We Rank 2015 Plug-In Electric Cars By Range Per Dollar

MAY 4 2015 BY MARK KANE 19

What Canadian Demand For The Chevrolet Spark EV Will Be Is Anyone's Guess - But We Will Find Out

The Chevrolet Spark EV – the king of price per mile ranking

The price (dollar) per mile of range ranking recently showed up on Autoblog, but since Autoblog’s presentation had some small bugs and lacked all models, we decided to provide more specific results with our own calculations.

Above you can see the graph with prices per mile of official EPA range for all-electric cars – both at MSRP and after destination charges and tax credits.

Cars are ordered by results for price per mile MSRP, although as you can see in some the ranking after destination and tax credit is different than the MSRP ranking.

The best example for this is Chevrolet Spark EV, which was almost the winner by MSRP, but after including Tax Credit it won with ease. Spark EV stands at just $307/$226 per mile of EPA range. Not strange that after recent price reductions this is a hot seller.

Of course, Tesla Model S is strong too thanks to its large battery packs and long range. Then we see Nissan LEAF, the best selling EV in the world.

On the left side you’ll can find the BMW i3, but here the result is high compared to the others because this is premium vehicle. Toyota RAV4 isn’t available any more.  With the Mercedes B-Class ED and its range mode, we know that it improves range by 17 miles (from 87 mi to 104 mi), but this feature is not tested by the EPA, so it’s not calculated that way on our chart. If we included range mode, the result would be $399/$335.

The average for all BEVs stands at $390/$316.

Plug-in cars with engines on-board are on the other graph below, as we are limited in space and the scale is completely different.

It’s also much harder to compare vehicles, as the battery is just small part of total price.

* AER stands for All-electric range

PHEV/EREV Price per mile of range - May 2015

PHEV/EREV Price per mile of range – May 2015

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19 Comments on "We Rank 2015 Plug-In Electric Cars By Range Per Dollar"

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I find the PHEV/EREV chart very interesting. I see the high end obviously to the left and the SUV. but the Prius being so much more than the Fusion energi is a bit shocking…

Not really that surprising. Toyota is, and has been for a long time, very overpriced junk. Riding a wave of consumer stupidity. Quality wise, Toyota no longer ranks top in the charts either. Anyone purchasing a Toyota today has been sold a bunch of outdated B.S.

Not too surprising considering the Prius is a little over half the range of the Energi (58%). It may be a lower price, but you aren’t getting much range for that price.

The PiP is under-batteried garbage.

Well said. 🙂

Notice that the Spark and Tesla 85 are about tied for cheapest EV per mile, and the i3 Rex is the cheapest PHEV per electric mile. Cars with big batteries win. Small cars with big batteries win big. The Bolt should sell like hotcakes.

You mean the planned 30,000 units a year, that’s not hot cakes but another EV enthusiast’s car.

Planned shmanned. They will produce as many as people want. That said, I don’t think EVs will ever be more than a small part of overall vehicle sales, until/unless governments get the backbone to force down emissions.

Wow.. Interesting how the BMW i3 is at opposite ends of each chart. As for PHEVs, it has the best price per mile. But for BEVs it has the worst.

Indeed, especially considering that more i3s are sold with the REx (if this is true). At least it should now be clear to BMW what their primary redesign objective is for this great car.

The 2016 Chevy Volt has the best price per mile after taxes and incentives are factored in, just like the Chevy Spark. That should have been highlighted.

Interesting, but, not a huge help when choosing. The ones that do your normal daily driving with range to spare may not be the one with the largest battery. Different strokes and all.

ZOE costs 16.500€ and has 240KM NEFZ. Battery rental is 600€ / year. Please calculate a 5 YR TCO.


When comparing an EV to a PHEV, there is another metric to consider, which is actual miles driven per year on battery power. For example, stats from actual drivers of the 2015 Volt and the Leaf show that both drive on average just under 10K miles on electricity per year. This ends up this way because PHEV drivers regularly drive right up to, and past their shorter pure EV battery range. While EV drivers typically only use a portion of their total battery range in order to avoid running out. That means that the price to travel 10K miles each year in EV mode in a Volt is actually much closer than these charts would indicate. It would be a mistake to simply look at these two charts and say you get more battery for your money out of EV’s than PHEV’s. Because PHEV users are showing they are typically using a larger percent of their battery’s usable range than EV owners. A 2016 Volt owner that does 10K a year on electricity will pay roughly $3.40 for the ability to drive that mile on electricity. A 2015 Leaf owner that does 10K a year on electricity will pay roughly… Read more »

Does this include charging cost per mile also? Tesla is more than 100 Wh/mile less efficient. Electricity is cheaper from the start and would be insignificant over the short term, but over the long run electric (if you had to pay) for a Tesla would run much higher than a Leaf. Also what price are you getting a S85D for? I see cost per mile as low as $318 per mile at msrp? Could you be more clear for how data is calculated and where it is from?

I’m quite sure GM Bolt won’t get as low as $150 per mile (200 miles / $30k), but any carmaker that gets below $200 per mile MSRP is a big winner compared to current crop of EVs. I hope Bolt get’s there and next gen Leaf and Model 3 will follow.

Interesting metric. I think the Spark EV could have been a big hit if it was a looker like the Fiat 500e.

Someone needs to push hard on this metric. I guess the Bolt and Model 3 are the big hopes.

This metric shows everything that’s wrong with EVs today. Nobody would even care to calculate this figure for an ICE car, since range is simply not a major consideration when comparing cars (it’s enough in any case). Also, taking the Fusion Energi as an example, the price/total range (gas include) would come out at about $52/mile …

This is just a small piece of the pie. really when it comes down to it, we need to charge faster and drive farther for EV’s to become mass adopted.