|The DOE agrees with us! Yay!|
Some of you may remember that I couple of months ago, I had a paper published by Harvard that examined the potential for electric vehicle adoption in the US.
Basically, our paper concluded that the prospect for electric vehicles are quite good (from a cost perspective, anyway):
As our paper discusses, whether people will put up with the relative inconvenience of electric cars (such as a relatively limited range and needing to recharge fairly often) is another matter, and as of yet quite unknown, even if electric cars are a good deal cheaper than gasoline-powered cars.
It appears that the Department of Energy agrees with our findings. The DOE put together a calculator that lets you compare the lifetime ownership costs of owning just about any vehicles - and their model is much more complicated than our model was, allowing you to customize your driving habits, select exact years and models of cars to compare, etc. Using the DOE's base assumptions, $4.50 gasoline (since I'm guessing that gas costs will continue to creep up over the medium-term), and DC's electricity prices, here's what the model comes up with when it compares cars similar to the stylized cars we examined in our paper (a 2011 Nissan Leaf, 2011 Toyota Camry, 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid, and 2011 Chevy Volt):
One big difference is that our model discounted all costs back to one net present cost, while the DOE model looks at nominal cumulative costs, but the results are similar - the DOE's calculator also finds that electric cars are the cheapest option, while plug-in electric hybrids (like the Volt) will be most expensive, with traditional gas cars and hybrids falling somewhere in the middle.
It's always nice when an outside body validates your research!