Price of charging EV vs. gasoline costs

A driver makes use of a fast-charging station for electrical within the cellphone lot at John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport on April 02, 2021 in New York Metropolis.

Spencer Platt | Getty Photos

It has been true for years: Mile for mile, it is cheaper — typically less expensive — to recharge an electrical automobile than it’s to refuel one with an internal-combustion engine.

That has been a key promoting level for Tesla and different EV makers, significantly in instances when gasoline costs have soared, reminiscent of now. However this time there is a wrinkle: Whereas gasoline costs have certainly soared within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so have electrical energy costs — significantly in some components of the U.S. which have been massive markets for Tesla’s EVs.

That raises a query: Is it nonetheless true that it is less expensive to “refuel” an EV? The charts under, which present how a lot the fee so as to add 100 miles of vary to the typical EV or internal-combustion automobile has modified in several markets over time, assist us discover the reply.

The primary chart, utilizing nationwide figures, gives a baseline. The others use knowledge particular to Boston and San Francisco, two markets the place EVs are standard — and the place electrical energy tends to be costlier than the nationwide common.

The reply in all three instances is that — even with regional surges within the worth of electrical energy — it is nonetheless fairly a bit costlier to fill your gasoline tank than it’s to cost your EV’s battery.

Electrical energy charges have roughly stored tempo with gasoline worth will increase in Boston and San Francisco. But, on common throughout the U.S., including 100 miles of vary in your internal-combustion automobile has develop into costlier, relative to charging an EV an equal quantity, during the last couple of months.

Learn extra about electrical automobiles from CNBC Professional

Is that prone to change? Whereas oil costs are practically sure to fall within the coming months as producers improve output, it is unlikely that the value of electrical energy will rise sufficient to make EVs much less inexpensive over their life cycles than internal-combustion alternate options.

Utilizing February knowledge, Jeffries analyst David Kelley just lately calculated that the whole lifetime value of possession of an EV is about $4,700 lower than that of an internal-combustion automobile. He stated that value distinction is prone to improve as extra EVs come to market — and as battery costs proceed to fall — over the subsequent couple of years.

How we crunched the numbers

We had three questions in thoughts once we put collectively these charts:

  • How a lot does it value so as to add 100 miles of vary to the typical ICE automobile and the typical EV?
  • How have these prices modified during the last three years? (Going again three years to February of 2019 provides us a pre-pandemic baseline.)
  • How have these prices various between totally different components of the U.S.?

For gasoline, the Environmental Safety Company reported that the typical new automobile bought within the U.S. in 2020 had a mixed fuel-economy score of 25.7 miles per gallon. Driving 100 miles in that common automobile would use 3.9 gallons of gasoline. (Figures for 2021 have not been launched but.)

On the electric-vehicle facet, the EPA’s effectivity score for EVs — referred to as “MPGe”, for miles per gallon equal — provides customers an concept of how far an EV can journey on 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of cost. Why 33.7 kWh? That is the quantity of electrical energy that’s chemically equal to the power in a gallon of standard gasoline.

The typical MPGe score for 2022-model-year EVs bought within the U.S. is about 97, so driving 100 miles in that hypothetical common automobile would use 34.7 kWh of electrical energy.

The charts above examine how the value of three.9 gallons of gasoline has modified relative to the value of 34.7 kWh over time, utilizing month-to-month knowledge from the U.S. Power Info Administration (for gasoline costs) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (for electrical energy charges) from February 2019 by way of February 2022.

—CNBC’s Crystal Mercedes contributed to this text.

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