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July 26th, 2013 at 9:40 am

It’s all about the eGallon when it comes to electric vehicles vs. hybrids

The first few full electric vehicles (EVs) have come to market over the last few years that consumers are actually interested in buying. Before that, the closest any car maker ever got was a hybrid vehicle. But as the cost of gasoline remains stubbornly high, EVsare becoming big business. The main reason for that is the stability of the eGallon — it averages just $1.18 while regular gasoline is sitting at $3.49.




The eGallon is an approximation from the US Department of Energy intended to help owners and prospective buyers figure out how much they will save with an electric vehicle. It’s essentially the comparison of fueling an EV with electricity to a similar one with gasoline. Even with gas prices sagging from their highs a few years back, it’s three times more expensive to get a car moving with gas.

The price of gasoline is tied to the price of oil, which is extremely volatile. Small changes in the world oil markets can radically alter the cost for each barrel of oil, which translates to the price consumers pay. The cost of electricity, and therefore the eGallon, are more stable.Electricity comes from numerous sources — some more environmentally friendly than others. The uptick in natural gas availability in recent years has helped to keep electricity rates low, making EVs an even more compelling choice.

In part because of the low cost, EV sales are on the rise. More than 40,000 electric vehicles were purchased in the US in the first half of 2013. That’s double the same period a year earlier. The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf have shown consumers that EVs don’t have to feel like golf carts, and then there’s theTesla Model S. The fact this company is making money is a testament to the strength ot EV sales. Thousands of electric vehicles are being sold every month now.

The popularity of hybrid cars was a slow burn. Toyota had trouble talking people into the Prius until the stability and value of the eGallon measurement became apparent. EVs, on the other hand, are catching on staggeringly fast. The Department of Energy compared the uptake rate of hybrids and EVs over the first 31 months of availability. The result? EVs are selling almost twice as fast as hybrids were at this stage of the game.

The Department of Energy maintains a running average of eGallon prices in each state and nationally. You can check it out to see how much you’d save on your home turf. The only hitch might be the presence of recharging stations in your area, but Tesla is hoping to change that by deploying more stations and implementing battery swap technology. The future keeps rolling, but maybe it’s going to do so without gasoline.

Via Extreme Tech


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