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Article on costs of EV compared to ICE

Not sure which forum this belongs in but this seemed the most appropriate...

So, I woke up this morning and found the following news article in my feed: Study compares electric vehicle charge costs vs. gas — and results were surprising In it, it basically says that even just the refueling part of an EV is more than the refueling part of an ICE car. I'm still waiting for the MYLR to be delivered to me but I've been tracking the mileage on my current ICE cars and my calculations show that even with my best mileage car, the MYLR refueling costs would be about half of the ICE.

So, knowing that USA Today (where I originally read the article) likely glossed over a lot of details, I decided to read the full report: https://www.andersoneconomicgroup.c...10/EVtransition_FuelingCostStudy_10-21-21.pdf I haven't done the research on who actually funded this "analysis" but I have a strong suspicion that it was done by an ICE manufacturer that is far behind the competitors on transitioning to EV.

Here are some gems:
Fueling comparisons between EVs and ICE vehicles must account for all costs. The cost of fueling EVs and ICE vehicles include the cost of fuel (or electricity), as well as the cost of pump or charger, and road taxes levied on drivers. Most of these are bundled into the retail price of gasoline for ICE vehicles. The comparable cost of fueling an EV include the following five categories:
1. Commercial and residential electric power costs: Commercial chargers often impose per kWh fees that are double or triple
that of residential electric power costs. (1*)
2. EV registration taxes: In many states, EV drivers need to pay additional auto registration taxes for the construction and maintenance of roads.
3. Cost of chargers and their installation: EV buyers typically receive a Level 1 (L1) charger along with their auto purchase. These typically use a standard home electrical outlet and pro- vide only a trickle charge for an EV. Sellers of EVs typically encourage the purchase of an optional Level 2 (L2) charger. Many owners that rely primarily on home-charging, purchase
and install an L2 charger that uses a special electrical circuit. (2*)
4. Deadhead miles: EV drivers incur costs of driving miles to a commercial charger for the sole purpose of charging. By com- parison, there are over 100,000 gas stations in the US.
5. Time costs of charging: EV drivers also spend significant time finding and driving to a commercial charger, setting up the charger, and waiting for the charging process to complete. By comparison, finding a gas station and refueling the vehicle is relatively quick.
(1*) These costs also include session fee, network subscription costs and charging efficiency losses (defined as a fraction of power delivered to the EV battery to the power transmitted by the charger).
(2*) Installation of an L2 charger often necessitates a home-renovation project. We estimate that installing a 240V power outlet with circuit breaker, and pur- chasing a home L2 charger costs about $1600. See “Step 2: Calculating direct fuel cost per year” on page 24.

From the first footnote, it would feel that they are deliberately trying to avoid mentioning the Tesla supercharging network, but the "analysis" actually mentions Tesla quite often. I guess they just assume that Tesla owners would avoid using the supercharging network and instead use the ones that charge more. Let's note though that they are adding all of these hidden fees in order to inflate the price of commercial charging.

From the second footnote, we can see that costs are greatly inflated. In my VHCOL state, I can get a 14-50 outlet installed for $600. This is a trend that continues throughout the "analysis". If it's something that can somehow cost the EV owner more, they will include the cost and at an inflated rate.

Here are the "Direct Monetary Costs" for EV vs ICE
EVICE
Commercial kWh rate, session charges, chargingIncluded in the retail price of gasoline/diesel fuel
EV highway registration taxesIncluded in the retail price of gasoline/diesel fuel
Cost of charger and installation (emphasis mine)Included in the retail price of gasoline/diesel fuel
Deadhead milesDeadhead miles (very small)

"Time Costs"
EVICE
Time to connect and disconnect a charger, sync mobile app with charger and make payment, and wait for the charging process to complete (a)Time to connect and disconnect a gas pump, sync mobile app (for some users), make payment, and wait for the gas to fill
Frequent trips to a commercial charger (emphasis mine)Less frequent trips to a gas station

So, this "analysis" is showing that there are people who install a 14-50 outlet at home at a greatly inflated cost, but then decide to not use it, and instead make "frequent trips to a commercial charger". In addition, these people do this even though it is apparently difficult for them to find a commercial charger and they have to travel a long way (the "deadhead" miles) to do this. And they do it even though the cost of commercial power is "double or triple their residential rate".

They next have an analysis of the expected cost for driving an ICE car vs an EV over a year (12000 miles) and the calculate the cost for driving 100 miles (just dividing the first cost by 120). They also have an analysis of how much time is spent. I'm including them both in the table below as it highlights what they mean by "mostly home charging".

Entry ICEMid-Price ICELuxury ICEMid-Priced EVLuxury EVLuxury EV
commercial fuelingcommercial fuelingcommercial fuelingMostly commercial chargingMostly commercial chargingMostly home charging
Per year (12000 miles)103010301512155418621698
Per 100 miles8.588.5812.6012.9515.5214.15
Hours spent fueling per month1 or less1 or less1 or less75.754.5

So, the person who is mostly charging at commercial chargers will spend 5.75 hours per month at the charger (no idea if this number is accurate), but the person who is "mostly home charging" spends 4.5 hours (roughly 80% of 5.75) also charging at commercial chargers? In other words, "mostly home charging" means that only 20% of the charging is done at home.

Later in the article, we get this...
Note on “Free” Chargers. Some municipalities, colleges, and businesses offer “free” charging for a limited amount of time in specific places. These services are often combined with parking, offered as a convenience to shoppers, or provided as a benefit to employees or visitors. We recognize that these involve a cost that must be paid, and which may be embedded in property taxes, tuition, consumer prices, or investor burdens. We price them here using commercial rates.

Right... your "free" charger that work provides you is actually calculated as a cost to you. Never mind that property taxes, tuition, etc are also paid for by ICE owners. I.e., they don't just add some random charge to the ICE costs to account for property taxes, tuition, etc. Instead, they just add a charge to only the EV owner. And, as I noted earlier, they have tried to inflate the cost of commercial charges.

Found this in the appendix... The numbers don't seem self-consistent...

Mid-Priced EVLuxury EVLuxury EV
Mostly commercial chargingMostly commercial chargingMostly home charging
fractions: commercial share per unit of fuel0.70.70.4
fractions: home share per unit of fuel0.30.30.6
No. home charging sessions per month252525
Number of commercial charger/gas station trips per month864

So, all EV charging people are charging up every night (the 25 sessions per month) and yet they are still going to commercial charging stations? The "mostly home charging" folks are going once per week to commercial chargers and the "mostly commercial charging folks" are going 1.5-2 times per week? Something seems off... Let's see if we can calculate what that is...

The article is based on 12000 miles per year, which is 1000 miles per month. The "mostly home charger" is getting 40% of those miles from commercial chargers, so 400 miles of charge per month from commercial chargers. Those are split up over 4 charges, so the "mostly home charger" is going to a commercial charging station and filling up for 100 miles. Clearly this isn't a full charge for any of the cars mentioned in the article. Let's assume that a "full charge" represents 200 actual miles (e.g., the MYLR driver can safely expect 200 miles of actual range). This means that the driver likely went on a trip longer than 200 miles and filled up another 100 miles in the middle of the trip. So, we could guess that the driver got 125 miles of charge from home and then filled up another 100 miles at a charging station for a total of 250 miles of charge. (Note that the driver would still have 75 miles of charge remaining - maybe that gets used during the week between long road trips). The problem with this analysis is that it shows about 300 miles of charging per week, or 1200 per month. So, that's mathematically impossible.

Instead, let's assume the "mostly home charger" does one long trip per month and that represents all of the commercial charging. So, the driver uses 200 miles from home charging and then charges for 400 miles on the road for a total of 600 miles. That leaves 400 miles for the rest of the month (again, only 1000 miles total per month). Assuming this long trip was over a weekend and a couple of days, this leaves roughly 25 days left for the normal driving. That comes out to an average of 16 miles per day of regular driving. Does 16 miles per day seem like "average" normal driving? That seems incredibly low based on my calculations.

I just don't see how any of the "analysis" makes sense. Are people actually charging up 4 times per month at commercial charging stations? It also lists the cost of charging up as 43 cents per Kwh at a charging station. Is that what people are actually paying?

Then there are the obvious flaws with the "analysis" in that they try to get an "all-in" cost of the EV by including things like installing an outlet and amortizing that over 5 years but not including the extra maintenance of an ICE car when getting an "all-in" cost on that. However, they don't include rebates or other incentives (e.g., I don't pay sales tax on an EV) when calculating an "all-in" cost of the EV. And... when considering the cost of the outlet, what's the point of amortizing over 5 years? If they trade in the car and buy a new one, do they need to buy a new outlet? Worse... they assume that the "mostly commercial charger" will get a regular home outlet for the cost of $600. Again, who is paying an extra $1000 to go form a normal 15A circuit to a 14-50?
 
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nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
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United States
Worse... they assume that the "mostly commercial charger" will get a regular home outlet for the cost of $600. Again, who is paying an extra $1000 to go form a normal 15A circuit to a 14-50?

Or that they assume L1 costs $600. How? Every EV INCLUDES a L1 connector AND it plugs into a regular 110v outlet. Where is the $600 going? Also funny how 'mostly' charging at home was 60%. Surprised they didn't make it 51% to fit the definition of 'mostly'... the real number is nearly 90%.

They're not even trying anymore. Most people just read the headline.
 
Or that they assume L1 costs $600. How? Every EV INCLUDES a L1 connector AND it plugs into a regular 110v outlet. Where is the $600 going? Also funny how 'mostly' charging at home was 60%. Surprised they didn't make it 51% to fit the definition of 'mostly'... the real number is nearly 90%.

They're not even trying anymore. Most people just read the headline.
Right, that's what I was trying to get at... They assume that all EV buyers won't have an outlet accessible to them so they need to install one. A person who is expecting to be mostly using commercial charging will pay an electrician $600 to get a regular 110v outlet installed. They won't get a 14-50 installed because the same electrician will charge 1600 for that. Now, to be fair, maybe some people would need to get an upgraded panel to get the 14-50 outlet, but I'm not sure if that would cost an extra $1000.

For my scenario, I already have a 110v outlet in my garage, so the cost of L1 is 0. To get a 14-50, it's $600. The cost of that would be amortized over the lifetime of my house. Also, there is a 30% tax rebate for that installation (which they conveniently ignored). Even if I got the HPWC, that comes out to a total of $700 (electrician will charge 500, HPWC is 500, and 30% rebate).
 

nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
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Screen Shot 2021-10-24 at 4.35.10 PM.png
 

youker

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Aug 23, 2021
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tg27

Member
Mar 24, 2019
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NY, NY
I read this report and most of the 'fine print'. It seemed that they were 'trying' to be reasonable and I think they were EXCEPT for their assumptions. As a 2021 Model 3 LR owner who almost always charges at home with 120 volts (yes, one of those), I come out way below their Report costs. We're under 10 cents/Kw and it takes almost no time to plug in and unplug (their cost of charging 'work' time), so I come up with a cost/12,000 miles that is less than 1/2 of what they calculate. Their commercial charging rate is way high (never above 35 cents/KW and usually less) and their deadhead driving to a charge site of 10 miles RT is a little crazy. Usually much less on our cross country road trip last month. And an assumption of only 60% home charging for a mostly home charging person? But they are right to include state taxes on EV (to pay for road work) and efficiency losses at the charger. Someone needs to do an alternate analysis.
 

nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
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Someone needs to do an alternate analysis.

Done ;) They also took efficiency losses into account twice as the Car and Driver article pointed out, 4.2 and 3.3 miles/kWh is energy taken from the grid NOT energy used by the battery. Which I did not include so the cost per 100 miles is actually closer to $4.50 than $5.

But I'm fairly confident the only thing they were 'trying' to do was reach the conclusion that EVs are more expensive than ICE. Generally speaking the conclusion should come AFTER the facts not before.

 
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Alan J

Member
Jun 17, 2019
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Done ;) They also took efficiency losses into account twice as the Car and Driver article pointed out, 4.2 and 3.3 miles/kWh is energy taken from the grid NOT energy used by the battery. Which I did not include so the cost per 100 miles is actually closer to $4.50 than $5.

But I'm fairly confident the only thing they were 'trying' to do was reach the conclusion that EVs are more expensive than ICE. Generally speaking the conclusion should come AFTER the facts not before.
Articles like this are a lot of rubbish and not worth your time reading them, they have clearly been sponsored by an ICE Manufacturer and have reached a conclusion before they even put pen to paper. In my personal experience I've owned a M3 for well over 2 years, have driven 14,000 miles and it's cost me about £25 because I have access to free Public Charging, in an ICE I would have spend that in a week, did they mention that ?
 
If a person is used to paying $40,000.00 plus for a vehicle, IE: Model 3, ICE or not, then yes, the Tesla saves them money. But if a person is used to buying an ICE vehicle for say $$25,000.00 tot $30,000.00 then the payback is so far out there then it does not pay for its self in fuel savings. But is saving money the main reason for folks buying a Tesla, can't answer this. I bought a 2016 Model X P90DL for $60,000.00 with 41,000 miles on it. I sold a Passat TDI for $20,000.00 so owed $40,000.00 and be truthful, I could have bought a lot of diesel for that $40,000.00. To put this into perspective, I have the original window sticker the the original buyer paid $152,950.00 in 2016 and I am sure they didn't pay just under $153,000.00 for the X to save on fuel and maintenance. So this is not the reason I bought it, it is clean and I am lucky to live in a state where the majority of our power is clean hydro, one Nuclear plant and one Nat Gas plant that is only fired up for high demands. One more things un until this Model X we drove mostly diesels and have gotten 300,000 to 400,000 on all of them with just normal maintenance on them, and it helps that I can do the routine stuff, so they lasted a very long time for me. But I love the Tesla and it is nice to not be paying for fuel anymore and we have not seen any noticeable change in our power usage or bill by plugging in the Tesla every evening at home, but it helps that our power is pretty cheap.
 

DblOSmith

Member
Jun 29, 2021
241
174
Missouri
I read this report and most of the 'fine print'. It seemed that they were 'trying' to be reasonable and I think they were EXCEPT for their assumptions. As a 2021 Model 3 LR owner who almost always charges at home with 120 volts (yes, one of those), I come out way below their Report costs. We're under 10 cents/Kw and it takes almost no time to plug in and unplug (their cost of charging 'work' time), so I come up with a cost/12,000 miles that is less than 1/2 of what they calculate. Their commercial charging rate is way high (never above 35 cents/KW and usually less) and their deadhead driving to a charge site of 10 miles RT is a little crazy. Usually much less on our cross country road trip last month. And an assumption of only 60% home charging for a mostly home charging person? But they are right to include state taxes on EV (to pay for road work) and efficiency losses at the charger. Someone needs to do an alternate analysis.
Same. I use a 120 also. takes about 20 seconds to get out the cable and plug in. 20 seconds to take it out when I leave in the morning, and electricity is only 7c/kW.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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Be aware when traveling the supercharger rates have exploded. We just traveled from TN to Michigan and it cost more to travel in a EV the a ICE

Almost every single time someone says this, the ICE vehicle they start using as a "comparison" gets 40-50 MPG, while driving (in your case) model 3 Performance.

I have yet to see this be actually borne out with math with an "equivalent" type car being used.
 
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ArchEtech

Member
Nov 22, 2021
139
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Iowa
The supercharger costs have gone up. Let’s not pretend it’s not ridiculous. I think there was a huge increase in the last two weeks too. It went up everywhere, because of Tesla preparing to allow all other EV to charge at the superchargers. That’s what I read.

Now does it cost more than an ICE? Well if your comparing the more fuel efficient, cheap, boring ICE vehicle, ya it might be cheaper. Comparing it to a nice sized, well performing comfortable mid sized sedan that gets at best 24mpg……I doubt that ICE vehicle is cheaper than the EV.

Supercharger pricing has become stupid though, and it discourages using the car as a regular road trip car to be honest. Bait and switch. Just wait, in 10 years after being manipulated into way more EVs on the road, it will go up even more.
 

nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
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Supercharger pricing has become stupid though, and it discourages using the car as a regular road trip car to be honest. Bait and switch. Just wait, in 10 years after being manipulated into way more EVs on the road, it will go up even more.

More competition tends to favor lower prices not higher...

I do think we'll increasingly see pricing adjustments to increase usage factors. Fast charging during peak hours SHOULD be outrageously expensive. It will be interesting to see how successful Teslas free supercharging hours for the holiday weekend was.
 

GPinSD

New Member
Nov 12, 2021
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San Diego
Ya, that article is total BS. I have a MYLR on order (delivery Oct 2022, whats up with that :() I currently own a 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid and average just over 40 MPG. I live in San Diego. Right now the cheapest gas you can find is $4.40/gal. SDGE's lowest super off-peak rate plan is a flat $16/month plus $.09/KWH. San Diego is one of the highest peak markets in the country averaging about $.35/KWH. So to drive 1000 mile per month would cost (1000/40)*4.4= $110 on gas. Using 3.5 miles/KWH, to drive that same 1000 miles and charging at super off-peak rates would cost $16+((1000/3.5)*.09)=$42

San Diego's grid is very clean with lots of solar, wind and natural gas. I'm purchasing the Tesla as my part to help the environment (and the fun driving experience) but the much lower fuel and maintenance costs are a bonus.
 
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