Driving school

East Lansing research shows driving an electric car is cheaper than gasoline

LANSING, Mich. — Patrick Anderson, director of the Anderson Economic Group, knows firsthand what it’s like to drive electric.

“That’s my electric vehicle over there,” Anderson said. “It’s a Porsche Taycan.”

As the head of a company that works closely with automakers, Anderson said he chose to drive an electric vehicle (EV) to get a glimpse of the future and understand what it’s like. to drive an EV in the real world.

Anderson said the real-world financial hurdles he encountered driving electric helped his Anderson Group team complete a comprehensive study of fuel costs.

With data collected from 2020 and 2021, the study compares the average price of driving an electric vehicle versus a gasoline or internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

“What we’ve done is systematically add up four categories of costs for comparable vehicles in the same segment, for the same type of use, for the same type of real-world driving conditions that people face,” he said. said Anderson.

The four categories are energy, road tax, cost of pumps/chargers, and cost of driving to the gas station.

The Anderson Group compared these costs assuming the vehicles drive 12,000 useful miles per year and using price data from the US Energy Information Administration as well as their own research.

Anderson said, “We actually took stopwatches and timed how long it took to fill up at a gas station or to charge a car at a commercial station.”

What did they find?

According to the study, if you’re looking for an entry-level vehicle, your only choice is to drive the traditional way.

If you’re looking for a mid-priced vehicle, traditional driving is still cheaper, but not too much if you charge your EV at home.

If you’re looking to buy a truck, until fall 2022 your only choice is to drive the traditional way.

If you’re looking to drive a luxury vehicle, it’s cheaper to drive electric, especially if you’re charging at home.

Anderson Economic Group

EV to ICE vehicles

“So you can typically save $1 every 100 miles if you’re driving a luxury electric vehicle, and if you can charge at home, you can actually save $5 or more,” Anderson said.

“The key finding is that the cost of refueling is entirely dependent, at least for electric vehicles, on how we charge the vehicle,” said Allston Dsouza, principal analyst at Anderson Group.

Dsouza said traditional vehicles are by far even more convenient than electric vehicles.

According to the report, it takes more than three times longer to fill up a mid-priced electric vehicle than an ICE vehicle.

It takes more than 14 times longer to power a luxury EV than an ICE vehicle.

EV Time Burden

Anderson Economic Group

EV verse ICE Time Burden

“Electric vehicles also have great advantages. I mean, they’re quieter. They’re very fast. I find it’s a pretty fun car to drive,” Anderson said. “But it also takes a long time to load.”

And that’s once you get to the gas station or charging station.

This report map uses the city of Ann Arbor as an example.

Power plants within 5 minutes in Ann Arbor

Anderson Economic Group

Power plants within 5 minutes in Ann Arbor

The areas in yellow are areas where drivers are within 5 minutes of a charging station.

“So far, that means like 90% of households, even in places like Lansing Subway or Ann Arbor Subway, you have to consider driving to find a fast charger,” Anderson said. “And it costs you dearly.”

A quick tour of a few Lansing charging stations shows that it’s common for them to be “unavailable”.

“I know myself, when I’m driving up north I usually have to stop multiple times,” Anderson said.

The Anderson Group director says the final consensus of their report is that rising gas prices have helped the cause of electric vehicles, but with major auto companies like Chrysler and General Motors pledging to switch to the all-electric, there must be public policy and infrastructure changes to make electric driving more economical and convenient.

“So far, much of the use of electric vehicles has been concentrated in affluent metropolitan areas, not just in Michigan, but elsewhere,” Anderson said. “And if we’re going to be successful with those, we have to make them affordable.”

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