FOTW #1033, June 11, 2018: Washington State Has the Greatest Fuel Cost Savings for an Electric Vehicle Versus a Gasoline Vehicle

June 11, 2018

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Electric vehicles are more efficient than internal combustion vehicles, but fuel cost comparisons can be complicated because the price of gasoline and residential electricity vary considerably by state. To address this, the Department of Energy developed an eGallon tool that shows the fuel cost of operating a vehicle on regular gasoline versus electricity for any given distance. Using this tool and comparing the cost difference between gasoline operation and electric operation, all states showed cost savings for electric operation. The average fuel cost savings for all states was 60% and each of the states except for Hawaii had savings of greater than 20%. The state of Washington provided the greatest fuel cost savings (74%) for electric vehicle owners. Residential electricity rates, which are high in Hawaii and low in Washington state, greatly influence the level of savings.

Map of the U.S. showing fuel cost savings for a vehicle using electricity versus gasoline.

Note: The eGallon tool uses average state or regional gasoline prices and average retail utility electricity prices. Home based solar installations are not considered. Savings are for May 19, 2018.

Sources: Savings - U.S. Department of Energy, eGallon website, accessed May 14, 2018.

Electric vehicle efficiency - U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Electric Vehicles," www.fueleconomy.gov website, accessed May 11, 2018.

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