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Do EVs Make Good Cents or Sense?

By Barry Stevens | Thu, 03 January 2013 22:15 | 2

David Herron of Torque News stated in his article “60 kWh Tesla Model S rated at 208 mile electric driving range by EPA:”

“The 85 kilowatt-hour Model S, $77,400 for 265 miles range, or $292/mile of range. The 60 kilowatt-hour Model S, $67,400 for 208 miles range, is $324/mile of range. The other electric cars cost a lot more per mile of driving range. [1]

Taking this comparison to the next logical step, a cost analysis of EVs and gasoline powered passenger vehicles was conducted to determine their comparative Life Cycle Cost. This analysis included 30 vehicles (2013) ranging from a Mini Cooper to a Ferrari F12. Vehicles represented high-end and low end models from a sampling of manufacturers.

Only Teslar’s Model S all electric vehicle was considered in this study. Results may look somewhat different with other manufacturer’s lower end all electrics cars.

Items evaluated included:
•    Engine Power (HP or kWh),
•    EPA’s MPG Combined Fuel Economy Rating or kWh /100 mile rating
•    Fuel Capacity (gallons).
•    MSRP less delivery, tax, title and license
•    Range (= Combined EPA rating x Fuel Capacity)
•    Cost per Mile ( = MSRP / Range)
•    Cost of Gasoline over 60,000 miles [ = (60,000 / MPG) x cost of gasoline]
•    Cost of Electricity over 60,000 [ = (60,000 /100) x (kWh/100 miles x cost of electricity)]
•    Total Cost (= MSRP + Cost of Fuel)
•    Cost Difference from Telsa S 60 kWh (= Total Cost – Total Cost of Telsa S).

Related Article: Related Article: Are EV's Ready to Meet Society's Demands?

Data for each vehicle was obtained from the EPA and manufacturers’ technical specifications. The cost of gasoline ($3.257 per gallon) was obtained from the EIA - U.S. National Average for Regular Grade, 12/24/2012. The cost of electricity ($0.1187 per kWh) was obtained from the EIA - Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Residential Customers; rolling 12 Months Ending in October for 2012.

The analysis did not include costs for tax, title, license, routine service, unscheduled maintenance and towing cost for discharged batteries or running out of gasoline.  The fact that electricity is primarily generated by fossil fuels was not taken into account in this study.

It is suggested to view the entire spread sheet (.xls) at:  http://tinyurl.com/barry-stevens487

The summary is as follows; from largest to smallest cost savings or cost differential from Tesla S 60 kWh at 60,000 miles:

Life Time Saving Costs of EVs

Related Article: It is Possible to Replace Crude Oil with Synthetic Oil

In closing, the data speaks for itself. From a pure cost basis only Teslar S with either 60kWh or 85kWh versions make little financial sense. Critically acclaimed cars such as Audi A6 and Q7, Cadillac CTS, BMW even the base Corvette are better deals. 

The problem is society’s need to get off fossil fuels. With high cost EVs that show little or no cost savings, it’s difficult to motivate consumers to purchase EVs - even if it benefits all of us in the long run.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author Dr. Barry Stevens, an accomplished business developer and entrepreneur in technology-driven enterprises. He is the founder of TBD America Inc., a global technology business development group. In this role, he is responsible for leading the development of emerging and mature technology driven enterprises in the shale gas, natural gas, renewable energy and sustainability industries. To learn more about TBD America, please visit: http://tbdamericainc.com/

By. Dr. Barry Stevens

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  • SA Kiteman on January 05 2013 said:
    All or nothing is not always the best choice. Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles are a great first step. The second step to a carbon free future (not necessarily popular here) might be to replace the petroleum based fuels with nuclear ammonia.
  • David Hrivnak on January 06 2013 said:
    There are many ways to calculate the costs. If you went out to 100,000 miles the EV will pull ahead ad fuel costs are 15% the cost of gas. I can easily drive 200 miles on $4 of electricity and i can do that on one charge.

    Then with instant torque and low center of gravity they are a joy to drive as they are far more responsive than gas cars. Since you easily plug in at home you never waste you time at gas stations. I have driven over 14,000 gasoline free miles and i will never go back.

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