Using electricity to supplement or completely replace petroleum fuels in transportation has many benefits. Those benefits include increased energy security, better fuel economy, reduced operating costs, and reduced emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Alternative Fuels Data CenterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. provides details on all of the potential benefits of electric vehicles (EVs).

Energy security

New York’s electricity is produced from various sources, so its price is much less volatile than the price of petroleum fuels. The price of electricity is forecasted to experience much less inflation than petroleum fuels. Also, the majority of electricity generation sources are domestic. That reduces reliance on imported energy sources and increases energy security. Another advantage is that most of the electricity used in New York is produced in the State, whereas there is no in-state petroleum production.

Reduced emissions

Emissions produced by EVs vary significantly due to vehicle type, battery electric vehicles (BEV) vs. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and electricity source. Because New York State generates a significant portion of its electricity from low greenhouse gas emitting sources, including natural gas and hydroelectric and other renewables, EVs in New York reduce emissions even more than in most other statesLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Better fuel economy

Using electricity as a transportation fuel results in much higher energy conversion efficiency compared to petroleum fuels. To compare battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to conventional vehicles, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a mileage sticker that uses units of miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (mpge). The sticker also provides an estimate on how much the consumer will save on fuel over a five-year period compared to an average vehicle in its class. Below are examples of sticker for a BEV and a gasoline vehicle.

EPA BEV sticker

Battery electric vehicle sticker from the Environmental Protection Agency showing the highest rating for fuel economy and greenhouse gas ratings with a $9,600 savings in fuel costs over 5 years.

EPA conventional gasoline vehicle sticker

Conventional Environmental Protection Agency vehicle sticker for a 26 miles per gallon vehicle with an annual fuel cost of $2,150, saving $1850 in fuel costs over 5 years compared to an average new vehicle.

Reduced operating costs

Although the purchase cost of an EV is generally higher than for a conventional vehicle, the fuel savings can pay off in the long run. EVs also generally require less maintenance because of the fewer moving parts and no need for any fluid changes in electric motors.

To help all drivers better understand the cost of driving an EV, DOE created eGallonLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., an interactive tool that represents the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline. In other words, for the same distance that a conventional vehicle can travel on a gallon of gasoline with the price seen at the pump, it would cost an EV driver the price of an eGallon. The historical cost of an eGallon versus a gallon of gasoline is shown in the following figure, and the current cost comparison can be found on DOE’s eGallon estimatorLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. for the U.S. average or individual states.

Graph that shows the price of gasoline from January 2001 through January 2013 spike and drop as it goes from about $1.50 to about $3.50 per gallon while the eGallon price stays relatively steady, starting at 80 cents to $1.25.