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Old 01-02-2010, 09:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Camryaro - '92 Toyota Camry LE V6
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Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
I think Nissan quoted their estimated cost per mile to be 6.5 cents, but I don't think that included the battery. The battery alone could set you back another 10 cents a mile, which makes it much more costly than either of my cars. Also add depreciation to the equation and the cost per mile gets pretty high.
Where did Nissan estimate the cost? The only thing I've seen is a unadjusted combined rating of ~225Wh/mile. At 11c/kWh (U.S. average IIRC), that's ~2.4c/mile. To put that in perspective, a Prius gets ~70mpg combined w/o adjustment, so that's ~4.3c/mile. Battery costs also aren't ~10c/mile unless the owner has the pack replaced at ~90% capacity. In low volume over the counter they're about the same per mile as electricity if replaced at 70% capacity. An OEM can get lower prices, but they'll also charge more for a new pack so I figure ~3+c/mile is reasonable for the pack given a reasonable (uses something like the Leaf for ~50+ miles round trip worst case) driver.

While I agree that the costs of low volume EVs probably don't justify their purchase versus an efficient hybrid, given the difference in maintenance costs, especially as the mileage starts approaching ~150k+, I think they'll also be pretty close in terms of the average cost per mile once everything is factored in even w/ a ~$10+k premium. In mass production, they'll probably be better than a comparable hybrid, although the market will probably be limited since a 5c/mile difference probably isn't enough to warrant the lower range and longer refueling times for most IMO.
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