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The 10 Cheapest States To Drive An Electric Vehicle

How much cheaper is it to run an electric car compared to a gasoline model? It depends where you live. While the average for the U.S. is roughly three times cheaper, there are big regional differences, as a recent analysis from the U.S. Energy Department reveals.

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The graphic here, produced by Sustainable America, shows the states where the difference between the price of a gallon of gas and an e-gallon (the equivalent cost of running an EV) is greatest. As you can see, the best savings are in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.


In Washington, where there’s $2.93 difference, it’s almost 4.5 times less expensive to operate an EV compared to the equivalent gas vehicle. In Idaho, it’s 4.2 times. That’s largely because power is relatively cheap in the Northwest, as you can see from the map.


The Energy Department has numbers for states not included in the graphic. A tool called Plugwiz lets you make a more detailed calculation based on the car model, driving habits, and utility plan.


Of course, electric vehicles do tend to be costlier up-front, even after subsidies. An analysis from the Electric Power Research Institute found that two plug-in EVs were about 10% more expensive over their lifetime than gas-powered vehicles. But again, it depends on the state, and exactly what you use the car to do.

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