Second Edition: Real World Cost of Fueling EVs and ICE Vehicles

Authored by:

Patrick L. Anderson, Principal and CEO
Alston D’Souza, Senior Analyst


As in the first edition, AEG calculated all four categories of costs involved in fueling both EVs and ICE vehicles across benchmark use cases that reflect real-world driving conditions for U.S. households. The costs included:

  1. The cost of the underlying energy (gasoline or diesel fuel, or electricity)
  2. State excise taxes charged on fuel and EVs for road maintenance
  3. The cost of operating a pump or charger
  4. The cost of driving to and from fueling stations (deadhead miles)


Findings by major segment include:

  • Mid-priced cars
    ICE vehicles continued to have a cost advantage over comparable mid-priced EVs, even with higher gas prices in 2021. For most mid-priced EV drivers charging primarily at home, the costs of electricity at commercial and residential chargers, charging equipment, road taxes, and deadhead miles made driving 100 miles about $0.50 more expensive than a comparable ICE vehicle. For EV drivers reliant upon more expensive commercial chargers, the cost advantage for ICE vehicles was about $4 per 100 miles.
  • Luxury cars
    EVs gained a significant cost advantage in 2021 for drivers of more expensive cars, which typically have powerful engines and lower fuel economy. Counting all four categories of costs, luxury car drivers needed over $17 to fuel ICE vehicles for 100 miles in 2021, but less than $12 to fuel a luxury electric car (assuming mostly home charging). Even luxury EV drivers who relied primarily on commercial chargers had a cost advantage, saving $1.50 per 100 miles.
  • Pickup trucks
    There was no contest in the truck segment in 2021. Using the same categories of costs and assuming real-world driving requirements, a typical ICE pickup truck driver would pay about $15 for 100 miles of driving. There were insufficient EV trucks in the market in 2021 to offer pickup drivers a viable alternative. However, we expect an onslaught of truck models from Ford, Rivian, General Motors, and others in 2022.
  • Entry-priced cars
    Again, there was no contest in this segment in 2021, since we found no electric cars with an entry-level purchase price. For ICE vehicles in this category, drivers incurred about $10 in fueling costs per 100 miles.

The report notes that the costs of charging an EV vary considerably, depending on whether the user must rely on more expensive commercial charging services or can rely upon a residential charger. To aid purchasers considering their options, the report includes an expanded array of cost calculations that vary by the share of power they gain from commercial and residential chargers.

Read the full study here.

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