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Electric Cars Have The Lowest Annual Fuel Cost: 2021 Chart

According to the most recent comparison of the estimated annual fuel/electricity costs for 2021 model year cars in the U.S., plug-ins beats all the other options.

The report released by the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, compares all-electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), hybrid (HEV), and conventional models, with a few assumptions:

The results are pretty similar to what we would expect and 2019 edition of the chart. The all-electric cars are on the top with annual fuel costs estimated at $500-$850. That’s the lowest level that one can get, not even accounting that some new EVs comes with a free charging package.

In the case of plug-in hybrids, the result is $600-$2,400, because a lot depends on the vehicle’s electric range and use case. Without charging they will be just like conventional hybrids (or even worse in many cases).

Next are hybrids, with 700-$3,250 cost. Here the EV range is usually low and some of the vehicles are performance models (electric motor is used as a boost of performance, rather than to improve the fuel economy).

Conventional models have from two to several times higher annual fuel expenses than electric cars.

  • BEVs: $500-$850 (vs $500-$900)
  • PHEVs: $600-$2,400 (vs $600-$1,950)
  • HEVs: $700-$3,250 (vs $650-$2,500)
  • ICE (gasoline): $1,050-$4,900 (vs $1,000-$4,100)
  • ICE (diesel): $1,650-$2,350 (vs $1,150-$2,250)
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“Notes: All annual vehicle fuel costs are rounded to the nearest $50. Annual fuel cost estimates are based on combined city/highway fuel economy, 15,000 annual miles, and the following fuel prices: $2.39 regular gasoline; $3.03 premium gasoline; $2.72 diesel; and $0.13 per kilowatt-hour electricity.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fuel Economy Data, accessed January 29, 2021.”

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