Which Is Cheaper? Driving 100 Miles On Electricity Or Gas?


These figures assume a 24.2 miles per gallon (mpg) gasoline vehicle—the projected average mpg for 2014 model year cars as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency—and an electric car with an efficiency of 0.30 kilowatt-hours per mile, such as a 2014 Nissan Leaf. Fuel prices are 2014 averages for Lower Atlantic-region gasoline and residential electricity in Georgia, as reported by the Energy Information Administration.

These figures assume a 24.2 miles per gallon (mpg) gasoline vehicle—the projected average mpg for 2014 model year cars as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency—and an electric car with an efficiency of 0.30 kilowatt-hours per mile, such as a 2014 Nissan Leaf. Fuel prices are 2014 averages for Lower Atlantic-region gasoline and residential electricity in Georgia, as reported by the Energy Information Administration.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have been closely monitoring the plug-in electric car scene in Georgia.  Reason being is that Georgia is the U.S.’ hottest plug-in electric car market today, but there’s lot of political talk in the state right now, most of which centers around reducing or eliminating the state’s $5,000 EV credit.

Ignoring all that, this UCS infographic is rather nifty.  It quickly shows us just how cheap an electric car is to “fuel” for 100 miles of driving.  Well, way cheaper than gas at least.

UCS states:

“These advanced vehicles bring substantial economic benefits to Georgia. Driving the average new gasoline vehicle 100 miles cost Georgia’s drivers around $13.57 in 2014. Driving the same distance on electricity cost an average of $3.53 in the state, and as little as $0.40 if the EV was charged on the lowest-cost nighttime electricity. These fuel-savings can translate to spending in other sectors, creating more jobs—and benefiting local economies—far more than if the money were spent on gasoline alone.”

“These figures assume a 24.2 miles per gallon (mpg) gasoline vehicle—the projected average mpg for 2014 model year cars as reported by the Environmental Protection Agency—and an electric car with an efficiency of 0.30 kilowatt-hours per mile, such as a 2014 Nissan Leaf. Fuel prices are 2014 averages for Lower Atlantic-region gasoline and residential electricity in Georgia, as reported by the Energy Information Administration.”

UCS is pushing for the extension of Georgia’s EV tax credit, as are we.  UCS concludes:

“Electric cars are also helping reduce Georgia’s oil use, benefiting Georgia’s climate. An average battery-electric vehicle in Georgia is linked to fewer global warming emissions than a gasoline-powered vehicle that gets 47 mpg. In 2014 alone, EVs saved Georgia from burning 4.5 million gallons of gasoline and emitting more than 22,000 tons of harmful climate change emissions.”

“Extending Georgia’s EV tax credits—and further increasing support for electric vehicles in the state—would help cement Georgia’s position as an EV leader. Download the fact sheet for more information, or read more about our plan to Half the Oil.”

Hat tip to Anne Blair!!!

Source: UCS

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79 Comments on "Which Is Cheaper? Driving 100 Miles On Electricity Or Gas?"

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Unless you want to do 150 miles in one day in which case you’ll have to hit an Atlanta area NRG EVGo quick charger with a confiscatory rate equal to about the same.

(as gas).

Same problem here in Oregon. QC fees are so ridiculous (10X or more over the residential cost of electricity), any cost benefits of driving electric go out the window the moment you have to use one.

Chevrolet Volt makes more and more sense. Someday ( 10 years from now? ), businesses will compete with price/kwh vs. each other. Until then – you want a charge away from home – it’s gonna cost you.

I agree James that the Volt sure has been a great vehicle capable of logging a lot of electric miles. The window might open some with the 200 mile BEVs on the way. The idea of paying a premium “on occasion” is going to be a given to help pay for the infrastructure. If you have to use it everyday, then you have a problem. 150 -200 AER should certainly allow for a LOT of home/workplace charging though.

You are correct, but not a big deal for most drivers, paying extra for something I do once or twice/year doesn’t really count…

Depends on the network and payment plan! AV is just $20/mo for unlimited kWh, but at $7.50 per session could get expensive if just doing a few kWh.

“An average battery-electric vehicle in Georgia is linked to fewer global warming emissions than a gasoline-powered vehicle that gets 47 mpg.”

Though UCS probably won’t admit it, GA’s electricity is about 30% nuclear powered.

Does nuclear power have global warming emissions?

UCS is very anti-nuclear.

pjwood1 is pointing out the irony of the UCS extolling the virtues of EVs when a large chunk of Georgia’s electricity is CO2-free due to nuclear.

Really? They release zero CO2 during the uranium mining and enrichment process? Who knew?

Okey… having the lowest CO2 emissions in total from all aspects including mining and material compared to any other energy source including wind and solar.

So if not zero it’s as close to zero as we know how to get.

Exactly. It always annoys me when they show pictures or cartoons of the cooling towers at a nuclear power plant emitting -steam- alongside pictures of coal-fired power plants emitting highly toxic air pollution… implying that the perfectly clean steam from a nuclear power plant is just as bad!

Yes, you can use pictures to lie.

Wrong. Wind beats nuclear in total lifetime emissions, again due to the intensive manufacturing cycle of reactor parts and isotope handling.

Nuclear does beat solar, though. But considering all three beat natural gas, which itself beats coal (handily), I think we’ve reached the point of hair-splitting.

Nuclear plnts are themost stupidest technology developped by the human race, followed by fracking.
It takes only one Tchernobyl like accident to poison the entire planet, raise the global radio-activity and create a no man’s land for TWENTY THOUSAND YEARS,

No, Chernoble is ok for wildlife today. Humans could move back in a few decades.

LuStuccc said:

“It takes only one Tchernobyl like accident to poison the entire planet, raise the global radio-activity and create a no man’s land for TWENTY THOUSAND YEARS…”

The Chernobyl accident was the worst commercial nuclear power plant accident in history, and is estimated to have killed about 4000 people, just once. By contrast, the pollution from coal-fired power plants is estimated to kill between 13,000 and 30,000 Americans each and EVERY YEAR. obviously worldwide, the number of deaths is much higher.

If human beings were rational beings, and not prone to giving in to the sort of anti-nuclear hysteria we see promoted by Big Oil and the news media, we would long ago have shut down -all- the coal-fired power plants and replaced every one with clean, much safer, nuclear plants.

Please document some of those wild, tin hat statements.

Sorry, no “tinfoil hat” statements to document.

But for those who would like to learn the Truth about energy from coal vs. nuclear, you can start with Wikipedia’s “Environmental impact of the coal industry” article:


And for those with open minds, here are more actual facts — and no hysteria — on the subject:



Lensman is right, compared in rational terms it’s hard to dismiss nuclear. Gen4 reactors now being developed look even more attractive as they solve most of the problems used to attack current reactor technology. At any rate we have to have some form of reliable base load power and it’s pretty much coal or nuclear, an easy choice IMHO.

Der Spiegel, as per the article, only mentions the world according to GSF, since that’s the only reference given. This is especially interesting in view of this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017218089 which indicates that, just like our media, the German Media do not get the information germans want. The US gov’t pays German Journalists for the spin the US gov’t wants. Rather Like Judith Miller of the NY Times writing Lies every day to lie us into the Iraq war (not the 1st or 3rd Iraq War which is going on now – oh, and that story about Kuwaiti babies being thrown from their bassinets or Khadafi giving his soldiers Viagara to rape women were also baldfaced lies). So Der Spiegel ain’t much better than the NY Times since all their journalists are on the take. The Frontline story is disingenuous since the first paragraph starts out with “The French Love their nuclear reactors”, but the rest of the article does not support this. I could go on, but I’ve made my point. It would be instructive to try to find out exactly what levels of contamination are getting to the point of being seriously dangerous. As far as relative danger, you might… Read more »

solar panels employ some of the most toxic materials on the planet in both manufacture and final product.

…materials which can be captured if you actually try. Hardly anyone has CIGS panels, except those which are on steep discounts because hardly anyone’s buying them.

It’s idiotic opinions like this that caused more global warming than all the cars on the planet. Coal would’ve died 30 years ago and we’d have no need to frack for gas if it weren’t for people like you.

New nuclear is too expensive today, but it used to be the cleanest option by far.

Lustuuc I recommend you watch a documentary called “Pandora’s Promise”

Here’s something for you to chew over:

I live in Los Angeles and it is home to one of the most dangerous nuclear accidents ever.


The report also concluded that the SRE meltdown caused the release of more than 458 times the amount of radiation released by the Three Mile Island accident.[2]

Yeah, thats because Three Mile Island by definition didn’t release any.. The AMerican Experience program Lied in the program itself, saying there were both 1). No explosions, and 2). Not even the risk of one due to a miscalulated formula. When you read ALL the material on the website, to AE’s credit, the writer of The China Syndrome states there was a hydrogen explosion wednesday afternoon, (all the barometers of course pegged). Since it was a relatively minor explosion, the containment held. But just like the radiation monitors which pegged, the program chauked this up to ‘defective instruments’. Later on, more prestigious groups did surveys of cancer rates compared to historical data, and, lets just say there was an increase. Totally unrelated since everyone must have started smoking 4 packs a day. Including farm animals. The thing to understand about this is that everyone with an axe to grind on these things lies. There will be no radiation induced deaths at Fukushima either since, its defacto illegal to mention it, and you’ll be charged with Treason if you do. The American Cancer Society will not release maps of which locales have the highest cancer occurrences, even though they just HAVE… Read more »

From your link, “The reactors located on the grounds of SSFL were considered experimental, and therefore had no containment structures.”

That statement is somewhat hilarious. I would expect experimental things that can melt down to have far more containment than proven things, *Facepalm*

No, But it does have this thing known as spent fuel rods that remain radioactive and deadly if exposed for many lifetimes.For that reason alone IMHO Nuclear power generation is a non – starter until there is a safe and cost effective way to neutralize the radioactive waste they generate as a by-product

France has solved the problem of long-term storage of nuclear waste. It’s not a technological problem at all. It’s merely a political/cultural one.


From your link, “From the beginning the French had been recycling their nuclear waste, reclaiming the plutonium and unused uranium and fabricating new fuel elements. This not only gave energy, it reduced the volume and longevity of French radioactive waste. The volume of the ultimate high-level waste was indeed very small: the contribution of a family of four using electricity for 20 years is a glass cylinder the size of a cigarette lighter.”

It is my understanding that the US doesn’t make any attempt to recycle, and refine their nuclear waste for additional cycles in the reactor, which is unfortunate.

As I understand it, the waste we store at nuke sites could be reduced by about 90% if we recycled it into new rods instead of being so worried about ever touching it again.

The title of this article really should include the words “in Georgia” as the results vary highly on electricity rates by location. For instance, I live in an area serviced by Southern California Edison. Without a plug-in car, my monthly electricity usage generally falls right at Tier 3 usage. This means any additional electricity costs $0.26/kWh, or when I get to Tier 4 it costs $0.31/kWh. Cost to drive Nissan LEAF 100 miles (30 kWh): $7.80 (in Tier 3) $9.30 (in Tier 4) It takes a Prius 2 gallons to drive 100 miles. Therefore as long as gas costs under $3.90/gallon (it’s still under $3/gallon), it’s cheaper for residents of Southern California Edison to drive a Prius than the full electric LEAF in Tier 3 and 4. However, I can change to the TOU rates and pay $0.11/kWh between 10pm-8am. But if I attempt to run the AC during the summer between 2-8pm (or run a long errand early in the day and need an afternoon charge to get to dinner), it will cost me $0.47/kWh. Solar can fix this, but is a large investment. Cost to drive Nissan LEAF 100 miles (30 kWh) on TOU rates: $3.30 (Super Off… Read more »

While I agree it is tough to generalize, and even quoting ranges for gas or electricity costs is fodder for argumentation, I think the point has to be made somehow. The effort to broadcast this point with some typical (not extrema) numbers is worthwhile. It’s unfortunate that it requires lots of small print to explain the numbers selected, and this infographic makes an effort to do so. It even puts “in Georgia” in large print 🙂

You are simply arguing that the insideevs.com article title isn’t as detailed as the infographic? That would be a long article title…

My point was not that the title needs to be incredibly long. My point was that unlike the price of gas, which you see when you drive by a pump, the price of electricity is more hidden and complex for the average user. And that switching to an EV won’t necessarily save drivers 75% on their driving, as there are many cases where EVs will cost more to drive than ICE cars.

Leaf_n_PIP is correct. The title of the article indicates a subject much broader than the actual article. To avoid misleading the reader, the title should be “Which Is Cheaper in Georgia? Driving 100 Miles On Electricity Or Gas?”

Only two additional words.

You explain one possible scenario. But there are others available to you, e.g. you can put the EV on TOU and keep your house on the regular schedule

If you install a separate meter, meter is free by Southern California Edison or LADWP which gives free meter and $750 rebate, you cost is $.12/KWH or even less with LADWP. $3.3 for 100 miles. I have separate meter I charge 95% of time during night time.

The second meter is free, not the second panel. I have read that adding a second panel could cost anywhere from $1k-$3k, hence many owners do not find it cost effective (since that money would be better put towards solar). In OC there is no $750 rebate for second panel.

“Solar can fix this, but is a large investment.”
Sounds like a small investment to me. Solar loans exist just like house loans or car loans. A 2kWh-4kWh array would knock the edge off of your bill. DIY solar is down to nearly $2/watt for the entire kit before tax incentives. That’s as low as $4,000-$8,000 out of pocket with half of that coming back to you where you live. Between TOU and displaced energy, you hit the breakeven waaaay inside five years with 20 years left.
Solar is too expensive? How can you afford not to????

According to Peterson Dean (pre-tax credit, installed and permitted for CA):
1.65 kW system = $8,000
3.3 kW system = $14,000
4.95 kW system = $20,000
I’m not sure most people can afford to pay those outright in cash. You can get a Nissan LEAF for 72 months at 0% APR. Would you care to please show me where I can get solar financing similar to that rate instead of the 5%+ I’m seeing online? I’ve read up slightly on the PPA leases, but those generally seem unfavorable. I will gladly admit I do not know a lot about solar pricing, but I’m fairly certain most people are not capable of DIY solar.

Take out a home equity loan. That way you get a decent rate, you get to take the tax-credit, and you get to deduct the interest on the loan.

I’m planning my DIY solar.

Even with a 4% Home equity loan factored in, our solar panels reduced our electricity bill by more than the total loan payment each month.

At least in expensive electricity area like San Diego, if you have AC and/or an EV, you are literally throwing away money each month you don’t install solar.

Here in Quebec, Canada, gas price is at 3.89$/gal and the electricity at 0.08$/kWh. It makes even more sens to use an EV at 2.40$/100 miles vs gas at 16.07$/100 miles.

Only waiting for a 200 miles range EV to buy one.

And it’s 98% clean hydro electricity.

Your post has more truth in it than the whole “Scientific Article”.

In my own case, were it not for the solar panels, my per mile cost would be well in excess of an equivalent gas vehicle, during our winters, which this one will be the coldest one in my lifetime, and the colder than the one last year, which also was supposedly never to happen again. It didn’t. This year is 8 degrees colder..

I have a 38 panel system, and, due to NY State’s dictat of a ‘piggy bank system’, my high electric usage is paid for since, during the summer, even with central air conditioning, I make electricity at 4 times the rate I use it, even during my ‘high consumption’ (except for the evs) summer months.

Good thing. I get zero kwh for at least 3 months of the year, and next to nothing for another 3. But I make a tremendous amount in the other 6.

If the government insists the world is warming up, what do you think is really happening?

The gov’t is always here to help me. That’s why when people are caught moving thermometers to black tops, or near chimneys, its obviously to get a more accurate worldwide temperature record!

A question that might be asked is why is California 20 degrees warmer than normal and why is my area 20 degrees colder than normal?

It always amuses me when people cite examples of it being colder during a short period of time (a year) or in their location, and then proclaim that global warming is false.

It’s kind of like proclaiming that world hunger isn’t a problem because I had a good meal tonight.

In the end, it’s hard to irrefutably prove that global warming due to human activity exists or does not exist. But there are some compelling studies that lean towards the former.

“The earth is supposedly warming, but there was a snowstorm in February! How can you explain that, Al Gore?”

Well, anyone who is a farmer in Canada for instance can expect a much tougher time of it for the next few years. Put this post away for 5 years and see if, 5 years hence, they don’t agree with me.

“Good thing. I get zero kwh for at least 3 months of the year, and next to nothing for another 3. But I make a tremendous amount in the other 6.”

Haha, I’m in the same boat Bill. IT frustrates me, but not everyone has to deal with this.

A co-worker of mine has panels in his back yard, mounted on a wooden structure, that he can tilt higher in the winter. The snow slides off easily, and on some days he’ll actually produce more electricity than he can produce on a good summer day. It’s impressive, and frustrating given my own roof-mounted snow-covered panels. 🙂

As far as “Global Warming” goes, there hasn’t been any for the last 18 years, 3 months. SO that is why they can’t call it that any more, they coined a new phrase “Climate Change”, since few believe (other than universally accepted here, and of course, high school students, since its drummed into their heads – incidentally I was told by the powers that be 3 days ago on Green World Reports that they don’t want anyone who doesn’t BELIEVE aince the fact that the earth is round is also settled science. I’ve mentioned here previously that it was only ‘settled science’ a few hundred years after Isiah said in the Bible “The earth hangs upon nothing”, and “the Circle of the Earth”, (both statements evidentally true), that Pythagoras proved the earth was round. Before that “settled science” was that the earth was flat and was carried around by a big turtle.) in Global Warming for the simple reason of the above. You don’t even have to be a technical person.. Any good historian knows Catholic St. Thomas Aquinas described much warmer periods than we are currently experiencing, and this, of course was confirmed by Chaucer. I’ve quoted about 13… Read more »

“As far as “Global Warming” goes, there hasn’t been any for the last 18 years, 3 months”

Sources please! 🙂

This NOAA-data sourced chart would seem to disagree.

Thanks! I look forward to reading it

I’m not sure where to start with that link. Going to the main website, it’s clear they were formed to argue against global warming to begin with, which suggests their analysis could be biased.

And yet, the satellite data they choose to reference also indicates warming, though they claim that the 1.3 degrees C per century it shows is “hardly anything to worry about”

That statement is baseless and lacks a fundamental understanding of increasing heat of any magnitude, as well as failing to recognize that an average increase for a hemisphere does not mean that increase everywhere. It will be more some places, and less in other places.

CO2 irrefutably causes more warming, the question is how much. CO2 has more vibration modes than N2 or O2, because it is a 3 bond structure. That translates to more heat when it is hit with rays from the sun. The only question is really whether or not it is enough to have cause for concern.

Clarkson, be careful about oversimplifying things. There is nothing of what you said which would indicate that CO2’s critical temperature is around 86 degrees fahrenheit, but it is. The effect of CO2 concentration with regards to any atmospheric warming is, in fact, logarithmic. But the main point is CO2 is a very minor greenhouse gas.

Anyone worried about greenhouse gas warming should first look at the historical record, and if they’re still concerned, should worry about the MAIN greenhouse gas, and start devising ways to drain the Atlantic and Pacific. Its that silly.

The article did mention that the most alarmist view of ocean heating (causing warming), assuming all trends continue in an unchanging fashion, would be 0.45 degrees centigrade per century. And that is assuming that the atmosphere is the only cause of the heating, something which Oceanographer BOb Ballard would disagree.

Everyone in this discussion ignores the fact that the earth was cooling between the mid 1940’s and 1970’s when all the prestigious scientists were warning about a new Ice Age. This was while human generated CO2 was greatly increasing, due to greatly increased man made fuel consumption.

If you want to read a serious paper on the subject, try here:


That chart is bogus… If it was real there wouldn’t have been all these prestigious scientists when I was a teenager predicting the start of a new Ice age, because it wasn’t until the mid 70’s that ‘warming’ started galloping along again and every BIG EXPERT who was predicting it was going to get continually colder suddenly had egg on their collective faces.

The several links I’ve provided have the real graphs. I’m not especially concerned, since I lived through what was being discussed. Oh, and by the way, its getting colder, and then next few years a likely to be colder still.

“If your friend put the system on a tilt mechanism I’d wager he could get another 25 % output if he had a small motor to track the sun.”

He’s so happy with what he has now, it’s amazing to see him make more in a day during the winter than he can make during the summer.

I really like this infographic.

I’m going to show it to my EV Association and try to get a Washington State version I can photocopy and put on windshields at every mall visit possible.

If it’s so great, why does it need a subsidy??????

Why does gas need a subsidy?

Gas is subsidized far more than Americans realize. At least half of the military budget is used to secure foreign lands for the purpose of protecting oil extraction. There’s a reason that the US has troops in over 175 countries, and it isn’t to protect US lands – it’s to protect US businesses, especially those that ship oil back home.

If you could magically convert all cars to electric – and magically generate that electricity domestically without oil – you’d find that suddenly the US would completely lose military interest in large parts of the world.


In the US, electricity is already produced from domestic sources, not from oil. No “magic” required.


Electricity is not subsidized.

EVs do get a tax-credit but they are expensive and there is a public interest in getting more people into EVs (less local pollution, less greenhouse gases, quieter, less exploding trains, smaller trade deficit, improved national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil, etc.)

Scott Franco said it the best here…

UCS is NOT helping the case for GA tax incentive extension.

If the cost “pays for itself”, then why does the government need to kick in $5K to pay for it. It should just sell itself…

Now, UCS is actually giving ammunition to the anti-government funded behavoir groups facts to show that governement shouldn’t get involved as it is “already paying for itself”….


The federal government subsidized oil to the tune of several billion a year, in direct subsidies. The bigger subsidy is allowing private firms to avoid externality costs.

It odd that gasoline is listed at the public pump price, while electricity is listed at the wholesale price.

It’s about time for an article documenting the cost to drive a LEAF, Spark, 500,e, or Model S a 1000 miles. This is about the monthly driving distance if driving 12,000 miles per year.

Like comparing price of gasoline at various gas stations, what would be the cost of driving a 1000 miles on each of the public charging networks?

How does the price to drive a 1000 miles on public charging infrastructure vary between the top-10 EV market regions?

(values could normalized to $/mile)

The public charging $/mile could also be compared to the average home electric rate of $0.12/kWh to show value of home vs. public charging.

I would bet somewhere online – is a list of Power Utility Companies, and their power rates and breakdowns by level of consumption and by time of use or options (EV Rates sometimes exist), and the EPA Stickers ‘Energy Efficiency” ratings – (if they actually listed the REAL ENERGY EV’s Use – as in kWh/Mile or miles/kWh) a simple spreadsheet could do the trick, and a localized one for a few counties would also be good to do! In Toronto, Ontario, My Last ‘Toronto Hydro’ Bill, showed usage of 656.9 kWh Adjusted use, for a bill of $135.46 (Over two months, and I used to use about 850 kWh in the same time frame 2 years ago, but this has been a cold month here: Last year I used about 585 kWh in the February Bill!); so this nets out at a Home use Energy Cost Average (average of three Time-Of-Use Tiers: On-Peak, Mid-Peak, and Off Peak, including Delivery, Taxes, etc.) of $0.2062 per kWh or roughly 21 Cents a kWh! However – Gas is on the rise here again, at over a $1.039 per litre (with 3.78 Litres / US Gallon, and CAN$ about $0.80 US right now –… Read more »

Type included, but not pancakes! “So my comparison shows a ratio of about 2.62X batter for the the EV, while this articles graphic shows 3.84X Better for an EV in Georgia!”

So my comparison shows a ratio of about 2.62X better for the the EV (in My Toronto Case), while this articles graphic shows 3.84X Better for an EV in Georgia!

Except it ignores the consumption of the battery. Batteries are consumed, just like gas or electricity. If a 60,000 mile battery costs $6,000 then it adds $0.10 per mile, so the comparison cited above would reveal that gas costs about the same as electricity + battery.

In Québec, Canada , the government pay 75% of fee to install public charging station . our electricity rate is close to. 08 cent / kWh all day (24 h) and fuel cost is over $4 gallon Today. Do the math.