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Cost of Driving by State

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September cost of driving by state

Adam Hester/The Image Bank/Getty images

Last updated: September 8, 2023

Which states offer the cheapest fuel costs for drivers? That depends on whether you are driving a traditional gas-powered vehicle or an electric vehicle (EV). Gas prices and electricity rates vary by state and change monthly.

Choose Energy’s September Cost of Driving by State report monitors monthly driving costs to show you the latest costs to operate gas-powered and electric vehicles. The Choose Energy analysts track figures from the AAA, the Department of Energy, and other government sources to measure differences by state.

Let’s start with gasoline. As of September 8, drivers in the U.S. paid an average of $3.831per gallon for regular gasoline, according to the AAA. That is 2 cents less per gallon than on August 9, when we last updated this analysis. Which states had the most and least expensive gasoline?

Drivers in California paid the most for their gasoline on September 8 $5.37 per gallon. That’s 29 cents more than Californians paid in August and 41% more than the national average. Drivers in Idaho paid the least per gallon on September 9, with an average price of $3.16, which is 17% lower than the national average.

Regular gasoline prices in individual states change from day to day. As of September 8, the national average price is 0.4% lower than in August. 18 states experienced increased gas prices from month to month, while 31 saw decreased prices. Rhode Island’s average price per gallon did not change.

By the numbers

Following are state-by-state numbers on the average price of gasoline per gallon of the month, the percent change from August to September, and the percentage above or below the U.S. average.

How much could you save with an electric vehicle?

Many consumers want to know whether they could save on fuel costs by switching to an electric vehicle (EV). The U.S. Department of Energy offers a vehicle cost calculator, which allows you to estimate how much it would cost to own, operate, and charge an EV.

The DOE vehicle cost calculator factors in the average annual fuel use, electricity use, and operating costs of available gasoline-powered vehicles and EVs to compare how much you could save. The calculator also includes energy rates by state because the cost of electricity will impact the cost to charge an EV.

For example, a 2023 Tesla Model 3 costs approximately $708 to charge every year in California. In comparison, a 2023 Honda Pilot consumes about $2,007 in gasoline annually in the same state. Based on these estimates, a resident in California could save an average of $1,299 in fuel costs each year by switching to an EV.

How many EV charging stations are there?

Of course, fuel savings from EVs are easier when sufficient public charging station locations are available. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, California has by far the largest number of public charging stations 15,044. However, the number of people per public charging station may be a more accurate measurement. Vermont leads the country by this measurement, with one station for every 1,870 residents, while California has one for every 2,594 people. These figures are based on the most recent population report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Following are the total EV charging stations by state, the number of people per charging station, and the rank of each state by the number of people per charging station.