Gadgets Science

How many gallons of gas does it take to charge an iPhone?

Solar iPhone/Cell phone charger
Solar iPhone/Cell phone charger

It’s a fair question.

Web Watch often hears Luddites talk about how battery-operated devices still need to get their energy from somewhere, so we’re not actually saving energy by driving around in our hybrid cars or otherwise relying on battery packs to get us what we need.

Take the iPhone for instance.  It needs energy to recharge its battery so that you can listen to tunes or play Angry Birds.


The answer may surprise you:

According to the experts at ExxonMobile, one gallon of gas is enough to charge an iPhone once per day for 20 years.


It’s all about energy density, not volume.  As those Exxon experts say, a full tank of gas may be about 15+ gallons (depending on your car, of course) – so you’re looking at less than 100 pounds of total energy.

That is enough energy to push your 3,000 lb car for 400 miles at the speed limit.  That’s a lot of energy packed into each gallon of gas.

Now, we’re sure that folks will say that this is just Energy Propaganda put out by the oil companies to talk about how awesome one of their products is.   We say that may be true — but you can’t argue with what they’re trying to say. 

This same report talks about how E85 fuel is less efficient than regular gasoline.  It may have been cheaper to use, and therefore more desirable by consumers, but you would end up buying more of it to travel the same distance.

But with E85 prices about to skyrocket, we definitely need to keep looking at what is the most efficient, cost-effective ways to get from point A to point B.  And if hybrids and battery power is the way to go, then Web Watch is behind that entirely.

Just let us charge our iPhone while we’re at it.