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Will electricity stay cheap forever?

I'm just wondering why people are still driving gas cars if most of them complain about the cost of gas, even though there is an alternative. I know the main reason is EVs are harder to afford, but somehow driving a used $2000 car can afford $50 gas, to the point after 40 refuels the gas they paid for can buy another car. Or maybe not because the guy who dinged my Tesla in a parking garage kept talking to me about how he has to pawn stuff off for gas, which made me question why did he buy stuff at full retail just to let it lose value, and in the end, get less gas.

But what if one day entry level EVs can be bought at $10k out the door with the same price per range as Tesla? Would that mean we EV owners will get ****ed by all the people who switched over because maybe gas is now $100/ gallon and the world news is saying that fossil fuel will be non existent in 2-5 years? And electricity prices increase just because people will pay it because maybe it's now about $60-80 for a full 0 to 100 percent charge. Like will recharging a Tesla in the future be equivalent to $5 gallon for a gas car in 2021-22.

I'm also wondering if the lack of refueling stations is stopping people from getting an EV because you gotta plan it out better. And my friend said the planning your route part is what prevented him from considering an EV purchase. He prefers the convenience of gas stations being anywhere so I guess he is saying he will pay the higher price for the convenience. But to me gas stations are not convenient, you are always forced to stop to refuel at some point even if you made it home. I haven't done a true road trip yet like commuting 2 states distances, the most I've done was So Cal to Phoenix AZ & Las Vegas. And Phoenix is one of the worst places for supercharging and that area you really have to go outta your way for superchargers because there is only 3 spots in the entire commutable area. Where in that same space there could be like 10-20 if it were So CA.

My rough guess is that it costs $20 to fully recharge a Tesla at home at non prime time. And its about $60-80 to refuel a gas car. So are we saving like 1/3 to 1/4 the cost? I also wanna consider supercharger prices too but I don't use it enough to get a rough estimate on its cost and also never used prime time rate. But most recharges are like $7-15.

Is it beneficial to EV owners that lower income people can't afford an EV and can only afford a used gas car? The poor or cheap can control how much the initial price is of the car, but they almost no options to get gas cheaper unless they are willing to move to another state or country.

So how can EV owners maintain being advantage players (APs) in the goal to keep energy costs low? Is the high initial price of EVs preventing the lower income demographic from getting into one thus not being able to access cheap energy? Will we be screwed one day if a new entry level EV is $10k and now more people can have access to an EV & to its cheap energy? Especially if fossil fuel is nearly depleted and now its $100 / gallon, like a full tank is now the cost of a used $1000 car.

Because my arcade friends will compensate me in prize just to drive them to arcades as long as we are doing something together and spending the day together. One of them drives a 10 year old Honda Element and he talks about how gas prices kill him when it comes to commuting to arcades 1-2 hour away.
 
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The price of electricity will go up because demand will increase. There is also the cost of adding infrastructure. As I understand it, if all the cars on your street were EVs, it is likely that the power company would have to upgrade its neighborhood transformers.

On the other hand, as the price of electricity increases, the increased cost may throttle the explosion of EV sales until the infrastructure gets up to speed.

Wind and solar are much cheaper energy sources, so the cost of generation should be decreasing. Still, the transition cost in terms of infrastructure will be significant.
 
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the years to come. One way or another taxpayers will need to spend more on the generation of electricity and a couple/few dozen solar panels on the roof won't come close to solving it and adequate battery backup costs are out of the question for many consumers. As more EV vehicles (cars, trucks, big rigs) connect to the overnight grid, peak and off hours will come together with demand at all hours. That's when the proverbial $h1t hits the fan. New-q-lur might be a big part of the solution.
 

Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
549
710
USA
Most of the solar quotes I'm getting today say batteries aren't worth it.
Without government meddling (adding taxes), clearly, the cost of solar pv + battery backup sets a maximum price for electricity. This, of course, assumes you can put pv on your house and it has good sun exposure.
With fossil fuel, you are a captive market to those who own the land with the oil under it and those who ship it.
New-q-lur might be a big part of the solution.
Nukes are just another captive market. It is easy to produce nuclear energy safely without producing any measurable waste (as the US Navy does), however, the pure stainless steel equipment to do so is extremely expensive compared to dirty (normal commercial) nuclear, natural gas, wind, or solar.
 
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Several factors will keep electricity cheaper than gas.
-EVs are much more energy efficient so less needed.
- Electricty is mostly supplied by regulated Urilities so that can’t just arbitrarily jack up prices although will likely rise over tine
-Electricity can be made from many sources including cheap renewables, and someday Fusion.
-Electrical grid is designed to support peak demand so as long as most EVs charge at night, not as much infrastructure needed as you may think. Off peak pricing will lead to this.
-People can install solar + storage at house. LFP patents expiring this year which will allow for cheaper batteries and lower energy density does not matter for stationary storage.
 
Several factors will keep electricity cheaper than gas.
-EVs are much more energy efficient so less needed.
- Electricty is mostly supplied by regulated Urilities so that can’t just arbitrarily jack up prices although will likely rise over tine
-Electricity can be made from many sources including cheap renewables, and someday Fusion.
-Electrical grid is designed to support peak demand so as long as most EVs charge at night, not as much infrastructure needed as you may think. Off peak pricing will lead to this.
-People can install solar + storage at house. LFP patents expiring this year which will allow for cheaper batteries and lower energy density does not matter for stationary storage.

Utilities aren't immune to inflation in fact they feel the burden more related to owning lots of debt and the need to build out a pricey power grid - so expect a continual rise in utility rates and fees. If renewables were an easy source of electricity it would be duck-soup but drilling down we learn there's a shortage of base materials for almost everything, a reluctance to increase/start mining for needed materials related to ecologic risks, droughts causing less dam energy generation, etc. And again, off peak pricing will go the way of the dodo bird if EV vehicles become the norm.

I still wonder if all these EV manufacturers will be able to source or build enough batteries for their current plans let alone new EV models. And eventually those billions of batteries already in the field will need to be replaced putting another load for base materials and battery production. If only we could harness energy from the headwinds.
 

Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
549
710
USA
those billions of batteries already in the field will need to be replaced putting another load for base materials and battery production.
Don't worry about that one. As JB Straubel is finding out, the cheapest source of battery materials is from old batteries, not raw materials. You just rinse, rebuild, and repeat.
You are almost right about peak pricing schemes: Mid-day ones will follow the dodo into history, as will late night low prices. However, as we already see in California, peak pricing will move around to when solar is not producing but demand is high -- in other words high in the late afternoon and early evening. Low pricing, undoubtedly will occur around noon (at least in summer), when ambient heat hasn't peaked, yet solar production is at peak.
In the middle of the country, off-peak pricing will probably remain at night when winds are strong and steady.
 
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I'm just wondering why people are still driving gas cars if most of them complain about the cost of gas
Because it takes a loooong time to pay for an EV if you're trying to use savings on gasoline to pay for it. At least for most people.
But to answer your real question, electricity costs, like everything else, will eventually go up. The thing is that most electricity rates are controlled by public service commissions and aren't subject to all the FUD that's going on today.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,575
18,635
Riverside Co. CA
Gotta hope battery technology keeps advancing and gets cheaper as I can't imagine many today opting for enough batteries to power the home and charge the EV. Most of the solar quotes I'm getting today say batteries aren't worth it.

Home battery storage has zero to do with charging an EV. Solar does, but home battery storage isnt about charging an EV at all. Its like using a AAA battery to fill a D. You get home battery storage so you can use your own solar in the peak time of day, and into the night, or if you have enough solar, overnight (not factoring in your EV).

Its either in place of a generator, or a way to time shift your electricity usage if your utility charges a lot during peak time. Batteries dont factor into charging your EV though, even though you can do it if you want.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,575
18,635
Riverside Co. CA
In California, Pacific Gas and Electric just increased the off-peak rate on my EV plan by nearly 50% as of March 1. My cheapest possible electricity is now $0.22/kWh.

By my calculation that’s about equivalent to $2.25/gal in a 30mpg car.

So yeah, it’s cheaper (gas in CA is rapidly approaching $5/gal), but rising rapidly.

Gas by me (auto fuel, not natural gas) is between 5.30 and 5.99 a gallon for premium unleaded. I only look at premium unleaded because prior to tesla I was driving BMWs which wanted premium unleaded, and until yesterday my wife still had a BMW. I think regular unleaded is pretty much 5.00+
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
11,768
9,913
Maine
Several factors will keep electricity cheaper than gas.
-EVs are much more energy efficient so less needed.
- Electricty is mostly supplied by regulated Urilities so that can’t just arbitrarily jack up prices although will likely rise over tine
-Electricity can be made from many sources including cheap renewables, and someday Fusion.
-Electrical grid is designed to support peak demand so as long as most EVs charge at night, not as much infrastructure needed as you may think. Off peak pricing will lead to this.
-People can install solar + storage at house. LFP patents expiring this year which will allow for cheaper batteries and lower energy density does not matter for stationary storage.

Yes.
 
The main positive point is that electricity can be made from numerous sources - hydro, solar, wind, nuclear as well as carbon generating gas and coal power plants. The negative is that increasing the supply of this is expensive and a long term commitment.

Plus electricity demand varies and peaks, so the infrastructure must be able to meet the peak level. As others point out, current EV charging overnight does not match the "cook dinner with the AC on" levels of the afternoon peak, but if enough people have EV's it will become the new peak demand time and drive infrastructure costs (hence, price per kw/h).

Battery tech - on a utility scale or per home - can help store renewable energy generated during the day for use at night. Alternatively, encourage smart daytime charging with chargers at work locations. Indeed, one important addition would be the ability of the car to adapt charge level to outside inputs like variable pricing and demand level.

The other point to note is that unlike gasoline, where the waste goes out the tailpipe during a lifetime of use, a failed battery pack still contains all the cobalt, lithium, nickel, etc. it was made with. This can all be recycled, depending on how much money and effort is put into doing so.
 
In California, Pacific Gas and Electric just increased the off-peak rate on my EV plan by nearly 50% as of March 1. My cheapest possible electricity is now $0.22/kWh.

By my calculation that’s about equivalent to $2.25/gal in a 30mpg car.

So yeah, it’s cheaper (gas in CA is rapidly approaching $5/gal), but rising rapidly.
22 cents per kWh is on the low end of what most CA residents pay. The EV plans can be challenging because regular power is SO expensive with it. Most solar users and average customers are on TOU-C which is easily into the 30 cent range and into the 40 cent range in the summer per kWh.

I can only dream of how cheap it could be in other states where electricity flows like water. For reference Georgia Power is ~9 cents/kWh during peak which is only in the summer afternoons. The rest of your time is ONE CENT per kWh. I'm paying 30x that in CA!
 
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In Manitoba, electricity is a bit less than 9 cents. But, that's not a real money, that's Canadian dollars and cents - so about 6.5 cents US$. So far, no variable or peak metering for home users. Considering the Canadian prairies and much of the Dakotas drain though Manitoba, and our hydro electricity comes from that, it's a very clean source of power.
 

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