Last Update: February 26, 2019
Some people compare different electric car models based on the price per mile of driving range. Cars with long driving range are more flexible, greater autonomy, than ones with shorter driving range. By that measure long range electric cars are more valuable to the car owner because it is more useful because it can be taken on a larger variety of trips.
Put simply, greater autonomy is more valuable.
"Autonomy" is the freedom to drive wherever you want. In a gasoline car autonomy is dependent on gas stations and remembering to fuel up before driving off into the desert. In an electric car, autonomy is dependent on charging stations and the charge rate (measured in miles of range gained per hour of charging).
As we saw before, electricity is a cheaper fuel than gasoline, so the more an electric car is driven the greater its potential to save money. The longer range electric car, by being more useful for a larger variety of trips, has more potential to save money.
It's not just electric car driving range to consider. An electric car with fast charging capability, in an area with plenty of fast charging stations, can be driven with more freedom. An electric car with Fast Charging capability supports a faster effective trip speed making for a more pleasant than if the charging was limited to Level 2 (6 kiloWatt) or so.
Of course the longer range electric car has a higher cost. That bigger battery pack comes at a price. Currently battery pack prices are falling, witness the number of automakers offering 200+ mile range electric cars in the $35,000 range when previously that much range meant buying a $70k+ Tesla.
The objective way of measuring all this is to calculate the cost per mile of range. We want to have autonomy, but don't want to break the budget. By knowing the cost per mile of range, plus whether the car has fast charging, we can gauge how much autonomy our budget can afford.
The calculation is very simple:
cost per mile range = MSRP / EPA range
Of course we're ignoring tax credits.
The figures come from
fueleconomy.gov and are therefore focused on the USA market. The figures were captured during the year named in the model year of the car. Of course now that it is 2019, the costs etc for the 2015 model year electric cars are not all that useful.
|EPA Range||Cost per mile range|
|2019 Chevy Bolt||$36,620 LT, $41,895 Premium, DC Fast Charging $750 option||28 kWh/100 miles||238 miles range||$157 per mile range|
|2019 Hyundai Kona||$ ??||28 kWh/100 miles||259 miles range||$ ?? per mile range|
|2019 Hyundai Ioniq||$30,315||25 kWh/100 miles||124 miles range||$244 per mile range|
|2019 Kia Niro||$ ??||30 kWh/100 miles||239 miles range||$ ?? per mile range|
|2019 Kia Soul EV||$33,950||31 kWh/100 miles||111 miles range||$306 per mile range|
|2019 Nissan Leaf||$29,900||30 kWh/100 miles||150 miles range||$199 per mile range|
|2019 Tesla Model 3 premium long range||$49,900||26 kWh/100 miles||310 miles range||$161 per mile range|
|2019 Tesla Model 3 premium medium range||$42,900||26 kWh/100 miles||264 miles range||$163 per mile range|
|2019 Tesla Model S 310 mile range||$85,000||33 kWh/100 miles||310 miles range||$274 per mile range|
|2019 Tesla Model X 270 mile range||$88,000||36 kWh/100 miles||270 miles range||$326 per mile range|
|2019 Volkswagen e-Golf||$30,495 SE, $37,345 SEL Premium, DC Fast Charging $995||28 kWh/100 miles||125 miles range||$252 per mile range|
|2018 BMW i3 (94 Ah)||$44,500||29 kWh/100 miles||114 miles range||$390 per mile range|
|2018 Ford Focus Electric||$29,120||31 kWh/100 miles||115 miles range||$253 per mile range|
|2015 Chevy Spark||Spark EV 1LT – $27,645 Fast Charging $750 option||28 kWh/100 miles||82 miles range||$346 per mile range|
|2015 Chevy Volt||$35,170||35 kWh/100 miles||38 miles range (electricity); 380 miles total range||$925 per electric mile, $92 per mile total range|
|2015 Kia Soul EV||$33,700||32 kWh/100 miles||93 miles range||$362 per mile range|
|2015 Nissan Leaf SV||Leaf SV $32,100 Fast Charging $1600 option||30 kWh/100 miles||84 miles range||$401 per mile range|
|2015 BMW i3 BEV||$42,400||27 kWh/100 miles||81 miles range||$523 per mile range|
|2015 BMW i3 REX||$46,250||29 kWh/100 miles||72 miles range electricity, 150 miles total range||$642 per mile range electricity, $308 per mile total range|
|2015 Tesla Model S 70D||$75,000||33 kWh/100 miles||240 miles range||$312 per mile range|
|2015 Tesla Model S 85D||$85,000||34 kWh/100 miles||270 miles range||$314 per mile range|
|2015 Tesla Model S 85||$80,000||38 kWh/100 miles||265 miles range||$301 per mile range|
|2015 Mercedes B-Class Electric||$41,500||40 kWh/100 miles||87 miles range||$477 per mile range|