The True Cost of Powering an Electric Car Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited April 2017 in Editorial
imageThe True Cost of Powering an Electric Car

Depending on the cost of electricity, an EV could be a bargain or bust. Here's the smart way to think about powering an electric car.

Read the full story here



  • tomm250tomm250 Member Posts: 2
    One more thing to consider is the use of solar systems to produce your own electricity to power your car. Many people that have had an electric car have then added a solar array to their home. After a few months with the MINI-E I realized that I would be driving electric from now on so I installed a solar array that powers my home and fuels my car.

    Edmunds chose not to introduce solar to this discussion because it really complicates the cost analysis. While I do pay .18/kWh when I charge at home, my solar array produces about 90% of my total electric use of my home and my car charging. When I charge at work a lot in a month, my electricity bill is negative(banked kWh's for future use).

    The article uses Hawaii's high electricity cost of .36/kWh but Hawaii is a perfect place for solar PV systems and since the islands are small, it is also the perfect place for an EV because most people would be hard pressed to drive 100 miles in a day on a Hawaiian island so the limited range is really taken out of the equation.
  • PaulScottPaulScott Member Posts: 1
    Thanks to Carroll Lachnit for the best article I've seen to date on the costs of charging an EV. And Tomm250 is correct that adding solar PV to the EV equation - EV/PV - makes for a compelling economic argument in favor of EVs.

    I would only add that these cost comparisons as described leave out the huge external costs of using dirty energy, primarily oil, but also coal and natural gas for generating electricity. When all the costs are included, the EV is vastly superior to internal combustion in all categories save range, and range is a non-issue in over 90% of American's driving.
  • bejoycebejoyce Member Posts: 1
    While it may be true that electricity costs more in Hawaii, so does everything else, from orange juice to gasoline. It may cost more to power an electric car in Hawaii, but believe me, it costs *A*LOT* to power an ICE (internal combustion engine) car in Hawaii, as well. Failure to mention this little fact makes this article misleading.
  • usafang67usafang67 Member Posts: 1
    Sticker shock when you buy and EV and a even great shock when you decide to trade this White Elephant in when the warranty on the battery bank is near or past it's warranty. What sane person is going to want to buy one of these EV's when they know the cost of replacing the battery bank?
    Guess who is going to take the hit when you trade your EV in? It sure won't be the dealer! So much for all that money you saved at the pump :-(
    PS You are stuck with going to the dealer to have these beast service. I think I'd rather have a root canal!
  • davidm10davidm10 Member Posts: 1
    And you don't even get to those of us less-fortunates who must pay the $0.42 to $0.46 PG&E charges for Tier 4 and Tier 5 in northern California! We are on Tier 4 throughout much of the year, and in the Summer with our 100+ temps we have enough air conditioning cost to get heavily into Tier 5. Running an EV a those prices is roughly equivalent to my having to pay $12/gallon for gas in my Lincoln MKZ. Guess what I won't be buying?
  • don_cadon_ca Member Posts: 1
    don_ca says:

    07:35 PM, 01/18/11

    Good article about the true cost of operating an electric vehicle. But not much has been said about how to keep eCars going when production starts ramping up. Ever notice how the market reacts to consumer use. Our electric grid is antiquated and runs quite close to its maximum output. Only limited expansion to the grid is underway. What happens on a hot day when everyone plugs in there car and there is not enough electricity to run air conditioners and computers? We have rolling brown or black outs now! The price of electricity will jump and it will take TIME for the grid to come in line with the increased demand, if it can catch up. What will the MPHe be then? Hopefully the air, heat, and solid waste pollution generated from the new large electricity generating systems that will be needed will be better than running gasoline engines, but the balance of all these systems does not seem to be well understood yet. Being GREEN may not be so green.
  • iisi50mhziisi50mhz Member Posts: 2
    Seems like kWh/100m should be kWh per 100 meters. Try "kWh/100 mi." instead.
  • solman3solman3 Member Posts: 1
    The true cost of gas & oil is far more intricate and complicated than most people think as well. From socio-economic impacts, to human-rights issues, to environmental concerns, oil production and consumption needs to be curtailed. These are the real driving forces behind the need to become more fuel efficient.
    Even so, it is true that the bottom-line needs to make sense when purchasing a more efficient vehicle.
    This article should have also mentioned that solar electricity powering a home or business can make a consumers cost per kWh much lower than they are currently paying and also provide the power for these vehicles.
  • markquinnmarkquinn Member Posts: 1
    This article prompted me to look at some specific costs of electric driving, mainly for my own interest. Let me know if you find it useful or lacking! 

    A useful comparison between petrol/diesel and electric driving per year in UK units:

    Average 30 miles /day is approx 10,000 miles/year.

    Fuel Cost:  
    Petrol:  £1.30/litre
    Miles/Litre= 10  for 45 Miles/Gallon
    per mile = £ 0.13   
    per Year = £1300 

    per mile = £0.03 
    per Year = £300

    Savings = £1000 per Year on fuel

    Additional savings:
    Road Tax = £150

    So at least a savings of £1150 per year.

    What can reduce this is the added depreciation of the battery pack (£1000 per year?).

    I personally think that the battery is where most buyers should scrutinise. A system where the customer does not own the battery pack could become the norm. This also enables battery swapping at filling stations to occur.The life time of the electric motor and drive train is expected to be much longer than that of conventional petrol/diesel cars. The electric car owner could then stand to benefit from lower overall depreciation in an system where the battery is swappable and leased.

    Battery Lease cost per month is quoted as £65 for Renault and others.

    Battery Lease / year = £780

    So Basic savings per year = £1150 - £780 = £370

    A battery lease car like the electric Renault Zoe or the Kangoo Van is  £13,600 after UK government grant.

    The equivalent diesel van is £9000.

    Thats a difference of £4600.

    So the electric version would pay back the difference in at least 12 years.

    Also factor in reduced maintenance costs for electric motor vs combustion engine per year. 

    Since you can expect longer life-times out of your electric vehicle (without battery) compared to petrol/diesel than a payback time of 10 years is possible.

    Over the next 10 years, the value of electric driving will only improve.

    All in all, if you can afford the extra 50% upfront costs, you don't stand to lose very much in £'s .
  • ev_ownerev_owner Member Posts: 1
    "The true cost" seems a bit biased toward the extreme (high) price for electricity cost. The kilowatt per hour rate for our city is $0.0466. The average cost for me to charge my Mitsubishi i-MiEV is only $0.011 per mile. Compare that to a gas powered car that gets 25 MPG when gas costs $4.00 per gallon. The savings factor is over 14 times cheaper to operate. Or put another way, by the time I've spent $4.00 in electricity, my vehicle has been driven over 350 miles! In another 20 months if gas goes up another dollar, the disparity will be even greater.
  • senior_citizensenior_citizen Member Posts: 2
    This article is totally correct in the figuring of the cost of "Fueling-up". What is missing is the savings on auto maintenance. No more catalytic converters, mufflers, exhaust piping, engine tune ups, gas-oil-air filters and other time and money consumming costs of an internal combustion engine. Nothing is perfect but EV's also are quiet, cutting down on noise polution in heavily conjested areas. Less unburnt products of combustion to breath are a health benefit also.

    In comparing costs to benefits it seems to be a personal choice of financing and health. That is not to say that a 100 mile range on a "Fill-up" is close to ideal. I can drive my 2002 Intrepid from Boston, MA to Trenton NJ in six hours with one gas stop of 15 minutes. That trip would take 12 gallons of gasoline and cost me about $23 to $26 dollars Plus wear and tear on all of the above mentioned & related parts.

    EV's would be great for in the cities and short commutes.
  • senior_citizensenior_citizen Member Posts: 2
    Sorry I missed the point that in an EV the charging time would make this at least a 13 hour trip. Please SEE Above Senior Citizen
  • rampickuprampickup Member Posts: 1
    What's missing from this article is how much you have to pay in taxes for a gallon of gas. Those taxes include highway road repair and maintenance.

    This from

    Find the cost of taxes. The federal tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon. On top of that, there are state taxes and, depending on where you live, local gasoline and/or sales taxes, too. If taxes are typical where you are, the API estimates you're paying 49 cents per gallon in federal, state and local gas taxes, making up 12.5 percent of the average $3.88 gas price.

    If we are going to have electric cars on the roads, sooner or later, they will need to pay their fair share of the road taxes like the rest of us.
  • madhobbitmadhobbit Member Posts: 1
    while this is a fine article on the cost,I have not seen anyone talk about the possible future hidden costs. part of the cost per gallon of gas is taxes,local,state,county,fed. which is used to pay for road repairs and are they going to collect that in the future? right now i admit that the owners of the elec cars are getting a free ride(pun intended) for the taxes, but once this becomes main stream,how much would that cost rise?
  • david_dennisdavid_dennis Member Posts: 0
    One advantage of an electric car that most people might not have noticed is that you can run a car with luxury-grade performance and acceleration for very little more than an economy car.

    For example, a Nissan Leaf gets 99 mpg equivalent. A Tesla Model S, a far more luxurious vehicle with class-leading acceleration and handling, gets 89 mpg equivalent.

    A Nissan Versa, on which the Leaf was roughly based, gets 30 combined MPG.

    A Mercedes-Benz CLS550, which has roughly equivalent performance and luxury to a Tesla, gets 20 combined MPG.

    So if you want to be comfy and have fast acceleration, it costs about 1.5 times more to run than the Leaf.

    However, a Tesla Model S costs only about 10% (1.1 times) more than the Leaf.

    Admittedly, a Model S in the long-range model costs from $80-105k. However, a Mercedes CLS550 costs about the same ($75k+).

    To make this concrete, let's say I had a Nissan Versa and wanted to go to Miami. I go 150 miles on my trip. So 150 / 30mpg is about 5 gallons, or $20. The same trip on a Mercedes CLS class would be about $30.

    The Model S gets about 0.300 kwh per mile. So a trip of 150 miles will consume 45 kwh. Here in South Florida, where I'm charged a bit under $0.12 per kWh, it would cost $5.40 to go to Miami and back.

    So I can drive to Miami for about 1/4 what a Versa would cost, and about 1/6th what a CLS550 would cost. And not sacrifice one thing in ride, handling or comfort.

    That looks like a pretty sweet deal to me. If you have $80,000 for a car, and don't need to go over about 200 miles in a stretch, Tesla looks like a fully competitive choice that doesn't need to apologise to anyone.

  • jdhuntsvillealjdhuntsvilleal Member Posts: 1
    Nice article. Based on your estimates, an electric vehicle is only slightly cheaper to run than a gas vehicle.

    EXCEPT: You haven't finished the analogy. You haven't included THE COST OF REPLACEMENT BATTERIES.

    How often will they need replacing and at what cost? What is the resulting cost per mile just for the batteries.

    I imagine that factor would end up showing that electric/hybrid vehicles are MORE EXPENSIVE to operate than gas/diesels. And they cost more to boot.
  • les_legatoles_legato Member Posts: 1
    And where does all this electricity come from? Rainbow colored, unicorn poop-fired plants?

    10-1 most of the people here raving about their electric cars would oppose solar and wind farms in their "pristine" local environments, just like Kerry et al did out on Martha's Vineyard.
  • tps6tps6 Member Posts: 1
    The hidden costs are never discussed in these articles. What did the charging station cost to buy and install in the home (and work in some cases). Some reports have indicated that the cost to install a charging system at home has been extremely high (as much or more than the cost of the car) as the power company charged the owner an astronomical fee to improve the transmission capability to meet the additonal demand imposed by multiple all-electric vehicle charging stations in the area.

    Although some maintenance costs for an IC engine go away with an electric vehicle, those costs are replaced by the need to replace the battery. Many of the costs do not go away as they are replaced by something else, for example belts go away but now an electric motor directly drives the A/C compressor and the power steering is electric, both with new reliability problems of their own.

    Today electric car owners are able to get away without paying road taxes that are part of the cost of motor fuel. That will not last very long, as more electric vehicles are in service the states and federal government will definitely start charging some sort of tax, look at the additional cost for propane or natural gas when used in vehicles as an example.

    EVs may be great in warm weather areas, but the miles per KWh definitely goes down substantially when the weather is cold. Batteries are much less efficient when cold and heating the air for the passengers (and battery) consumes a lot of energy. That is never accounted for in the cost analysis. Cold weather areas also require tires that are more aggressive to negotiate slippery and snowy roads. These tires have much higher rolling resistance, thus increasing the power per mile, sometimes quite dramatically.

    Solar cells sound like a great alternative, but what is the cost for installing enough solar cells to power your car? Also, the solar cells would either have to be at your workplace or some sort of storage device (another battery pack) at your home, otherwise charging the car at night is not possible with solar cells. Wind power is another possibility, other than it not being very predictable.

    I still would rather drive my non-hybrid Sonata for long trips. It is inexpensive to own, large enough for my 6 foot 5 inch body (unlike a Prius), and gets me 37MPG at 80 MPH or 47MPG at 65 MPH. A hybrid or all-electric vehicle would cost me at least 50% more to buy initially. An all-electric vehicle would also not be acceptable for frequent 500 mi (one way) trips. I can do that on one tank of gas in the Sonata.
  • dalbodalbo Member Posts: 1
    Every time I fill up I pay gas tax . Add that to the cost or stay off my road. Another is why should you be allowed to charge up at your office and then deduct your electric bill on taxes for your work. I am for electric cars but realize all the coal used to keep you charged up. Not to mention the true cost of that battery.
  • clark32clark32 Member Posts: 1
    Many have heard of the 1976 film "Who killed the electric car?"
    The choices of consumers have kept the electric car down.
    There have been electric cars for sale in the US for 100 years.

    The above article implies that charging the electric car batteries will vary in price throughout the day. It might for a large commercial company, but residential power meters are not time of day sensitive.

    The truth is that if batteries were cheap, light weight, long lasting, and made from benign chemicals, we would all be driving electric cars.

    I have designed many battery chargers over the last 30 years for aerospace and medical systems. There are many kinds of batteries, and they all have their own problems.

    Electric cars are like anything else, they can seem great at a distance, but the more you learn, the more you find a can of worms.
  • pj47techpj47tech Member Posts: 1
    Interesting article. I think the idea of costs per 100 miles or km traveled is a nice way of equalizing across different technologies and would be easy for the average person to understand. Most people don't know the cost per kWh they pay at home.

    Second, I think using kWh only costs may be under reporting actual costs. In my area, the other part you pay is the fee to get power to your home (essentially transmission costs), and mine isn't fixed but tends to float higher as you consume more power. If I use 200 or 400 more kWh per month and it increases this part of my bill, you need to factor that cost in as well.
  • quietstormxquietstormx Member Posts: 2
    Really why go through the numbers and cost per 100 miles in a all electric asian automobile with no styling? Than going American and choosing a GM Volt, extended electric automobile you can drive normally and charge whenever as needed. And check by OnStar anytime and program to charge when and where to go for a charge. And not see a gas station in weeks for the generator.
  • reboundrebound Member Posts: 1
    Not a very informative article. The biggest misunderstanding here is that our electrical grid can supply electricity 24 hours a day, yet it is used vastly under capacity at night an on weekends. In fact, research has shown that there is enough unused capacity in America's electric grid to power 71% of America's cars and light trucks electrically without adding another penny of infrastructure.

    Night time electrical power is very plentiful across the nation, creating an opportunity of power companies to sell an otherwise unused commodity. As you might imagine, the best place and time to charge an electric vehicle is at home, overnight. For this reason, many public utilities are creating special electric vehicle rates and time-of-use rates which sell this otherwise wasted capacity at a discount.

    The article mentions the high price of electricity in Hawaii as a disincentive. But what else is expensive in Hawaii? Why, gasoline, of course. Hawaii has the nation's highest gas prices. And while the electric rates are high, the article failed to mention that Hawaii's HECO utility sells electricity at a discount for electric vehicle charging. The result is that a Nissan Leaf, for example, is cheaper to operate in Hawaii than even a Prius.

    It's unfortunate that journalists today refuse to write articles that don't criticize and find fault, no matter how minor the fault. And it is even more unfortunate that a group of Americans who think they are patriotic has become politically opposed to a technology that will weaken OPEC's stranglehold on Mideast politics and power. An America and Europe full of plug-in vehicles will rapidly diminish the power of OPEC.
  • bargainbargain Member Posts: 1
    Higher cost up front, speculative fuel price dependent on politics, another hit if you replace the batteries, safety issues and severly reduced performance over gas. Oh, yeah, and resale will be non existent. Some will say its the price of early adopters, but I say its the cost of using a power source that is far inferior to the standard (gas).
  • bargainbargain Member Posts: 1
    What happens when the libs tie in your carbon footprint to your taxes? You're now showing immense electricity consumption...and you thought the Jan. 1 payroll tax to fund Obamacare was huge...just wait...this is ALL left wing agenda driven. These people could care less about energy consumption. It's their Siren song to reel in well intentioned but extremely naive conservationist minded libs. Follow the money.
  • lovemyvoltlovemyvolt Member Posts: 2
    These comments are so naive. I went from a Land Rover to a Volt. My electric bill went up a mere $30 per month. (and my kw rate is above the nat. avg.) I spend ~$25 every 6 weeks in gas. I used to spend $350 in gas per month for the same commute of 44 miles per day (that means I get a new Volt for the price of a used Carolla). To the author of this article - it's not about taking the worst construction and making an argument. And paying fair share for taxes? Give me a break. I'm taxed plenty on my elec bill, plenty on my car and plenty everywhere else. It's the govt's job to figure out which taxes pay for the roads. Whine about something else. You look desperate. And for trade in value, well you're just going to have to re-think things for a while. I'm leasing. in 3 years the EV market will be as different as the smartphone market. You don't buy a phone or a computer for the eventual trade-in cost. Cars are going to be the same way. Oh, my Land Rover? after 14 years it's worth a mere $1500.00 at best. Talk to me about re-cup'ing that! And whoever commented about the huge expense of installing a charger in your home is greatly misinformed. My Volt came with a charger. I bought a bungie cord to hang from the ceiling and an extension cord. Done! And BTW - technology already exists for plugging in on the road in 15 minutes for a full charge. Charging stations are quickly following. People are just too afraid of the next thing, but yet complain when advancements don't happen fast enough. Nobody is threatening your way of life, or your precious energy industries. Nobody shed a tear when we stopping needing a mall store to develop our film, right? I'm a died in the wool car guy (way more than a "green" guy - and I'm definitely NOT a dem). I'm embracing the future - it's pretty freeing. You should try it. Oh and rebound - great post!!
  • lovemyvoltlovemyvolt Member Posts: 2
    bargain - seriously? > Greatly offset by the freedom from gas prices and crazy incentives.

    > Only doomed to increase.

    > My Volt has an 100K mile warrantee. Ever had to replace a transmission post-warrantee? Oh yeah - the Volt DOESN'T HAVE A TRANSMISSION! With rate batteries are improving, replacing a battery array in 8 years will probably be amazing!

    > Batteries catching fire are greatly exaggerated (by fear-mongering conservatives) and incidents are all but gone. Tell me any other safety issues NOT present in ICE cars?

    > First off - my Volt will dust every average car out there (it's called instant torque). Secondly, YouTube the clip of the Tesla S beating beating a BMW M5 from 0-100mph

    > Read my post. Re-think that. As compared to what?

    > My being an early adopter means getting huge lease incentives and tax incentives. When the REAL math is done, I'm getting a new - very high tech car for the price of a used Corolla.

    > Please attempt to qualify this statement. I don't believe you can (or will).
  • neilblanchardneilblanchard Member Posts: 4
    At ~12cents/kWh (which is the approximate average across the US), then that is only slightly more than the regular maintenance costs of an ICE car. If you add up the costs at a dealer for the minor services ($75-90) every 5K miles, the intermediate services($250-275) every 15K miles and the major services ($450-500) every 30K miles, they add up to $3,000-3,400 at 90K miles. Which is about 3.3-3.8 cents per mile.

    If you take the EPA rating of the Leaf of 340Wh/mile and use the 12 cents/kWh then you'll pay $3,672 to drive the 90K miles; or about 4 cents/mile.

    So, what you save over the 90K miles when you drive an EV instead of an average 23MPG car (at the current US average of $3.36/gallon) is about $13,000. That is a lot, I think you'll agree. Even driving the 50MPG Prius would cost you about $6,000 more than driving the Leaf; over 90K miles.

    Another couple of points: if you live in a state that has SREC's on solar PV panels (including California), then you can probably get a very good deal on installing a system on the roof of your house - sometimes as low as $0 down, or $1,500 or $2,500 down gets you a large enough system to completely cover all of your electricity use including the EV for 30-70% *less* than you are currently paying.

    In other words, you use a small portion of the saving from driving an EV toward lowering the cost of all your electricity - and essentially drive for "free".

    The last important point about costs: ALL of the money you pay for electricity stays in your local economy; and none of it goes to a foreign country. We don't need a military to defend our supply of electricity; and since EV's are 2-3X more efficient than ICE's and electricity can come from several different renewable sources which will be here as long as the earth and sun exist(!), driving an EV will do little or no damage to the climate we all depend on to live.

    Sincerely, Neil
  • neilblanchardneilblanchard Member Posts: 4
    On the cost of replacing the battery, unless you abuse it, then I think it will last as long as the car does. Look at the battery in the Prius, for example - some have lasted 300-500K miles and when they do need servicing, only some of the cells are below par. If you do need to replace some cells (replacing all of them is very unlikely), then I'm pretty sure that the $20-30K savings will more than cover the cost. They will be much less expensive in the future, remember.

    How much would it cost to replace the ICE and/or the transmission in a conventional car? These are wear items that an EV doesn't have. What about the cooling system or the exhaust system? These are also not needed items on an EV that could potentially cost a lot of money to replace.

  • tonyhinestonyhines Member Posts: 1
    A regular workday, sitting in the sun with a solar cell on top should get you a full charge.
  • urpolonurpolon Member Posts: 1
    I'm on the local fire department. EV's present a set of new and unique challenges for rescue work. There can a lot of energy in the batteries that can be hard to deal with in a broken EV, even if the batteries have not been ruptured. An EV may appear to be stopped, but will it start moving with out warning when you approach to help the people inside? It may still be switched on, with the driver unconscious, when he moves...........
  • peckmeisterpeckmeister Member Posts: 1
    My Leaf costs me about $45 for 1,000 miles in Hawaii - I get about 3.7 miles/kWh, and half of the kwhs come from the grid, half from paid-for solar (already fully funded by savings). My other car is an Altima - great car, but $186 for 1000 miles. Neither of these numbers include maintenance costs. Today I pay the first $200 for maintenance for the Leaf - new tire and alignment. Haven't dropped a nickel on it otherwise in 32,000 miles and almost 2 years. Bias in this article? I think so.
  • idic5idic5 Member Posts: 18
    In a discussion of the true cost of running a gasoline combustion car, one needs to also fold in the extra cost of securing the shipping lanes of petrol from outside the USA's borders and the cost of the adverse health affects caused by the refinement of pretrolium and the exhaust from the combustion process in the car engine - as well as in trucks , buses and trains.

    If all this were factored into the cost of a gallon of gas , the cost would be exponentially higher than the absurd cost that it is now and electric would not look at costly as it does now.

    At a minimum , there s/b a carbon tax assessed to attempt to mitigate all these costs to the use of petroleum.
  • jeffhrejeffhre Member Posts: 10
    Informative article for putting the issues in understandable terms, thank you.

    "If they were in Hawaii, where electricity is nearly 30 cents per kWh, it would be a much more expensive drive." Likely one of the reasons why solar is more popular in Hawaii. And another incentive to drive on sunbeams instead of enriching OPEC.
  • kateandersonkateanderson Member Posts: 0
    We all know that having Electric Car is much expensive and there are some instances of having problem with charging the battery and also finding the charging station. In order to have solution on that particular problem. Thirteen major companies and 8 stakeholder groups have signed on to take the U.S. Department of Energy's brand new Workplace Charging Challenge. That effort encourages the installation of plug-in electric vehicle charging stations at places of work. The DOE wants to multiply the amount of such stations by ten in the next five years. You may want to visit to know more about the article and to buy used car that you love.
  • dangousitydangousity Member Posts: 1
    Tom and Cathy Saxton make so much money they care less how much it costs to drive 30 miles. Case in point, they spent 140K on 2 cars alone. Good for them, now back to realistic views of normal people that can't afford a 100K car..
  • 69malibu69malibu Member Posts: 3
    EVs are being pushed by POLITICIANS! When has a politician ever made a choice based on what's best for the people, instead of what will get them re-elected?
    Ethanol has been falsely vilified by powerful oil and auto lobbies. By forcing corn as the only (& worst) acceptable source, the government has assured the lobbyists that ethanol production will continue to be seen as evil. Especially by spread the "no food for gas" meme to keep the people frightened.
    Brazil has been running E85 for decades, produced from indigenous sugar cane. They don't import foreign oil.
    So Detroit can't deny the technology it sent to Brazil long ago.
    It's all about votes and secured re-elections.
  • 69malibu69malibu Member Posts: 3
    What about the environmental damage that occurs in the manufacturing of such large capacity batteries? From strip mining raping the land for battery material to all the petroleum based fuel used to produce and ship it all over the globe, EVs have a monstous carbon footprint.
    And when batteries do go bad, what about the disposal/recycle aspect. Battery palnts around the world are notorious for chemical spills and water pollution.
    The same cannot be said about ethanol production. Plus the miniscule emmisions make ethanol cleaner, all around than electricity. (Think coal fired plants belching out carbon so you can drive electrically.)
    Guess what happens in an ethanol simply wait for it to evaporate.
    Of course, ethanol-fired power plants would be a great solution.
  • mbdriver2mbdriver2 Member Posts: 1
    The true cost also includes the overall impact to society in the long haul. So many 'green' individuals think this is the moral thing to do for the planet. However, they have not considered the environmental impact of the heavy metals lithum, Lead, magnesium, etc. that are needed to supply the worlds autos with proper batteries. How all these metals are mined and purified and processed. The world has far less of these metals than it has of petroleum based fuels. We would run out of battery material or prices would skyrocket for batteries due to the scarcity of the metals if gasoline were not the alternative. Waste facilities would not want the metals and recycling is not always an option. Thousands of acres full of decaying cars with their spent would be contaminating groundwater and we would face a whole new environmental problem. The liberal media does not discuss the long term implications of this major change in direction.
  • spikevfrspikevfr Member Posts: 6
    Usafang - have you priced a used electric vehicle in the last few years? They tend to hold their value *very* well. And no you aren't limited to the dealer fo service. Do a little research or think it thru, what service are you talking about? Oil changes? Uhhh, no, there are no oil changes electric vehicles. Change out the spark plugs? Nope, don' t use those either. Brake pad change? Typically EVs use regenerative braking for the majority of their braking so a set of pads can last well over 100,000 miles, i have over 160,000 miles on my original pads. And no need to change them soon.

    Don_ca - most people will plug in at night, when they are home. Not during the middle of the day. You also have a high proportion of EV owners with solar, meaning no drain on the grid.
  • roofwalkerroofwalker Member Posts: 1
    So let's see:
    - The guy who is fanatic about tracking information charges his car at his restaurant - so his customers are paying for his electric fuel.

    - The couple who gets 100-miles to a $1.00 worth of electricity fudges the number by the man charging his car at hs office - which means that the company who he works for pays for that, which means their customers are paying for his fuel.

    - When the electricity costs are averaged out across the country the article says that the "costs" per mile are nearly identical to that of a internal combustion engine getting 36 miles to the gallon. Which is the case for a full and mid-size car and not one of these smaller near compact size electric vehicles.

    - The initial cost of the electric is 15% - 25% more for the electric vehicle and that is again for a smaller car than the average sized purchased. and that is only because of a Government (Taxpayer paid) subsidy.

    - The cost of repair and maintenance on the electrics is near double, and that is not figuring in a new set of batteries because the life expectancy is currently only 5-7 years at best. The new batteries will cost about the same as a internal combustion engine total rebuild.

    - And if you really want to "save money" on charging one needs to get someone else to pay for it or set your alarm for 2:00 am and get up to plug the car in.

    So remind me again - Where are the "savings" ?
  • marcs22marcs22 Member Posts: 1
    and these cars are powered by coal polution which is not counted by the propaganda ministry,the MSM.
  • chapadrochapadro Member Posts: 1
    I live in central Mexico. I have six solar electric panels on my roof and my monthly electric bill is $2 Dollars. When I get my "plug in" hybrid, in a couple of years, I will add two more photo voltaic panels on my roof and drive on mostly SUNSHINE. If all of you who are complaining about the price of your electricity would go SOLAR, we would all be in better shape. During the afternoon, when you are paying peak rates to run your air conditioners, the sun could be subsidizing your electric bill. What a CONCEPT!
  • doggy2doggy2 Member Posts: 1
    Not only do you have to figure the cost per kWh but also how is the electricity produced. Is it prodeced by a nuclear plant, natural gas burning plant, diesel plant, coal plant, hydroelectric plan... You may think you are being green but it takes different types of fuels that either pollute, create permanent radio activity or ruin the landscape. Maybe not so green after all.
  • dr_hfuhruhurrdr_hfuhruhurr Member Posts: 1
    Another problem no one seems to have touched on reared its ugly head after hurricane Sandy hit the east coast last year. What do you do when the power grid goes down for weeks at a time?

    Several times a year up here in the Cleveland area, I read about communities without power for several days due to storms. My gas tank holds 14 gallons, enough to last me a week or two. A 100 mile range electric car will get me to work twice at most. Then what? Vacation?
  • stubb1stubb1 Member Posts: 1
    Two things are not cler to me about the value of running these vehicles. One is the carbon cost of recharging your vehicle with coal-fired electricity, which in combination with the high carbon footprint of their manufacture and the environmental cost of their battery disposal, makes me think these vehicles are not bery green at all and are actually less green than a comparable gas-powered vehicle. I see these cars and imagine coal smoke coming out of their imaginary tailpipe and shudder.
    The second is the displaced cost of charging up at work. Who is paying for that? Is the individual paying for that or is the consumer? It seems to me that as these vehicles become more common, individuals will have to pay at the pump just as anyone else and that cost will probably be higher.
  • lisabelindalisabelinda Member Posts: 1
    WAKE UP! GET OFF THE GRID--GO SOLAR, just don't buy cheapo Chinese dumped import panels--BUY AMERICAN--but check your choice out carefully, we don't make much good stuff anymore--but they're out there, and getting better and cheaper. FLIP THEM ALL OFF, but see "Who Killed The Electric Car" and "Zeitgeist 1-3" first. Within a very short time, the sun will let you ride for FREE!
  • physicsguyphysicsguy Member Posts: 1
    But this is only about half the cost. Has any EV owner checked on their vehicles while it is charging? Those batteries get very warm because the charging circuit, to be efficient, can only use part of the energy supply. About half is wasted as resistance heat. The actual electrical usage is twice the EV rating. For example, if the batteries on an EV have a capacity of 20 kw, it will take 40 kw of electricity from the grid to charge the batteries. Too bad there isn't any information about this in the absurd advertisements for EVs.
  • charles_higleycharles_higley Member Posts: 1
    It is bogus not to include the cost of the battery in these calculations. The batteries have a lifetime that is far shorter and much more expensive than a standard engine. The battery cost HAS to be included.

    With cycling, a battery may only be good for a few hundred cycles and cost >$10,000 to replace. Some batteries cost $17,000 and have to be replaced every 3–7 years. Furthermore, batteries suffer faster degradation in hot climates and suffer poor performance in cold climates, not to mention using precious battery power to heat the passenger compartment.

    In addition, you need to include the charging time in this calculation. I can fill a car in just a few minutes and batteries take hours and hours. Rapid charging, for the impatient, kills batteries, shortening their lives.

    Electric cars have been around since 1905 and they are no more efficient or practical than they were then and, oh, they got the exact same mileage then as now. That's really not progress. Electric cars have a very small useful market and are generally just too expensive and limiting for the vast majority of people.

    Lastly, batteries will never achieve the energy density of gasoline or diesel. This is a reality, not a prediction. Lithium batteries already use the lightest and smallest atoms in the universe that can form a battery.

    ANd, as mentioned by others here, the resale value really stinks for these cars. Welcome to the world of disposable cars. One calculation indicated that you would have to own and drive an electric car for over 60 years to end up saving any money.
  • cvr527cvr527 Member Posts: 1
    I recently read an article that stated that the Nissan Leaf doesnt get the mileage that Nissan claims. Additionally electric cars suffer from significantly reduced performance in sub-zero weather. Imagine trying to drive home in a blizzard and your car dies, better have a ton of blankets.
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