Electric: $.03/mile vs. Gas: $.13/mile


Disclaimer: Math has never been my strong suit, so double check me on this.

Tom Moloughney gave me a very handy equation to figure how how many kilowatt hours I was using to recharge #217:    Amps used per 100miles (Ah on my gauge) x 390 (voltage on MINI E) = watts, divided by 1,000 to get kWh.

In my case that is:  67×390/1,000 = 26 kWh.  From what I can tell (Orange & Rockland utilities doesn’t make it easy to find this #)  our electrical rates are $.15/kWh – so that means I’m paying about $.03/mile.

My gas car gets about 22 miles/gallon, and figuring gas costs around $3/gallon (premium), that equals $.13/mile.

IMG_0817In my case the calculation is a little more complicated because I generate around 24kWh each day from Solar Panels, so what that electricity actually costs me is probably a little less. However the point is the same – mile for mile, electricity is a much cheaper, and greener, fuel to power my commute. Over a 1-year period, I should save approximately $2,250 in fuel costs alone by driving electric instead of gas (and that doesn’t consider that I’m also not paying for oil changes and other gas engine-related maintenance costs).

Many other factors need to be added to the equation – I once figured that I would need to drive an electric car for about 3 years to generate enough savings to offset the current high-cost of batteries; there are usability issues related to range/recharge time and infrastructure; I don’t yet know how the car will perform in the very, very hot (100F+) or very, very cold (20F-) weather we get in the Northeast; others in the MINI E field test have experienced maintenance issues and even battery failures; etc., etc.

However, I have the answer to the most commonly asked question I get – “how does it compare to gas cost-wise?” – it beats it by $.10/mile. And in that answer lies the true promise of a commercially-viable electric vehicle: a much lower-cost over the medium-long term, and an ecologically-superior propulsion system from the start.

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One response to “Electric: $.03/mile vs. Gas: $.13/mile

  1. Hey Gordon, thanks for the props, but you didn’t have to give me credit. The blog looks great, keep it up! Tom

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