Electric Vehicle Cost

The Cost of Electric Vehicles{1} Vs. the Cost of Gasoline Powered Vehicles

What is the Real Cost of Electric Vehicles? A Study in Depth. Lots and Lots of Depth!

(If lots and lots of depth are out of your depth, just skip down to Conclusions #1, #2, and #3 at the end)

The Facts:
  • The total number of passenger (and light truck) vehicles in the United States in 2020 = 275,924,442 (Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics)
  • The total number of electric vehicles in the United States in 2020 = 1,800,000 (0.65% of total) (Source Pew Research Center)
  • The average power use of an electric powered vehicle = 0.33 kilowatt hours (kWhs) per mile (Source: U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center)
  • The average number of miles driven by a vehicle in the United States = 14,263 (Source: Federal Highway Administration)
    • Thus, the annual electricity used by an average electric vehicle = 4,708 kWhs. (0.33 kWhs/mile times 14,263 miles)
  • The average cost of a kWh of power in the U.S. in February 2022 (All sectors) is $0.11 (Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency Table 5.6.A February 2021 and 2022)
  • The Average Cost of an Electric Vehicle is $62,876 (Source January 2022 Kelley Blue Book)
  • The total electric power produced annually in the U.S. = 12 billion kWhs (Source: Statista)
  • In 2020, the average U.S. household used 10,715 kWhs per year. (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration)
The Change:
  • We are planning to convert all vehicles in the U.S. to electric power. This will require 274,406,857 additional electric vehicles (275,924,442 total vehicles less 1,800,000 current electric vehicles){2}.
  • These new vehicles will need 1,291,907,482,756 (1.29 trillion) additional kWhs of electricity (274,406,857 new electric vehicles times 4,708 kWhs/ vehicle per year) each year.
Based on Above, A Gasoline Vehicle’s Fuel Costs/year:
  • In 2020, the average gasoline vehicle obtained 24.5 miles per gallon of gasoline (Source: Environmental Protection Agency Nov. 19, 2021)
  • At $3.00/gallon, the fuel cost per mile is $0.12 ($3.00 divided by 24.5)
  • Since the average vehicle travels 14,264 miles/year (are you ready):
    • An average gasoline vehicle costs $1,711.68 per year to operate (Cost per mile [$0.12] times 14,264 miles per year).
Based on Above, An Electric Vehicle’s Fuel Costs/year:
  • An average electric vehicle costs (Based on today’s cost of electricity) $518.26 per year to operate ($142.11 billion total electricity cost divided by 274,206,857 vehicles).
Conclusion #1: An electric vehicle saves an average owner $1,193.42 per Year (Former gasoline cost of $1,711.86, less new electricity cost of $517.88), but an electric vehicle costs $18,000 more than a Gasoline Fueled Vehicle. Hence, it will take 15.09 years to recoup the initial investment in the electric vehicle.


Conclusion #2: An electric vehicle will increase an average household’s electric bill by 43.93% (From 10,715 kWhs/year to 15,423 kWhs/year).


Oh, and by the way . . . Conclusion #3: The United States will have to add 1,291,907,482,756 (1.29 trillion) kWhs in annual electricity production to fuel all these new electric vehicles.


Hell, That Shouldn’t Be a Problem, We Already Produce 4.12{3} trillion kWhs Every Year. All We Have to Do is Increase Our Production of Electricity by 31%!!! Thank God We Have the Fossil Fuels with Which to Do It!!!


{1} Only passenger cars and light trucks are included in this study.
{2} Assumes no future increase in vehicles. Dumb, we know, but we had to use some number.
{3} In 2021. Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency.

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