Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular, with nearly every manufacturer offering at least one model, and the technology continues to improve.
A Touchstone Energy® website shares the calculated annual energy costs and savings for owning an EV vs. a gas-powered vehicle. Assumptions include driving the vehicle 15,000 miles a year, with 225 days of 50 miles and 50 days of 75 miles. Fuel economy numbers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and average energy costs from the U.S. Energy Information Administration were used.
Comparing an EV to a gas-powered vehicle that gets 25 miles per gallon, the gas-powered vehicle would cost approximately $1,320 for gas per year.
A typical EV would save $730 in energy costs per year; electricity costs would be less than half the cost of gasoline.
Verendrye Electric Cooperative, with offices in Velva and Minot, has been utilizing an all-electric Chevy Bolt for about a year. The cooperative shares the three most asked questions about the car:
Q: How far can it go and how does the cold affect range?
A: We got 252 miles from one charge when not needing the heater or air conditioner. During the brutal cold snaps of minus 20 below zero and colder, the range dropped by more than half, resulting in a range of around 120 miles.
Q: How long does it take to charge?
A: From empty, it would take 3.5 days with a standard household 110-volt outlet, 9-10 hours with a 220-volt outlet and up to one hour to get to 80% charged at a fast charger that can deliver 62,500 watts of power at 480 volts.
Q: How does the cost compare to gas?
A: In ideal conditions, the Bolt can get 4 miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is about 2.5 cents per mile. In extreme cold, the Bolt might only get 1.5 miles per kWh at a cost of 6.7 cents per mile. A similar sized gas car might get 35 miles per gallon. With gas at $2.75 a gallon, that would mean a car getting 35 miles per gallon would cost 7.8 cents a mile.
Electric cars are cheaper per mile to operate than gas cars, but purchase prices are still high, although that is improving. When Verendrye Electric Cooperative leased the Bolt in early 2020, the purchase price was around $40,000. In April, there were some new vehicles listed locally for $26,000.