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Fueling Up For 84 Cents Per 'eGallon'

Tom Banse
Northwest News Network

Imagine paying less than a dollar per gallon for your commute, compared to today's statewide averages of $3.84 in Oregon and Washington and $3.80 in Idaho for a gallon of gas. Eighty-four cents in Idaho and Washington -- or 96 cents in Oregon -- per gasoline gallon equivalent is how much the US Department of Energy figures it costs to recharge an electric car in each state.

The agency's assistant secretary David Danielson announced an online cost comparison calculator Tuesday for what he calls the "eGallon."

"Consumers can see gasoline prices posted at the corner gas station, but are left in the dark on the cost of fueling an electric vehicle," Danielson says. "The eGallon will provide more clarity to consumers on how much it costs to operate a vehicle and how much they might save on fuel by choosing an electric vehicle."

Danielson says he hopes the "eGallon" metric is easier to relate to than trying to express electric vehicle performance in terms of miles per gallon traveled.

The new numbers provided by the Energy Department are averages based on the efficiency of the top five selling plug-in electric cars and the average statewide price of electricity.

On the Web:

eGallon calculator - US Department of Energy 
Low cost leases electrify plug-in car sales on West Coast - Northwest News Network

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.