Electric car efficiency

How Efficient are Electric Vehicles?

Is electrification the future of our transportation? If you believe these researchers we'll all be commuting around in relaxed style in fully electric autonomous vehicles within 12-15 years. Leaving aside the development of autonomous vehicles, what about the electric cars themselves?

Take the average “fuel” consumption of my Chevrolet Bolt shown here: 14.7 kWh per 100km over quite a lot of driving. How does that compare to gasoline powered cars? Well, 1 gallon of gas has 33.7 kWh of energy equivalent. Doing the math tells us that a gasoline powered car would have to get 142 miles/gallon in order to be as efficient as this electric car. Not likely. Why is this? Mostly because electric motors are about 90% efficient at converting energy into useful work, while internal combustion engines are less than 30% efficient.

Range is a another question but we're almost there: the indicator here shows I can drive 291 miles (although it does go down during winter). What about the cost of driving? These roughly 3000 miles cost me less than $50.


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