A new calculator created by a Toyota Prius Prime owner can be helpful to those who have wondered which is less expensive per mile for energy, the Toyota Prius or an electric vehicle. This is a question that Torque News has addressed in multiple matchups in the past. The neat thing about the Prius Prime is that is both one of the most efficient electric vehicles in the world and also one of the most efficient hybrids in the world.
The new on-line calculator is available to the public as a Google Drive spreadsheet. To use it, one need only plug in the cost per kWh on one's electric bill (and be sure to use the total cost including delivery, not just the cost of the electrical generation) and the cost in one's local area of regular unleaded fuel. The spreadsheet does the rest. We will spoil some of the fun by telling you that if you pay nearly $0.20 per kWh for electricity as many American do, and gas in your area is under $2.50, gasoline may be the least expensive way to propel an automobile of comparable size to a Prius. Unlike gasoline, electricity costs vary widely across America. The average as of the date of this story is about 12-cents per kWh, but in many EV target markets, such as the Northeast, $0.20 is not unusual.
If you have been considering a plug-in hybrid, this is a very useful way to prove or disprove any assumptions you may have had about the costs compared to a battery electric or a hybrid. The video below walks you through the use of the spreadsheet.
One note to solar panel users. Although not developed specifically for those who use a home solar array to charge their vehicle, you can still see the costs that you "pay" for electricity by plugging in the value of the energy your local provider is required by law to pay you back for any energy you return to the grid.
Top of page image courtesy of Jesse Rudavsky.