With fuel prices rising, I hear people claiming that they want to buy an electric car to avoid the high prices. Look at the numbers:

It takes 30 kWh to go 100 miles in an electric car. The cost for that at 13 cents per kWh (that is what my utility charges) is about $3.90. The cost to go the same distance in a 35 mpg car at $3.50 a gallon is $10. That would save you $610 a year in fuel if you were to drive 10,000 miles a year.

The catch is that the charging station will cost from $700 to $1500 installed. The all electric Leaf is $32,000 with a tax credit of up to $7500. So even assuming the best case, the Leaf will cost you $25,200. The gas powered Toyota Yaris costs $13,000. A difference of $12,200.

This means that you would have to drive the car for 20 years to break even. The savings just isn’t there.

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