BEVs and PHEVs can bring noticeable fuel/energy cost savings compared to conventional cars.

We already know that plug-ins, especially all-electric cars, have a huge advantage in the form of high efficiency and related low energy cost (compared to fuel in a conventional internal combustion engine equivalent).

Thanks to a new report by the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, we can see a comparison of estimated annual fuel cost for the U.S. market with a few assumptions:

  • estimates are based on combined city/highway fuel economy (EPA)
  • 15,000 annual miles
  • and the following fuel prices: $2.55 regular gasoline; $3.00 premium gasoline; $2.85 diesel; and $0.13 electricity per kWh
  • all annual vehicle fuel costs are rounded to the nearest $50

As it turns out, BEVs usually need just $500 to $900 in electricity, which is a few times less than in the case of ICE.

Savings on PHEVs are highly dependent on all-electric range (can be close to BEVs) and particular usage profile.

"The estimated annual fuel costs for model year (MY) 2019 all-electric light-duty vehicles are the lowest of all the different vehicle technologies, ranging from a low of $500 to a high of $900 per year. The annual fuel costs for plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, which can fuel with gasoline and electricity, are next lowest, and are heavily influenced by the electric range of the vehicle. Hybrid-electric vehicles, which are fueled only with gasoline, generally use their technology for maximizing fuel economy; however, because some models use their hybrid systems to boost performance rather than to increase fuel economy, not all hybrid vehicles have low fuel costs."

Annual Fuel Cost Ranges by Technology Type, MY 2019

  • BEVs: $500-$900
  • PHEVs: $600-$1,950
  • HEVs: $650-$2,500
  • ICE (gasoline): $1,000-$4,100
  • ICE (diesel): $1,150-$2,250
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Notes: All annual vehicle fuel costs are rounded to the nearest $50. Annual fuel cost estimates are based on combined city/highway fuel economy, 15,000 annual miles, and the following fuel prices: $2.55 regular gasoline; $3.00 premium gasoline; $2.85 diesel; and $0.13 electricity per kilowatt-hour.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fuel Economy Data, accessed October 1, 2019.

Source: energy.gov