How much did Sen. Stabenow save driving her EV from Detroit to DC ?

The Detroit News pegs the savings at less than $10.

A couple of weeks ago, Michigan’s Sen. Debbie Stabenow took a  trip from Lansing, MI to Washington, D.C., in her Chevrolet Bolt EUV to tout the benefits of driving electric.

Stabenow crowed: “I went by every single gas station, it didn’t matter how high it was.”

English translation: Get an EV and stop whining,peasants.”

So, how much did she save?


To answer the question, the Detroit News ran  the senator’s trip through two popular charging apps, A Better Route Planner (ABRP) and Chargeway.

According to ABRP, Stabenow’s Bolt EUV used almost 200 kWh of energy on the 600 mile trip.

So, ABRP estimates that Stabenow paid (and probably expensed) about $80 for electricity.

Note: Charging station operator Electrify America’s charging rates across Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania are a uniform 43 cents per kWh.

In comparison, a comparably equipped, gas-powered Trailblazer SUV gets 33 mpg on the highway.

At $5 per gallon, that works out to about $90 in gas bill (600 mile / 33 mpg x $5 per gallon).

So, Stabenow saved about $10.


The News, apparently doing some rounding, pegged the savings at $8.

The News also pointed out that the Bolt is priced about $5,000 higher than the Trailblazer ($28,195 to $22,995).

And, channeling an analysis by Chargeway, The News concludes that Stabenow’s EV added more than three hours to the a gas-fueled 9 hour, 30-minute Lansing-to-D.C. road trip (13 hours, 9 minutes total) … attributable to charging time (added distance to charging stations, wait time, actual charging time) and slower speeds.

Note: Chargeway assumes an average speed of 60 mph on the Bolt EUV’s Lansing-to-D.C. trip while ABRP assumes 65 mph

But for EVefficiency, ABRP urges drivers to travel at, for example, 55 mph in the long leg between Toledo and Pittsburgh. Ohio and Pennsylvania have a 70 mph speed limit.


Paraphrasing the News’ conclusion

Get an EV if:

  • You’ve got the $$$ to buy one
  • You plan to use it for commuting, not road trips
  • Your employer Or somebody else) provides free-to-you charging
  • You can charge it overnight in your garage or driveway (at economical electricity rates)

Otherwise, you may want to hold off for awhile…

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