Sunday, August 16, 2020

Automobile energy costs for each state / Should you buy a car that runs on gasoline or electricity?

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Which states are the most energy-cost efficient for drivers? That depends, of course, on whether a motorist is operating a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle or an electric vehicle. Which means there are multiple answers to that question of vehicle energy-cost effectiveness, and the answers can and do change each month.

ChooseEnergy.com’s Driving Fuel Costs by State page monitors monthly costs to show you the latest statistics, trends and analysis of the costs to drive traditional vehicles and electric ones. Choose Energy analysts crunch numbers provided by AAA, the Department of Energy and other sources to measure differences by state.

Let’s start with gasoline. As of July 31, drivers in the U.S. paid an average of $2.18 per gallon for regular gasoline, according to AAA. That was 41 cents less per gallon than on Jan. 1.

Which states had the most and least expensive gasoline?

Drivers in Hawaii paid the most for their gasoline on July 31 – $3.24 per gallon. That was 0.6 percent more than they paid one month earlier but still  48.6 percent more than the national average. Drivers in Mississippi paid the least per gallon on July 31 – $1.84.

Following are the states where drivers paid the most and least for gasoline on July 31:

Most expensive states July 31 price per gallon Least expensive states July 31 price per gallon
Hawaii $3.24 Mississippi $1.84
California $3.18 Louisiana $1.86
Washington $2.80 Texas $1.88
Nevada $2.66 Alabama $1.89
Oregon $2.66 Arkansas $1.89
Alaska $2.53 Oklahoma $1.90
Colorado $2.44 Missouri $1.91
Idaho $2.42 South Carolina $1.92
Pennsylvania $2.42 Tennessee $1.93
Illinois $2.38 Kansas $1.98

Regular gasoline prices in individual states are volatile. From July 1 to July 31, they increased in every state. Following are the 10 states in which prices rose by the greatest percentage from July 1 to July 31:

State July 31 price per gallon % change from July 1
Delaware $2.24 4.2
California $3.18 3.6
South Dakota $2.16 3.3
Wyoming $2.19 3.3
Montana $2.25 3.2
Maryland $2.27 3.2
Utah $2.37 3.0
Idaho $2.42 3.0
Maine $2.21 2.8
Washington $2.80 2.6

Following are the states with the biggest decreases in their price per gallon as of July 31:

State July 31 price per gallon % change from July 1
North Carolina $1.98 -3.9
West Virginia $2.15 -3.2
Wisconsin $2.06 -2.8
Ohio $2.11 -2.8
Kentucky $2.05 -2.4
Michigan $2.14 -2.3
Minnesota $2.06 -1.9
Indiana $2.11 -1.9
Iowa $2.07 -1.4
Arizona $2.34 -1.3

What are eGallons, and which states had the best prices?

The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a measure called an eGallon to compare the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared with a similar vehicle that uses gasoline. The DOE calculates how much electricity the most popular electric vehicles would need to travel the same distance as similar model gasoline-powered cars. That amount of electricity is then multiplied by the average cost of electricity in the state.

So which state had the lowest eGallon price? Louisiana had the lowest eGallon rate of $0.84 as of July 25, the latest date prices were calculated by the EIA. The highest eGallon price was in Hawaii, at $2.98.

Following are the 10 highest and lowest eGallon prices as of July 25:

Highest priced states Price per eGallon (July 25) Lowest price states Price per eGallon (July 25)
Hawaii $2.98 Louisiana $0.84
Connecticut $2.14 Idaho $0.86
Rhode Island $2.13 Washington $0.88
Massachusetts $2.11 North Dakota $0.93
Alaska $2.02 Missouri $0.94
California $1.86 Oklahoma $0.94
Vermont $1.78 Utah $0.94
New Hampshire $1.76 Arkansas $0.97
New York $1.58 Tennessee $0.99
Maine $1.53 Oregon $1.00

Which states are best for electric vehicle drivers?

Other than the initial cost of the purchase, nearly every state is better for electric vehicles when comparing the cost of fueling/charging – on average, the cost is about 55 percent lower for EVs. But in some states, the difference is dramatic. The widest gap between the prices using the July 25 eGallon numbers is in Washington, where it is $1.92. In Rhode Island, gasoline costs 2 cents less than the July 25 eGallon prices.

Following is a list of the 10 states where drivers could save the most on fuel by switching to an electric vehicle:

State Gap between prices State Gap between prices
Washington $1.92 Colorado $1.34
Oregon $1.66 California $1.32
Nevada $1.59 Montana $1.23
Idaho $1.56 Wyoming $1.19
Utah $1.43 Arizona $1.18

By the numbers

Following are state-by-state numbers on the average price of gasoline per gallon of the month, the percentage above or below the U.S. average, the most recent eGallon price, and the spread between the two.

State July 31 price per gallon % above/below U.S. average Price per eGallon (July 25) Spread
Alabama $1.89 -13.3 $1.17 $0.72
Alaska $2.53 16.1 $2.02 $0.51
Arizona $2.34 7.3 $1.16 $1.18
Arkansas $1.89 -13.3 $0.97 $0.92
California $3.18 45.9 $1.86 $1.32
Colorado $2.44 11.9 $1.10 $1.34
Connecticut $2.20 0.9 $2.14 $0.06
Delaware $2.24 2.8 $1.18 $1.06
District of Columbia $2.30 5.5 $1.13 $1.17
Florida $2.15 -1.4 $1.07 $1.08
Georgia $2.00 -8.3 $1.04 $0.96
Hawaii $3.24 48.6 $2.98 $0.26
Idaho $2.42 11.0 $0.86 $1.56
Illinois $2.38 9.2 $1.25 $1.13
Indiana $2.11 -3.2 $1.15 $0.96
Iowa $2.07 -5.0 $1.16 $0.91
Kansas $1.98 -9.2 $1.18 $0.80
Kentucky $2.05 -6.0 $1.01 $1.04
Louisiana $1.86 -14.7 $0.84 $1.02
Maine $2.21 1.4 $1.53 $0.68
Maryland $2.27 4.1 $1.20 $1.07
Massachusetts $2.14 -1.8 $2.11 $0.03
Michigan $2.14 -1.8 $1.47 $0.67
Minnesota $2.06 -5.5 $1.20 $0.86
Mississippi $1.84 -15.6 $1.06 $0.78
Missouri $1.91 -12.4 $0.94 $0.97
Montana $2.25 3.2 $1.02 $1.23
Nebraska $2.12 -2.8 $1.01 $1.11
Nevada $2.66 22.0 $1.07 $1.59
New Hampshire $2.12 -2.8 $1.76 $0.36
New Jersey $2.19 0.5 $1.45 $0.74
New Mexico $2.04 -6.4 $1.15 $0.89
New York $2.27 4.1 $1.58 $0.69
North Carolina $1.98 -9.2 $1.09 $0.89
North Dakota $2.10 -3.7 $0.93 $1.17
Ohio $2.11 -3.2 $1.11 $1.00
Oklahoma $1.90 -12.8 $0.94 $0.96
Oregon $2.66 22.0 $1.00 $1.66
Pennsylvania $2.42 11.0 $1.25 $1.17
Rhode Island $2.15 -1.4 $2.13 $0.02
South Carolina $1.92 -11.9 $1.19 $0.73
South Dakota $2.16 -0.9 $1.05 $1.11
Tennessee $1.93 -11.5 $0.99 $0.94
Texas $1.88 -13.8 $1.12 $0.76
Utah $2.37 8.7 $0.94 $1.43
Vermont $2.17 -0.5 $1.78 $0.39
Virginia $1.99 -8.7 $1.16 $0.83
Washington $2.80 28.4 $0.88 $1.92
West Virginia $2.15 -1.4 $1.07 $1.08
Wisconsin $2.06 -5.5 $1.35 $0.71
Wyoming $2.19 0.5 $1.00 $1.19
US $2.18 0.0 $1.21 $0.97

Of course, having low eGallon prices does no good without a sufficient number of public charging stations. According to YourMechanic.com, California has the largest number of stations – 4,978. Which is great. But a more accurate measure may be number of people per charging station. Vermont is tops there, with a station for every 3,780 residents, while California has one for every 7,942 people.

Following are the total public charging stations for each state, the number of people per charging station, and the rank of each state by the number of people per charging station.

State No. of stations People per charging station Rank (people per charging station)
Alabama 132 36,930 47
Alaska 9 82,199 50
Arizona 474 14,802 26
Arkansas 100 30,043 45
California 4,978 7,942 5
Colorado 730 7,681 4
Connecticut 339 10,585 12
Delaware 47 20,467 37
Florida 1,173 17,890 33
Georgia 771 13,527 21
Hawaii 257 5,555 2
Idaho 64 26,827 42
Illinois 816 15,689 28
Indiana 423 15,761 29
Iowa 370 8,502 8
Kansas 214 13,613 22
Kentucky 161 27,666 43
Louisiana 114 41,091 48
Maine 139 9,611 10
Maryland 592 10,223 11
Massachusetts 576 11,909 15
Michigan 666 14,958 27
Minnesota 662 8,424 7
Mississippi 58 51,450 49
Missouri 496 12,326 16
Montana 36 29,180 44
Nebraska 168 11,429 14
Nevada 236 12,704 17
New Hampshire 97 13,843 23
New Jersey 274 32,867 46
New Mexico 85 24,566 41
New York 1,115 17,802 32
North Carolina 638 16,103 30
North Dakota 58 13,024 19
Ohio 566 20,598 38
Oklahoma 207 18,990 35
Oregon 597 6,939 3
Pennsylvania 550 23,283 40
Rhode Island 83 12,767 18
South Carolina 280 17,944 34
South Dakota 105 8,283 6
Tennessee 468 14,350 25
Texas 1,351 20,951 39
Utah 224 13,847 24
Vermont 165 3,780 1
Virginia 512 16,543 31
Washington 830 8,923 9
West Virginia 95 19,114 36
Wisconsin 440 13,172 20
Wyoming 54 10,728 13

By the way, we feel compelled to point out that the YourMechanic.com page referenced has a ton of good info about EVs. You should check it out, but only after you’re done here.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

(Last updated July 4, 2020)

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