Driving a full electric car, like my Nissan Leaf, costs me 5.7 times less per mile than driving a gas guzzler. The average combustion car in the U.S. gets only 4.5 miles per dollar, compared to my Nissan Leaf which takes me 25.5 miles per dollar.
I charge my electric car with Austin Energy GreenChoice electricity, which is 98% wind power, 2% biomass, and costs me 11 cents/Kilowatthour (including all taxes and fees). That's similar to the average retail electricity price in the U.S. of 10 cents/Kilowatthour (source).
At 10 cents/Kilowatthour driving the Leaf is 6.2 times cheaper than driving a gasoline vehicle, assuming a gas price of $3.793/gallon-- the average retail price at present (source).
So... ON AVERAGE DRIVING AN ELECTRIC CAR IS SIX TIMES CHEAPER PER MILE THAN DRIVING A GASOLINE CAR. Also, the vehicle is basically free for the first year due to the $7500 tax rebate. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2011 Nissan Leaf was $32,780, which comes out to $25,280 after the tax credit. The average price of a new car sold in the United States is $28,400 (source). So, due to the fast falling price of lithium-ion batteries (source), inverters and control electronics, the Nissan Leaf is now cheaper than the average gasoline vehicle after the tax credit.
Not to mention the fact that driving the Nissan Leaf is an awesome experience. The Leaf gives 100% torque (207 lbs per foot) at 0 RPM.
When do you think electric cars will take off?
In my opinion, it's when you can buy an all electric car with a 300 mile battery range for the same price as a combustion car (around $28k). Based on the rapidly falling prices for Lithium-Ion batteries (source), that tipping point may only be a few years away. Assuming Li-Ion performance increases 10% per year and the price falls 7% per year, a $10k budget for batteries will give you a vehicle with a 300 mile range by 2018 at the latest.
I belong to a car sharing program that has a variety of hybrid and and electric cars. I get to drive a lot of different cars, and my favourite was always the Prius plug-in hybrid. Those electric motors sure accelerate fast!
A couple months back they got some Leafs, and I was sad they weren't closer to my home - your post makes me want to take the subway just to take one of them for a spin!
I have created a widget. See how many times cheaper per mile it is to drive an electric car, given the current US average price of gasoline and electricity. Electric vehicles are much cheaper to drive than gas cars.
Today it's 7.5 times cheaper to drive an electric car, based on current US gasoline prices averaging $3.98/gal and US average electricity prices of 11.43 cents/kWh.