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Driving home in our 04 Lexus LX470 I realized just how much we've spent on gas...

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by carrerascott, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. carrerascott

    carrerascott FUEL FTR

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    ...in the past 8 years. Our Lexus has 137,000+ miles on it, and gets about 14mph. That's almost 9,800 gallons of fuel (that sounds bad enough!), and I figure an average cost of $3/gallon (not sure what the average really would be between 2004 and now), that's $29,400 spent just on gas. Yikes. Of course this isn't a fuel efficient car at all, and wasn't cheap up front. But it boggles the mind that we've thrown almost $30k on this one car (we have a few others) at gas. (And I'm not calculating oil changes and other engine maintenance costs).

    Can't wait for my Model S. :)
     
  2. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    Ummm, yup.
     
  3. carrerascott

    carrerascott FUEL FTR

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    Seems obvious, but until I ordered my Tesla, I didn't even think about the ridiculous amounts of money we spend on gas...
     
  4. highfalutintodd

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    This. Very much this. Never thought about gas spending because it was simply something I "had" to have.

    The real killer for me was calculating for the first time how much it was costing me in gas just to drive to work and back each day. That was an eye opener.
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention the Tesla is much faster.
     
  6. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Then think about the process of getting crude, refinement, and the entire infrastructure built up to deliver those 9800 gallons to your vehicle. And where did those 9800 gallons go?

    I never used to think this way, until this car (and this forum) came along. Transformative, game changing!
     
  7. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

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    That's just for one car. Think of who is profiting from your $30K and for every other ICEd car owner out there.
     
  8. carrerascott

    carrerascott FUEL FTR

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    And we have several ICE cars... sold the Porsche Cayenne Turbo to put toward the Tesla (that probably got 7-12mph the way we drove it..), still have an 08 FJ Cruiser (for messy stuff, taking big dogs to vet etc), still have the Lexus (will keep that for longer trips and bad weather driving), also have a Volvo C30 (that might be next to be sold) and a 1980 Ferrari 308gtsi (rarely driven, but might be fun to now that it will be SUCH a contrast to the Tesla!).

     
  9. Kaivball

    Kaivball Member

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    Let's be frank though...electricity doesn't grow on trees.

    There is a nuclear power plant (think uranium mining), a coal plant or diesel plant creating the electricity.

    Don't get me wrong, I am happy to not have to buy gasoline, but electricity is not an energy source...
     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Sometimes it grows on the roof, though. Through solar panels. Like mine. On my house. Completely covering my needs.

    And I'm sure there will be a post shortly about the efficiency of electric motors compared to ICE.
     
  11. Kaivball

    Kaivball Member

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    $30k?

    That buys 9 years of gasoline??

    :)

    I have solar panels as well. The ROI is 8 years and they start degrading after 10.

    Just want to make sure we stay rooted in reality. :)
     
  12. captain_zap

    captain_zap Electron tamer

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    Or if you live in the Northwest, you are mostly driving on hydro power. In fact, according to http://http://www.eia.gov/beta/state/?sid=WA#tabs-4, in 2011, Washington was the leading producer of electricity from hydroelectric sources and produced 29 percent of the nation's net electricity generation.
     
  13. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    My ROI is on track for less than 5 years. That's my reality. :)
     
  14. dmunjal

    dmunjal Member

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    California is mostly natural gas and many utilities around the US are quickly converting because natural gas is so much cheaper than coal nowadays. This move to natural gas has helped REDUCE carbon emissions in this country in the past year by 4.9%.
     
  15. MikeL

    MikeL some guy

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    85% of it went straight to wasted heat
     
  16. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    This is especially true if one counts the power from the panels as directly replacing gasoline. When looked at that way, the ROI is much faster than the ROI of simply replacing grid power with solar power. When I consider the price of the panels as pre-paying for the gasoline I would have used to go 35K miles per year (in 2 cars), the ROI is in the 3-5 year range (depends how you future price gasoline [price per gallon and MPG of future cars], and the interest rates you assume the the up-front cash could be returning if not spent on panels). In my situation I can also fold in the SRECs the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides to make the ROI even better...but I don't have enough experience yet with SRECs to know if they provide any real benefit to ROI, and more importantly have no faith in the future value of SRECs, so I left them out of this calculation. 3-5 year ROI is still darn good, and with a 20+ year lifetime of the panels it really is like getting free gas for the next 15 years or so.
     
  17. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #17 ChadS, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    True...but not really relevant. It would be if we had any options available today that were better than electricity. But we don't, and electricity is WAY better than gas, so I think we can all agree that we should go full speed ahead on switching over.

    Exactly; that's one of its strengths. It can be generated from many sources, so we are never dependent on one thing, we can use whatever makes the most sense locally, individuals can even do their own, and it leaves room for future improvements.
     
  18. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Perhaps a separate thread (sorry mods) but can someone address this inconsistency?

    As someone considering the solar option, it has a pretty big impact on the math.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    There's this wonderful tool I found at Google that let's you search for that kind of information! "life expectancy PV panels" should give you the information you seek. :)
     
  20. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    #20 Raffy.Roma, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    I agree with you Bonnie. Energy is available for everybody and is in the sun. It is very well known that electromagnetic waves carry energy. We just have to take it. Maybe it's too simple but it is like this.
    For what is concerning efficiency ICE have to respect the second principle of thermodynamics.
    According to the second principle of thermodynamics the energy generated from the ICE that is converted in power to the wheels of ICE cars is around 20%. The rest of the energy goes wasted as heat.
    On the contrary for electric engines the efficiency is around 80%. I think that it's much better!
     

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