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Cost Of Driving With Electricity

Post in 'The Green Room' started by BrotherBart, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Depends on the battery type and location, and how they are used and charged. Exposure to extreme temps will destroy many batteries (typical limits are 120 F. high to -13 F. low). 100k-150k 'seems' to be the typical battery life, but details on specifics are hard to find. Cost is also highly variable, from a few thousand to $14,000 for Toyota Rav4 EV NiMH batteries.

    Battery warranty varies, the 2013 Leaf, 5 years/60k miles, the Prius and Volt are 8 years/100k miles. So beyond 60-100k, you foot the battery bill.

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  2. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I don't think the warranties should be used to compare battery lives. Those are based on economic and buyer acceptance statistics not battery function.
    The drive train warranty in a ICE vehicle may only be 60k miles but we certainly expect our engines nowadays to last far longer than that.

    Granted, when you compare the relatively recent hybrid technologies with efficient ICE technology the cost benefit just isn't there yet without incentives. (Not that petroleum production and supply markets don't already benefit from incentives)

    I think we need to consider other benefits that H/EVs offer such as backup power generation, smart grid storage (V2G), the ability to store power locally rather than on the grid, etc. The idea of using heretofore wasted braking energy for propulsion is a great idea and one now being used in locomotives and elsewhere to increase our overall energy efficiency.

    I think about hybrids sort of like energy efficient light bulbs. The payoff may or may not be there but we've got to give the technology time (and support) to mature. Then we'll reap the benefits (maybe).

    Edit: being able to distribute energy via wire rather than pipeline and tanker is a huge benefit in many ways also. Think road wear, spills, etc.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There are many Prius cars out there with over 200K on their battery. No one really knows how long they'll last, but conservatively I think one can say for the life of the car. The current replacement cost is $2500 for the 2004-current year models and on eBay for half that price. Or you can just replace the bad cell(s) for about $45/cell.
  4. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Semi,
    Agree that warranties are not a good indicator of average life, and that current batteries are likely to go far beyond the warranty period. Toyota formally states that their battery design policy is to make the batteries last the life of the car.

    I do think that some of the hybrid models out now do pay off in a relatively short time time without incentives. The Consumer Reports article linked to above has some models that I don't believe come with any incentives (Civic hybrid, prius, ...) and still show a payoff compared to equivalent gas models in 5 years or less.
    http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/01/hybrids-diesels-do-they-save-money/index.htm

    A couple excerpts:
    Hybrid & diesel payback

    In this analysis, we compared the five-year owner costs of 13 hybrids and seven diesels with those of similar conventional vehicles, using Consumer Reports' new-car owner-cost estimates. The conventional vehicles with which we compared the hybrids and diesels are the closest available alternatives when considering all factors, including performance, safety, and features. Most were compared with a similarly equipped all-gas version from the same model line. For hybrids and diesels that don’t have a direct gasoline counterpart, we chose the most similar model in price and features, from the same automaker where possible or otherwise a direct competitor.
    Cost factors we considered include depreciation, fuel costs, insurance, interest on financing, maintenance and repairs, and sales tax. Of those, depreciation makes up the largest portion, a whopping 48 percent of owner costs in the first five years. We factor in depreciation, assuming that owners trade in their vehicles after five years, a typical ownership period.
    Hybrids vs. similar all-gas models

    After comparing the five-year owner costs of hybrids with those of similarly equipped conventional vehicles, we found many will save you money, even without tax incentives.

    Gary
    woodgeek likes this.
  5. Circus

    Circus Member

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    I've checked the mpg of the baseline models Consumer Reports used. They were the gas models with lowest mpg available.
    You have to be careful when comparing mpg. A friend gets 75 mpg with his 250cc motorcycle while my 750 only gets 45 mpg. When we ride together his 250 works hard and mine barely gets warm reversing the mpg. So if you drive like you have a small engine you'll get mileage like a small engine.
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Gary. I hope I'm wrong and the CR report would seem to support that but I've not always agreed with CR's methods.
    I own a hybrid I bought second-hand and am a big proponent of HEV/EVs in general.
    One thing I noticed when shopping for it was that used hybrid models didn't seem to demand much of a premium over ICE models, at least not nearly as much as a percent as when new. There seems to be a widespread "selling off" of hybrids when they near the end of their warranty period which often ends well beyond CRs 5 year study period. I found this to be the case when I searching for my used Toyota Highlander hybrid. All this leads me to suspect that CR is underestimating depreciation on hybrids.
    I also suspect (but have no proof) that manufacturers are making less profit on hybrids when compared to ICE models and that prices are set artificially low for various reasons. When I look at the extra materials and technology that are included in my Highlander hybrid (3 motor/generators, controller, battery, etc.) its very hard to believe they even made a profit given the premium price paid.

    Again, I hope I'm wrong on every count but I believe that hybrid vehicle technology is not yet quite there as far as competing in an open market with ICE vehicles.

    Of course all this changes the second we start paying a true cost for fossil fuels and really get into the details of life-cycle costs.
  7. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Not meaning to derail my own post but something I found about motorcycles a few years back when I had one:
    According to EPA stats from about 5 years ago, every motorcycle made created more pollution per mile than every car made. This was true even of motorcycles with EFI and catalytic convertors. I would never have suspected this.
  8. Circus

    Circus Member

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    Passenger mile. How often do you see a car with five passengers in it?
  9. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Semi,
    I find that I sometimes don't agree with CR's approach on some of their studies, but it seems to me that from a testing and engineering point of view they take great pains to be accurate. It seems to me that they often show a bit of anti hybrid sentiment in their car reviews, so, I was a bit surprised to see the article I linked to.

    There was another article not long ago that compared 11 hybrids with their non-hybrid cousins and came up with 6 of the hybrids doing better economically than the gas models. Tried to find it, but no luck.

    This is a bit out of the LA Times:

    Prius drives Toyota past 5-million mark in global hybrid sales
    April 17, 2013|By Jerry Hirsch

    Since introducing the first Prius in Japan back in 1997, Toyota Motor Corp. has sold 5 million hybrids worldwide, including 2 million in the U.S., the automaker said Wednesday.
    Toyota said the owners of its hybrids have saved more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline compared with vehicles powered by gasoline only. According to Department of Energy estimates, the hybrid vehicles on the road today save nearly 500 million gallons of petroleum annually in the U.S.
    --------------
    We are on our 2nd Prius, and I just have a hard time picturing us driving anything that does not get 50 mpg or better as our main car. I've been a bit disappointed that the Prius came out more than 10 years ago and their early models were near 50 mpg, and after all this time neither they nor the competition has improved much on this -- most of the competition is not even close, but there does seem to be some sustained effort toward better mpg.

    Gary

  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not sure if that is correct. I like motorcycles a lot, but low pollution is not one of their strengths.

    "Motorcycles were indeed more fuel-efficient than cars and emitted less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, but they emitted far more smog-forming hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, as well as the toxic air pollutant carbon monoxide. For the most recent model year vehicles tested -- from the '00s -- the motorcycle used 28% less fuel than the comparable decade car and emitted 30% fewer carbon dioxide emissions, but it emitted 416% more hydrocarbons, 3,220% more oxides of nitrogen and 8,065% more carbon monoxide.
    The MythBusters' conclusion: "At best, it's a wash. Motorcycles are just as bad for the environment as cars," Savage said on the show. "At worst, they're far worse.""

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/09/mythbusters-motorcycle-emissions.html

    Although a lot less fun to drive, compare a 750cc cycle to the Prius and the Prius will come out seriously better for every emission, and get slightly better gas mileage, with no bugs in the teeth. ::-)

    From the Fed:

    "In fact, motorcycles produce more harmful emissions per mile than a car,
    or even a large SUV. The current federal motorcycle standard for hydrocarbon
    emissions is about 90 times the hydrocarbon standard for today’s
    passenger cars. Although many of today’s motorcycles will actually meet
    the current California standards, the California hydrocarbon standard is
    still 18 to 24 times the current federal passenger car limit, depending on
    the displacement of the motorcycle engine."

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/roadbike/420f03045.pdf

    emissions.JPG

    However, there are some fun alternatives bikes that have no tailpipe. 0-60 in 3 secs! :eek:

    http://www.ecofriend.com/ten-green-motorcycles-full-on-fun-low-on-emissions.html

    home-r-bike-9edc09102a96b621faf4e6aaa7d9beb6.png
  11. Circus

    Circus Member

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    The motorcycle story only highlighted a short coming of mpg comparison. Cycles aren't good or bad. Considering their size, the fuel economy sucks.
    Stop answering an argument I never made.
  12. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I had not considered the used hybrid market. I think a lot of the cheapness from current fleet of used hybrids comes from the tax breaks that they originally had (gone in 2010) as well as potential high cost of long term maintenance. Plug-in hybrids and electric cars still get up to $7500 in tax breaks. That is, if you make enough money to capture the credits and deductions, but not too much that your are disqualified from taking them.

    Overall hybrids remain under 3% of the total car market. Gas and diesel remain the main market share. Similar to solar PV, it remains a tiny fraction of the total market, with or without incentives and tax breaks. Gas remains king.

    As for battery life, I was not using the hybrid/e-car warranty as a battery life estimate, I was just posting it to counter the stat from an earlier post about replacement cost under warranty. Battery life in hybrids and all electric cars is not well reported and seems highly variable, as is the replacement cost. There are many variables.

    As for motorcycles, how did we get off on that tangent? High performance engines, lots of NOX but a lot of fun to ride. I rode about 60k miles on them when I was younger.
  13. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I understood you were saying that pollutant emissions were based on passenger-mile when my understanding was it is based on vehicle miles. I thinking BG understood the same way.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I did, though even that is only correct for urban driving. On the highway and suburban drive the car is better than the motorcycle.

    But it was fun reading up again about the Mission one.
  15. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    The thing that this motorcycle debate make me think is that perhaps for a "green" solution, getting the motorcycles to go electric would perhaps have a better ROI. I have no idea what sort of range electric cycles have though.



    Other things to consider - quiet electric cycles may be nice in the neighborhood, but I wonder if that would significantly compromise rider safety. Folks don't seem to watch out for them enough as it is, imagine if you couldn't hear them on the highway either...

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