Cost of charging EV vs. gas prices

A driver takes advantage of a quick-charging station for electric powered in the cell phone ton at John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport on April 02, 2021 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Pictures

It has been correct for a long time: Mile for mile, it is much less expensive — generally substantially less expensive — to recharge an electric powered automobile than it is to refuel just one with an interior-combustion engine.

That has been a key providing level for Tesla and other EV makers, notably in occasions when fuel prices have soared, this kind of as now. But this time there is certainly a wrinkle: Although gasoline costs have in fact soared in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so have electrical power rates — specially in some components of the U.S. that have been huge marketplaces for Tesla’s EVs.

That raises a problem: Is it continue to genuine that it is significantly more cost-effective to “refuel” an EV? The charts underneath aid us discover the solution.

The very first chart, applying nationwide figures, provides a baseline. The other folks use details distinct to Boston and San Francisco, two marketplaces in which EVs are preferred — and exactly where electric power tends to be a lot more expensive than the countrywide average.

The reply in all three situations is that — even with regional surges in the cost of energy — it really is nonetheless quite a bit a lot more high-priced to fill your fuel tank than it is to charge your EV’s battery.

Electrical power premiums have around kept pace with fuel cost improves in Boston and San Francisco. Nevertheless, on average across the U.S., adding 100 miles of assortment in your inside-combustion motor vehicle has come to be extra high priced, relative to charging an EV an equal amount of money, over the past couple of months.

Is that probably to change? Even though oil costs are virtually selected to drop in coming months as producers increase output, it truly is not likely that the selling price of electricity will rise adequate to make EVs significantly less very affordable around their daily life cycles than inner-combustion solutions.

Working with February facts, Jeffries analyst David Kelley lately calculated that the complete lifetime expense of possession of an EV is about $4,700 fewer than that of an inside-combustion vehicle. He reported that value change is probable to boost as additional EVs arrive to marketplace — and as battery selling prices continue to slide — above the upcoming couple of many years.

How we crunched the figures

We had three queries in thoughts when we place alongside one another these charts:

  • How much does it expense to insert 100 miles of array to the regular ICE vehicle and the typical EV?
  • How have those people expenses altered more than the past three several years? (Likely back three years to February of 2019 gives us a prepandemic baseline.)
  • How have people prices assorted between different elements of the U.S.?

For gasoline, the Environmental Protection Agency described that the regular new automobile bought in the U.S. in 2020 experienced a combined gas-economic climate score of 25.7 miles per gallon. Driving 100 miles in that average automobile would use 3.9 gallons of gas. (Figures for 2021 have not been unveiled nonetheless.)

On the electric-car aspect, the EPA’s effectiveness score for EVs — referred to as “MPGe”, for miles for each gallon equal — offers buyers an notion of how much an EV can journey on 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of charge. Why 33.7 kWh? Which is the sum of electric power that is chemically equivalent to the electrical power in a gallon of frequent gasoline.

The regular MPGe score for 2022-product-12 months EVs offered in the U.S. is about 97, so driving 100 miles in that hypothetical regular automobile would use 34.7 kWh of electrical energy.

The charts above examine how the value of 3.9 gallons of gasoline has adjusted relative to the price of 34.7 kWh about time, using every month data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (for fuel charges) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (for electric power premiums) from February 2019 as a result of February 2022.

– CNBC’s Crystal Mercedes contributed to this post.