Friday, August 23, 2013

Electric Cars – Are the Savings Real?

The government website Energy.gov contends that it costs about 3 times less to drive an electric vehicle.  An eGallon costs $1.22 versus $3.56 for a gallon of gas.

I’m not convinced.  I’d rather drive a hybrid car rather than an electric car.  Here is why.

Embedded in the computation for eGallon are assumptions that do not hold true for me.  It assumes a low cost of retail electricity, 12.3 cents/kWh versus my actual cost of about 19 cents/kWh.  It also assumes that a comparable gasoline car drives 28.2 miles per gallon.  Now, according to the government data (http://www.fueleconomy.gov), a comparable hybrid car drives about 44 miles per gallon.  Adjusting for these two assumptions, an eGallon will cost $2.94 versus $3.80 for me in Massachusetts.

Since buying an electric car will cost me $10,000 to 15,000 more than a hybrid car, I will need to drive 115 to 170 thousand miles before I’ll recoup my cost.  That is without factoring the cost of fitting a high speed car charger in my garage.  Plus, I will have to deal with range anxiety, the absence of charging stations on longer drives, and the degradation in battery performance after two years.
 
The hybrid technology offers a sensible and practical path forward for every class of vehicle, small cars as well as heavier vehicles.  I expect the electric vehicle technology will pass when the initial enthusiasm (stoked by government subsidies) ebbs, and it will make way for a far more rational choice of hybrid technology.

4 comments:

loyloy tuxie said...

for me, elecetric cars a not just for saving but for an environment friendly purposes...



regards,
Loi =)
nitrous oxide systems

Praveen Sahay said...

Agreed. But all that electric cars do is shift the pollution from tailpipe to the power plants. When we consider our choices, we find superior solutions that create stronger environmental impact and cost less money, both to the taxpayers and the buyers.

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