It's way more fun to Guzzle Beer than to Guzzle Gas
With the price of gas in the US rising faster than a billionaires rocket into space, people need options to get from point A for point B and do it in a way that doesn't make them take out a second mortgage. In this article, we'll be taking a look at the question "how much money can I save by using an electric scooter?"
Now with that being said, for many of us out there, giving up traditional modes of transportation entirely just isn't feasible. So looking into the "micro commutes" for late night munchies, a part for a DIY project at home, or other random errands that eat up our last 100 miles in the tank could be a possibility.
With the national average price per gallon hovering at $4.21, the quick answer to the question is...a lot. Of course, like anything else in life, there are variables to consider including cost of the scooter itself, current fuel price in your area, the average range of a scooter, and the cost to charge it. I know what you're thinking. Does this guy really expect me to sit down and read a dissertation on PEVs and energy consumption? The answer to that is also, no. We'll look at those variables and truly decide, if it does or doesn't make sense for you.
How much does it cost to charge an electric scooter?
This cost may vary based on location and on-peak/off-peak rate changes, but on average in the US, the answer is around 23-25 cents per charge. If your eyes bulged out of your head, thats a totally normal reaction to getting this news. For those that are a little more skeptical, lets very quickly explore the math.
A charger output is usually measured in watts and a complete charge takes about 7-8 hours. Taking that information, you simply multiply the hours x wattage x price. So, if we have 7-8 hours to charge and 90 watts for a 4amp charger, that comes out to 23 cents.
How many miles can the average electric scooter go? (range)
For this, I'll be taking the top selling models from, Apollo, Dualtron, Inokim, Kaabo, VSETT, and Zero to establish the industry average range. These brands represent the bulk of the US market for high end electric scooters and are truly made for daily commuting and extended use. Below is a breakdown of the average range across each brands lineup:
Apollo- 42.25 miles
Dualtron- 79.2 miles
Inokim- 32.25 miles
Zero- 44.6 miles
So, for this thought experiment, averaging the top brands gives us an expected range of 56.3 miles per charge.
All of this leads us to our last variable, the cost of the PEV itself.
What's the average cost of an Electric Scooter (PEV)?
The cost an electric scooter can vary widely depending on what brand it is and what you're looking to use it for. For this article the pricing ranged from $599 for the Inokim Mini 2 all the way up to $6,490 for the Minimotors Dualtron X II and were pulled from the same brands as discussed before in the average range section. From this list, the average cost for a high-end commuting scooter comes in at $1949.
Comparing the cost of a PEV to an average vehicle
According to the Federal Highway Administration, as of 2022 the average miles per gallon (MPG) for a car is 24.20 miles. Now that we know the MPG for cars and Average Price per Gallon ($4.21), all that's left is the size of the tank and we will have found our cost. According to that very same Federal Highway Administration, the average capacity for a mid-sized or luxury sedan is 18.5 gallons. With that data we can extrapolate our costs
18.5 x $4.21= $77.88 cost per tank
18.5 x 24.2 = 447 miles per tank
$77.88 / 447 = 17 cents per mile
$77.88 x 52 weeks = $4049.76 average consumption cost
*based on FHA data of avg. fills/year
Luckily for us, this math is much less involved than with cars. Below is the breakdown:
$1949 Average Purchase Price
$0.23 per charge
56.3 miles average range
$0.23 / 56.3 = $0.004 cents per mile
7.9 Charges ($1.81) per Tank of Gas ($77.88)
$1.81 x 52 weeks = $94.12 comparative consumption cost
The Final Analysis
Now that we know the cost to charge a PEV, the cost to purchase a PEV, and the average range of a PEV, we can accurately determine the cost efficiency versus a traditional gas powered vehicle.
Again, knowing that we all love our cars, and the likelihood of us completely abandoning them for an eco-friendly utopia filled with exhilarating electric scooters is pretty far fetched, so let's summarize our findings based on using them for only the last 100 miles of every tank. If this became a reality and an electric scooter was your preference for the short distance micro commuting around town, the average savings would be $863.20 per year.
Gas versus Electric will never be a true apples to apples, but if i could leave you with one last statistic to think about, here it is. According to the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) American's spend 4% of their lives working to pay for gas to fill their tanks.