There were some pretty good discussions on whether buying a diesel or buying a hybrid was actually worth it. We wanted to take a slightly different approach with EVs. We created a metric to analyze the exact Cost Per Mile of Range (CPMR). This number is calculated by taking the MSRP of an electric car sold in the United States (2014 model year) and dividing it by the range on a single charge. Please note, we did not take state or federal tax credits into consideration for our analysis.
This analysis just further proves the Tesla Model S is an amazing vehicle. Even with a starting price of $79,900 (85kWh) it has the best CPMR of the whole group at $302. The Chevy Spark EV came in second place with a starting price of $26,685 and a fantastic CPMR of $325. The Model S with a 60 kWh battery (not on the graph) slots between the Leaf and second place Spark EV.
The worst vehicles in terms of CPMR on the list is the BMW i3 BEV with a starting price of $41,350 and a below-average range of 81 miles. This put the i3 CPMR at a whopping $510. Another underwhelming vehicle is the Toyota RAV4 EV with a starting price of $49,800 and a CPMR of $483. Remember though that the RAV4 EV had the 3rd farthest range of all the vehicles studied at 103 miles. Only the Tesla Model S has a greater range.
What these metrics don't account for is the extra gizmos and doodads you get in something like the i3 or the extra cargo capacity of the RAV4. It is simply a comparison between the price of the vehicle and how far you can actually drive it between charges. In reality, a shopper in the market for an EV probably won't be comparing the Tesla Model S with the Chevrolet Spark EV, but if you're someone who wants the most bang for your buck, cost per mile of range can be a valuable metric.
Mojo Motors is a website where shoppers Follow cars to get alerts when dealers drop prices.