It seems that electric vehicles (the pure-electric variety, not hybrids) aren’t as economical as they’re cracked up to be.
Costs to drive an EV compared with a gasoline car are detailed in a report Anderson Economic released Thursday called “Comparison: Real World Cost of Fueling EVs and ICE Vehicles.”
The study has four major findings:
- There are four additional costs to powering EVs beyond electricity: cost of a home charger, commercial charging, the EV tax and “deadhead” miles.
- For now, EVs cost more to power than gasoline costs to fuel an internal combustion car that gets reasonable gas mileage.
- Charging costs vary more widely than gasoline prices.
- There are significant time costs to finding reliable public chargers — even then a charger could take 30 minutes to go from 20% to an 80% charge.
It is the first of a series of reports Anderson Economic Group will release. It started the project — an independent report — more than six months ago.
. . .
“Part of the strength of the analysis is we’re showing the real-world costs that EV drivers face,” Anderson said. “You typically have to go to a commercial charger and commercial charger rates are two, three or four times that of residential charger rates.”
Then, there is the time to drive around to find a commercial charger, time that Anderson dubs “deadhead miles.” Even charging at home on a Level 1 or Level 2 charger is time consuming and expensive.
The study found that the average cost of a Level 1 charger is $600. To install a Level 2 costs $1,600 because it requires hiring an electrician. An L1 charger uses a 120-volt supply of electricity and can take 20 or more hours to charge, whereas an L2 chargers uses 240 volts and can charge in a few hours.
Anderson’s report considers four costs beyond the cost of residential electricity when calculating how much it costs to drive an EV:
- Cost of the residential charger
- Cost of commercial electricity
- An annual EV tax, which in Michigan ranges from $135 to $235, depending on the vehicle model. This is to make up for not paying a gas tax.
- Deadhead miles to get to a fast charger
Given all of that, the conclusion is EVs cost more to “fuel” than gasoline cars that get reasonable gas mileage, Anderson said. It all depends on how the car is used and how much commercial charging is involved.
A mid-priced internal combustion car that gets 33 miles per gallon would cost $8.58 in overall costs to drive 100 miles at $2.81 a gallon, the study found. But a mid-priced EV, such as Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf or a Tesla Model 3, would cost $12.95 to drive 100 miles in terms of costs that include recharging the vehicle using mostly a commercial charger.
On a yearly basis, assuming the mid-priced cars traveled 12,000 miles, it would cost $1,030 to drive an internal combustion car and $1,554 to drive an EV.
There’s more at the link.
I’ve always suspected that, ever since the first “pure” EV’s came out. The need for a high-performance charging station to top them up during the day is a huge drawback, given that there aren’t many such stations except in major urban centers (and even there they aren’t yet common). A hybrid EV makes a lot more sense, where a smaller motor charges the battery as you drive, making you independent of plug-in charging stations.
For me, and for many who live in more rural areas, the biggest drawback to EV’s is their range on a full charge. Unless and until one can give me 500 miles in regular use on a single charge, fully loaded with passengers and cargo, while towing a travel trailer, it won’t be of any real use to me. I’d say that sort of practical range is years away, although the scientists may surprise me.