Fuel Costs of Electric Vehicles Overtake Gas-Powered Cars: Study

Fuel Costs of Electric Vehicles Overtake Gas-Powered Cars: Study
A Tesla Inc. electric vehicle charges at a supercharger station in Redondo Beach, Calif., on Jan. 4, 2021. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
Allen Zhong

The cost to fuel electric vehicles (EV) in the United States is higher than the cost to fuel gas-powered cars for the first time in 18 months, a consulting company said.

“In Q4 2022, typical mid-priced ICE [Internal Combustion Engine] car drivers paid about $11.29 to fuel their vehicles for 100 miles of driving. That cost was around $0.31 cheaper than the amount paid by mid-priced EV drivers charging mostly at home, and over $3 less than the cost borne by comparable EV drivers charging commercially,” Anderson Economic Group (AEG) said in an analysis.

However, luxury EVs still enjoy a cost advantage over their gas-powered counterparts.

It costs luxury EV owners $12.40 to drive every 100 miles on average if they charge their cars mostly at home, or $15.95 if they charge their cars mostly at commercial charger stations, according to the fourth-quarter data. Meanwhile, the fuel costs for luxury gas-powered cars are $19.96 per 100 miles on average.

AEG, a consulting firm based in Michigan, offers research and consulting in economics, valuation, market analysis, and public policy, according to the company’s website.

The fuel costs in the analysis are based on real-world U.S. driving conditions, including the cost of underlying energy, state taxes charged for road maintenance, the cost of operating a pump or charger, and the cost to drive to a fueling station, AEG said.

According to AEG’s methodology (pdf), Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen ID.4, Chevrolet Bolt EV, and Tesla Model 3 are labeled as mid-priced EVs, while the Porsche Taycan, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-Tron fall in the category of luxury-priced EVs.

Three Tesla models—S, X, and Y—are also regarded as luxury-priced EVs.

However, some EV owners said AEG’s cost calculation doesn’t match their experience.

David Kelly, who lives in Alabama and has owned a 2013 Tesla Model S 85 since December 2013, told The Epoch Times that the cost per 100 miles for his Tesla Model S is around $5.94 per 100 miles, including the electric cost and tax, much lower than what AEG gives in the report.

Crashed Low-Mileage Teslas Often Too Expensive to Fix

Insurance carriers are sending low-mileage Tesla Model Ys to salvage auctions because they’re too expensive to repair.

Of more than 120 Model Ys that were totaled after collisions and listed at auction in December and early January, the vast majority had fewer than 10,000 miles on the odometer, according to a Reuters analysis based on online data from Copart and IAA, the two largest salvage auction houses in the United States.

Copart and IAA auction listings note whether the vehicles were involved in front, rear, or side collisions, and typically include after-crash photos of each vehicle. But the listings don’t disclose specific details on the type of damage suffered.

Copart listings in some cases included the names of the insurance companies that had bought back the crashed vehicles before listing them at auction. Those companies include State Farm, Geico, Progressive, and Farmers. Geico is a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

All the Model Ys in the Reuters analysis were 2022 or 2023 models that were built at either the Fremont plant in Northern California or the factory in Austin, Texas.

Insurance companies typically “total” a vehicle—which means to scrap it and reimburse the owner—when the estimated cost of repair is deemed too high.

An Austin-built 2022 Model Y Long Range involved in a front collision and listed by IAA in early January had a retail price of $61,388 and an estimated repair cost of $50,388. The vehicle’s owner wasn’t listed.

A second Austin-built Model Y that was involved in a side collision and listed by IAA, had a retail price of $72,667 and an estimated repair cost of $43,814.

Reuters contributed to this report.
Allen Zhong is a long-time writer and reporter for The Epoch Times. He joined the Epoch Media Group in 2012. His main focus is on U.S. politics. Send him your story ideas: [email protected]