Making Plug-in Hybrid Comparisons
Last year, General Motors officially launched the Chevy Volt, a range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) with an electric range of 35 miles and an EPA-rated electric-only equivalent fuel economy of 93 MPGe. This past summer, Fisker began deliveries of its REEV, the Fisker Karma luxury sports sedan, which will have
All three cars run on both gas and battery power but there are key distinctions, stemming mostly from the
What does this mean for drivers in terms of their emissions footprint and daily fuel costs? As Pike Research’s John Gartner
Gartner’s results, seen in the graph below, indicate that drivers who travel within their REEV’s electric-only range can expect significant fuel savings compared to a Prius Plug-in. Beyond that point the cost comparison begins to narrow:
“Assuming a gas price of $3.50 and electricity at 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, the Volt’s bigger battery makes it cheaper to operate as long as you drive 70 miles or less between charges. At distances of greater than 70 miles, the Prius PHEVs’ greater fuel economy as a hybrid makes it cheaper to operate.”
It should be noted that a PHEV’s occasional use of its gas engine before its battery runs out contributes very little to total fuel use. A commuter driving less than 15 miles between charges won’t spend much on gas or contribute a significant emissions toll whether she’s in a Fisker Karma, a Chevy Volt, or a Prius Plug-in. Still, for some drivers who rarely travel more than 35 miles at a time, the allure of going totally gas free could prove to be a very attractive selling point for REEVs.