New Tool Helps Consumers Compare Electric, Traditional Vehicles

New Tool Helps Consumers Compare Electric, Traditional Vehicles

Consumers seeking information about plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles now have a new vehicle purchase guidance tool created by Argonne National Laboratory as a part of an innovative Midwest clean vehicle program.

The consumer tool, called EVolution: Choices for a Smarter Purchase, is designed to help car buyers make informed decisions when purchasing a new vehicle. The tool starts with consumers’ purchase considerations such as purchase price and compares the monetary and environmental benefits of various passenger electric drive vehicles and equivalent conventionally fueled models.

“The new guidance tool helps consumers compare the cost of owning different electric drive powertrain technologies, as well as the environmental impact of these vehicles,” said Yan Zhou, principal environmental transportation analyst for Argonne National Laboratory. “By entering your zip code, your results are customized to show local fuel and electricity prices, vehicle purchase price accounting for incentives, charging availability and commute time to determine cost of ownership.

“The climate where you reside, based on the entered zip code, and your commute time help the tool factor how often you need to charge each type of plug-in electric vehicle,” Zhou said.

“A map showing public chargers by location and type is also provided to assess your potential charging availabilities. At the end of the six steps, you will know the differences in costs, emissions and petroleum consumption between the various types of vehicles you are considering. There is an electric drive powertrain to fit anyone’s driving needs.”

The EVolution Website ( connects to the Alternative Fuels Data Center,, U.S. Energy Information Administration Websites and others in one convenient platform to provide the most current information about electric drive and conventional powertrain types, public charging locations and available incentives.

Argonne National Laboratory designed the research tool as a part of the seven-state Midwest EVOLVE project. Midwest EVOLVE (Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience) is a partnership between the American Lung Association and eight Clean Cities coalitions throughout the Midwest, including South Shore Clean Cities, to educate consumers about the clean-air and performance advantages of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Midwest EVOLVE launched in early 2017 with more than 60 partners, including automakers, utilities, state agencies, municipalities, dealerships and dealer associations.

South Shore Clean Cities will showcase electric vehicles in partnership with Midwest EVOLVE at its Annual Meeting and Awards February 20 at the Blue Chip Stardust Event Center in Michigan City, Indiana. The annual meeting, which draws close to 300 of the top industry leaders and elected officials in the Midwest, celebrates the successes of South Shore Clean Cities members in increasing the use of sustainable vehicles, fuels and energy sources.

The day will include networking opportunities, information about the latest sustainable transportation technologies and more than 40 exhibits, including the latest models of sustainable transportation vehicles. Registration is available through February 16 at

Midwest EVOLVE is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0007743. To learn more, visit or follow on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.


Click to share!