In this paper, we propose an energy-based ant colony optimization algorithm for path planning. Because the shortest path does not guarantee the optimal energy-conserving way, this paper utilizes the ant colony optimization algorithm to acquire the optimal energy-conserving path. For battery-powered electric vehicles, the energy consumption depends on the road condition. Therefore, according to the road condition, the update law with energy pheromone is obtained. Finally, computer simulations and real road experiments of the battery-powered electric vehicle were conducted to verify the efficiency of the proposed method.