US automakers, still working to prod Americans towards electric vehicles (EV), will now focus on improving charging infrastructure and changing-time beliefs. EV sales have lagged in expectations; many electric-vehicle and battery companies have filed for bankruptcy or are fighting to stay afloat. Now the US Department of Energy has unveiled an internet tool to help potential buyers calculate the cost differences between electric and normal vehicles.FUEL, ELECTRIC PRICE COMPARISONAccording to the Detroit News, the US national average eGallon price is $1.14 (R11.53), meaning a typical electric vehicle could travel as far on R11.53 worth of electricity as a similar vehicle could travel on a gallon (3.7 litres) of petrol, the department said. For example: In Michigan, the eGallon price is R14 compared to $3.84 (R38) a gallon for petrol (3.8 litres x R12 = R45).US energy secretary Ernest Moniz said: “People can see petrol prices posted at the corner fuel station but are in the dark about the cost of fuelling an electric vehicle. The eGallon will bring greater transparency to vehicle operating costs and help owners figure out how much they might save by choosing an electric vehicle. "It also shows the low and steady price of fuelling with electricity. Not only can one save on liquid fuel but also on national dependence on oil.”General Motors' director of advanced vehicle commercialisation policy, Britta Gross, praised the effort: “Such simple reinforcing tools and messages are extremely compelling. There’s a complete misunderstanding about that joy of driving (a plug-in hybrid).”80% RECHARGE IN 20MINSGM and BMW announced the new auto industry standard for direct-current fast-charging, the DetNews added. They have worked to ensure the conformity of fast-charge stations by charging pre-production versions of the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark EV. The goal was to have charging stations which EVs from many automakers could use.Testing is under way in Germany to ensure automakers’ EVs conform to the standard, which will allow an 80% charge in only 20 minutes.