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Choosing between red or black, drawing another card or standing pat — decisions, decisions. The complexity of choices for new car buyers can be overwhelming. In a bid to alleviate some of the decision-making stress, The Washington Post presents an insightful article titled “Comparing the Costs: Refueling Your EV Battery vs. Gas Tank in All 50 States.” Despite its wordy title, this comprehensive piece offers valuable insights.
Author Michael Coren, identified as the Post’s “climate advice columnist,” delves into the intricacies of these choices. The article is a treasure trove of facts, combining informative data with Coren’s own perspectives.
Let’s get to the heart of the matter, buried within the article. Coren asserts, “Determining the exact cost of refueling an electric vehicle might remain an ongoing debate.”
He goes on to say, “However, this debate might not hold much significance. For the average American driver, refueling an EV is often cheaper, a trend expected to strengthen as renewable energy capacity expands and vehicle efficiency advances.”
To bolster his argument about the summer refueling costs, Coren takes us on a hypothetical road trip or two. He highlights the average gasoline prices while noting the complexity of measuring electricity costs, which vary not only by state but also by time of day and charging location. EV owners face the choice of home or workplace charging, with the potential for pricier fast-charging stations during road trips.
Coren constructs an imaginative journey from San Francisco to Disneyland, covering 408 miles in a Ford F-150 and its electric variant, the Lightning.
“The victor? The EV, by a slim margin,” he states. “Savings were modest due to the significantly higher cost of fast chargers, which are usually three to four times pricier than home charging. Nonetheless, driving the Lightning left me with an extra $14 in my wallet compared to its gasoline counterpart.”
The article sets the stage for the classic argument raised by those who believe that electricity’s elevated cost negates the savings pledged by EVs. Coren points out, “Simply comparing gasoline and electricity costs oversimplifies matters. Charging rates vary, driven by state policies and individual preferences. Road taxes, incentives, and battery efficiency all play into the final equation.”
Nonetheless, Coren’s calculations affirm that across all 50 states, refueling with electricity is more cost-effective for the average American. This rings especially true in certain regions like the Pacific Northwest, known for low electricity rates and high gasoline prices.
Even in scenarios where electricity costs exceed gasoline prices, Coren contends that EVs maintain an advantage. This edge is particularly pronounced when charging at home.
Overall, the article deserves commendation for its ambitious attempt to address numerous issues and debates within a single narrative. Astute readers will acknowledge that the EV versus gasoline discourse remains far from settled.