A driver makes use of a fast-charging station for electrical within the mobile phone lot at John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport on April 02, 2021 in New York Metropolis.
Spencer Platt | Getty Photos
It has been true for years: Mile for mile, it is cheaper — usually less expensive — to recharge an electrical car than it’s to refuel one with an internal-combustion engine.
That has been a key promoting level for Tesla and different EV makers, notably in instances when gasoline costs have soared, comparable to now. However this time there is a wrinkle: Whereas gasoline costs have certainly soared within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so have electrical energy costs — notably in some components of the U.S. which have been huge markets for Tesla’s EVs.
That raises a query: Is it nonetheless true that it is less expensive to “refuel” an EV? The charts beneath, which present how a lot the associated fee so as to add 100 miles of vary to the common EV or internal-combustion car has modified in several markets over time, assist us discover the reply.
The primary chart, utilizing nationwide figures, supplies a baseline. The others use knowledge particular to Boston and San Francisco, two markets the place EVs are well-liked — and the place electrical energy tends to be dearer than the nationwide common.
The reply in all three instances is that — even with regional surges within the worth of electrical energy — it is nonetheless fairly a bit dearer to fill your gasoline tank than it’s to cost your EV’s battery.
Electrical energy charges have roughly stored tempo with gasoline worth will increase in Boston and San Francisco. But, on common throughout the U.S., including 100 miles of vary in your internal-combustion car has turn out to be dearer, relative to charging an EV an equal quantity, over the past couple of months.
Is that more likely to change? Whereas oil costs are almost sure to fall within the coming months as producers enhance output, it is unlikely that the worth of electrical energy will rise sufficient to make EVs much less inexpensive over their life cycles than internal-combustion options.
Utilizing February knowledge, Jeffries analyst David Kelley not too long ago calculated that the overall lifetime price of possession of an EV is about $4,700 lower than that of an internal-combustion car. He stated that price distinction is more likely to enhance as extra EVs come to market — and as battery costs proceed to fall — over the following couple of years.
How we crunched the numbers
We had three questions in thoughts once we put collectively these charts:
- How a lot does it price so as to add 100 miles of vary to the common ICE car and the common EV?
- How have these prices modified over the past three years? (Going again three years to February of 2019 provides us a pre-pandemic baseline.)
- How have these prices assorted between completely different components of the U.S.?
For gasoline, the Environmental Safety Company reported that the common new car bought within the U.S. in 2020 had a mixed fuel-economy ranking of 25.7 miles per gallon. Driving 100 miles in that common car would use 3.9 gallons of gasoline. (Figures for 2021 have not been launched but.)
On the electric-vehicle facet, the EPA’s effectivity ranking for EVs — referred to as “MPGe”, for miles per gallon equal — provides shoppers an concept of how far an EV can journey on 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of cost. Why 33.7 kWh? That is the quantity of electrical energy that’s chemically equal to the vitality in a gallon of normal gasoline.
The typical MPGe ranking for 2022-model-year EVs bought within the U.S. is about 97, so driving 100 miles in that hypothetical common car would use 34.7 kWh of electrical energy.
The charts above examine how the worth of three.9 gallons of gasoline has modified relative to the worth of 34.7 kWh over time, utilizing month-to-month knowledge from the U.S. Power Info Administration (for gasoline costs) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (for electrical energy charges) from February 2019 by February 2022.
—CNBC’s Crystal Mercedes contributed to this text.