Vehicle fuel cost per litre - Electricity vs. Petrol

Imagine if you could purchase a car that magically changed the price to 62 cents per litre every time you drove up to the petrol pump. Well, actually, now you can.  Except it's not a petrol pump, it's an electricity plug. 

Comparing 'e-litres' for electric vehicles and petrol prices for conventional vehicles, the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) has released analysis concluding that electric cars are 58% cheaper to run at 62 cents an e-litre at peak electricity prices. 

This is compared to the average Australian petrol price of $1.48 per litre over the last twelve months.  In addition, off peak charging of electric vehicles would further reduce the cost to a minuscule 37 cents per litre. 

Theoretically there would be further cost savings to be made if one were to choose a highly efficient electric vehicle, as these figures are based on the average efficiency of EVs and new passenger petrol-run vehicles in Australia.

For example, if you were to buy the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, with an energy consumption of 0.135 kWh/km (according to the Green Vehicle Guide), you would be content in the knowledge that your recharge is costing only 48 cents an e-litre.  Although this number may not include vehicle re-charge efficiency (generally fairly efficient up around 90% for lithium batteries - so it's not a major issue either way).

 

Petrol Price Per Litre VS "E-litre" Prices

Petrol Price VS "E-litre" Prices

 

For more information on the data used behind the analysis, head to the ESAA's website explaining the e-litre calculations.  

This use of the e-litre as a practical comparison tool follows on from a recent discussion paper entitled Sparking an Electric Vehicle Debate in Australia, in which the ESAA found that although initially more expensive to purchase than conventional cars, electric vehicles can potentially save the consumer around $10,000 over the life of the car due to lower operational costs.

“Not only can EVs offer a faster, cleaner, quieter and safer driving experience, they are also cheaper to run,” ESSA Chief Executive Matthew Warren said.
“Electric engines are simpler and far more efficient than the most advanced combustion engines.  These translate to big savings over the life of a car which we expect to be a big selling point for consumers in the future.”

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