As prospective owners of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf begin receiving their eagerly anticipated cars in the coming weeks, a growing debate is raging over the actual cost of driving these vehicles. A few weeks ago the EPA finally released the official fuel efficiency ratings for both the Volt and the Leaf, and it couldn't have come at a better time as this past week gas prices in the US hit a 2-year high. However instead of settling the issue it appears the EPA may have added fuel to the debate (pun intended) by attempting to apply an MPG rating to an all-electric vehicle like the Leaf.
Amidst the confusion one thing is becoming crystal clear; the primary motivation for purchasing an electric car will be cost savings. Recent consumer research by J.D. Power and Associates and Consumer Reports confirm this indicating that the most important "green" factor in purchase decisions will be the greenbacks in your wallet.
So the question foremost in consumers' minds is 'How much money will I save in fuel costs by driving an electric car and does it justify the premium price of the vehicle?'.
Today we're excited to announce the launch of an application that helps answer this question: C2G's Commuting Calculator.
The Commuting Calculator determines the amount of money you'll save by commuting to work in an electric car compared to your current vehicle. It does this by calculating the fuel cost of your daily work commute and subtracting the electricity costs associated with driving an electric vehicle to arrive at a monthly and annual cost savings.
Although simple in appearance, there are actually some sophisticated processes running behind the scenes. For example, the Commuting Calculator identifies gas prices near your home address from 80,000 stations across the US which makes the commuting cost personally relevant to you. It also identifies the proper grade of fuel for your vehicle (regular, premium or diesel) from a vehicle database of more than 20,000 vehicles going back 20 years. The electricity costs are determined by the EPA's cost-per-mile findings for both the Volt and the Leaf.
You'll note we've also built the application on the Facebook platform to make it easy to share with friends, but you don't have to be a Facebook member to use it as its available for free to anyone with access to the Internet.
How much would you save driving an electric car to work? Find out here and let us know what you think!