July 19, 2024


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Electric vehicles are more expensive to fuel than gas cars, at least for now

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A new study found electric vehicles were more costly to fuel than gasoline-driven cars with good mileage. - SHUTTERSTOCK

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  • A new study found electric vehicles were more costly to fuel than gasoline-driven cars with good mileage.

The future is electric, with Big Three automakers like General Motors and Ford investing heavily in manufacturing electric vehicles. Besides being more sustainable for the planet, electric vehicles also promise less maintenance and better performance.

EVs are also supposed to be cheaper to fuel than gas-guzzlers. But we’re not there yet, according to a new study by Michigan-based Anderson Economic Group published Thursday.

According to the report, titled “Comparison: Real World Cost of Fueling EVs and ICE Vehicles,” EVs have a number of hurdles that make them actually more expensive than cars with good gas mileage.

For one, you have to pay for your own home charger, which can cost $600 for a Level 1 charger, which uses a 110-volt supply of electricity and can take 20 or more hours to charge, and $1,600 for a Level 2, which uses 240 volts and can charge in a few hours. But sometimes it can take way longer to charge. Anderson Economic Group CEO Patrick Anderson told the Free Press that it can take 90 hours to charge his Porsche Taycan EV.

“I have a picture of my home charging going on 90 hours! Ninety hours and the car is still not charged,” Anderson said, adding, “A lot of people are surprised by how much time it takes to charge a vehicle.”

Beyond that, it can take time to drive around to find a commercial charger, which Anderson calls “deadhead” miles. Plus there’s an annual EV tax, which Michigan charges (ranging from $135 to $235) to make up for not paying a gas tax.

All told, the report found a mid-priced gas-driven car that gets 33 miles per gallon would cost $8.58 in overall costs to drive 100 miles at $2.81 a gallon, while a mid-priced EV would cost $12.95 to drive 100 miles.

For now, that is. Last month, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a proposal to create a road in Michigan that would charge EVs wirelessly — a first for the nation. Consumers Energy announced a $3 million “PowerMIFleet” program to encourage businesses to build EV charging stations.

Brian Wheeler, Consumers Energy’s media-relations manager, said, “what that’s doing is really building the backbone for the electric-vehicle industry in our state. When people go to make those decisions to buy vehicles, they know the charging infrastructure is in place.”

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