Texas drivers could pay just $1.09 per gallon to fuel their vehicles this month. That is, if they’re using electric cars.
That’s according to a new online service from the U.S. Department of Energy that helps Americans calculate the price of fueling their electric vehicles by comparing the cost, on a per-gallon basis, to gasoline.
Based on average electricity rates in Texas and the mile ranges for the most popular electric vehicles in the country, the department calculated a rate of about $1.09 for Texas drivers, compared with an average cost of $3.37 per gallon of gasoline in the Lone Star State.
The department’s “eGallon” calculation generated an average national cost of $1.14 per gallon compared with an average gasoline gallon cost of $3.65.
“Consumers can see gasoline prices posted at the corner gas station, but are left in the dark on the cost of fueling an electric vehicle,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement. “The eGallon will bring greater transparency to vehicle operating costs, and help drivers figure out how much they might save on fuel by choosing an electric vehicle.”
The service, available at energy.gov/eGallon, may generate more interest in electric cars, which has surged over the last year, said David Danielson, assistant energy secretary, in a conference call with reporters.
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Sales of electric vehicles tripled in 2012, to more than 50,000 cars, according to the department. And electric cars are drawing increasing acclaim, with Tesla’s Model S named the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year, the department pointed out.
The top-selling electric cars in 2012 were the Chevy Volt, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model S and the Ford Focus Electric, according to the department.
Electric cars are also a good option in the Houston area, where there are 224 charging locations, among the largest concentrations in the nation, according to data from the city of Houston and the Department of Energy.
The eGallon service does not indicate the mix of electricity sources used in each state, to inform buyers of any related emissions, but such a resource could be incorporated in the future, Danielson said.
The eGallon site also emphasizes the relative stability of electricity prices compared with those of gasoline, which are much more volatile and have increased at a much faster rate, according to the department.
“The eGallon price does depend on electricity prices, which are very stable. gasoline prices are dependent on the global oil market which can be very unstable,” Danielson said.
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