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DOE launches “eGallon” to help compare cost of fueling with electricity vs. gasoline

The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched the “eGallon” as a quick and simple way for consumers to compare the costs of fueling electric vehicles vs. driving on gasoline. Today’s national average eGallon price is about $1.14, meaning that a typical electric vehicle could travel as far on $1.14 worth of electricity as a similar vehicle could travel on a gallon of gasoline.

The eGallon provides a metric that is easily comparable to the traditional gallon of unleaded fuel. That comparison is made by calculating how much it would cost to drive an electric vehicle the same distance as a similar conventional vehicle could travel on a gallon of gasoline. For example, if gasoline costs $3.60 per gallon in your state and the eGallon price for your state is $1.20, that means that for $1.20 worth of electricity you can drive the same distance as you could for $3.60 worth of gasoline. The eGallon price varies from state to state based on the price of electricity.

On, consumers can see the latest eGallon price for their state and compare it to the price of gasoline. Over time, DOE suggests, consumers will notice that the eGallon price will be far more stable and predictable than gasoline prices. That’s because the eGallon price depends on electricity prices, which historically are very stable; gasoline prices depend on the global oil market, which can be very unstable and are often influenced by unpredictable international events.

Sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) in the US tripled in 2012, with more than 50,000 cars sold.



Is the fair cost of pollution factored in (in both cases)?

For example, there is a major difference between a BEV using clean low cost e-energy from Hydro and an ICEV using fossil fuel extracted from tar sands.

Sean Prophet

HarveyD, unfortunately, it seems this is a price-only metric to allow consumers to make an apples-to-apples comparison of fuel cost. It's a step in the right direction.

In order to account for pollution, you would have to assign social costs of carbon (SCC), a controversial figure which I've seen quoted as everything from $10-$1,000 per ton. Consumers are clearly not ready for this, no matter what you consider the proper figure for SCC.


A 40+ year old oil pipeline goes through 12+ villages and 200+ of the best farms north of our city. Oil currently flows westwards at low pressure. This is part of the pipeline planed to get a flow reversal to bring oil from Alberta to Eastern Canada and Eastern States.

A recent limited inspection revealed as many as 11 potential small leaks over 40 Km. Increasing the pressure and pumping the mixture from Alberta instead of imported oil may increase existing leaks.

Dave K.

My sense is this greatly understates both the economic and environmental benefits of electric transportation, not to mention the social stuff. At least some effort is being made, sadly average joe only cares about the money, so maybe this is the right approach.

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