As we noted, electricity costs vary considerably depending on where you live in the United States. Because of that we believe it is most instructive to use the Department of Energy's electricity-gasoline equivalency values in our comparison.
To make our example relatively simple, let's assume the resale value of the electric and the gasoline car will be the same at the end of the five-year ownership period. Let's further assume that you will drive either car 12,000 miles a year or 60,000 miles after 5 years. Finally, let's assume $2.31-a-gallon gasoline for the 5-year period and a $2.71-a-gallon electricity price (both taken from DOE data). The EPA mileage for the gasoline vehicle in our comparison is 26 mpg, and the DOE-calculated miles-per-gallon equivalency of the electric vehicle is a staggering 104 mpg.
That makes the cost-benefit analysis decently simple. Based on our assumptions, you will burn 2,308 gallons of gasoline to travel your 60,000 miles, and at $2.31-a-gallon that will cost you $5,331. In stark contrast, the EV will use the electric equivalent of 577 gallons of $2.71-a-gallon gasoline (again using the DOE conversion). This means in fuel cost, you would pay $1,564 to go the same distance. That gives a startling $3,767 advantage to the EV.
Now, as you can see, the projected benefit or loss depends on purchase price. Any new EV (with the possible exception of the Myers NmG) has no hope of providing a cost benefit larger than the equivalent gasoline car. We're not even considering the Zap Xebra at all because with a top speed of just 40 mph, it realistically can't be compared to a real car. The bottom-line on EVs: the price premium is far too steep to be overcome by the potential cost savings, even if they are eye-popping.
Federal, state, and local tax credits can help even the score somewhat. Credits as high as $5,000 do exist, but they are far too complex to outline here. A good summary of the available credits is available at www. eere.energy.gov/afdc/laws/incen_laws.html. Still, even with tax credits, it is hard to make an economic case for electric cars.
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Hybrid Cars! Man! Is that a HOT topic right now! There are some good reasons why hybrids are so hot. If you’ve pulled your present car or SUV or truck up next to a gas pumpand inserted the nozzle, you know exactly what I mean! I written this book to give you some basic information on some things<br />you may have been wondering about.