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New research study shows huge savings from driving electric vehicles

3 min read
Gas vs Electric

A new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has confirmed what electric vehicle (EV) drivers already know – you save a lot of money charging your EV compared to buying gas.

While there have been previous studies on the costs to charge an EV, this new study was unique in that it took into account when, where, and how an EV is charged.

It also considered electricity retail tariffs and real-world charging equipment and the costs to install that equipment at your home.

In their research they found the key factors that influenced the cost to charge were the price of electricity, whether Level 2 or DC fast charging was used, cost to install charging equipment, and how much the vehicle is driven.

The cost to charge across the US varies from a low of 8 cents per kWh to as much as 27 cents per kWh (average 15 cents), resulting in lifetime fuel saving costs from $3,000 up to $14,500 in Washington State.

Unfortunately due to varying differences between states, Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Tennessee all provide zero savings for EV drivers when compared to a conventional gas vehicle under certain scenarios.

These savings can also vary depending on the type of charging station utilized most often. If one only charges at a DC fast charger, costs increase and therefore savings decrease. If charging at home, your costs go down and your savings increase.

The savings can be further increased if your area utilizes off-peak electricity rates, allowing you to charge at night when the cost of electricity is less.

While the research is based on US figures, there are some correlations that we can make for Canadian EV drivers.

In British Columbia, electricity is charged at two different rates, 9.35 cents per kWh or 14.03 cents per kWh, depending on how much you have used in your billing period. Even the highest rate in B.C. is lower than the average found in the study, so EV drivers there are saving a lot of money.

In fact, just last week we shared how one year of ownership of a Tesla Model 3 resulted in gas savings of over $1,300 in just one year.

Ontario also typically uses time-of-use pricing, which gives EV owners the opportunity to charge at night when rates are less, giving EV drivers there the opportunity to save even more money. However during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario is currently using fixed prices at all times.

Have you ever calculated how much you save by switching to an EV? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: NREL Press Release

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