Cost comparison for operating an EV compared with an ICE

Earlier this year we purchased a Chevrolet Bolt EV. It didn’t take long to figure out one-peddle driving, which is awesome. But now that we have put ~7,600 miles on the car, I feel comfortable talking about the efficiencies and costs.

Overall, the vehicle has averaged 3.3 miles/kilowatt-hour. However, over the last ~3,000 miles I’ve averaged 4.4 miles/kilowatt-hour. Compare this with our Honda CR-V (ICEV) which gets somewhere between 32 and 37 miles/gallon of gasoline.

Now, lets do some math:

The current electrical rate charged for BG&E customers (schedule R, effective 2019-06-01) is 6.715 cents/kWh plus 3.147 cents/kWh for delivery service charge or 9.862 cents/kWh (not counting the ~$8 monthly fee for just being affiliated with the BG&E family). The electrical cost will increase to 7.287 cents/kWh on 2019-10-01 which, combined with the delivery service charge, will yield a cost of 10.434 cents/kWh. The current cost of a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is roughly $2.65 (obviously this varies on a daily basis).

In our EV, each mile we drive costs roughly 2.241 cents (based on the recent 4.4 miles/kWh). In our ICEV, each mile we drive costs roughly 12.075 cents (based on 32 miles/gal). That makes driving our EV a little more than 5 times more cost effective to drive at the current electrical and gasoline rates.

Now lets talking about incentives.

We have solar power on our house and use this power to charge our car. This electrical power has the same market value as that coming from BG&E as that is the price we sell it to them. One difference is that we get SRECs based on our solar power generation. Currently, in Maryland, our SRECs are worth around $65 per Megawatt-hour. When factoring in these funds our adjusted cost per kilowatt-hour is 3.362 cents/kWh now and 3.934 cents/kWh in the Fall.

Redoing the math, our EV now costs 0.764 cents per mile and will cost 0.894 cents per mile in the Fall. That makes driving our EV a little more than 15 times more cost effective to drive! That’s before you look at the maintenance costs of an ICEV compared with an EV (oil changes…​) and we’re saving even more.

Of course, there is more to switching to an EV than the cost savings. What are the environmental reprocussions (positive and negative) to adding another large appliance to your home that needs to be plugged in? I’ll continue to do research and will report back.