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Automobile energy costs for each state

Should you buy a car that runs on gasoline or electricity?

Electric vehicles are much cheaper to operate.

Which states are the most energy-cost efficient for drivers? That depends on whether you are driving a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle or an electric vehicle. So there are multiple answers to that question, and the answers can and do change each month.

ChooseEnergy.com’s May 2022 Driving Fuel Costs by State page monitors monthly costs to show you the latest statistics, trends, and analysis of the costs to drive traditional vehicles and electric ones. Choose Energy analysts crunch numbers provided by AAA, the Department of Energy, and other sources to measure differences by state.

Let’s start with gasoline. As of May 10, 2022, drivers in the U.S. paid an average of $4.37 per gallon for regular gasoline, according to AAA. That is 21 cents more per gallon than on April 6, 2022, when we last updated this analysis. Which states had the most and least expensive gasoline?

Drivers in California paid the most for their gasoline on May 10 – $5.84 per gallon. That is 2 cents more than what they paid in April and 33% more than the national average. Drivers in Georgia paid the least per gallon on May 10 with an average price of $3.90, which is 10.7% lower than the national average.

Regular gasoline prices in individual states fluctuate and can change each day. As of May 10, the national average is 4.9% higher than it was in April. The average price of gas per state increased from month to month in every state except Nevada, where it decreased by 0.6%. Here are the states where gasoline prices increased and decreased the most from April to May.

What are eGallons, and which states had the best prices?

The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a measure called an eGallon to compare the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared with a gasoline-fueled vehicle. The DOE calculates how much electricity the most popular electric vehicles would need to travel the same distance as similar model gasoline-powered cars. That amount of electricity is then multiplied by the average cost of electricity in the state. The latest calculations on eGallon rates from the DOE were published on March 20, 2021.

So which state had the lowest eGallon price? Oklahoma has the lowest eGallon rate of $0.81. The highest eGallon price is in Hawaii, at $2.65.

Following are the 10 highest and lowest eGallon prices using the latest figures from the DOE.

Which states are best for electric vehicle drivers?

Other than the initial cost of the purchase, every state is better for electric vehicles when comparing the cost of fueling traditional vehicles versus charging EVs. On average, the cost is more than 50 percent lower for EVs. But in some states, the difference is dramatic. The widest gap between the prices using the March 20 eGallon numbers is in Nevada, where it is $4.11.

By the numbers

Following are state-by-state numbers on the average price of gasoline per gallon of the month, the percentage above or below the U.S. average, the most recent eGallon price, and the spread between the two.

Of course, having low eGallon prices does no good without a sufficient number of public charging station locations. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, California has by far the largest number of public charging stations – 13,743. However, a more accurate measurement may be the number of people per public charging station. Vermont is tops there, with a station for every 1,997 residents, while California has one for every 2,877 people.

Following are the total EV charging stations by state, the number of people per charging station, and the rank of each state by the number of people per charging station.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Updated: May 10, 2022