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Payback on a Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by vfx, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Thought experiment.

    There is no payback on a premium brand ICE car. But people expect payback from an electric.

    How long or how many miles till the savings in electricity over the cost of gasoline would entirely pay for the purchase of a Model S?

    Which range version is best for calcs?
    Price of gasoline figuring it's normal yearly increases?
    Price of electricity figuring same yearly rate increases?
    Battery replacement or let is get down to %50 range?
    Solar panel purchase and savings (replacement?)

    35 years?
    Might be a good number to have in a pricing discussion.
     
  2. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Without getting into the details, I just did a quick scribble on my notepad and figure on 20-25 years or so. I can also think of a couple more variables though:

    * Depreciation. Same rate as an ICE?
    * Opportunity cost. Income that could have been earned from the price difference between an S and a cheaper ICE.

    I also wonder about the comparison. We're dumping a gas-guzzling SUV when the S arrives. Someone else may swap out a more efficient sedan.
     
  3. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Teslarumors has some bits under its "Teslanomics" section, one being average energy prices and thus price per mile. You could then compare it to price per mile for an ICE and calculate over some X number of miles. That's just fuel costs though at current prices.
     
  4. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    There's no such thing as "payback" just when the cost would be zero compared to a comparable car.

    The formula would be as follows

    (Cost(S) - Cost(Ice) * (1+ i/100)^Y + Rs + Es *m = R (Ice) + E (Ice)*M

    Where
    Cost S= cost of model s
    Cost ice = cost of ICE car
    i= lost interest rate
    Rs= repair cost of S
    m= miles
    Es= Model S Energy cost per mile
    R(Ice) = repair costs for ICE
    E(ICE)= energy cost per mile for ICE

    If you got the 79500 one vs a 50 K car and had 1.5% lost interest, the payback is less than 7 years.
     
  5. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    We've discussed TCO calculations here ad nauseum. Depends on the price of electricity, the price of gasoline, how long you keep the car, fuel-efficiency of an alternative car, etc. etc.

    My only conclusion from this is that the most important number is miles driven per year. If you drive a hell of a lot of miles per year, the electric car has a much better TCO than the gas car; if you drive very few miles per year, the gas car has a better TCO than the electric car. The second most important number is gas prices; since they are the most variable and unpredictable of the remaining elements in the computation, it's hardly worth worrying about the rest of the numbers. (Apart from upfront purchase prices, obviously.)

    This is all assuming that your choices are a new Tesla or a new gas car. If your alternative is not driving but instead biking or taking the subway, obviously that's better TCO; if your alternative is a cheap used car, it's very likely to have better TCO -- though *still* if you drive enough miles per year the electric car will have better TCO, it's just a whole lot of miles in that case.
     
  6. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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  7. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    This comes from the false assumption that EV's cost more than ICE's and that people are spending a lot more than they normally would when they buy an EV. While some enthusiasts do indeed spend more just to have an EV instead of an ICE, the general public only buys vehicles that are in their price range, they don't magically decide to jump up $10-$20K that they didn't plan to spend in the first place. The claim that EV's cost more than ICE's makes as much sense as saying some ICE's cost more than other ICE's. It's true of course but people don't compare ICE's in different price ranges, the person shopping for a Camry is probably not also looking at BMW's. The only rational comparisons should be between vehicles with similar pricing.
     
  8. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    Why do I save $15K on gas in 50,000 miles if I drive 5,000 miles per year and it takes 75,000 miles if I drive 25,000 miles per year? Is gas going to be cheaper in years 4-10? :biggrin:
     
  9. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Aside from the enthusiasts you mentioned (like me; I'd never pay this much for a gas vehicle!), I largely agree. My only clarification is that this pricing consideration doesn't only apply to initial purchase price. Most people that "can't afford" a more expensive car make payments of some sort; and for many of them, the important figure is the total of how much they pay per month. For them, the lower operating costs of electric do allow them to consider "more expensive" electrics than gas cars.
     
  10. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    You have it backwards. The gas is more expensive in years 4-10, which means you need fewer miles to save $15k.
    The model I used to construct this chart assumes that gasoline increases at 8.5% per year.
     
  11. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    I did have it backwards. Did you model electricity going up? (For those of us with PV solar - I guess it won't. For others, the difference may be trivial compared to gas)
     
  12. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Yes. Here are the assumptions that went into the chart as copied from the post:

    The EV is assumed to get 3 miles per kWh, and kWh cost 11 cents ( national average ) and that increases at 4% per year ( average of last 10 years ).
    The gasoline car gets 20mpg and premium gasoline starts at $4.00 ( national average ) and increases at 8.5% per year ( average of last 10 years ).

    The assumptions about how fast costs increase matter much less on the right side of the chart than they do on the left.
     
  13. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    Now you just need to tell me where to get premium for $4. :wink: $4.75 in my neighborhood this week.
     
  14. Fr23shjive

    Fr23shjive Member

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    Did you include the cost for a replacement battery after 10 years too?
     
  15. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    I think that is only partly true. Take the Opel Ampera (Chevrolet Volt for US citizens). That is a car the size and category of a VW Jetta / Ford Focus / Opel Astra, yet the price is that of a BMW 3-series, Audi A4 or Mercedes C-class with an ICE.

    If people would act as you suggest, they would compare, for example, an ICE BMW (with more room, longer range, less complicated engine tech and even higher prestige value) to an EV Opel.

    The lower the price of the car in general, the more the cost of an EV versus ICE version or in other words, the higher the premium for driving an EV.
    In the range of Model S and similar premium sedans, the price difference is more or less negligable IMHO.
     
  16. PeterW

    PeterW Member

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    Why not? If they think they can save $3-4k per year on running costs, some would at least consider a higher purchase price
     
  17. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    @PeterW: that should be true, especially if people are leasing or financing vehicles -- the sticker price isn't what should matter, but the monthly total cost. People are really bad at intuiting math, however, and we've willfully turned a blind eye to how much of our hard-earned money is leaking out of our wallets for gas.
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Many people here seem to only look at up front cost and then monthly cost. Total cost of ownership doesn't seem to pay a factor that much. Look at the iPhone with AT&T. They lowered the price up front for the 3G but increased the monthly plan making it cost more over the contract.
     
  19. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    You can get a Camry or a Lexus of the same size, probably based on the same platform, yet the costs are quite different and they are usually not considered to be in the same category. Why is that? As for the BMW, Volt/Ampera comparison, some buyers have actually said they made that comparison and chose the Volt. The point is that people only spend what they are able to spend, and they decide on which vehicle to buy in their price range. If they like the Volt better at $40K than a BMW, or a Corvette, or a truck, etc. they are still spending $40K. In your opinion maybe they could have gotten "more" car for their money, but they think they made the right choice for them. The Volt has features they think are worth the cost, and if they were in the market for a $40K car they weren't looking at a Jetta in the first place.
     

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