August 12, 2011
A new study by Northeast Group, LLC titled "United States Smart Grid: Utility Electric Vehicle Tariffs", shows that under current utility electric vehicle (EV) tariffs, it is always cheaper to recharge an EV than to fuel a conventional gas-powered vehicle.
Costs were approximately one-tenth to half the costs of fueling a conventional vehicle with gasoline. The cost analysis looked specifically at "fueling" expenses, and did not consider other operating costs of vehicles.
Electric utilities in the US are encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles by rolling out EV-specific tariffs to their customers. These tariffs take different forms, ranging from time-of-use (TOU) tariffs to flat rate tariffs. With the TOU tariffs, customers receive cheaper rates when they charge during off-peak times (typically nights and weekends). With the flat rate tariffs – e.g. $40 per month – all charging is typically covered.
Utilities are now studying which tariffs will best accommodate the increasing number of electric vehicles on US roads.