eGallon: Find out what it costs drive an electric car

Energy Department releases eGallon calculator to allow consumers to determine the cost, efficiency of driving electric cars vs. gasoline-powered cars.

  • close
    Electricity costs vary by region. But on average, fueling an electric car costs roughly a third of what it costs to fuel a gasoline-powered car, according to the Department of Energy.
    Department of Energy
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

It isn't easy to compare gasoline and electric vehicles.

Sure, you can look at EPA stickers, sit in them and appreciate the way they drive, but comparing like-for-like on an economic basis is requires some thought.

The U.S. Department of Energy has simplified the process with its new eGallon calculator, showing potential electric vehicle drivers just how much cheaper it is to run one than the equivalent gasoline vehicle.

Recommended: Ten great car-related gifts

The DoE describes an eGallon as "the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline".

Most people know that the power coming from a plug costs less than the fuel you pour into a car, even if that car will travel further each time you fill it up. But like-for-like, how much cheaper is electricity?

Around three times, is the answer.

The eGallon calculator takes the average miles-per-gallon figure of a new vehicle--28.2 for comparable 2012 model-year cars--and then calculates how much it would cost to drive an electric car the same distance. Simple.

The U.S. average for each is currently $3.65 for a gasoline vehicle, and just $1.14 for an eGallon.

A drop-down box lets you pick your comparison state-by-state, since gas and electricity costs vary around the country.

The DoE's press release also notes something else important when considering the difference in running costs: While the price of an eGallon has remained very similar over the past decade or so, gasoline prices have been incredibly erratic. A gasoline vehicle that seems cheap to run on one day may be incredibly expensive the next--but electric vehicles are largely immune to such fluctuations.

Electric cars have other benefits too, of course, not least those on a macroeconomic scale.

"Instead of spending $1 billion a day on foreign oil," explains Dan Leistikow, Director, Office of Public Affairs at the DoE, "...with electric vehicles and other technologies we can power our cars, homes and businesses with American energy."

Have a play with the eGallon calculator here, and see how little an electric car would cost to run in your state.


The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.




Save for later


Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items