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Supercharging now more expensive than ICE

The last round trip I did from Dallas to Houston two weeks ago worked out to be the same cost as a gas car getting 35mpg. That’s at Texas highway gas prices which are pretty low.
Not many gas cars get an honest 35mpg when cruising at 80mph…
The cost included 3 supercharger sessions plus charging back up to 90% at home which is what we left with.

It’s academic as gas prices will go up again now that OPEC is reducing output unless we release more oil from our strategic reserves which is a very bad idea given current world political tensions.

Man… Americans really can’t give up this gas addiction… any excuse to go back to a gas hog and they jump at it with no view of what it might cost then 1 year in the future much less 5 when they’re still making payments on the thing which is now also out of warranty…
I think, as more EV's are available and visible on the highways, people will start coming around. I just saw my first Rivian recently on the highway up in CO---and am seeing lots more Teslas.
 
I only use supercharging for road trips, so daily trips (the majority of my mileage) are still cheaper charging at home. And so what if supercharging is more expensive, gasoline prices in the U.S. are artificially low compared with the rest of the world.
I just like knowing that my EV is always more efficient than any ICE vehicle, I’ll pay more for the juice to operate it, if need be.
 
“undeniably less convenient than gas...”

Adding “undeniably” to your opinion doesn’t make it true. It’s still just your opinion.

It *can* be less convenient on a road trip although in my experience not by much, adding 30 minutes to a 9.5 hour trip based on the measurements from my trip tracker that I used both in the Y and our prior SUV when I compare remove driving time and just look at the stops. But that means eating lunch at whatever is next to the supercharger vs eating wherever I want and then charging separately. That may be considered inconvenient by some also..

But massively *more* convenient day to day as the car is full every morning so I don’t have to stop for gas when low on the way to work which always seemed to be when I was already running late…

So it’s a mix of slightly more convenient and slightly less convenient depending on your use case.
Agree. We have a 2020 Long Range Model 3 and have good luck charging on our few road trips. On a daily basis, we charge at home. Easy Peasy.
 

avs007

Active Member
May 14, 2021
1,377
1,260
PacNW
Because until then it's reasonable that most people who might not be as comfortable just throwing away money especially as its undeniably less convenient than gas...
That depends...
Oregon for example, doesn't allow you to pump your own gas. I've been to several gas stations, where they have half the islands roped off becuase they are short-staffed. (And this is even before the pandemic). This can make the line really long. This also means many gas stations will be closed at night, and you won't be able to get gas at all, unless you go find one open 24 hours. Ever since the pandemic started, many places that used to be 24 hours are no longer 24 hours.

Also, I went to LegoLand with the kids several months ago... Had I rented an EV, I would've been able to use one of the several free L2 chargers at the LegoLand hotel... I rented an ICE, and went to get gas at the Costco across the street... There were so many cars, the line spilled out onto the main blvd... It took me over 30 minutes just to get to the pump...
 

ShawnA

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
1,192
996
Edwardsburg, MI
I recently did a calcuation when gas was $5.00 that the break even point was 50 mpg. Now that's it's back well under $4.00 you're talking about the break even point being similar to many cars on the road. On longer trips you can decrease your Supercharger consumption by working in free hotel charging here and there and that helps quite a bit. But there's no doubt about it, only supercharging isn't cheap. Just be glad you're not in a cold climate. Once your consumption gets up around 340 to 350 Wh/mi then the break even point cascades down in a big way. Definitely, with gas prices lower now if you take your EV on a long trip, it's because you want to drive the EV; not because you want to save money.
 
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Hayseed_MS

Spreader of "Endless Non Sequitur"
Jan 19, 2021
3,187
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Strongbadia
I have had my 21 refresh S for approx. 15 months / 52k miles. Approx. 60% is home or destination chargers - balance is Tesla SC. Coming from a vehicle that obtained 18.5mpg and used premium, the SC are still a bargain for me.

For me, a bigger benefit than the savings is the convenience of not going to gas stations. I charge as much as possible at home and utilize destination charges at hotels whenever possible and I can make a 10-11 hour round trip with no more than 30-45 minutes in SC stops.

I realize I may or may not be in the fringe, but in my world, the SC is not more expensive than ICE.
 

RayK

Safety Score 90 (Was 96!)
Apr 5, 2016
3,169
3,311
San Jose, CA
So I just recently charged my car using a Supercharger that was set at $0.42/kWh. Most expensive electricity I've paid for in months as the normal CHAdeMO station ($0.19/kWh) I go to was occupied. Grabbed 36kWh ($15.14) which represented 154 miles of range, or in easy to compare to ICE consumption numbers, it cost me $0.098/mile.

My previous car, a BMW 323i typically got 22-24 MPG in the same type of driving. So even if I say it was 25 MPG, at the current cost for the cheapest regular unleaded near me here in the South Bay Area, $5.34 at ARCO, 154 miles would require 6.16 gallons and cost $32.89. Expressing that as cents/mile (32.89/154) it's $0.2136 or a bit more than double the cost as my Model 3. I'd have to have an ICE that got 54 MPG in order for Supercharging (@ $0.42/kWh) to be more expensive than ICE.

edit: For me, here in CA, gas would have to cost $2.459 / gal for a 25MPG ICE to be economically equivalent to the Model 3 being charged at current peak Supercharger pricing.
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
945
1,076
Sunnyvale, CA
Electricity for cars is not a commodity like gasoline. Charging is a service, not a product. The wholesale cost of the product is about 4 cents/kWh -- the rest is all delivery services. You can get it for a much lower price if you don't want the service, even free fairly often. It is a shame they have bumped the price of the service so high, but you can always go to CCS stations or, as I do, charge at hotels at night for a large fraction of my charging, if I can find a suitable hotel -- which is getting easier with time.
 
Charging is a service, not a product.
That's a bug, not a feature.

The wholesale cost of the product is about 4 cents/kWh -- the rest is all delivery services. You can get it for a much lower price if you don't want the service,
You can say the same thing about the retail cost of a stick of gum; is that a service? You could probably say that about the cost of gasoline 120 years ago, too: when not many people bought it, it had to be delivered to far away places with no infrastructure, and as an unwanted byproduct of refining kerosene it had little value (i.e. high delivery cost, low production cost).

They need to get the delivery cost down. Given time it will happen.
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
945
1,076
Sunnyvale, CA
That's a bug, not a feature.


You can say the same thing about the retail cost of a stick of gum; is that a service? You could probably say that about the cost of gasoline 120 years ago, too: when not many people bought it, it had to be delivered to far away places with no infrastructure, and as an unwanted byproduct of refining kerosene it had little value (i.e. high delivery cost, low production cost).

They need to get the delivery cost down. Given time it will happen.
You may call it a bug, but it is what it is. You expect to pay the same price to charge at 250kw supercharger at 6pm than you would pay for a 7kw level 2 station at night? The former cost two orders of magnitude more to put in. Something's gotta pay for that, and it's going to be surcharges for the service. Same for all electric consumers who pay by time of use. It's the exact same commodity kwh night or day, but the cost of getting it to you at 6pm is much more than in the night.

So you may still be stuck in gasoline thinking, imagining it's like you are buying gallons of gasoline, that only vary by 10-15% based on where and when you get it, but welcome to the world of electric cars. They work differently.
 
Electricity for cars is not a commodity like gasoline....

Electricity is a commodity. There's no such thing as "electricity for cars" as you put it. Electrical energy is electrical energy and it's absolutely a commodity. Electrical energy can be purchased, sold, traded. It's considered a secondary energy source since it has to be derived from something, but it's still very much a commodity and what really makes it different than other commodities is that storing electricity isn't really feasible, so it's something that mostly has to be generated and used immediately. The service part is in the delivery, but electrical energy itself is still not considered a service.
 
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ElectricIAC

Good-Natured Rascal
Dec 31, 2019
6,453
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Tesla Friendly Place
Electricity is a commodity. There's no such thing as "electricity for cars" as you put it. Electrical energy is electrical energy and it's absolutely a commodity. Electrical energy can be purchased, sold, traded. It's considered a secondary energy source since it has to be derived from something, but it's still very much a commodity and what really makes it different than other commodities is that storing electricity isn't really feasible, so it's something that mostly has to be generated and used immediately. The service part is in the delivery, but electrical energy itself is still not considered a service.
Everyone knows off brand electricity gives you dendrites. 🥸
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
945
1,076
Sunnyvale, CA
Electricity is a commodity. There's no such thing as "electricity for cars" as you put it. Electrical energy is electrical energy and it's absolutely a commodity. Electrical energy can be purchased, sold, traded. It's considered a secondary energy source since it has to be derived from something, but it's still very much a commodity and what really makes it different than other commodities is that storing electricity isn't really feasible, so it's something that mostly has to be generated and used immediately. The service part is in the delivery, but electrical energy itself is still not considered a service.
Electrical energy is a commodity, but electrical power is not. And while energy is what you get at the end of the charging session, we care a lot about the power while doing it. If I go into a fast charging station for 50kwh, I can tell you that the commodity electrical energy probably cost under 4 cents/kWh wholesale, and the rest of the money was for distribution, time of use charges, and the cost of buying and installing the charger and the land it's on. So while that kWh is a commodity, it's an almost irrelevant one, like water. You can get water for a fraction of a penny per gallon out of the tap, or pay $20/gallon for bottled water at a restaurant. That's the way to think about kWh.
 
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Electrical energy is a commodity, but electrical power is not. And while energy is what you get at the end of the charging session, we care a lot about the power while doing it. If I go into a fast charging station for 50kwh, I can tell you that the commodity electrical energy probably cost under 4 cents/kWh wholesale, and the rest of the money was for distribution, time of use charges, and the cost of buying and installing the charger and the land it's on. So while that kWh is a commodity, it's an almost irrelevant one, like water. You can get water for a fraction of a penny per gallon out of the tap, or pay $20/gallon for bottled water at a restaurant. That's the way to think about kWh.

LOL...okay. Semantics, much? Let's just agree to disagree.
 
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Then I guess energy is (not) relative to power? 🤣

Well they are obviously not the same thing.

After pondering @bradtem 's comments, I finally reached a simple conclusion: he is right. And the rightness of his statement is not merely a reflection of the current state of affairs; it will always be that way regardless of the maturity of the EV market.

If you're paying for just energy at a supercharger then the value of a supercharger is no different from plugging in at your basic household L1 and waiting all day. And that is clearly not the case. We want L3 chargers because they are fast and we don't want to wait. Time is money, after all. Hopefully we can agree at least until this point?

So the rate at which energy is delivered, that thing we call power, is what we are after with L3. Whether you want to argue semantics of product vs service is up to you. The way I see it, the energy is a product, and the delivery of it (whether fast or slow) is a service.

Going back to my post where I used a stick of gum is a product as an analogy: yes the gum is a product, but what I was not seeing is that when I buy that stick of gum I choose a delivery service: drive there, instacart, first class mail, fedex? Whether delivery is a service or it's own product is moot: it is an inescapable part of acquiring the product and has value of its own that needs to be paid for, regardless of the value of the product being delivered.
 
You may call it a bug, but it is what it is. You expect to pay the same price to charge at 250kw supercharger at 6pm than you would pay for a 7kw level 2 station at night? The former cost two orders of magnitude more to put in. Something's gotta pay for that, and it's going to be surcharges for the service. Same for all electric consumers who pay by time of use. It's the exact same commodity kwh night or day, but the cost of getting it to you at 6pm is much more than in the night.

So you may still be stuck in gasoline thinking, imagining it's like you are buying gallons of gasoline, that only vary by 10-15% based on where and when you get it, but welcome to the world of electric cars. They work differently.

I never got around to replying to this post, but you're right. I previously said "It's a bug, not a feature". I now think you're right to the extent that "It's a feature, not a bug".

As I alluded to above, I had to amend my analogy. I think of it as both a product as well as the delivery of the product. Perhaps I could pick nits and say that I don't think L3 is just a service, but both product and service. But I think in the case of L3 it's the case that the cost of the service outweighs the cost of the product so it's ok to just say "it's a service". Whereas the in the case of L1/L2 at home, it's primarily about the product (or to be clear, at home they pretend delivery is free, by rolling the cost of delivery into the cost of the product).
 

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