How Much Money Can You Save By Switching to an Electric Car?

August 1, 2014
David Reichmuth
Senior Engineer, Clean Transportation Program

University of California at Davis’ Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center has just released a great tool for finding out how much you could save by switching from a gasoline vehicle to an electric vehicle.

Enter addresses into the “EV Explorer” and the tool will simulate the fuel costs for up to 4 vehicles. The vehicles can be changed to include your current daily driver and you have the option to enter the local price for gasoline and electricity. Another useful feature is the ability to test the increase in range and fuel savings when charging at your destination. This might be a good way for existing EV owners to explain the benefits of workplace charging to businesses considering offering a place for employees to plug in.

EV Explorer Screenshot

The EV Explorer website from UC Davis lets you find the savings in swapping your gasoline commute vehicle for an electric vehicle.

Of course, there are other considerations to buying an EV, like home charging availability, but this tool can be a quick way to see how much money different EVs could save you on your commute.

I ran an example using the tool for a daily commute between Dublin, CA and Oakland, CA, a round trip of 50 miles, and found electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, Toyota Plug-in Prius Chevy Volt could save you between $700 and $1000 each year compared to a 2014 Ford Focus.

Check out the tool to estimate how much you could save on your commute by switching to electric.

About the author

More from David

David Reichmuth's work focuses on analyzing new vehicle technologies and advocating for policies that support the increased electrification of transportation. Dr. Reichmuth has testified at hearings before the US House of Representatives, the California State Legislature, and the California Air Resources Board, and he is an expert on California’s Zero Emission Vehicles regulation.