The eGallon

by Ben N on June 12, 2013


I’ve been busy working out of town the last few days, but when I got back, I had an e-mail waiting for me essentially asking “Hey, what do you think of this new eGallon?”

Wait! One more new thing to confuse the public over electric cars!?!?

I followed the link sent to me to the U.S. Government’s Energy page about the eGallon and had a read through, including the links to details on how they come up with the numbers.

After reading through it, here’s my thoughts:

The eGallon is a fine tool to simply show how much less expensive it is to drive electric instead of gas. Beyond that, it may not be particularly accurate or even apply to you. For example, the eGallon is based on LOTS of AVERAGES (average fuel economy, average cost of gas, average cost of electricity, average efficiency of some EVs….. etc, etc.)

In my area, gasoline is HIGHER than the national average and at my house electricity is LOWER than the state average. So, for me personally, my eGallon is going to be lower than somebody else’s. In addition, the eGallon doesn’t take into account TIME-OF-DAY billing, which is available in most places around the country. During off-peak hours (at night) when most people charge their electric vehicles, electric cost is HALF as expensive as it would be otherwise! Imagine if you could buy gasoline at night for $2.00 per gallon instead of $4.00! Time of day billing is one of many advantages of fueling a vehicle with electricity instead of fossil fuels.

In addition, if you are big into Solar PhotoVoltaics, you can literally MAKE your own electric vehicle fuel for FREE (minus capitol expenses of course!) Just try making gasoline on the roof of your house!

I encourage you to take a look at the government info on the eGallon, and let me know what you think!

Methodology Link
Q&A Link

I’m my mind, the eGallon is a fine tool for those not too familiar with EVs to realize how much less expensive EVs are to operate. However, with a little more background knowledge, the truth is that EVs are EVEN BETTER THAN THAT!


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jim Campbell June 18, 2013 at 8:28 am

Hi Ben,

I read your post and noticed the image you had in it of the fuel costs, I thought to myself the cost of petrol(gas) is pretty close to the amount we pay here in Northern Ireland, except your price is in dollars and we pay in pounds, so we pay £3.65. But NO, your price is per gallon and our price is per litre, so our fuel is more, lots and lots more.

How many people do you think would think about converting if their fuel was 3 or 4 times as expensive? I know that in the USA there are factors that hold the price lower but be assured that higher prices are coming 🙁

Good Luck

2 BenN June 18, 2013 at 8:43 am

So far, I’ve only been able to briefly visit Scotland and Austria. Traveling is good because it gives you a different perspective on the world, including fuel prices!
The gasoline prices in the United States ARE low, but are taken for granted. In 2007 and 2008 with the down economy, a big part of that was higher than usual fuel prices. Unfortunately, the whole U.S. economy runs on gasoline!

Sometimes I wish gas prices WERE higher, because we would all get a lot more creative, design better cars, design better cities, bike more, and come up with a whole lot of other options!

3 Jim Campbell June 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Hi Ben,

It’s a nice idea to think that higher fuel prices will make everyone think more about how they use fuel and, well, basically do everything better. However what I think actually happens is that we (most people) just moan a lot more and hope that someone will save them. There is some good stuff happening but as far as I can see it is inspired by Government and by business. The general public, by and large, hasn’t a notion, and worse don’t really care. I talk to a lot of people about alternative fuels and technologies and most people havn’t even heard of most of them, and even if they have they only think of them as being very expensive things that have huge ROI’s. Mention things like DIY EV’s or Solar etc and they think your nutty 🙂 Still if enough of us keep plugging away we will eventually get there.

I messed up in my last comment, I must have been sleepy or something 🙁 The cost of petrol here is actually about £1.36 per litre, not £3.65 as I said, mind you that still works out to be about £6.12 a gallon. I remember when I started driving about 28 years ago the price was under £1.00 per galloon, so on average that has doubled in price every 10 years or so, and if that follows on we will be looking at £15.00 per galloon (or more) by 2025. I will be filling my tank tomorrow and I expect it will cost me about £80.00 which is more than my weekly wage was in my first job 30 years ago, or another way to look at it that the money I will spend on petrol over the next two years will be more than my Father paid for his first house :-{

I’m off to bed before I depress myself too much.
Love the blog

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