Timbario, T., Timbario, T., Laffen, M., and Ruth, M., "Methodology for Calculating Cost-per-Mile for Current and Future Vehicle Powertrain Technologies, with Projections to 2024," SAE Technical Paper 2011-01-1345, 2011, doi:10.4271/2011-01-1345.
Currently, several cost-per-mile calculators exist that can provide estimates of acquisition and operating costs for consumers and fleets. However, these calculators are limited in their ability to determine the difference in cost per mile for consumer versus fleet ownership, to calculate the costs beyond one ownership period, to show the sensitivity of the cost per mile to the annual vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and to estimate future increases in operating and ownership costs. Oftentimes, these tools apply a constant percentage increase over the time period of vehicle operation, or in some cases, no increase in direct costs at all over time. A more accurate cost-per-mile calculator has been developed that allows the user to analyze these costs for both consumers and fleets. Operating costs included in the calculation tool include fuel, maintenance, tires, and repairs; ownership costs include insurance, registration, taxes and fees, depreciation, financing, and tax credits. The calculator was developed to allow simultaneous comparisons of conventional light-duty internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, mild and full hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Additionally, multiple periods of operation, as well as three different annual VMT values for both the consumer case and fleets can be investigated to the year 2024. These capabilities were included since today's “cost to own” calculators typically include the ability to evaluate only one VMT value and are limited to current model year vehicles. The calculator allows the user to select between default values or user-defined values for certain inputs including fuel cost, vehicle fuel economy, manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) or invoice price, depreciation and financing rates.