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Cost of Driving by State

Should you buy a car that runs on gas or electricity?

March cost of driving by state

Adam Hester/The Image Bank/Getty images

Last updated: March 7, 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 March 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 March 7, drivers in the U.S. paid an average of $3.42 per gallon for regular gasoline, according to the AAA. That is 5 cents less per gallon than on February 6, 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 March 7 $4.91 per gallon. That is 30 cents more than they paid in February and 43.8% above the national average. Drivers in Texas paid the least per gallon on March 7, with an average price of $2.97, which is 13% lower than the national average.

Regular gasoline prices in individual states change from day to day. As of March 7, the national average is 1.5% lower than in February. The national average has fallen 31% since June 2022, when gas prices across the country spiked and the national average nearly hit $5.00.

By the numbers

Following are state-by-state numbers on the average price of gasoline per gallon of the month, the percent change from February to March, 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 to charge an EV will be impacted by the cost of electricity.

A 2022 Tesla Model 3, for example, costs approximately $708 to charge every year in California. In comparison, a 2022 Jeep Cherokee consumes about $1,986 in gasoline annually in the same state. Based on these estimates, a resident in California could save an average of $1,278 in fuel costs each year by switching to an EV.

How many EV charging stations are there?

Of course, fuel savings from EVs are made easier by a sufficient number of public charging station locations. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, California has by far the largest number of public charging stations 14,034. However, a more accurate measurement may be the number of people per public charging station. Vermont leads the country by this measurement, with one station for every 1,910 residents, while California has one for every 2,796 people.

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.