Combustion engine vehicle or electric vehicle? The debate about which to buy has been happening but may be ramping up.

A news story about an electric vehicle study called, Comparison: Real World Cost of Fueling EVs and ICE Vehicles, adds to the debate. So much of the EV is about carbon emissions. This is about economics. It is billed as Anderson Economic Group EV Transition Series: Report No. 1. 

I’m glad the group did the report because we need to unpack all facets of vehicle ownership. I’m sure the report will spark debate.

The report defines four issues:

  • Four costs need to be factored in powering EVs that are aside from the electricity: 1) home charger cost, 2) commercial charging, 3) EV taxes/fees, and 4) “deadhead” miles (right, from the report).
  • EVs cost more to power than internal combustion engines (ICE) for a car with acceptable gasoline mileage.
  • Charging costs vary more than gasoline costs.
  • Time is a big issue – finding public chargers and how long to charge.

The Detroit Free Press reported (left) on the study. Worth a read.  The paper said this about the study results: “A mid-priced internal combustion car that gets 33 miles per gallon would cost $8.58 in overall costs to drive 100 miles at $2.81 a gallon, the study found. But a mid-priced EV, such as Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf or a Tesla Model 3, would cost $12.95 to drive 100 miles in terms of costs that include recharging the vehicle using mostly a commercial charger. On a yearly basis, assuming the mid-priced cars traveled 12,000 miles, it would cost $1,030 to drive an internal combustion car and $1,554 to drive an EV.”

The Detroit Metro Times headline: Electric vehicles are more expensive to fuel than gas cars, at least for now.

The Anderson study joins other looks at the ICE/EV debate, such as Levelized Cost of Charging Electric Vehicles in the United States  Or, Edmunds’ column, The True Cost of Powering an Electric Car.

Do a web search, there is a lot of material out there. Some have similarities, some take different approaches.

Big issue: Costs for fuel for each type of vehicle need a clear understanding as part of the debate. As a guy who started his career in oil, I am sensitive to the large signs at gasoline stations that advertise price. Not so with electricity, so consumers need a clear signal on what the price is to charge a vehicle – as clear as petroleum is now.

Debates about the benefits of EVs, from costs, emissions, and the full footprint of the vehicle, need to happen. Certainly, as in all energy debates, opinions will be pressed for various viewpoints. I hope that consumers take time to learn about EVs and how this debate evolves.