October 24, 2021
Are you thinking about joining the growing numbers of electric vehicle (EVs) owners? There are all those reasons, “Save the planet. Charge at home. It’s sustainable and cheaper.” But saving money for “fuel” may be a myth, according to a new study that is being hotly debated.
The major automakers are all setting timelines for their assembly lines to only crank out only EVs. Those manufacturers are responding to concerns about climate change, hoping to be on the right side of market forces and history, with cleaner vehicles and sustainable energy. Consumers seem poised to start buying EVs, even though the infrastructure may not support all the vehicles that will be pouring out of factories.
Consumers may be thinking they want to do their part to battle climate change, and maybe save some money in the long run. The reality, this study says, is that they will have to pay a bit more to accomplish that goal. A self-described boutique research firm has released a report which is headlined, “Real-World Electric Vehicle Fueling Costs May Surprise New EV Drivers.”
Anderson Economics Group (AEG) says it, “conducted a rigorous analysis of the real-world costs to fuel both types of vehicles.” The bottomline, according to AEG, is that charging your EV may cost you more than the internal combustion engine (ICE) car you are driving right now.
This study started with the premise that all costs must be accounted for in a comparison. So, the cost of installing a charger in your garage, EV registration road charges, and the time you spend waiting during a charge are all included. AEG also talked about “deadhead miles.” These are the miles one drives off route to find a charging station.This is an issue that will diminish as more charging stations are built (Infrastructure Bill).
What did the AEG researchers find? It could cost you more to “fuel” your EV versus the ICE car you are driving right now. There are several caveats. How much is electricity where you live? Do you have an EV registration road fee?
With all that in mind, the researchers suggest it will cost you $8.58 per 100 miles in a mid-sized ICE vehicle. In a mid-sized EV expect a nearly 50% increase. Yes; much more to drive that EV. The estimate is about $12.95 per 100 miles in an EV. Many have criticized these findings. AEG quickly issued a response defending its report.
Is this study an outlier? Plenty has been written about whether going EV will be cheaper, or the same costs as the internal combustion engine vehicle. Last year Car And Driver found a slight advantage for the gas powered vehicles in a test it conducted. At this point in development of EVs there are so many variables, which both studies/articles point out, it is difficult to nail down total costs.
The AEG paper deals only with fueling. It doesn’t discuss long-term maintenance of a vehicle. EVs have many fewer moving parts than an ICE vehicle. EVs don’t need oil changes or adjustments of the engine that an ICE vehicle requires. We used to think an ICE vehicle was good for 100,000 miles. Elon Musk of Tesla is talking about a million-mile vehicle.
All this talk about fueling may not be the point. For many who want to buy an EV, the point is about saving the planet.
(Cover Photo Credit: Just-Auto.com)