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Old 07-08-2010, 09:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Patrick, I did not say you'd save the original cost, just the cost of a new pack.

Using the RAV4 EV and the ICE powered RAV4, and compare the costs for 100K miles:

RAV4 EV has a range of 80-120 miles on it's 27.4kWh NiMH battery pack, and cost about $3 to charge the pack, so

~100miles per charge = 1,000 charges x $3ea = $3,000 for electricity, and $0 for regular maintenance (on the EV drivetrain).

Being fairly generous, the ICE RAV4 can get 25mpg (the actual average of the 6 listed in the EcoModder Garage), so it would burn 100,000 / 25 = ~4,000 gallons of gasoline x $2.75 gallon = $11,000 (if you get 22mpg which is the average EPA Combined, the cost goes up to $12,500 - a increase of $1,500 for the 3mpg drop...)

The difference in energy cost is $8,000. Now for the maintenance, at the dealer:

Minor Service every 5K miles = ~$50 (I actually just paid $63.79 for my Scion xA) x 13 = $650
Intermediate Service every 15K miles = ~$150 x 3 = $450
Major Service every 30K miles = ~$450 x 3 = $1,350
Total for regular maintenance = $2,450

So the total cost difference is $10,450 per 100K miles.

There is also likely brake service on the ICE (EV's use regenerative braking and probably would not), and/or transmission/clutch service, too. The common costs would be for tires, and things like wiper blades, and washer fluid; and so these more or less cancel out.

Now the batteries will likely last longer than 100K miles -- say 150K-200K would be very possible, so adjust the cost savings accordingly: $15,675 - $20,900 plus any major repairs on the ICE drivetrain.
Neil, why'd you pick the RAV4 EV to compare? They haven't been made since 2003 and the prices are obscene. If you get one, you will probably have to replace the pack soon, further increasing the cost and the gas version's advantage. Check how much a used gas RAV4 costs compared to a RAV4 EV and you again will see that you will never save any money driving the EV version. You must include the purchase price, as that's part of the ownership experience. Mr. Boxwell conveniently left that out of his video in an attempt to make EVs look better than they are and lure people into buying his book. Same thing with Llewellyn: he says how great the Tesla is, but doesn't tell you that you have to spend $109,000 to buy one. You can buy 2 optioned-out Lotus Elises for the price of one Tesla.

Maybe someday EVs will be affordable and can compete with gas cars, but they just aren't there yet.
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