Electric versus gasoline car fuel cost calculator

We would like you to think about driving an electric car to campus instead of a gasoline car. In many cases, charging an electric car is less expensive than buying gasoline. This page will help you compare the costs for your situation. All calculations are done in your browser and no information is sent to any other computer.

The numbers we are using; please update with your numbers

Let's start with the cost of a gasoline car. We figure that many people spend $ per week on gasoline on average. If you spend a different amount, go ahead and change the number in the box.

Many gasoline cars get miles per gallon. If your car does better or worse than that, change the number in the box.

Gas prices change every week, but we figure that $ per gallon is a reasonable long-term price to use. You can use your own number.

Based on the numbers above, we figure that you drive about miles per week. If you happen to know how far you drive each week, you can change the number in the box, and this web page will re-calculate the amount you spend each week.

Now we'll go over the numbers to figure out what it would cost to drive an electric car the same number of miles per week. Electrical energy is measured in kilowatt-hours, abbreviated kWh. Some electric cars are more efficient than others, and they go further in the summer than the winter. A reasonable average for electric cars is that they will go miles per kilowatt hour. But a Ford Lightning pickup truck may get just 2.0 miles per kilowatt hour.

Different electric cars have different ranges. We are assuming that each time you plug in to charge, you will add miles of range. Some hybrid cars like a Chevrolet Volt can only go 50 miles on a charge, and other cars might have a longer range, so change the number to what applies to your electric car.

We anticipate that at BGSU chargers, electricity will cost cents per kWh.

In addition to the price of electricity, we need electric car drivers to help pay for the cost of the charging infrastructure (chargers, maintenance, wiring, concrete bases, signs, and colored parking spaces). At the moment, we are considering two different ways of having people pay, and those will result in somewhat different pictures of how much you would pay each week.

Weekly costs for billing method 1

Each user will pay $ per charging session, no matter how much or little they charge. There will be an 8-hour grace period after charging completes, and then $1 an hour after that, but we figure that you will never leave your car that long. It will be most efficient to charge a lot in each session, and then you won't park at the charger as often. Your weekly cost for electricity and charging infrastructure will be $. Compare that to $ per week for gasoline.

Weekly costs for billing method 2

Each user will pay cents per hour that they are plugged in to the charger, whether or not the car is actively charging. We figure that each time you plug in, you will stay parked for hours, because that is the most convenient. Your weekly cost for electricity and charging infrastructure will be $. If you move your car right after it is done charging, your costs will be even lower. Compare that to $ per week for gasoline.

Authors and contact information

Last updated November 29, 2022 by Dylan Van Horn and Craig L. Zirbel on behalf of the President's Council on Sustainability at BGSU.

Updated: 11/30/2022 12:13AM