# Cost Of Driving With Electricity

Posted By BrotherBart, Jun 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM

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1. #1

### BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

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2. #2

Jan 26, 2009
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3. #3

### BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

Nov 18, 2005
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I hear ya. Ours is supposed to be nine cents but fully loaded it is 12.6. Of course the more you use the lower the cost per KWH.

4. #4

### StihlHead Guest 2. ```NULL ```

Their calculator is messed up... it says regular gas is 3.06 a gallon here and its 0.06 cents an e-gallon. Cannot be rite.

The national average gas prices is \$3.65 per gallon, and the average cost of an eGallon is \$1.14

Also gas is highly taxed here, whereas electricity is not, so they are coming up with some new taxes for electric vehicles here.

5. #5

### GaryGary Feeling the Heat 2. ```NULL ```

Jul 12, 2010
291
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Loc:
SW Montana
Hi,
Just by way of checking the numbers a bit -- a family member just got a Chevy Volt, and doing some reading about it, it looks like it takes 11 KWH to charge it and it goes 38 miles (on average) on that charge. If the charger is 90% efficient(?), then it takes 11/0.9 = 12.2 KWH to charge it. So, at 12 cents a KWH, that's \$1.46 for 38 miles, or 3.8 cents per mile.

Same car get about 37 mpg combined on premium gas, so if gas is \$4.30 per gallon (in CA), the price per mile is 11.6 cents per mile.

So, 11.6/3.8 = 3.0 times more expensive for the gas car in CA -- the calculator gives a factor of 2.6. Either way, pretty nice. Of course, its going to vary with gas and electricity prices in different locations.

She loves the Volt -- partly because it electric, but mostly because it just a really nice car to drive.

Gary

6. #6

### begreen Mooderator 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

Nov 18, 2005
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Sounds like it couldn't get the right location. That's not what I got when checking the link from my phone. In Seattle it listed cost of gas at \$3.85 and egallon at \$0.86. With high gas prices and reasonable electricity the numbers look good.

7. #7

### Circus Member 2. ```NULL ```

Jan 11, 2013
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False Economy

Chevy Volt comparison found that the breakeven period is 26.6 years (420,000 miles) versus a Chevrolet Cruze Eco, assuming it was regularly driven farther than its battery-only range allows, and with gasoline priced at US\$3.85 per gallon. Assuming 15,000 miles per year

If the battery in my laptop is any indication, the batteries will need replacing every several years.Guessing \$5000 to \$10,000.

The clean air benefit is mostly local because, depending on the source of the electricity used to recharge the batteries, air pollutant emissions are shifted to the location of the plants
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt

8. #8

### begreen Mooderator 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

Nov 18, 2005
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False assumptions too. Most Volt owners drive within the range of the car. Many report partially filling the tank once every 3-6 months. And ROI is not all one gets a car for. It's transportation and for many ride quality, handling, image, etc.. You don't buy a BMW or Jag for ROI. The battery replacement cycle and cost estimates are similar to those for the Prius when we bought it. They turned out completely false. Edmunds was slamming the car in 2006. Now it is the darling of Edmunds, Consumer Reports and taxicab companies in most cities. Our 7 yr old battery is doing well.

The Volt has some distinct advantages that make it a unique car on the market. One can drive it on battery only for a 20 mi round trip, yet head off to the hills without worry of a lack of charging stations. It is particularly good for where an electric car is desired, yet there are frequent, several day long power outages. My only gripe with the car is that they could have done a better job on the interior design.

9. #9

### Circus Member 2. ```NULL ```

Jan 11, 2013
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Loc:
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There are a lot easier ways to save fuel. It would be easy without special interests. I have four vehicles ranging from a 40 mpg Spitfire (icon) to a 10 mpg PU. I never understood why the insurance and licensing costs four times more. I'd save \$800 every year if I drove only the PU. Even with the higher fuel costs.​
Oh well, using less fuel makes me happy despite being a chump by doing so.

10. #10

### Grisu Minister of Fire 2. ```NULL ```

Nov 1, 2010
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Not untrue because just looking at the fuel neglects all the other costs associated with a car.

The flaws with those assumptions have already been exposed and other studies come to different values: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt#Operating_cost_and_payback_period
In the end a lot will depend upon personal driving habits. For me the economy would probably be a wash. We use ~350 to 400 gallons of gas a year in a not very fuel efficient car (~23 mpg). My current savings would therefore be \$700 to 800 a year with a \$2 difference between a gallon of gas and an e-gallon. However, if I would buy a more fuel efficient gasoline car at e. g. 30 mpg instead I would only save about \$600 per year putting my payback way beyond the 10 year range. Plus, I don't like sedans as the Volt for a family car. I am looking at the VW Sportwagen TDI, the Prius V or the Ford C-Max as potential next cars; all getting 40 to 45 mpg. If it would be available here I would also take a hard look at the new Mazda 6 wagon (30/40 mpg). http://www.autoblog.com/2013/02/21/2014-mazda6-skyactiv-d-wagon/

Laptop batteries are discharged to low levels quite frequently while car-hybrid batteries are kept in a much narrower charge band. Thus, they last much longer. In addition, the goal must be to get to truly electric cars at some point. Those have less maintenance (no change of oil, air filter, spark plugs etc.) and wear and tear to the engine which may partially compensate for the need to replace the batteries if that ever has to be done during the lifetime of the car.

Not if the person owning a Volt also puts a PV system on their roof. That is the idea behind converting cars to electric AND sourcing the electricity from renewables like wind, solar, hydro. Both have to happen gradually over time. Let's face it: We are happily burning away one of the most precious natural resources to humankind which has a finite supply and we have no good substitute yet especially considering its scale, versatility and energy density. If we do not want that our children and grandchildren will piss on our graves we should start acting like responsible adults that consider there will be a tomorrow even if it means some inconvenience to us.

11. #11

### Jags Moderate Moderator 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

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It is true...I am for sale for the right price.

12. #12

### StihlHead Guest 2. ```NULL ```

Double double false, and no take backs! Most data show that the batteries last about 100k miles, at best. Batteries do fail over time and they are really expensive to replace (in the many thousands of dollars). And if you think that the WHOPPING 0.04% solar PV is being used to electrify these cars, you are living in some kind of fantasy dreamland. Again, they only make reasonable economic sense if you account for the tax rebates and utility refunds (on both the hybrid/electric cars and solar PV systems), but the total cost to society is higher and therefor has to be considered if you really want to save the planet from human self destruction.

Hybrids and electric cars are shown in most all economic models to have an extremely long breakeven point, typically outside the range of intended life of the vehicles. Even with the tax rebates. If you want to make a fashion statement, or want to drive in the commuter lane alone, then great. Most people do not have the money that it takes to buy these vehicles, or it is not an economically viable solution for those that do. In many cases the planet is better off with you driving an older car because you are using an existing hunk of metal and plastic that does not need a ton of energy and resources to produce. I have a Tundra PU that gets 16 MPG, but it also has 200k miles on it, and I can haul stuff out here in the boonies in it, and drive in deep snow in 4WD which I need to do in winter months in the Cascades.

From a user perspective, I have been comparing the real costs of hybrid/electric cars to higher efficiency equivalent model gas engine cars for that past 10 years or so. I use \$5 a gallon for gas as a comparison, as that is the highest price in the past several years (in CA), and where average gas prices are heading. Even at that price, the hybrids tend to break even well above 300,000 miles. Like PV, the breakeven point with hybrid/electric cars is many many years out, almost always over 15 years. To say that breakeven in 15 years is cost effective today is rather misleading.

As for thinking that humans are going to all of a sudden act responsibly? Good luck with that dream. If you really want to save the planet (or save the existing one that supports our form of life), stop the insane rate of human reproduction. If that does not happen, nothing will stop the 10 billion or so humans from using up every resource that there is in the next few hundred years, and then... that's it. Lights out for this species. No amount of conservation, PV arrays, electric cars, or anything else will save us from ourselves. GW is already having a massive impact on us, and most of us are still in denial about that.

13. #13

### StihlHead Guest 2. ```NULL ```

Oh, and electric cars have been around for a long long time, BTW. About as long as internal combustion engine cars. They used to have electric charging stations around NYC over 100 years ago for a small fleet of battery powered cars. So if you think that this technology is new, or is going to be some giant leap into the future, it is not.

14. #14

### begreen Mooderator 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

Nov 18, 2005
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The tech is not new, but it certainly has advanced a lot. Just look at the speed, range, features and safety of a modern electric car in comparison to an old Baker electric. Progress is good.

15. #15

### fossil Accidental Moderator 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

Sep 30, 2007
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Oh well, then, if it's all just the same as it was 100 years ago and it didn't work then...why bother? The hell with it.

16. #16

### BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

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MishMouse likes this.
17. #17

### Grisu Minister of Fire 2. ```NULL ```

Nov 1, 2010
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In the future:

18. #18

### wazzu Member 2. ```NULL ```

Oct 30, 2009
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Yea, it would be nice but damn one charge wound't even get me to work and back home again.

19. #19

### begreen Mooderator 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

Nov 18, 2005
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Doesn't matter, you would still benefit from the gas saved and complete your trip home on the built-in genny.

20. #20

### GaryGary Feeling the Heat 2. ```NULL ```

Jul 12, 2010
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Loc:
SW Montana
Hi,

I'd like to see the studies that show that show the battery packs typically last for only 100K miles -- they are typically guaranteed for at least that.
I've seen reports on Prius taxi cabs with 300K on the original batteries.
A new set of batteries on a Prius is about \$2K -- not small, but not out of line with other major repairs -- we recently had a friend with a Honda Pilot just like ours pay \$4K for a new transmission at less than 100K miles.

This list from Consumer reports shows many electrics and hybrids that save money in 5 years or less. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/01/hybrids-diesels-do-they-save-money/index.htm

Beyond the lower cost of ownership, hybrids clearly save many tons of CO2 emissions over their life compared to non-hybrids. Electric cars also save on CO2 emissions in most parts of the country depending on how dirty the generation is. The move to NG is making the electricity generation system cleaner and improving the emissions savings for electric vehicles.

Gary

21. #21

### begreen Mooderator 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

Nov 18, 2005
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Here's a recent report on the value of pevs.
http://www.epri.com/abstracts/Pages/ProductAbstract.aspx?ProductId=000000003002001728

"With current incentives and prices, financial factors should not be a deterrent to a PEV purchase for most buyers.
The LEAF is less expensive than competing options on average, but has a wide variation in value for different drivers, suggesting that battery electric vehicles will require more careful consideration when making a purchase decision.
The sensitivities suggest that increases and decreases in gasoline prices will have a significant impact on the relative costs of PEVs, but that state incentives or rebates and equivalent vehicle price changes will have an even larger impact on cost tradeoffs."

22. #22

### mywaynow Minister of Fire 2. ```NULL ```

Dec 13, 2010
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The only fair comparison will add in artificial finanicial factors like "incentives and support".

23. #23

### Grisu Minister of Fire 2. ```NULL ```

Nov 1, 2010
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Better try and fail than not having tried at all. At least, I will be able to look my kids in the eyes when they ask me what our generation was thinking.

24. #24

### StihlHead Guest 2. ```NULL ```

Seemingly from your replies, you all believe in a massive shift to battery cars to replace the existing fleet of gas engine cars? Then we can just keep going in this endless growth pattern forever? Technology will save us, and our addiction to the automobile? Amusing.

Seemingly from this reply, someone is in a funk. I did not read this thread as a solution to all the earth's problems at all, nor did it seem to be implied. Mr. Fusion and anti-gravity are going to do that.

25. #25

### StihlHead Guest 2. ```NULL ```

There are many gas engine cars that get nearly the same MPG as hybrids. Also the range limits off all-electric cars are... very limiting.

As for NG, it is all the rage today. Except fracking will likely damage the North American fresh water supply. And NG is not unlimited, but we are getting hooked on it fast. And it produces CO2, though at a lower rate. Also, what do you think we will do with all DIRTY fuel that we have? The US is the Saudi Arabia of coal and we have new large oil fields in the Dakotas and Montana. We will just export it and re-import the CO2, methane and NOX in the wind from overseas. We do not control our destiny here in the US, and we are not isolated from the rest of the world, much as we would like to think otherwise.