Infographic: Top 10 States to Drive Electric

OCT 23 2013 BY STAFF 19

In which states will going electric save you the most?

Well, ever since the DoE launched its hand-dandy eGallon calculator, determining how much you can save by going electric has been a breeze.

Here, Sustainable America presents a “Top 10″ infographic, which details which states are most likely to save you a lot of dough on “fuel” and shows you how much you can expect to save.  Apparently, Washington and Idaho are the places to own a plug-in car!

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19 Comments on "Infographic: Top 10 States to Drive Electric"

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The problem with the eGallon is that it assumes some value for efficiency (MPG and MPGe). Most of today’s EVs hover around 100MPGe, but they used the “average” gas car of 28.2MPG (according to their website). If they used a prius instead, the eGallon would cost almost twice as much! This is a serious flaw in this analysis.

They also fail to explain time-of-use metering for those who can charge at super-off-peak rates.

To make their calculator more meaningful, they need to let you compare specific models. E.g. what can I save with a Leaf compared to an Altima? A Versa? A Prius?

I don’t follow; how would an eGallon cost twice as much if a Prius were used? The Prius, like all other vehicles, also hovers around 100mpg equivalent when in all electric mode.

This is exactly the problem. If smart people are confused by this new unit, the uninitiated are going to be completely misled.

“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.”

If a Prius gets 50MPG, it will travel almost twice as far on that gallon of gas. Therefore, the equivalent cost of an “eGallon” would be almost twice as much as they calculate.

The cost of an eGallon is independent of the cost of a gasoline powered vehicle in their calculations, as I understand it.

If a gasoline vehicle got 200MPG on average, the cost of an eGallon would remain unchanged.

So, I’m still not following.

Not that you’re reading my links, but here you go:

eGallon ($/gal) = FE * EC * EP

FE = the average comparable passenger car adjusted combined fuel economy, miles/gallon

EC = the average electricity consumption (kWh/mi) of the top 5 selling PEVs in the U.S.

EP = the average U.S. electricity price, $/kWh.

I think the interesting thing about this graphic is that a gallon of gas and the electricity equivalent to the energy in burning a gallon of gas are very close to the SAME PRICE. Even in regions where electricity is more expensive, petrol is also more expensive!

That means that saying that an EV gets 100MPG actually tells someone how much they’ll pay for fuel, at least retail. The point about off-peak rates is very important and exposes the way that EVs actually make our power grids *MORE* efficient.

Still, the conclusions pass the smell test, IMO. Sad but I don’t think the methodology and the whole “eGallon”, “MPGe” thing will ever gain trust. It fails to account for vastly different driving patterns, for any given AER, on top of Brian’s 28.8mpg criticism and many other things. The 12.33 cent/kwh average is a simple average of the states. See link below, showing 12.61 for July ’13, for instance. Here, HI at 36 cents/kwh, counts as much as TX does at ~11 cpkwh. TX uses !!400TWH!! per year. HI used 10, in ’12… So, it and all of the EPA window stickers suffer, from being unweighted. The last time I used the very same source data, I took total residential electric sector revenue over total residential kwh sold and got something like 9.7 cpkwh. Beyond this, Brians criticism that they also left out TOU is perhaps even more significant. If anyone knows of overnight rate data sets, I could use a point. We lost summer interns, and the only thing I can think of is to go through the portal and manually gather rates shown in the available TOU plans. Hoping for something better/simpler.

Great points.

I agree with Brian’s comments above that having a vehicle comparison selector (year/make/model) would be a big improvement. As much as a Pruis would hurt the comparison, swapping an old poor mpg vehicle for a plug-in could show someone massive savings in fuel.

I do think making the breakdown state by state is a huge improvement over MPGe, for you reasons you pointed out.

Georgia should be on that list. We have cheap gas, but the EV rate from GA Power is 1.31 cents/KW. That has to translate to be one of the cheapest EGallons in the country.

Basically a rehash of the DOE eGallon site.

I suggest a better comparison would be miles per fuel dollar. This would more easily translate to something understandable to most people, takes into account each car’s efficiency, regardless of fuel source, and can be adjusted for local prices of fuel.

“Fueling an electric vehicle in Hawaii” is a lot more than the graph suggests! Even if it’s a 12kw fill of a Chevy Volt, you are looking at $4.92 per fill-up. If you are filling a Nissan Leaf to 80% & 100% respectively: $7.87 & $9.84 per fill-up! Now a Model S would be pretty expensive, but I doubt most people would put more than 20kw in the car a day so it’s probably more than the leaf, considering the “vampire effect”. For those of us in Hawaii that don’t have PV solar, a Prius is probably quite a bit cheaper to drive than a EV. 🙁

Hawaii is so isolated … it’s more cost effective to use that shipped fossil fuel in a vehicle than burn it to run the powerplant to generate electricity … and then use that energy to run your car. Seems like there should be huge incentives to install PV there, and then drive on that energy! In fact, if you can’t do PV in Hawaii, it probably doesn’t make sense to have an electric car there.

Way too complicated…

EVs: 3 miles per KWh. If each KWh is $0.15, then it is $0.04 per mile. Prius @ 50mpg and $4/gallon is $0.08 per mile..

Chevy volt will only take about 11kwh from SOC which in fl cost roughly .11/kwh which come to about $1.21. This charge will carry you in style about 38 miles. Or I can put a gallon of fuel in it and it will take me the same distance which cost about 3.60.. Pretty simple …. 1/3 the cost to drive it with electric. But… Here is the kicker… Most electric charging stations (including the tesla) …. Are FREE!!! You can keep your underpowered Ugly Prius! This doesn’t even take into account the fact I don’t have to change the oil in the volt but about once every 12-15k miles or more depending on how you drive it. The engine will probably last 3 times what a prius will last.

And the final nail in the coffin… Ask yourself where that 3.60 goes…a lot of it goes to imported oil. Then ask yourself where that 1.21 goes… Made in the USA! Can you say gdp?

Egallon is not a good metric.

Happy volt owner 2 years.

This article only covers the equivalent cost in fuels (gas vs. electricity). But EV owners know that there are other savings, such as no oil changes, no oil filter changes (and no more oil stains), no alternator replacements (the traction battery charges the 12 VDC battery), few coolant changes (the Spark EV has its coolant changed after 100,000 miles or ten years), few transmission fluid changes, longer lasting hoses and radiators (less heat exposure), and longer lasting brake pads (regen take up 80% of all braking needs).

So even if electricity cost more, there are thousands of dollars saved in maintenance, not considering all the saved hours of servicing (or waiting for servicing). The remaining costs will be tire rotation and replacements, wiper blade replacements, brake fluid checks, coolant checks, and body maintenance (washes, waxes, interior cleaning, etc.) which will be about the same for both gas and electric.

Finally, there will be less contamination from emissions, heat and noise. That alone is a big motivation for many.

As others have stated, the electricity cost is based on average power costs and does not account for the low off-peak rates that are offered by most utilities. As a result, most of the electricity costs (esp. California) are high by about a factor of two. I charge my Volt with ~6 cent/kW-hr nighttime electricity. Works out to 2 cents/mile. For a 40 MPG car (which is what the Volt gets in gasoline mode) that’s the equivalent of 80 cents/gallon. Again, the reason for their high numbers is that they assume a CA power cost of ~12 cents, as opposed to 6 cents.

Price stability is the biggest thing for me. I don’t think the eGallon notation is a very good one. If anything there is an opportunity here–a ‘gallon’ was only chosen as the metric because gas cars started taking off. People really just want to know miles. How about Fuel cost/mile?

I want to give you a practical example strait out of my one year experience with EV compared to gasoline compared to DIESEL powered cars. It is all about the cost per mile for the vehicle you drive, the rest are just formulas and empiric calculation that don’t make any practical sense. Here are the 3 vehicles that I want you to compare similar in size and weight but different in fuel/energy used:
1) VW Passat TDI (Diesel) – gets over 50 MPG. $4/gal Diesel = $0.08/mile
2) BEV (battery electric vehicle) – 1KW =1mile (for my car)=$0.10/mile (off peak in California)
3) Mercedes Benz V8 coupe – gets 25MPG. $4/gal premium=$0.16/mile
Which one is more economical? Which one is more fun to drive? Which one is fun to drive and economical?
All 3 vehicle were driven at speed limit on the same road for one year. The choice is yours I just wanted to give you a real life example. Thank you