Any light-duty electric vehicle available in the United States for the 2022 model year will save drivers thousands of dollars over gasoline or diesel vehicles, the Department of Energy said last week in a blog post.
Every U.S.-market EV costs less than $1,000 to “fuel” (meaning charge with electricity) for a year, compared to $2,000 to $7,000 for most gasoline vehicles, according to the Energy Department. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids were in the middle, with estimated annual fueling costs of $1,000 to $2,000.
Annual fuel cost for model year 2022 light-duty vehicles (via U.S. Department of Energy)
Those calculations are based on 15,000 miles of driving per year, with 55% city driving and 45% highway driving. They also assume fixed costs of $4.87 per gallon for regular gasoline, $5.76 per gallon for premium, $5.72 per gallon for diesel, and $0.13 per kwh for electricity.
The Energy Department also assumed an average price of $3.54 per gallon for E85, which doesn’t work out to any significant advantage in fueling costs. The availability of E85 is the result of a 2007 law requiring certain quantities of ethanol to be blended with the fuel supply, but demand hasn’t been meeting the targets.
While gas prices have been declining steadily for the past few weeks, recent spikes have made the advantages of EVs even more pronounced. An analysis from the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) advocacy group based on May’s much-higher gas prices found that internal-combustion cars were three times to five times more expensive to drive than EVs.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
And for intenders thinking about jumping to an EV, the cost savings is a very compelling reason. A study published earlier this year by Plug-In America found that intenders were more interest in cost savings than the environmental benefits of owning an EV.
Lower operating costs should also be attractive to businesses—many of which may be able to electrify their fleets quite easily. Another recent study found that, on a fleet basis, nearly half of gasoline trucks could be replaced with electric ones—at an ownership-cost advantage.