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Old 12-06-2010, 09:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electricity is expensive! (How much is yours? Doing the math on driving electric.)

It doesn't come up very often, but I am curious to find out: How much do you guys pay for your electricity?

And given that, how much would it cost you to charge your electric car for the night? Not amortizing the battery, just the KWH used.

I'll start. I'm using the Nissan Leaf MPGe numbers:


~Electricity here is 10 cents/KWH, gas is currently 2.80/gal

~Nearest town is 30 miles away.

~The round trip uses 20.4 KWH, costing $2.04.

~Same trip in the Metro at 50mpg would cost about $3.36.


So it would actually save me some money. Might even pay for itself, after 19,000 trips to town.

What about you guys? Got some numbers? Pick any car you like.

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Old 12-06-2010, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here are some more considerations

-Public utilities must lobby elected (ie supposedly accountable) officials for rate increases... Mega bankers/oil barons (same group of criminal thugs actually) need merely unleash their market manipulators to drive the cost of oil / gasoline through the roof and the minute they think they can again, they will.

-People in houses can harvest their own electricity from their rooftops and in most states utilities are required to purchase/credit them for it at attractive rates. That said people with lots of land could make their own alcohol to burn in their ICE cars as well... put its not quite as easy (quite a bit of work actually).

-Electric motors are virtually maintenance free ... extremely reliable and very efficient. Internal combustion engines are incredibly complex with many points of failure and wear.

-The leaf / volt etc. are expensive now. But the price will come down once the technology is ubiquitous. Aside from the battery, there is no reason why a leaf should cost more than your metro.

Bottomline for local transportation needs electric vehicles win hands down and its seems in-spite of the wants and desires of the PTB the public will eventually have them.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't really want to argue gas vs electric here - but you do raise some interesting points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmgolfer View Post
-People in houses can harvest their own electricity from their rooftops and in most states utilities are required to purchase/credit them for it at attractive rates.
This is true, but solar panels are priced at about $2 a watt. To get sufficient charging capacity, you would need about 34kwh of daily capacity, about a 4KW system - $8000 in solar panels, plus storage batteries, unless you are home all day to charge. Amortizes in about ten years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmgolfer View Post
-Electric motors are virtually maintenance free ... extremely reliable and very efficient. Internal combustion engines are incredibly complex with many points of failure and wear.
True enough. Electric motors don't wear out like ICEs do, but that doesn't prevent rust or wear on tires, suspension, bearings, body, and so forth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmgolfer View Post
The leaf / volt etc. are expensive now. But the price will come down once the technology is ubiquitous. Aside from the battery, there is no reason why a leaf should cost more than your metro.
Sorry. Metro cost $200 to buy, and I have $1000 in it for a complete overhaul. Show me an electric car for that price and I'm all over it.

Used? You betcha.

Buying a new car doesn't save money OR save the planet. It may help the economy, though.

Maybe I can buy a used Leaf in a few years. It'll probably need a new battery pack........
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KY Metro View Post
Metro cost $200 to buy, and I have $1000 in it for a complete overhaul. Show me an electric car for that price and I'm all over it.




(But that one won't go 30 miles on a charge.)

And even if your electric car only costs $1000, it'll still take a very long time to pay for itself.

And if it's an additional car, as opposed to a replacement of your existing gasser, the extra insurance, licence and incidental maintenance items will definitely negate any savings.

To answer your original question: 9 cents / kWh for renewably sourced electricity here (Ontario). Not counting various delivery, public debt retirement, admin charges on the electricity bill, etc.

The ForkenSwift has gone just over 5,000 km (3k mi.) since the conversion on a total electricity cost of ~$83.58.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I love the Forkenswift!! Despite the short range. I really think that's the way to get the vehicle you want - build it yourself. I've drooled over a lot of homemade/conversion cars, and I admire the skill and perseverance that leads people to build and use them.

But yeah, economics can be tough love....... Which is why the electric car is so hard to pay for right now.

~~~

Calculating kwh charges is not always easy.

Here's the bill we receive every month (its a large household):
Quote:
ELECTRIC BILL

1632 kwh............................ 147.04
Fuel................................... -11.59
Enviromental Charge 7.74%..... 10.48
School tax............................. 4.38
Total due............................ 150.31
So using straight division I get 9.2 cents/kwh. But looking closer, I see that fuel is a negative charge(!), and this actually fluctuates between bills. Also the enviro charge jumps around a lot. Summer electric tends to be more expensive, when you use it most.
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KY Metro View Post
Sorry. Metro cost $200 to buy, and I have $1000 in it for a complete overhaul. Show me an electric car for that price and I'm all over it.

Used? You betcha.
I paid $180 for my first used factory built electric car, a 1975 Seabring Vanguard, Citi-car, I've spent about $400 getting it on the road including a set of used batteries, if you want to buy it from me it's for sale for $1,000 right now, I'm not trying to gouge anyone on price but I have other projects to pay for!

Cost for electricity here in Wisconsin is about 12 cents per kwh, that includes the charge for buying the wind power offsets, about 250 watt hours per mile come out to 3 cents per mile, I also drive a civic vx getting 50mpg in the summer and 43mpg in the winter, $2.90 per gallon gas ($3.10 if you are me and buy premium to avoid ethanol) or 6.2 cents per mile just for gasoline! if you compare battery pack cost to the cost of oil changes, exhaust systems, spark plugs, air filters, engine coolant, then my figures from a while back showed that you would brake even with the two, leaving tires, brakes, suspension and the rest of that normal car stuff to pay for.
Of course if you compare insurance, the electric car is almost half the insurance cost of my civic even tho they have the same value.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KY Metro View Post
Sorry. Metro cost $200 to buy, and I have $1000 in it for a complete overhaul. Show me an electric car for that price and I'm all over it.
Here's another one:

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...etro-9802.html

But seriously though, I haven't done any number crunching or anything, but what I do know for sure is that the same month I started using my EV I purchased a SunFrost refrigerator and freezer to replace my old combo fridge/freezer and my electric bill was still lower than before I had to charge the car every night. That, I think, is the beauty of an electric car: you can offset the electricity use in so many ways. Solar panels, wind power, changing to CFL bulbs, changing to LED bulbs, buying more efficient appliances, etc. Can't really do that with a gas car.....
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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KY, you may want to check out EcoRenovator.org, and also do an energy audit on your house. My electric usage (it's a small household) is around 100KWh/mo, and I use a similar amount of natural gas as well.

By the way, at $0.12/kWh, the Leaf would cost me $0.04/mi in electricity, versus the roughly $0.05/mi I'm paying for the Insight's fuel.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KY Metro View Post
Calculating kwh charges is not always easy. Here's the bill we receive every month (its a large household):

ELECTRIC BILL

1632 kwh............................ 147.04
Fuel................................... -11.59
Enviromental Charge 7.74%..... 10.48
School tax............................. 4.38
Total due............................ 150.31 .
The cost for electricity in my EV is negative, as my local electric utility gives a discount to each EV, based on vehicle weight.

Alameda Municipal Power - Supplemental Schedule EV-X Experimental Electric Vehicle Charging Discount

Average daily use for the entire house is about 8kWh, which includes charging the electric car.

ELECTRIC BILL (last month)

227 kWh............................ 23.35
Taxes & Surcharges...............2.86
Electric Vehicle Discount........-9.00
Total due............................17.21

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Last edited by TomEV; 12-06-2010 at 06:48 PM.. Reason: typo
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