Infographic: Electric Vehicles — Oil Savings in Action

Published Oct 9, 2013

Electric vehicles are a key component to cut projected U.S. oil use in half in 20 years.

Electricity is cheaper than gasoline

To calculate an average fuel cost for electricity- and gasoline-powered vehicles, this infographic compares a 2013 Nissan Leaf charged at national average residential electricity rates and a gasoline-powered compact car with a fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon fueled with $3.65/gallon gasoline.

The exact fuel costs for an individual vehicle depend on several factors. For electric vehicles (EVs), these include the vehicle's efficiency and the cost of electricity. For gasoline-powered vehicles, these include the cost of gasoline and the vehicle's fuel economy.

Over the lifetime of an EV, these fuel-cost savings can more than offset the higher purchase price of an EV compared to an equivalent gasoline-powered car.

Sales of plug-in electric vehicles continue to accelerate

Plug-in electric vehicles — which include both battery-electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and plug-in hybrids such as the Chevy Volt — continue to sell more each year.

More plug-in vehicles were sold during the first eight months of 2013 than were sold in all of 2012. By 2035, electricity could power more than 40 percent of all new vehicles.

The number of options also continues to increase as more EV models hit the showroom floor. Learn more in the EV Timeline.

Electric vehicles generate fewer global warming emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles

Nationwide, EVs charged from the electricity grid produce lower global warming emissions than the average compact gasoline-powered vehicle (with a fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon)—even when the electricity is produced primarily from coal in regions with the “dirtiest” electricity grids.

In regions with the “cleanest” electricity grids, EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient hybrids.

As the electricity grid becomes cleaner with increased investment in renewable energy, emissions from EVs will get even lower.

Learn more in the UCS report, State of Charge: Electric Vehicles' Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings Across the United States. 

We can cut projected US oil use in half in 20 years

Unleashing the potential of EVs is a key component of the UCS Half the Oil plan, which would dramatically reduce oil use by boosting vehicle fuel efficiency, increasing the use of clean biofuels, and creating the next generation of advanced vehicles that no longer rely exclusively on oil.


Learn more about the methodology and assumptions behind the infographic.

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