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Will electricity stay cheap forever?

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 that for EV-B where your EVSE is on a separate meter? (Page 2 of https://www.pge.com/tariffs/assets/pdf/tariffbook/ELEC_SCHEDS_EV (Sch).pdf).

EV2-A (page 2 of https://www.pge.com/tariffs/assets/pdf/tariffbook/ELEC_SCHEDS_EV2 (Sch).pdf) is at 24.48 cents per kWh being the cheapest. They kill you the rest of the day with 41.3 to 55.7 cents per kWh.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
8,521
16,613
California

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
7,564
7,881
Silicon Valley
The supply cost is up 83% for me this year: More reason for solar and battery storage.
Cross-post from another thread...
Elon believes that Nuclear Energy is the bridge technology needed to get to our long-term energy goal of infinite Solar and Storage.

Great interview with Elon Business Insider: Musk discusses war in Ukraine and importance of nuclear power.

Musk: I think long term, most of civilization's energy is going to come from solar, and then you need to store it with battery because obviously the sun only shines during the day, and sometimes it is very cloudy. So you need solar batteries. That will be the main long-term way that civilization is powered.
But between now and then, we need to maintain nuclear. I can't emphasize that enough. This is total madness to shut them down.
I want to be clear, total madness. Döpfner: With knowledge, products and services, Elon Musk is almost a strategic weapon in modern warfare.
 
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home charging in most of Oregon is 0.09 kWh.
%60 is Hydro, BPA. %18 solar, %12 wind. Yes taxes were used to achieve this. Will prices go up? O course. With more climate change more solar and wind definitely needed. Is Oregon leading the way...maybe.
( population has increased here dramatically, long gone are the days when Gov.McCall had a slogan.."Come visit, don't stay" )
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
359
523
Sunnyvale, CA
Electricity will get cheaper and cheaper with time, IF you are willing to accept it in the morning from around 9am to 2pm. The price of solar has been dropping on an exponential path for several years, and it is already the cheapest power form out there for new generation capacity. But of course it has a flaw, it only generates during the day. There is going to be a big surplus of solar from 9am to 2pm, and that power will be cheap.

If you drive an EV and are charging a battery, you can take the power any time you are parked and plug in. That's why most EV charging eventually will be located at workplace parking lots and homes of non-commuters, where you will get cheaper and cheaper electricity. Some days, there will not be a surplus (rainy days for example) but 99% of EV drivers can handle not charging a few days in a row, or pay a bit more if they really need it those days.

In fact a few years from now, power companies will broadcast "Cheap power if you plug in now!" during solar surplus, and your car will drive a few miles to somewhere it can plug in, either because there is a robotic plug, or your car has a socket on the front or back so it can be the robot, or there is a plug jockey. The power companies will pay for these stations, they need to sell that surplus power, as it is wasted if they don't sell it. While Tesla FSD may never happen for passenger travel, it can probably handle short drives on quiet streets or repositioning at a charging station in a big parking lot just fine.
 

FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
7,564
7,881
Silicon Valley
Electricity will get cheaper and cheaper with time, IF you are willing to accept it in the morning from around 9am to 2pm. The price of solar has been dropping on an exponential path for several years, and it is already the cheapest power form out there for new generation capacity. But of course it has a flaw, it only generates during the day. There is going to be a big surplus of solar from 9am to 2pm, and that power will be cheap.

If you drive an EV and are charging a battery, you can take the power any time you are parked and plug in. That's why most EV charging eventually will be located at workplace parking lots and homes of non-commuters, where you will get cheaper and cheaper electricity. Some days, there will not be a surplus (rainy days for example) but 99% of EV drivers can handle not charging a few days in a row, or pay a bit more if they really need it those days.

In fact a few years from now, power companies will broadcast "Cheap power if you plug in now!" during solar surplus, and your car will drive a few miles to somewhere it can plug in, either because there is a robotic plug, or your car has a socket on the front or back so it can be the robot, or there is a plug jockey. The power companies will pay for these stations, they need to sell that surplus power, as it is wasted if they don't sell it. While Tesla FSD may never happen for passenger travel, it can probably handle short drives on quiet streets or repositioning at a charging station in a big parking lot just fine.
Not if you live in California and PG&E supplies your power.
"In the past decade, PG&E rates have gone up 31% — faster than inflation"


1648919802509.png
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
359
523
Sunnyvale, CA
I
Not if you live in California and PG&E supplies your power.
"In the past decade, PG&E rates have gone up 31% — faster than inflation"
Agreed, PG&E (my power company, indirectly) is a nightmare. So there will be places where monopolies with regulatory capture keep raising the price even as the supply cost falls. (Notice has gasoline keeps getting more expensive after a short blip over $100/barrel? Not even a monopoly there.)

My power company has to use PG&E transmission lines. The actual power they buy retails for about 5 cents/kwh as they show me on the bill -- the rest is all PG&E delivery charges. But the reality is that new solar plants around the world are going in well under 2 cents/kwh in sunny places, and the price keeps dropping. The problem is getting it to you, and the fact that they don't control when it is generated. But cars don't care (if they can plug in at the right time) about when it is generated.

Rooftop solar doesn't cost 2 cents/kwh, that's a price for a big solar farm. But it keeps dropping in price too and the more grid power goes up, the more people will put in that rooftop solar, as long as they can sell the excess back to the grid at a fair price, which the power companies fight, for both legitimate (we were not built to handle this reverse feed) and evil (we don't like giving you money) reasons.
 
Nevada, Florida, soon California are anti-solar panels at home. With many utilities lining up in other states soon too.

We need to have new bills to allow home off grid. So we don't make the poor pay for the grid.

With more v2h being touted for EV car features available soon. One can buy electricity from L3 paid chargers as backup.

Then we will really have self sustainable cheap energy. Less tax and Government overreaching.
 
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.
Tell me where I can find a $2000 EV (that isn't a golf cart).

I'm driving a 2005 F150, because it was our third vehicle when my old Focus finally died last summer. Filling it up sucks--but since I don't have to drive it all that much and it's paid for, my total operating expenses for the year come to about $2500.

That's where the difference really comes in--if you have a paid-for vehicle it's almost impossible to justify "saving money" by buying a new EV--your operating expenses may be somewhat lower but you have the (much larger) capital cost to cover. Someone having trouble paying for gas right now is going to find it much harder to make payments on an EV even if electricity was free.

I would love an EV right now for many reasons, but we also currently have no car payments and prices for EVs (new or used) or even PHEVs are just insane right now. We're far better off, even with $4/gallon gas, waiting a little while to get something.
 

Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
549
710
USA
Someone having trouble paying for gas right now is going to find it much harder to make payments on an EV even if electricity was free.
Change takes time and is tough. If you're only spending $2500 per year, consider yourself luckier than most as most people spend that on operations and they're making payments on their car.
If you're worried about the ecology of the situation, the energy, emissions, resources, etc in that old vehicle are still probably less than the savings an EV would make compared to gasoline.
Just keep driving that old car and saving your money until the right EV (new or used) comes along at your price.
You probably can justify "saving money" if you think long term though. That $2500 per year saved (or maybe realistically, $1500/yr) over the next 10 years is $15,000 (not counting inflation). Easily enough to buy a used EV and, then, like me, you won't care about the cost of gasoline, even if it goes up to $10/gal.
 
Not if you live in California and PG&E supplies your power.
"In the past decade, PG&E rates have gone up 31% — faster than inflation"


View attachment 789116

I

Agreed, PG&E (my power company, indirectly) is a nightmare. So there will be places where monopolies with regulatory capture keep raising the price even as the supply cost falls. (Notice has gasoline keeps getting more expensive after a short blip over $100/barrel? Not even a monopoly there.)

My power company has to use PG&E transmission lines. The actual power they buy retails for about 5 cents/kwh as they show me on the bill -- the rest is all PG&E delivery charges. But the reality is that new solar plants around the world are going in well under 2 cents/kwh in sunny places, and the price keeps dropping. The problem is getting it to you, and the fact that they don't control when it is generated. But cars don't care (if they can plug in at the right time) about when it is generated.

Rooftop solar doesn't cost 2 cents/kwh, that's a price for a big solar farm. But it keeps dropping in price too and the more grid power goes up, the more people will put in that rooftop solar, as long as they can sell the excess back to the grid at a fair price, which the power companies fight, for both legitimate (we were not built to handle this reverse feed) and evil (we don't like giving you money) reasons.
I used to have PG&E and when I relocated due to work, my decision on where to look for a house it came down to PG&E and non-PG&E. The towns are right next to each other, one with PG&E and one with municipal. I pay a base rate of about $0.079/kwh (0-500kwh/month) and a top rate of around $0.145/kwh for anything above 500kwh/month. People thought I was weird for factoring in utilities so much in my decision, but the two towns are basically the same and my previous experience with PG&E taught me to look for places with municipal power. I can run my AC at a comfortable level during the summer and not worry about an $800 electric bill. And now that I have a Tesla, even using my top rate as a comparison, the cost savings to my previous car that got 20mpg and took premium is amazing.
 
I used to have PG&E and when I relocated due to work, my decision on where to look for a house it came down to PG&E and non-PG&E. The towns are right next to each other, one with PG&E and one with municipal. I pay a base rate of about $0.079/kwh (0-500kwh/month) and a top rate of around $0.145/kwh for anything above 500kwh/month. People thought I was weird for factoring in utilities so much in my decision, but the two towns are basically the same and my previous experience with PG&E taught me to look for places with municipal power. I can run my AC at a comfortable level during the summer and not worry about an $800 electric bill. And now that I have a Tesla, even using my top rate as a comparison, the cost savings to my previous car that got 20mpg and took premium is amazing.
Cheap reliable municipal power isn't going to move people to solar panels and power walls.

This is why I have solar and battery backup:

If I had a good local power company, I could have a 2nd Model Y while I wait on my Cyber truck.
 
Cheap reliable municipal power isn't going to move people to solar panels and power walls.

Completely agree. When I did the math, solar didn't make sense for me due to the lower cost of my electricity and my power company not buying back excess power at the base rate. If I had PG&E, solar would've been the first thing I did and with their power shutoffs during high fire risk weather, I would've also installed a battery backup.
 
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