Plug and Pay: Electric Cars and Electricity Bills

Author: Devon Bass
Published: April 05, 2011 at 10:55 am

As hybrid and pure electric vehicles continue to gain ground in the American automobile market it is worthwhile to do a true 'apples to apples' comparison of the cost of gasoline versus electric powered driving.

One of the obvious major benefits of switching from gas powered to electric is being able to reduce or eliminate the huge cost of filling up at the pump.  But as any Texas resident can tell you, electricity itself is not free.  You need to look no further than your summer electricity bills to be reminded of that fact of life.  But how much do you really save by replacing the pump with the plug?  It turns out that while your electric bill isn’t going to get any cheaper your cost per mile driven will definitely go down.

A study by the non-profit Electric Power Research Institute shows that the electricity cost of your electric vehicle when compared to a gallon of gas is roughly equivalent to a cost of $0.75 per gallon.  That’s quite a savings when gas is going for between $3 and $4 a gallon.

There are some assumptions made in this calculation.  The math assumes a comparison to a car that gets 25-miles per gallon of gas.  It also assumes an electricity rate of 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour.  People who live in deregulated parts of Texas and who exercise their right to choose pay less than that; or at least they should be.  Others who have not shopped electricity providers may be paying quite a bit more than that.

So if you want to save on transportation costs switch to a cheaper electric provider and get an electric vehicle.
In part two we will look at the environmental impact of going electric.  It’s not as cut and dried as you may think.


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Article Author: Devon Bass

Devon Bass is the founder of Vault Energy Solutions. He has worked in the energy industry for almost 20 years, first as a Market Maker for some of the largest energy companies in the world, then as an energy consultant to commercial, industrial and municipal entities. …

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