I might be buying a new car in the next year or so. I’m not considering an electric Volt or Leaf, but it’s interesting to think about this new breed of car. One of the questions that comes to mind is, how expensive are they, really, to drive? Part of that is unknowable, since it’ll be years before their maintenance costs are demonstrable, but we do know how much gas and electricity cost.

According to Engadget, Dominion Virginia Power will offer to halve the price of charging an electric car to 750 drivers if they charge overnight. The article provides some insight into the cost of driving an electric motor vs. buying gasoline. It says that (before the 50% discount), a 40-mile commute’s charge costs $0.86. A gallon of gas costs about $3.00 here right now, so driving a car that gets 25 miles/gallon would be $4.80 for 40 miles, or five-and-a-half times more expensive. Even a hybrid getting 60 mpg is still over twice as expensive, and that’s before the half-off deal VA Power is offering.

It’s maybe not fair to compare gas vs. electric cars because I think they’re totally different beasts, but the numbers jumped out at me.