You read that right. Let’s do some math to prove it.
Since electric and gas are measured in different units and capacities, I needed to calculate the cost to drive 1 mile for each.
So here’s the math. (All numbers are rounded up or down for readability).
- In 2012 cars averaged 24 MPG.
- In February 2013 the average price for gas in Chicago was $3.93. Could be worse – highs were around $4.28 in 2012.
- $3.93 per gallon of gas ÷ 24 miles per gallon = $.16 per mile.
- That’s $2.88 a day to drive 18 miles.
- With a full battery, our Nissan Leaf averages 75 miles. (This is an average based on varying conditions).
- The battery has a capacity of 24 kilowatt hours (kWh).
- In March 2013 the average cost per kWh in my area never exceeded $.06, and was often less.
- 24 kWh * $.06 = $1.44. Translation: it costs $1.44 to fill the Leaf’s battery to capacity, for which you will get 75 miles of range.
- $1.44 per full battery charge ÷ 75 miles per full battery = $.02 per mile.
- That’s $.36 a day to drive 18 miles.
- $2.88 to drive 18 miles per day in a gas car.
- $.36 to drive 18 miles per day in a Nissan Leaf.
- $2.88 / $.36 = 8. It’s 8x more expensive to drive a gas car for a daily commute.
Driving a Nissan Leaf every day to work saves us $2.52 per day. $12.60 a week. $50 a month. $600 a year. And that’s just going to and from work.