Typical Annual Fuel Cost For BEVs Varies Between $500 To $800 (PHEVs From $550 To $1,850)

6 months ago by Mark Kane 26

Annual Fuel Cost Ranges by Fuel Type, MY 2017 (source: energy.gov)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has further explored annual fuel costs of cars by powertrain type in a newly released study.

Using 15,000 miles (24,000 km) as a typical comparison mileage (55% city / 45% highway), plug-in vehicles are simply unbeatable.  The total fuel costrange for plug-in vehicles in America break down like this:

  • BEVs vary from $500 to $800/year
  • PHEVs vary from $550 to $1,850/year

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

It’s especially important to underline that this is one of the scenarios that savings are proportional to the driving distance and style of the EV owner…so there can be a lot of flex in the numbers.

The estimated annual fuel costs for model year (MY) 2017 all-electric vehicles is the lowest of all the different fuel types, ranging from a low of $500 to a high of $800 per year.

The annual fuel costs for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are heavily influenced by the electric range of the vehicle.

In hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), the technology is used not only for maximizing fuel economy, as in the Hyundai Ioniq Blue with fuel costs of $600, but also for boosting performance, as in the Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta with fuel costs of $3,250. Conventional gasoline vehicles for MY 2017 have estimated annual fuel costs of $900 to $3,850 – the widest range, but also the category with the most vehicle models available.

Note: Fuel cost assumptions were:

  • Vehicle driven 15,000 miles per year
  • 55% city driving, 45% highway driving
  • $2.33 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline, $2.82 per gallon for premium, $2.57 per gallon for diesel, and $0.13 per kilowatt-hour for electricity.
  • PHEV fuel cost estimates are based on blended gasoline/electricity costs.

source: energy.gov

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26 responses to "Typical Annual Fuel Cost For BEVs Varies Between $500 To $800 (PHEVs From $550 To $1,850)"

  1. John says:

    I use about a dollar a day in electricity in my Volt, in addition to two or three tanks of fuel per year (usually around the holidays)

    So call it
    $365 for electrons and
    $60 for dino juice.
    $425 total.

    Not too shabby.

    1. John F says:

      How many miles?

      1. ArkansasVolt says:

        assume 38 miles per $1 charge, and $60 would get you about 900 miles based on national avg gas prices.

        38*365 + 900 = 14,770 miles… about 15k/year

        1. John says:

          I hover right around 15k miles a year. About 10k a year purely for commute that is 100% electric. And about another 5k a year for personal use, that is mostly electric.

  2. Snowdall says:

    I recall for 2015 I calculated I used about $700 in electrons for my Spark EV. But since the only place I ever charged was at my place of employment (no chargers at my apartment building GRRRR), AND as a perk my employer gave free charging … my cost was $0.00! 🙂

  3. SparkEV says:

    I did an experiment few months ago of only using public chargers*. For about 750 miles (under lease allowed miles), it came to about $35, and that included $15 eVgo OTG membership fee, which means $20 for actual electricity used. 12mo would be $420/yr.

    If a gas car gets 60 MPG, and gas prices are $2.75/gal, driving 750 miles would cost about $35. In effect, SparkEV only operating on public chargers with my driving pattern is costs equivalent of 60 MPG gas car.

    * no other EV was waiting for me while running the experiment. Few times that another EV showed up, I disconnected immediately and let them charge.

  4. pjwood1 says:

    For diesels:
    -add proprietarty cost of “X” gallons of urea, annually
    -divide turbo cost,by ~5 years
    -divide exhaust gas recirculation, by ~4 years
    -Sprinkle particulate filter costs, as desired.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      There’s only proprietary cost if you’re an idiot.

      Overall cost would be 0.2-0.25c/mi for a VW diesel.

    2. Joe says:

      And it won’t be long before the now popular downsized direct-injection engines need the whole particulate filtering as well. First automakers are already implementing them AFAIK…

      1. Mr. M says:

        In germany the maximum allowed particular output of direct inject gasoline vehicles is 10x the allowed output of diesel cars. There is a reason why they are choosen this way. Think about your clean gasoline car…

  5. hpver says:

    Now if we could just get the general public to take this into account when buying a car, maybe we wouldn’t have so many huge vehicles transporting single-occupancy commuters.

  6. Get Real says:

    The absolute best thing about EVs IMHO is they are the only vehicles you can make your own fuel for (via solar pv).

    Since solar pv has dropped so much in price as to be the cheapest way to make electricity you can literally fuel your EVs for free for decades once your pv system breaks even.

    This synergy is what is truly revolutionary and is why Big Oil and their bought politicians are trying to stop it.

    1. John says:

      I’ll have a 15kW solar array on my house sometime this spring/early summer.

      Can’t wait.

      The house is 100% electric and there are 2 Volts parked in the garage (and IF I get my way, there will soon be a Zero DSR joining them!)

      1. Alaa says:

        $500 will get you 5 solar panels. Each panel is 250 W peak. So these 5 panels will give you enough electricity to drive for 20 years or even more for free. That is 1.25 kW peak, so 15 kW peak is a bit too much. You can run 10 cars for that much solar. Running a house doesn’t take that much. I run my house in Cairo Egypt on 2 panels. 250 W peak each! I did invest in an inverter air condition though. It was not much.

  7. DJ says:

    These analysis are really just pure crap. It all boils down to what you pay for power. It’s like those hot tub people at the fair that say it only costs you $10 a month to run your spa (and in fine print saying if power is 3 cents a kWh and you never heat it above 92).

    15,000 miles (say 5,000 kW equivalent) with my utility provider will run you at least $1,000 assuming you had a TOU-EV rate and ONLY ever charged at super off peak rates.

    It could easily be $2,000+ if you for whatever reason couldn’t go on TOU rates.

    1. Jason says:

      So you’re paying ~$0.30/kWh and suggesting it could be ~$0.60/kWh? Most of the blogs I read indicate more like $0.15/kWh, maybe you need to investigate solar. That would be cheaper in the long run and effectively free after the pay back period (for me it was 3yrs).

      If you get any feed in tariff, that just helps recoup the costs faster. But maybe you are in an apartment or other locale where you cannot do this, more is the pity for those people.

      You can start to understand why battery storage is becoming so popular and important, it will only get better as prices come down.

    2. Mr. M says:

      You mean 5000kWh i supose, since you can not collect kW.

  8. There is a wide spread in electricity costs all over the world.

    We usually pay around 0.12 EUR/kWh for energy from 100% hydropower.

    Can’t wait to add our own solar power though!

    1. Sbceezie says:

      True, my utility charges $0.08/kWh for a certain block and $0.12 for everything after. Average is around $0.11 so to fuel my 1100 electric miles per month on a 2015 Volt it is just under $30/month. Wide variation among utilities.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Furthering the misconception that BEVs are gasmobiles that use a special type of fuel.

    *Sigh*

    BEV = Pure electric power. No fuel needed or wanted!

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      Electricity is one type of fuel.

  10. RussB says:

    I would like to see gas taxes included in this kind of analysis (i.e., subtract the nationally weighted gas tax rate from the price of fuel before doing the comparison). The supposition being, of course, that the federal and state governments will get their tax money somehow, so the EV user is only saving the cost of the gasoline, not the tax. It will (I think) not change the conclusion, and it is more representative of where the situation is headed.

    In addition to a more accurate estimate of operating costs, it would also be an easy way to assess the accuracy of the EV fees that are already being added in some places, which many commenters on previous articles seem to think are too high.

  11. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    “savings are proportional to the driving distance and style of the EV owner”

    Or put it another way, people making 100,000 miles per year rarely buy 100 mile pure BEVs :/ What a great “fact”!

  12. PHEVfan says:

    The graph is a bit misleading. The only EVs on the market are compact to large sedans (save for the Model X). All other categories can include large SUVs, trucks, luxury sedans and racers. It would be much closer to compare cars of like kind with multiple graphs. I think you’d find a much closer comparison.

  13. realistic says:

    And of course cost-of-capital is left to the interested student, many of whom will rapidly come to the conclusion that until liquid fuels reach $3.50 / gal a comparable EV almost always loses to the ICE.

    1. wavelet says:

      Rather US-centric view.
      You forget that US fuel prices are unique, and in the vast majority of the world, gasoline costs much more; the US is also a minority in terms of the overall EV market, despite the very high numbers of cars per capita.

      Over here, despite being at a historic near-low, standard unleaded costs the equivalent US$6.54 per US gallon at the pump, and it’s similar in most of Europe.