A Proper Meter for Vehicle Efficiency: Miles per Dollar Spent

Miles per Dollar Spent

Miles per Dollar Spent is the new vehicle efficiency metric

There’s been much controversy over the environmental cost to drive electric versus the old standard to drive using petroleum.  But how many miles per dollar spent can your vehicle transport you? The results of a California Bay Area website may or may not shock you.

The AfterOilEV blog has a simple metric with alterable values so that you can estimate for yourself, the local costs and values.  How far does your dollar go?  Although those who drive electric may have a much shorter range, is their cost really that much less.  And what about people who drive on Biodiesel or regular diesel?

The old metric of Miles per Gallon has been, as of late, deemed less accurate that the metric of Gallons per 100 Miles (or litres per 100 km).  But what about this new metric of Miles per Dollar Spent?  The other metrics leave out the cost as it tends to vary from day to day.

From the chart presented by AfterOilEV, it would appear that at a cost of $0.10 per kWh and an efficiency of 3.3 miles per kWh, $1 will get you 33.3 miles.  Where as with a gasoline vehicle whose efficiency is 30 MPG where the price of gasoline is $2.75 (average in CA); $1 will get you 12 miles.   At best in the case of a Toyota Prius where the MPG is 50 and prices are $2 per gallon, you’d getting 25 miles per dollar spent. But in comparing apples to apples, the most efficient equivalent EV gets 5 miles per kWh at a cost of $0.10 per kWh, you’d get 50 miles per dollar spent.

Of course these numbers depend on the cost of the fuel.  And in recent years the cost of electricity hasn’t changed much, but the cost of gasoline as fluctuated wildly.

The value in a gasoline vs. electric car depends heavily on how it is used. On the EV side you get great value for your dollar spent on fuel, but you lose range.  On the Gas side you pay more for fuel, but you gain the potential for greater range.  Hopefully, this chart will help the car buyer look at the dollar efficiency a little more accurately.