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Old 04-24-2011, 07:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Electric Vehicles Too Expensive?

One of the big knocks on EVs is that they are too expensive. Yes they are more expensive up front. But the reality is that for many people they will save money over the life of the vehicle. Depending on your annual mileage, your cost for electricity, gasoline costs and mpg of a comparison vehicles the savings can be significant.

[attachment=0:2zl4lds6]FUEL SAVINGS.pdf[/attachment:2zl4lds6]

The numbers represent fuel savings to drive electric. These numbers are after I pay for the electricity. I used a figure of 30kw/100 miles which is what I have averaged over the first 5k miles in my Chevy Volt. I assumed gas @ 3.85/gallon. Electricity at the National Average of .11cents/kwh.

I compared to three cars. The car I had before, which was a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder that averages 18 mpg. A 2012 Ford Focus which gets a combined mpg of 34. And a Toyota Prius with 50 mpg.

I often hear the argument I could buy a Prius for 23k and come out ahead of the Volt. Actually, if you spec a Prius with all of the options of the Volt, you will find that it costs $34.5k. For the Volt, after the tax credit I paid $37.2k, for a difference of 2.7k. I average between 20k and 30k miles/year. Two kids heavy into sports, what can I say. So for me, within 2 to 3 years I will have saved "just in gas" enough to justify the price premium.

"Just in gas" because in a BEV such as the Ford Focus there is no need for oil changes, spark-plugs, starter motor, mufflers, tail pipes, O2 sensors or oil and air filters,etc. Ford has estimated that this will save $1200 over the life of the vehicle. I would say $1200 just in parts is conservative, and much more if you include the labor to do all the work.

Even compared to the most fuel efficient vehicle around, the Prius, if I can get 200k out of the EV I will save $8800. More importantly for me, I will substantially reduce dollars going out of this country to buy oil. I can assure you those dollars will most likely end up at Dick's Sporting Goods to buy the latest overpriced bat.

There are people who still purchase incandescent bulbs because they just "ain't buying" that a compact fluorescent (cfl) saves money over the life of the bulb. In fact there will be people who would buy incandescent until there aren't any on the shelves. For them considering the cost of something over the life of the unit does not compute, but if you think closely about the costs involved and how you drive many people will find an EV represents real cost savings over the life of the vehicle.

If you would like to compute your own cost savings compared to a vehicle of your choosing Coda has a nice online calculator that can be found at:

http://www.codaautomotive.com/electric- ... alculator/



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File Type: pdf FUEL SAVINGS.pdf (19.8 KB, 58 views)
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Electric Vehicles Too Expensive?

My calculations show with the assumptions of about 8% depreciation, gas costs variable and electricity at $0.11/KW that a $15,000 car with 35 mpg vs a $33,000 EV (-$7500 tax credit) would have same annual costs when gas is about $3.80/gal. The EV automobile will have net savings when ever gas is either above $3.80/gal or the initial costs of the alternative ICE vehicle is greater than $15,000 or gets less than 35 mpg. Due to the higher cost of the Chevy Volt vs a standard Prius, gas would have to get close to $7.00 in order to have comparable estimated annual costs to the Prius.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Electric Vehicles Too Expensive?

Certainly you can buy a 15k car, and make the assessment that EV x will not pay for itself in operating savings. However, I don't think that is comparing apples to apples. The Volt, for example, has been compared by many to the BMW 5 series, in the way it handles and the conveniences available.

And yes there are 23k Prii available. However, if you equip the Prius as the Volt is equipped, one will find that the Prius costs very close to 35k.

Correction. I just went to Edmunds and equipped a Prius comparable to the Volt. Before I was pricing 2010 models. With current 2011 Prii the price is substantially higher. Try $38,963.

http://www.edmunds.com/toyota/prius/201 ... &trim=five

Seems my $37,200 (after tax credit) Volt is paying for itself on day one.



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Old 04-27-2011, 07:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Electric Vehicles Too Expensive?

I was actually agreeing with "Charged Up". If you are in the market for an upscale vehicle, there is no question annual costs will be lower with a Volt. But if you are in the market for "transportation"
then most existing and future EV's with capital costs of $30,000 to $35,000 will have competitive annual costs to a $15,000 compact achieving about 35 mpg when gas costs exceed $3.80/gal! Thus with future gas prices sure to be higher EV's ARE DEFINITELY NOT TOO EXPENSIVE!
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