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 |  Jul 29 2011, 1:00 PM

A new Harvard study has found that electric vehicles won’t be accepted by the American public until gas hits $4.50 per gallon. The study also found that surprisingly, over the life of the car, plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt cost $5,377 more than gas powered cars. The story is the same for the Nissan Leaf which is $4,819 more expensive.

The aim of the study was to determine if Americans will buy electric cars and the study concluded that the answer was “yes-but only if the electric vehicles are competitive with conventional cars on cost, range and fueling convenience.”

The U.S Energy Information administration is predicting that gas in 2012 will cost around $3.65 per gallon and that $4.50 per gallon is not a likelihood in the near future.

The study was released just before President Obama is to outline higher fuel economy standards. Ultimately, the standards are expected to reach 54.5 mpg by 2025. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the following on the White House website, ”This program, which builds on the historic agreement achieved by this administration for model years 2012-’16, will result in significant cost savings for consumers at the pump, dramatically reduce oil consumption, cut pollution and create jobs,”.

[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]