Electric vehicle owners pay $1.14 for the equivalent of a gallon of gas

$1.14 a gallon gas? That’s the equivalent cost for electric vehicles:

A new statistic — the eGallon — will now be calculated monthly by the Department of Energy to gauge the price paid by electric vehicle drivers to go the same distance that a driver of a conventional car will travel, on average, using a gallon of gas.

People who own electric vehicles may already know what they’re paying to fill up, but the agency introduced the new “eGallon” metric to help consumers who are thinking about buying electric vehicles.

Based on the 2012 model year, the department’s analysis concluded that consumers are paying $1.14 a gallon nationally to drive 28.2 miles, the average distance traveled by comparable 2012 non-electric small and medium-size cars.

That $1.14 per eGallon compares with $3.65, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

With leases on electric cars approaching those of gasoline-powered vehicles, electric vehicles are coming ever closer to being the practical option for most drivers. The case is even stronger when you look at the the energy density of next-generation batteries – when electric cars can drive 1000 miles in one go, no one will complain about charging times,

The Case for a Higher Gasoline Tax

The Case for a Higher Gasoline Tax – NYTimes.com:

THE average price of gasoline in the United States, $3.78 on Thursday, has been steadily climbing for more than a month and is approaching the three previous post-recession peaks, in May 2011 and in April and September of last year.

But if our goal is to get Americans to drive less and use more fuel-efficient vehicles, and to reduce air pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases, gas prices need to be even higher. The current federal gasoline tax, 18.4 cents a gallon, has been essentially stable since 1993; in inflation-adjusted terms, it’s fallen by 40 percent since then.

While I do think that the gasoline tax should go up over time, I also agree with Obama’s decision to focus on improving mileage standards was a smart one. Think about the millions of people living in small towns or rural areas where even a bus route just isn’t feasible. You’re increasing their burden without them getting any of the benefits. You could say that everyone benefits from slowing climate change, but people have a hard time putting a monetary value on something that abstract and that far into the future. 

Let’s switch from gasoline to natural gas

The Second Coming | Foreign Policy:

Compressed-natural-gas vehicles and electric vehicles — one-third of U.S. electricity is currently generated from natural gas — are slowly making their way into the marketplace. But battery-powered cars remain prohibitively expensive for most car buyers. A natural gas-derived liquid fuel called methanol (wood alcohol), however, is both substantially less expensive than gasoline on a per-mile basis and very cheap to enable on the vehicle side — roughly $100 extra per new car.

Essentially, all that is needed for a regular car to be a flexible-fuel car are a fuel sensor and a corrosion-resistant fuel line. In some provinces of China, where methanol is made primarily from coal, this alcohol is sold at numerous fuel stations. This logic is one thing even Iran and Israel can agree on: Both natural gas-rich countries have plans to begin selling methanol-based fuel at gas stations.

I believe that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is going to be a very incremental process. The infrastructure just isn’t there to switch from coal and natural gas to solar and wind and the myriad other renewable options in even a few years. Washington isn’t willing to spend the money to make it happen faster. If we can switch from gasoline to natural gas-based methanol in a few years and save drivers money at the pump and not have to subsidize anything, I’m willing to accept not reducing carbon as quickly as we’d like.