🔋 EV Charging Costs Less Than Gas

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Driving an EV can save you over $2.00 per gallon in fuel costs. We translated charging costs to “eGallons” and created an easy-to-use calculator to estimate fuel savings.

by **AAA Staff Writer**

AAA Consumer Insights

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EVs can save you over $2.00 per gallon in fuel costs. Of course, EVs run on electricity, not gas, but translating EV charging costs into an equivalent gas price is the idea behind the eGallon.

**💡 Why do we need the eGallon?** Most people don’t know what they pay for electricity. If they do, they likely have no idea what it means for EV charging. Thinking in terms of dollars per gallon is much easier for today’s drivers, and it can help them understand how much they can save on fuel costs by going electric.

eGALLON CALCULATOR

$1.20

per eGallon

per eGallon

(compared to $3.41 / gallon of gas)

🤔 What This Means: Charging an EV at a rate of 14.96 cents per kilowatt-hour, the average residential electricity price in the United States, is roughly equivalent to paying $1.20 per gallon at the pump.

📈 Understanding These Results: The average gas-powered vehicle can drive 22 miles on 1 gallon of gas. An average EV requires 8.03 kWh of energy to go the same distance. Paying 14.96 cents per kilowatt, it will cost you $1.20 to drive the same 22 mile distance.

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**Assumptions**: Data is based on full-battery electric vehicles with model years of 2021 and newer. Results are based on charging at home.

**Data Sources:** FuelEconomy.gov for vehicle efficiency; U.S. Energy Information Administration for average residential electricity rates by state; U.S. Department of Energy for eGallon formula; AAA.com/gas for average gas prices by state. Results are based on the most recent data available in February 2023.

**Disclaimer**: The information provided is for educational purposes only. Actual costs will vary over time and by state.

Curious How It Works?

An eGallon is defined as “the cost of driving an EV the same distance a gasoline powered vehicle could travel on one gallon of gasoline.” It was conceived by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2016 as a way for drivers to relate to the cost of electricity more easily. Through some simple math (don’t worry, our tool does all the calculations for you) and a few assumptions, it can translate the cost to charge an EV from dollars per kilowatt-hour ($/kWh) into its dollar per gallon of gas ($/gallon) equivalent.

To calculate an eGallon, multiply together the fuel efficiency of a gas-powered vehicle, the efficiency of an EV, and the cost of electricity.

It is important to understand that eGallon results are based on electricity prices *and* vehicle efficiency. This means you will get different results when comparing different EVs and gas-powered vehicles. It also means you will get different results depending on where you live because average residential electricity prices vary by state.

To make eGallon costs more accessible, we have setup our calculator to automatically calculate results based on average retail residential electricity prices for each state. We use data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which provides monthly data with a three-month lag. For example, this tool was original created in February 2023, which means the latest electricity rates available at the time were from November 2022.

We also simplified the process by categorizing vehicles according to their class. This helps us ensure we are making fair comparisons between vehicles. For example, eGallon prices will look cheaper when comparing a very efficient EV sedan with a gas-guzzling pick-up truck. We pull vehicle class data from FuelEconomy.gov. We also use FuelEconomy.gov as a data source for vehicle efficiency (miles per gallon for gas-powered vehicles and kWh / mile for EVs).

Note 1: We combined vehicle classes together where it made sense. For example, the compact sedan class in our calculator includes subcompact and mini compact vehicles. Similarly, we group small and standard pickup trucks into a single pickup truck category in our calculator.

Note 2: You may notice that smaller, more efficient EVs have a higher eGallon price than larger, less efficient EVs. For example, compact EV sedans have a higher eGallon price compared to EV pickup trucks. This is because the efficiency improvements gained in switching from an average gas-powered compact sedan to average compact EV sedan are less than switching from an average gas-powered pickup truck to an average EV pickup truck. Compact EV sedans are on average 270% more efficient than gas-powered compact sedans. EV pickup trucks are on average 274% more efficient than gas-powered pickup trucks.

There are three ways to calculate a lower eGallon price given the eGallon formula.

**Lower Electricity Prices:**It makes intuitive sense that if you pay less for electricity then the dollar per gallon gas equivalent price will also be lower.**Comparing a More Efficient EV:**A more efficient EV can go further on the equivalent of one gallon of gasoline so it will have a lower eGallon cost. Said differently, a more efficient EV requires less energy (and therefore has a lower costs) to drive the same distance a gas-powered vehicle can go on one gallon of gas.

*Note that in the eGallon formula, a more efficient EV is represented by a smaller kilowatt-hour per mile (kWh / mile) number. This often causes confusion because we tend to think of vehicle efficiency in terms of miles per gallon with higher miles per gallon being more efficient. Kilowatt-hours per mile simply flips the fuel and distance terms. It may be helpful to think of kilowatt-hours per mile as the EV equivalent of “gallons per mile” instead of “miles per gallon”.***Comparing a Less Efficient Gas-Powered Vehicle**: eGallon costs are lower when comparing an EV to a less efficient gas-power vehicle. This makes sense because a gas guzzler can’t go as far on a single gallon of gas. It’s easier for a more efficient EV to cover the same distance using less energy.

** AAA’s Recommendation:** Whether you own an electric vehicle or a gas-powered car is up to you – and you should consider lots of factors in making that choice. No matter what type of vehicle you’re choosing, we recommend visiting a dealership, test driving one, and asking as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.

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