cents per kilowatt-hour—a price that I later discovered is equivalent to the price of gasoline in some places.
To test how well this worked, I went on a hypothetical 408-mile trip from San Francisco to Disneyland in South Los Angeles. For this trip, I chose the F-150 and its electric version, the Lightning, which are part of a popular series that sold 653,957 units last year. There are strong climate arguments against creating electric versions of America’s gas-guzzling cars, but these estimates are meant to reflect Americans’ actual vehicle preferences.
Winner, champion? There are almost no electric cars. Since using a fast charger is expensive, typically three to four times more expensive than charging at home, the savings are small. I arrived at the park in a Lightning with $14 more in my pocket than I had in a gas car. If I had decided to stay longer at a hotel or restaurant using a Level 2 charger, I would have saved $57. This trend holds true for small vehicles as well: the Tesla Model Y crossover saved $18 and $44 on a 408-mile trip using a Level 3 and Level 2 charger, respectively, compared to filling up with gas.
When it comes to emissions, electric vehicles are far ahead. Electric vehicles emit less than a third of the emissions per mile of gasoline vehicles and are becoming cleaner every year. The U.S. electricity generation mix emits nearly one pound of carbon for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By 2035, the White House wants to bring this number closer to zero. This means that a typical F-150 emits five times more greenhouse gases than lightning. The Tesla Model Y emits 63 pounds of greenhouse gases while driving, compared to more than 300 pounds for all conventional cars.
However, the real test was the trip from Detroit to Miami. Driving through the Midwest from the Motor City is not an electric car dream. This region has the lowest rate of electric vehicle ownership in the United States. There are not many chargers. Gasoline prices are low. Electricity is dirtier. To make things even more unbalanced, I decided to compare the Toyota Camry with the electric Chevrolet Bolt, both relatively efficient cars that close the gap in fuel costs. To reflect each state’s price structure, I measured 1,401 miles of distance in all six states, along with their respective electricity and emissions costs.
If I had filled up at home or at a cheap commercial Class 2 gas station along the way (unlikely), the Bolt EV would have been cheaper to fill up: $41 versus $142 for the Camry. But fast charging tips the scales in the Camry’s favor. Using a Level 3 charger, the retail electricity bill for a battery-powered trip is $169, which is $27 more than for a gas-powered trip. However, when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the Bolt is clearly ahead, with indirect emissions accounting for just 20 percent of the class.
I wonder why those who oppose the electric vehicle economy come to such different conclusions? To do this, I contacted Patrick Anderson, whose Michigan-based consulting firm works annually with the auto industry to estimate the cost of electric vehicles. It is continually being discovered that most electric vehicles are more expensive to refuel.
Anderson told me that many economists ignore the costs that should be included in calculating the cost of charging: the state tax on electric vehicles that replaces the gas tax, the cost of a home charger, transmission losses when charging (about 10 percent), and sometimes cost overruns . public gas stations are far away. According to him, the costs are small, but real. Together they contributed to the development of gasoline cars.
He estimates that it costs less to fill up a mid-priced gasoline car—about $11 per 100 miles, compared with $13 to $16 for a comparable electric vehicle. The exception is luxury cars, as they tend to be less efficient and burn premium fuel. “Electric vehicles make a lot of sense for middle-class buyers,” Anderson said. “This is where we see the highest sales, and it’s not surprising.”
But critics say Anderson’s estimate overestimates or ignores key assumptions: His company’s analysis overstates battery efficiency, suggesting that electric vehicle owners use expensive public charging stations about 40% of the time (the Department of Energy estimates the loss is about 20%). free public charging stations in the form of “property taxes, tuition, consumer prices, or burdens on investors” and ignoring government and industry incentives.
Anderson responded that he did not assume a 40% government fee, but modeled two toll scenarios, assuming a “primarily domestic” and a “primarily commercial” (which included a commercial fee in 75% of cases). He also defended the prices of “free” commercial chargers provided to municipalities, universities and businesses because “these services are not actually free, but must be paid for by the user in some way, regardless of whether they are included in property taxes , tuition fees or not. consumer prices” or burden on investors. “
Ultimately, we may never agree on the cost of refueling an electric vehicle. It probably doesn’t matter. For daily drivers in the United States, fueling an electric vehicle is already cheap in most cases, and is expected to become even cheaper as renewable energy capacity expands and vehicles become more efficient. ,As early as this year, list prices for some electric vehicles are expected to be lower than comparable gasoline vehicles, and estimates of the total cost of ownership (maintenance, fuel and other costs over the life of the vehicle) suggest that electric vehicles are already cheaper.
After that, I felt like there was another number missing: the social cost of carbon. This is a rough estimate of the damage caused by adding another ton of carbon to the atmosphere, including heat deaths, floods, wildfires, crop failures and other losses associated with global warming.
Researchers estimate that each gallon of natural gas emits about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equivalent to about 50 cents of climate damage per gallon. Taking into account external factors such as traffic jams, accidents and air pollution, Resources for the Future estimated in 2007 that the cost of damage was nearly $3 per gallon.
Of course, you don’t have to pay this fee. Electric vehicles alone will not solve this problem. To achieve this, we need more cities and communities where you can visit friends or buy groceries without a car.But electric vehicles are critical to keeping temperatures from rising below 2 degrees Celsius. The alternative is a price you can’t ignore.
Fueling costs for electric and gasoline vehicles were calculated for three vehicle categories: cars, SUVs and trucks. All vehicle variants are base 2023 models. According to 2019 Federal Highway Administration data, the average number of miles driven by drivers per year is estimated to be 14,263 miles. For all vehicles, range, mileage, and emissions data are taken from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Natural gas prices are based on July 2023 data from AAA. For electric vehicles, the average number of kilowatt-hours required for a full charge is calculated based on the size of the battery. The charger locations are based on Department of Energy research showing that 80% of charging occurs at home. Beginning in 2022, residential electricity prices are provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The remaining 20% ​​of charging occurs at public charging stations, and the price of electricity is based on the electricity price published by Electrify America in each state.
These estimates do not include any assumptions about total cost of ownership, EV tax credits, registration fees, or operating and maintenance costs. We also do not anticipate any EV-related tariffs, EV charging discounts or free charging, or time-based pricing for EVs.


Post time: Jul-04-2024