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Cost Comparison EVs vs ICE

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by wdolson, May 7, 2016.

  1. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I was thinking about the cost per KWh and per mile between gasoline and BEVs. Gasoline has between 32 and 34 KWh per gallon, which makes it one of the densest energy fuels there is. The EPA uses 33.7 KWh per gallon for MPG equivalent calculations, so I used that in my calculations.

    In energy cost per KWh, gasoline is currently cheaper than electricity, even here in Washington State where it's only $0.08/KWh. Because electric vehicles are so much more efficient than ICE, the cost per mile for the least efficient EV at $0.16/KWh is cheaper per mile than even a 50 MPG gasoline car at $2.00 a gallon.

    In places where the cost of electricity is much higher like Hawaii, EVs aren't as economical when gasoline is cheap. Of course if you can put in solar in a place where it's expensive and your only cost of electricity is the original expense for the system.

    Anyway, I thought some people might find the chart interesting. Energy_Cost_Comparison.jpg
     
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  2. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Obviously a lot depends on which ICE you are comparing to and how much you drive. If your ICE cars were like mine - 14-15 mpg and requiring 91 octane in a high-price gas state like CA, and you drive 30,000 miles per year - even an $80,000 Tesla is a money saving device. Hypothesizing a $3 per gallon long-term gas price, and my current rate of $0.11 / kwhr, I calculate that over an 8 year ownership period my Tesla will save just over $50,000 in fuel and oil changes compared to the ICE it replaced.
     
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  3. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Yes, different people will get different break even points, but by looking at the cost per mile it gives you an idea if a BEV is actually cheaper or not to run. In places where electricity is very expensive, when gas prices are low, the ICE might be cheaper. For example if you have a car that gets better than 25 MPG, if gas prices are $2.50 a gallon, and you live with electricity rates at $.30/KWh, it's cheaper to drive the ICE.

    If you have access to cheap electricity like Washington State, it's always cheaper to drive an EV unless gas prices plunged to levels we haven't seen in decades. Of course if you have a solar array, it's always cheaper to have an EV too.

    I don't even want to look at the break even point for cost of ownership for me. I work at home, so it's probably something like 50 years. From that perspective, this is a very dumb purchase.
     
  4. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I think you are leaving out the very important efficiency part of the equation. Using the 33.7 conversion an electric car gets 89 to 120 MPGe. An ICE is lucky to get over 40 MPG. An EV can run over 80% wall to wheel efficiency where an ICE is about 25%
     
  5. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    If you look at the chart, the whole thing is about efficiency. A 50 MPG car is 0.66 KWh/Mi and the more inefficient BEVs are under 0.40 KWh/Mi. Many cars are over 1 KWh/Mi.
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    And that assumes the 50 mpg car actually gets 50 mpg. The real issue is: Is saving money the only reason you're purchasing? Energy cost is just the icing on the cake.
     
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  7. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Missing from many discussions is the time factor involved with the routine servicing and repair of ICE vehicles.

    When I take our remaining ICE in for service, I need to arrange for a ride home, or wait, or walk home (it is only 4 miles, so no big.) Then, reverse when the car is ready. I work from home like wdolson. But it can be worse for someone who works for an employer. He/she arrives to work late, may have to arrange for a ride home after work and another ride to work the next day, and then a ride to the garage to retrieve their car.

    I do not know how to put a dollar value on this sort of intangible benefit (including not spending 10 minutes at refueling stations when needed.)

    But to me this alone is worth quite a bit!
     
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  8. newtman

    newtman Member

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    Hmm...seems like most Tesla owners have had to take their car into the service center a number of times, so not sure there's much benefit here. My last car, a ford, was only in the shop 3 times in 3 years, all for recalls or yearly service.
     
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  9. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    From reading the various threads here, it looks like Tesla is getting to a point with the Model S where the inherent maintenance advantages are starting to become apparent. The early Ss and the X still have/had enough problems that many owners have spent more time with their car in the shop than they would have with an ICE.

    The not having to stop at gas stations thing is a big plus for me. We get brutal, cold winds here periodically in the winter. Refueling the car when the wind is blowing is downright painful.
     
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  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    FWIW, I've spent about the same amount of time over the past three years having service on the Model S as I've had with any other car. I suspect that folks who've had experiences similar to mine don't post and probably aren't even in the forum.
     
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  11. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    a 50 mpg ice car? does that exist? even the most frugal diesel only get's mid 40's mpg. trying to compare an econo box ice to a car like the model s, really?
     
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  12. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Some hybrids get up in the high 40s, and I believe a couple get better than 50.
     
  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    The only one I know of is the Toyota Prius.

    I find these calculations simplest as pennies per mile.
    At $2/gallon and a 50 mpg car it works out to 200/50 = 4 cents per mile

    If a kWh costs 16 cents then the breakeven point for an eV is 4 miles per kWh. Or,
    If the car gets 3 miles per kWh then the breakeven point is 12 cents per kWh

    And so on...

    The tricky part is using an Apples to Apples comparison. Simplest is EPA to EPA. For EVs the MPGe (combined) can be multiplied by 3 and then divided by 100 for a fairly accurate miles per kWh number.
     
  14. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    The chart at the top of this thread is in $/mi, but it's the same calculation you are talking about.
     
  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    My lifetime average over 146K miles of 2004 Prius driving was 60 mpg. The last year was 69 mpg over 16K miles.
     
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  16. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    FWIW my 2016 70D has had no issues so far - 7000 miles and three months of ownership. Perhaps finally now that Tesla is in the 5th year of production on the S, the issues have been ironed out.
     
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  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Nice! I could hit 70 mpg over a tank or three, but the winter or wife would stop the streak.

    What fuel economy are you hoping for in the Model3 ? I'll be OK with 235 Wh/mile for most of my miles commuting to work since I plan to drive faster than present, but I think that 200 Wh/mile will be possible with care.
     
  18. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    #18 Jeff N, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    Of course, it's not fully comparable to a Model S but it's not an econo box and it has reasonable performance with very good gas mpg:

    2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
    182 HP, 0-60 mph 7.8s (7.4s MotorTrend)
    EPA 47 mpg city, 46 mpg highway
    $27,770 ($28,645 including destination charge)
    CO2/mile: 236g, TM S75D 190g US (280g Michigan)

    image.jpeg
     
  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    My Model S has achieved 248 Wh/mi over 70K miles (was 247 before the last bad wind both ways trip last week, will take a couple of weeks to get it back down). I was planning to order a Model 3, but the other driver totaled the Prius, so I got a Leaf for her. Note that it cost about as much as a fully loaded but not performance Model 3. I so hate buying from dealers.
     

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