Electric vehicle tariffs on average 34% cheaper than eGallon


plugged in car (select to view enlarged photo)

WASHINGTON--July 8, 2013: There are currently more than 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) on the roads in the United States. A key factor in EVs' rising popularity is charging costs that are much lower on average than comparable gasoline fueling costs. In June, the US Department of Energy increased transparency with its launch of the "eGallon" metric, making comparisons with the price of gasoline easier. With the majority of charging done at home, EV drivers are now looking to their utilities to offer special tariffs to make EV charging even more affordable.

The average national price of a gallon of gasoline was $3.65 as of June 30th. The eGallon averaged $1.14 per gallon equivalent across all 50 states. Electric utilities offering special EV tariffs for their customers were even cheaper at an average of $0.93 per gallon equivalent, according to a new study published today by Northeast Group, LLC. The study United States Smart Grid: Utility Electric Vehicle Tariffs (Volume III) includes a benchmark of all utilities in the US that have launched EV tariffs.

Northeast Group's benchmark found that there were 24 utilities located across 13 states offering EV tariffs. In these 13 states, the average DOE eGallon was $1.40, but the average EV tariff cost was just $0.93. This is a discount of 34% from the eGallon, which is based on standard electricity rates. The two states with the largest number of utilities offering EV tariffs were California and Michigan. California had six utilities offering EV tariffs, reaching more than 80% of the state's residents, and has been at the forefront of the EV market for several years. Michigan had four utilities offering EV tariffs, reaching more than 90% of the state's residents, as the state is eager to facilitate the shift for its car manufacturers from conventional vehicles to EVs.

In addition to launching EV tariffs, there are other ways utilities are helping enable electric vehicles. For example, 91 of the 100 largest utilities in the US have sections on their websites with information for EV owners. As EV prices continue to decline, cheaper leasing options become more prevalent and consumers see the clear benefits, the penetration rate of EVs—and prevalence of EV tariffs—is likely to continue to grow in the US.

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