An Australian news outlet took two BMW sedans, virtually identical except for one ‘tiny’ detail, and drove them for over 500 miles to compare costs.
The key component of the test is the ‘tiny’ detail in question is the fact that one is electric, and the other one isn’t.
On the surface, the gas-powered BMW 7 Series and the i7 are very similar.
They share the same size and proportions, and they’re built on the same platform.
The ‘normal’ 7 Series comes with three different engine options, and all three are hybrid.
The base model is powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six, putting out a little over 300 horsepower in total, 18 of which come from the little electric motor the inline-six is paired with.
As for the electric i7, it’s available with 476 or 650 horsepower.
The goal was to compare the standard gas-powered one with the standard i7 on a 900-kilometer (560-mile) journey and see which one is cheaper to run.
Once CarExpert and 7News Australia concluded the test, they found the i7 cost the team $131.92 while the 7 Series cost $118.
The i7 was also slower, partly because charging takes longer than filling up the tank, but also because some of the charging points along the way weren’t working.
A couple of things are worth noting.
Firstly, the test took place in Australia.
At the time of writing, the price of gasoline in Australia is around $1.11 per liter ($4.20 per gallon).
That’s significantly cheaper than anywhere in Europe, but more expensive than places like the UAE or the United States.
The average home charging price is $15.50, whilst public fast charging costs $42.
Put simply, this test would produce entirely different results in different locations.
It’s still interesting, though.
And it probably reiterates a point that several car buyers have been trying to make for a while.
Whether somebody should buy an electric car or not still largely depends on several external and personal factors.
For example, there are several areas where public infrastructure isn’t good enough and, with the exception of Tesla, no car brand has its own network yet.
It also depends on what one’s daily commute looks like, whether they can have home charging stations installed or not, and so on.
Still, you can always buy solar panels and fit them to the roof of your car.
Somebody’s already doing that, apparently.