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How much does it cost to commute to work or drive across town? The price of gasoline is posted at every corner gas station, but what about the cost of driving on electricity? The Department of Energy’s eGallon provides a quick and simple answer to this question and allows electric vehicle (EV) drivers to see how much they can save on fuel by using electricity instead of gasoline.
The price of an eGallon tells consumers how much it costs to drive an EV the same distance you could go on a gallon of unleaded gasoline in a similar car. It’s that simple. We take the average distance that a gasoline-powered vehicle can drive on a gallon of gas (28.2 miles for comparable 2012 model year cars), and then calculate how much it would cost to drive the average EV that same distance. 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. As you can see, on average, fueling your car with gasoline costs roughly 3 times more than fueling with electricity.
If you chart the price of gasoline and the eGallon price over time, you’ll notice something else. Gasoline prices often spike up and down erratically because they’re linked to international oil markets. Events half a world away can drive up the price we pay at the pump. High prices and uncertainty are a heavy burden for American consumers. On the other hand, the cost of electricity is regional and much more stable, so you generally don’t have to worry about the wild gyrations seen in gas prices.
The eGallon price arms consumers with a little bit more information to compare the costs of driving an electric car to the cost of gasoline, but it doesn’t measure some of the other benefits of driving on electricity. There are significant environmental benefits -- particularly as the share of electricity that comes from clean and renewable energy increases -- as well as benefits for America’s energy security. Instead of spending $1 billion a day on foreign oil, with electric vehicles and other technologies we can power our cars, homes and businesses with American energy.
As electric vehicle technology continues to improve and the cost of the vehicles continues to fall, more and more Americans are making the switch to electric. If you’re curious about how much you could save, be sure to check out energy.gov/eGallon for the latest eGallon price in your state.