A new study has revealed that electricity gets you more miles for your money than a full tank of gasoline. Uswitch has shown that although batteries limit how far you can travel on a single charge, the lower costs to charge a battery-electric vehicle enables you to travel farther for the buck versus a full tank. This evaluation used a Volkswagen Golf and a Nissan Leaf to see how far £50 or roughly $69 will get you in different countries. The results are quite surprising. Although the Golf can travel farther on a single tank, it’s a lot cheaper to operate the Leaf, enabling you to drive more for less money.
To no one’s surprise, the countries where you’ll get more for your money in an EV are in Europe. Lithuania is at top of the list where 69 bucks in an EV will enable you to travel 4,434 miles versus 529 miles in a gas-powered vehicle, resulting in a 3,905-mile difference. Norway and Sweden are second and third. You can go 4,171 miles in an EV versus 391 miles in a gas-powered car for the same amount in Norway, a 3,780-mile difference. In Sweden, 69 dollars in an EV will get 4,050 miles or 3,361.4 miles more than a gas-powered vehicle for the same amount. Estonia and Austria round out the top five, where you also see a difference of over 3,000 miles.
Uswitch also shows which countries where you can travel farthest on gas with $69. The United States tops that list at 895 miles followed by Australia at 738 miles and Mexico at 736 miles. At least for the U.S., one of the main reasons is low gas prices let you go farther on a tank versus other countries. However, that still pales in comparison to an electric vehicle. Even in a country that’s advantageous to gas-powered vehicles, your money still goes farther on electricity. With $69, you can go 2,584 miles on an EV like the Nissan Leaf, which is 1,690 miles more than a gas-powered vehicle.
“As the motor industry tries to move away from petrol and diesel, this study shows how economical running an electric car is, said Joel Kempson, personal finance writer and car insurance expert at Uswitch. “Electric vehicles are much cheaper to recharge than the cost of filling up your tank, so even though they won’t take you as far as a patrol car, owning an EV could make better sense for your finances — especially for city-center driving, where you can even escape road tolls in many cases.” Kempson also notes that insurance costs will drop as more consumers go to EVs because of their lower repair costs.
This study used a Volkswagen Golf with a 1.0-liter engine and Nissan Leaf. Technical details were taken from their respective manufacturers’ sites and the countries chosen were all part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Electricity prices per kWh were found via the World Bank while gas prices were taken from globalpetrolprices.com.
Calculating the costs of an EV on a single charge, the price of electricity was multiplied by the battery size, in this case, 40 kWh because the study used a standard-range Nissan Leaf. The number of charges needed is calculated by dividing the vehicle’s range by 10,000, which is the average mileage consumers travel per year. The cost of one charge is then multiplied by the number of charges needed to find out the average cost for the year. To see how far $69 will get you, Uswitch first worked out how many kWh you can get for that amount in each country then multiplied by 40 to see how many full charges you can get. The range of one full charge is then multiplied by the number of full charges for $69 to see how many miles you can get for that amount of money.
To calculate how many miles you can get out of a gas-powered vehicle for one fill-up, the price of gas per liter is multiplied by 50 to see how much the Golf’s tank can hold. Then it is converted to miles per liter and multiplied by 50 again to get the car’s range. That number is then divided by 10,000 miles to see how many times you’d need to fill up for the year then multiplied by the cost of one tank to arrive at the yearly cost. The cost per liter is then divided by $69 to see how much gas you can get for that amount then multiplied by the miles per liter to see how many miles you can travel for $69.