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Study Ranks Cheapest Places to Drive an Electric Car

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2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

A new study from Crescent Electric has found the cheapest places to drive an electric car, based on electricity costs in the nation’s 52 largest cities. At the very top of the list is New Orleans, where a daily commute of 15 or so miles per day costs just $54.03 per year. Following that are Salt Lake City at $59.47, Louisville at $60.70, Seattle at $61.50, and Cincinnati at $64.00. For reference, annual gas cost for a conventional 30 mpg vehicle in New Orleans was $137.28.

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Interestingly, none of these lined up with a study from two years ago of the most EV-friendly major cities. The top EV-friendly cities from that study were Portland, Washington, D.C., New York City, Baltimore, Denver, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, and San Francisco.

Some of those cities do show up at the bottom of the electricity-cost list. New York City has the costliest electricity, with an average cost of $157.16 per year to driving an electric car on normal commutes. Following that is Atlanta at $131.76, Riverside at $129.85, San Diego at $123.33, and Phoenix at $120.99.

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Of course, for all of these cities, the cost of electricity versus the cost of gasoline was significantly lower. In Seattle, for example, switching to electric cars saved you the most on fuel at $212.87. New York City brought up the rear of the savings list, with $55 of savings.

This study is somewhat limited. For one thing, it only covers a normal commute, ignoring weekend drives, after-work errands, and other driving. Meanwhile, the EPA estimates that driving, for example, the Chevy Bolt EV 15,000 miles annually will cost about $550 on average. The Toyota Corolla in the same time frame and distance costs about $1,350. Over five years, that tallies up to a difference of more than $4,000.

News Source: Forbes