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Gas vehicles cost up to six times more than EVs

In the United States, electric cars are cheaper to drive per mile the their gasoline counterparts, according to recent analysis from the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA).

The advocacy group compared operating costs of EV and gasoline cars, including the average costs of charging and filling up with gasoline. As of March 2022, EVs are three to five times cheaper to drive per mile than gasoline cars, the group said.

But in some states—including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia—certain EV models are five to six times cheaper to drive per mile than comparable gasoline models, the analysis noted.

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 at Electrify America DC fast-charging station

2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 at Electrify America DC fast-charging station

In Arizona, for example, gas averaged $5.69 per gallon during the period surveyed, while electricity averaged $0.23 per kwh. At those prices, filling up a Honda Civic would cost $70.55 while charging a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range would cost just $12.54, equivalent to $0.17 per mile for the Honda and $0.05 per mile for the Tesla, according to the analysis.

In Georgia and Florida, the cost-per-mile gap shrinks slightly, but still remains a significant $0.13 per mile for the Civic and $0.03 for the Model 3.

There’s obviously a big price gap between a Model 3 and a Civic, but price premiums for EVs are no longer the norm, ZETA claims. The group also noted that gas prices are much more volatile than electricity prices, citing the recent spike in prices related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Three Old Gas Pumps Near Waldo, Ohio, by Flickr user The Upstairs Room

Three Old Gas Pumps Near Waldo, Ohio, by Flickr user The Upstairs Room

The current fixation on rising gas prices has generated some interesting analysis, including one report claiming Americans have reached a tipping point where gas prices are pushing people to drive less. High gas prices are also spurring demand for some high-mpg models.

But high gas prices alone may not be enough to launch a large-scale shift to EVs.

Product might mean more than gas prices, say some analyses. It’s also worth noting that, while it may be cheaper overall, the cost of charging an EV does vary widely—because of the high variance in electricity cost by region.


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