By on January 11, 2018

electrify-america-ev-charging-station, Electrify America

The automotive industry’s gradual shift toward electric vehicles is primarily influenced by global fuel economy mandates. A happy side effect is that consumers benefit from having access to vehicles offering better overall efficiency. This translates into lower running costs and some real savings — once EVs come down in price.

However, there are instances where it might still be cheaper to run a plain Jane internal combustion unit. A new study from the University of Michigan’s Sustainable Worldwide Transportation group explores exactly how cost-effective electric vehicles are and how fuel efficient an internal combustion model would need to be to become the cheaper alternative. The answer, as it turns out, has a lot to do with where you live. 

For example, in a state where both gasoline and electricity are expensive, you might be better off sticking with a petroleum-based solution. Calculating the average annual miles driven by everyone in the United States, report authors Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle broke down the cost in each state to run both a BEV and a ICE vehicle for a year, based on current energy and fuel prices.

For Hawaii, they determined it would cost a driver $1,509 in gasoline and $1,106 in electricity to travel the same distance. However, that’s if the internal combustion model operated at the mean national efficiency rate of 25 mpg. The break-even point was 34.1 mpg, at which point the ICE would begin saving a motorist money. Considering there are already a bevy of budget-minded compact cars capable of achieving that, EVs may not be an ideal alternative for those residing in America’s 50th state.

In California, where fuel is expensive and electricity is cheaper, a gas-powered car needs to achieve 60.6 mpg or better in order to be cheaper to operate. In Michigan, where both gas and electricity are relatively affordable, the break-even point drops to 52.1 mpg.

On a national scale, the average annual fuel bill for an ICE vehicle comes in around $1,117, or just $485 for an electric. That means a gasoline-powered car needs to get 57.6 mpg or better to offset the cost benefit of driving a battery-powered vehicle. This is all contingent on prices staying the same, however. Were EVs to suddenly put excess strain on the energy grid, electricity prices could go up — lowering the break-even point. Likewise, higher fuel prices would have an inverse effect.

[Source: HybridCars] [Image: Volkswagen Group]

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59 Comments on “Can an Electric Car Really Save You Money? It Depends on Where You Live...”


  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    >Were EVs to suddenly put excess strain on the energy grid, electricity prices could go up

    I wish somebody could break this number out as “If we add X number of EV’s, we would have to add Y many number of powerplants.” The cost of electricity relative to gasoline will be the economic driving factor, but nobody talks abou the science behind, namely the law of conservation of energy (it has to come from somewhere).

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      “Save the whales” fits on a bumper sticker. All the math and range of assumptions for a total life-cycle analysis between electric and petrol cars doesn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        There’s so much energy usage that’s never applied to the equation of building an EV. It’s fun to poke the Tesla fanboys, but I’m somewhat of a realist and think EVs will play a significant role in transportation.

        Where they lose me is they won’t consider anything regarding the “carbon footprint” except that we need to pay for it. I personally believe it’s a great idea of how to redistribute wealth via a carbon tax, but I digress.

        The notion that Supercharger stations from coast to coast along with self-driving capability (and how many people have paid for that?) is a long ways away. Our buddy Elon Musk (aka – PT Barnum) actually presented the Semis and their ability to run in “convoys”, with the first one having a driver and the other 2 unmanned. I’d like to know when the DOT is going to allow that. PT knows very well that’s one hell of an issue, but what the heck, throw it out there in case I need to raise some more money, and I can take some money off the table by telling everyone “it’s just around the corner”. Indeed. Not.

    • 0 avatar
      sgtjmack

      That goes with solar panels as well. I had the salesman come to my house and do his pitch. Then we did the math. Right in front of him I came to the conclusion that if I were to get his product, the payments on the panels and equipment would have cost me more per month when added to my electric bill AFTER the savings he said I would receive.

      • 0 avatar
        Erikstrawn

        In my experience, if a salesman comes to your house to give a pitch, you can rest assured you’re paying an extra 100% markup. Last time I priced it out, it would take 5 years to amortize converting to solar.

    • 0 avatar
      mxs

      It’s a well perpetrated myth and repeated over and over, until it’s supposed to become true. Ask yourself the opposite … is there a serious report which states that implementing x amount of thousands EV’s each year into a jurisdiction’s grid somehow a problem? I am not aware of one (barring the oil propaganda). There’s not a utility around the world which seriously claims this to be a problem.

      Don’t forget, most smart jurisdictions offer TOU … so most EV’s just charge during off-peak when there’s more power available than the grid really needs.

    • 0 avatar
      healthy skeptic

      >> “If we add X number of EV’s, we would have to add Y many number of powerplants.”

      I believe I saw a stat saying we could add 180 million EVs to the grid as is. Reason is because most will be recharging at night, when power demand is currently way down. Wind power produces the most at night, so it will make a nice compliment.

      Probably the biggest cost for a long time will be “last mile” upgrades. Garage wiring, neighborhood transformers, etc.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    TL/DR, these types of studies are of limited use cuz literally each zip code has unique circumstances. It isn’t as cut and dry as: you live in State X, so your average costs will be $Y.

    As I’ve looked into this—-(i’m sure I’ll forget something)

    before even thinking about electricity:
    Cost of a Level 2 charger, cost of putting in a 240V outlet in garage, if you live in an older house–double checking that your house can handle the amps.

    then for electricity—ideally your local electric co. offers real-time electricity pricing.

    overnight hours are cheaper with the trade-off of higher charges during peak times like summer A/C season or sub-zero winter days.

    • 0 avatar
      sgtjmack

      Can that equipment and upgrade cost be equivalent to oil changes and other maintenance costs that are seen on the ICE and not on the BEV? I do know that both have similar maintenance issues like tires and specific lubrication costs that cancel one another, I’m thinking more specific items though, like oil, filter, fuel filter, spark plugs etc.

      I’ll have to look into that when I get a chance.

    • 0 avatar
      T Miller

      Yeah, in New York State, you can’t even generalize about energy costs based on zip code. The electric utility in my area of New York, NYSEG, has among the highest rates in the country – between 18 to 25 cents a kwh. Half of my town has electric service through NYSEG. The half of the town that I live in, however, obtains electric through the municipal electric authority. We pay between six and 10 cents a kwh – depending on usage.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      Show the math.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    The problem is they don’t factor in the initial purchase price of the vehicle. Quite a difference from a Tesla Model X and a Toyota Corolla. You can buy a lot of gasoline for the delta in the purchase price of those two vehicles. Admittedly it’s an extreme example but ignoring the price of the vehicle is ignoring reality.

    • 0 avatar
      sgtjmack

      Even of you use a Camry, there is a large delta. But some on here automatically throw in the $7,500 income tax savings. But they forget that it us “up to $7,500,” depending on your financial situation, and it isn’t an automatic rebate off of the price of the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        When I leased my 12 Leaf, Nissan took the $7500 right off the bottom line. I had no tax declaration of this vehicle as a consequence.

        Purchasing an EV may work differently, tax-wise.

    • 0 avatar
      Scott_314

      Bad example. Why not compare a Nissan Leaf to a Mercedes S Class? The point of the article is operating costs.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      It’s also pretty silly to look at the fuel savings versus a Corolla since nobody cross shops a 7 passenger EV versus a Corolla. You actually get increased fuel cost savings the heavier the vehicle gets, since you’re really cross shopping this against 7-passenger SUVs that definitely aren’t getting to the 34mpg breakeven point anytime soon. It’s more likely that people are cross shopping something like an Audi Q7 against the Model X than they are to cross shop a Corolla against it.

  • avatar
    sgtjmack

    Let’s not forget about insurance. In my research on this particular subject, I have found that BEV’s tend to be higher to insure. I believe that is mainly because insurance companies always raise prices on new technology vehicles, even though they may reduce the amount of severity of the incidents or the incident all together.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Thinkin...

      I haven’t found that to be the case at all. Of a handful of cars, gas, hybrid, and EV, the only one that was any more expensive to insure was our WRX. (Cars insured over the past 10 years: Scion xB, Prius, r57 Mini Cooper, Chevy Volt, Kia Soul EV, and a WRX. I’ve also quoted our insurance rates for the i3, Leaf, and Bolt with no difference. The Tesla Model S was was surprisingly not much more expensive at all, which my agent attributed to its outstanding safety. He said they’re MUCH more concerned about repairing people than cars, hence the WRX (and GT500) are pricey to insure, since they’re crashed more often. Teslas, not so much.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    I can’t imagine National Grid, the power company here in CNY, not taking advantage of any noticeable increase in electric cars by Implementing rate hikes. The electrical grid in this state is ancient as well, despite Senator Hillary Clinton’s promise to fix it after the 2003 Blackout. The power authority would rubber stamp any rate hikes and some type of tax would be inevitable in this completely corrupt state. People would be begging for big block V8s inside of two years in NYS, lol.

    • 0 avatar
      sgtjmack

      Luckily there are certain federal caps tjat can be imposed on the customers. But a tax is a different story, but at money would go to the State. Although I’m sure a specific fee could be used to circumvent the rate hike. They could use vehicle registrations to know who to charge.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    The results for my state aren’t surprising as I did the calculations a while ago and determined the cost of running a leaf would be roughly half of a Prius and this says that a car would need to do 90mpg to meet the average cost of an EV.

    Unsurprisingly, at least in the western side of the state EVs have a high adoption rate. The fact that a number of companies provide free chargers at work means that the ICE powered vehicle would need to get unlimited mpg or cost next to nothing for it to work out for those folks.

    A case in point is a friend of mine who now owns an i3 w/o range extender. He does not have a charging station at home. He just makes sure he leaves work fully charged on Fri and he is good to go for the weekend. Then top it off on Mon and maybe give a mid week boost if he has a lot of driving other than too and from work planed.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Electricity in MY neck of the woods costs $0.17 per KWH. During the summer $400 elec bills are common.

      Add to that a plug-in EV with limited range…. and the elec bills would be way out of kilter in comparison to the costs of gasoline.

      A plug-in Hybrid, like a Volt, would make more sense ’cause there would be no range anxiety but I haven’t seen any around here.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        But what is a gallon of regular running in your area right now? When I did my Prius vs Leaf check in my area I based it on $2.75 gal and $.012 and that resulted in the Leaf having an energy cost of half that of the Prius. So unless your gas is much cheaper right now I’d say the Leaf would still be cheaper than the Prius and significantly cheaper than something like a Camry or Corolla.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Scoutdude, gasbuddy.com lists retail prices everywhere.

          I just filled up my ’89 Camry at Valero and gas cost $2.289 for 86-RegUnl, $2.589 for 88-Midgrade and $2.889 for 90-Prem.

          The Bradley station where I normally gas up has no gas and may be closing, which leaves Valero and Phillip’s @Lowe’s as the lowest price gas stations in town.

      • 0 avatar
        vwet9394

        Here in CA, my EV gets about 3.5 miles per kwh. At $0.17 per kwh, the cost to run 50 miles would be ~$2.4. So the cost per EV mile would be on average similar to the cost of a 50MPG vehicle, depending on the price of gasoline in your area.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My 12 Leaf cost me $20/month to operate, averaging about 800 miles/month, here in western PA. My electricity is pretty cheap, but it’s gone up lately. Pay-for-charge electricity is very expensive. The electricity costs were still about $100/month less than it cost me to run a 30 mpg Scion xB1.

    But the car cost nothing in maintenance, except for tires, wipers, and a cabin air filter, in 3 years. Plus it was exempt from PA’s annual emission inspection. Yay.

    Honestly, if you want to save money in Total Cost of Ownership, there are many more factors than fuel costs. For example, if I had actually owned my Leaf the depreciation cost would have been astronomical.

    I did once use it to jump an ICE car with a dead battery, which was fun.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      We’ve been promised lower elec bills because of all the cutting of restrictive regulations done by the current President, but I believe it when I see it. Lower rates would be good.

      My elec rates tripled 2009-2015 on account of all the windmills and solar panels the elect cos were forced to put it.

      Ironically, many of the windmills aren’t even being used and output from the solar farms in my area is exported to the TX grid.

      Some of those mandates just made no sense. It’s great to see them being repealed, but I doubt we’ll see much of a reduction in elec rates.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Gotta love TTAC – finding a way to subtly dismiss EV’s at every single opportunity. Even if it requires outright fudging of scientific articles, and obvious logical fallacies.

    Here’s a few hints. The title is wrong, because the ratio of operating cost, gas to electric, is higher than 1 in every state. The body of the article is wrong, because it proposes that it’s possible to make combustion powered costs lower than electric, but only through swapping an apple with an orange (buying a high-efficiency gasoline car and comparing it with an average efficiency electric car). And the conclusion is wrong, because gasoline has equal if not higher opportunity to increase in price, and actually has historically unlike electricity.

    https://energy.gov/articles/egallon-how-much-cheaper-it-drive-electricity

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The other big flaw in the study is that they use 25mpg as the default ICE performance while most of the current EVs would be better competitors to vehicles that do much better than 25mpg. Its kind of like saying you can cut your fuel cost in half by trading in that large car for a sub-compact, apples to oranges.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      Glad you got your notice to respond.

      I always go with the Federal numbers, and as a company that received a Federal grant, I’ll never forget what the person who was dealing with me had to say – “now you know why we pay $6000 for hammers”.

      I will say that with our grant we created a global standard for metadata and getting musicians paid. We parked $1 million + of IP into a global standards society so it would never get forked, and it is helping artists and performers get paid.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    I’m probably in the minority given the sales figures—but I’d never own an EV in earthquake or hurricane country. no way, at any price.

    the odds of the being at ground zero of the Big One or another Katrina are very, very low, but I don’t want to press my luck when hybrids are an option. Just saying.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      One thing to keep in mind (I live in FL) – gas pumps need electricity to work. So unless you hoard fuel ahead of time having an ICE based vehicle isn’t the huge advantage you might think it is. I’m lucky in that I have a small boat which means I’ve got extra 28 gallons of go juice in a towable container.

      The real trick is having enough range (gas or EV) to make it out of the dreaded cone. During Andrew 75 miles north was all it took, during Wilma you to double that trip to 150 miles, while during Irma is more like 350.

      One advantage the EV has is if you stay put you can run your laptop and cellphone for WEEKS off its battery. If you have no structural damage and enough food/water the next biggest problem is communication. Being cut off means you don’t know if a gas station between ground zero and salvation is even an option. The whole system breaks down pretty quickly when the power is out.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Another difficulty is that there is no ‘average’ EV; there is Tesla and everybody else.

    Nearly all Teslas are purchased; the vast majority of other EVs are leased. Owning a 2011-17 Leaf will doom you to huge depreciation costs; owning a Tesla does not.

    Tesla has ridiculous annual checkup costs (on par with premium German makes) that other EVs do not.

    Tesla body repairs are notoriously expensive; others aren’t so bad. (Except I’ll note that replacing the crunched LED headlight on my Leaf cost $650 for the part alone).

    Somebody could look at the cost for 21″ tires on a Model S, compared to the 16″ tires on a Leaf or Camry, but the real comparison should be to a premium German sedan.

    I found the insurance rates for my Leaf were ‘normal’, but that often varies dramatically by zip code. It didn’t have 5-star ratings, either.

    To use fuel costs as justification for a vehicle purchase, we really should discuss the Tesla Semi – that’s the primary reason companies are interested in it. But I wouldn’t recommend using fuel costs as the main metric for an EV purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I would just say that if fuel costs are the main metric in your vehicle purchase they you really need to compare the Leaf or Bolt to a Prius or one of the other Hybrids at the top of the MPG ratings.

  • avatar
    kwong

    I bought an off-lease 2013 Fiat 500e with 24K miles on it for $7,300 out the door about a year ago. We’ve added 22K miles to it since then. My wife uses it for her 50 mile commute to work (she charges it for free at her workplace) and we use it for local errands. Her other car is a Lexus Rx400h which gets about 28 mpg. We’re saving nearly $2,500 a year in fuel costs and have greatly reduced the use of our Rx400h and Golf TDI. The Duramax still gets used to the same capacity because we exclusively use it for hauling.

    The added bonus is the HOV access privilege and free access on the toll-roads. The potentially can be an $7,200 savings a year ($10 tolls each way). I also threw down $10K on a 4.8kW solar array and switched our electricity plan to time-of-use; effectively trimming our electricity rate down 90%. It’s also enhanced the comfort of our home too. We run the 5-ton AC a lot more in the summer now and electric radiant heaters in the winter.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Were EVs to suddenly put excess strain on the energy grid, electricity prices could go up — lowering the break-even point. Likewise, higher fuel prices would have an inverse effect.”

    Between this and Bitcoin et al, our social betters will have electricity prices through the roof in no time.

    What powers it all? Nat gas plants springing up.

    Where is all the excess nat gas coming from? Oil fracking.

    Vicious cycle.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I’ve tried to get my head around digital-currency mining that creates value out of nothing and wastes huge amounts of electricity during the pursuit of all this mathematical equation-solving that is generating block-chain transactionary money.

      It keeps coming out “Pyramid Scheme.”

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        I don’t think most people are mining anymore. Bitcoin was constructed so that there would be a finite number of coins, and the mining rate decays exponentially until they are all mined.

        You can think of your dollar as a certificate of having done a specific quantum of value for your fellow man, because you have to be given the dollar by someone who has it.

        However, for a digital currency, you could assert that you have a certain amount of currency. The mining is to establish whether you do or do not actually have the currency – whether that assertion is true or false. There are a set of problems outside of our computational bounds, so that the only feasible way to solve them is by brute-force guessing. About 15 years ago, everybody realized their graphics cards are really good for that sort of thing, since a graphics card looks like a Cray vector supercomputer from 40 years ago. So, the miners basically sit and guess at these hard problems for diminishing returns. If you mined it, you could show that you guessed it correctly, and that is proof you came up with the bitcoin – before it’s divided. They’re effectively infinitely divisible, and that’s the escape hatch for the finite number of coins – perhaps one coin will cost a small nation’s GDP, but then you can buy one-millionth of that for a reasonable sum.

        Unless you’re already invested in mining, it makes very little sense to jump into that today. Just trade it like gold or silver that you permit someone else to mine and put on the market.

        Jack’s had some articles about digital currency over at the Baruth Brothers’ website lately.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          MrGreenMan, I guess I’m with Jamie Dimon when it comes to crypto currency.

          Maybe I just prefer the feel and touch of paper certificate money, precious metals and gems.

          That’s not to say that I am against digital currency. For me it will remain an investment or payment instrument of last resort.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The powers that be have no interest in supporting mining, or anything related to virtual currency.

      (And, even at today’s bubblicious prices, Bitcoin mining isn’t profitable given the energy cost involved, unless you know exactly what you’re doing and invest in highly specialized hardware.)

  • avatar
    deanst

    WELCOME BACK SALMON-PANTED BOY!

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Range and refuel convenience.

    EV’s haven’t got it so far. Cooling in the summer and heating in the winter drastically change the range as does cold on the capacity of some batteries.

    Then add the terrific environmental damage all those batteries cause from mining to disposal.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      In my limited 3-year experience with a Leaf, cooling didn’t hurt range much at all. Resistive heating killed range, however. I’m told that heat pumps are more efficient, but not every EV has one.

      The environmental damage is debatable. The Leaf was highly recyclable, and Tesla’s Gigafactory is designed to recycle lithium ion cells as a way to reduce costs (we’ll see) and environmental impact.

      If by range and refuel convenience you mean 500 miles and 5 minutes, then we’ll be waiting another decade for that. But most people find the range and refuel convenience to be perfectly fine.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “In my limited 3-year experience with a Leaf, cooling didn’t hurt range much at all. Resistive heating killed range, however.”

        This is exactly the case with my C-Max Energi. In the summer, whether it’s pleasant or stiflingly hot, I get the same ~20 miles on battery. In the winter, when the resistive heating is needed, that turns into ~12 miles.

        Newer Leafs have a heat pump which reduces energy draw for heat by about two-thirds in cool temperatures, but they still have to switch to resistive heating when it’s significantly below freezing.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @dal20402: There’s also a battery heater that switches on at I think -1 degrees F and that starts killing range. The heat pump still seems to run in the subzero temps though. My home heat pump is set for just above freezing and the Nissan seems to be lower.

          My worst during the deep freeze was in the upper 2 miles per kWh range which didn’t stop me from doing several long-distance (100-mile plus) trips.

          I think one trip was 163 miles – in a Leaf with 60k miles on the clock. I did pick up a quick charge on the 80-mile return trip that in warmer weather I would have gone non-stop. It added 30 minutes to the trip, but I made up for the time by doing some grocery shopping while it was charging.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I remember doing some math about picking up a fleet-used 1st gen Volt, looking at the cost per mile. Cool thing was, at $0.10/kWh and $2.50-$3.00/gal, it cost the same to drive each mile that was purely electric as it did when it was purely gas. At an assumed 42mpg on the Volt, that was the crossover point with my electric rate in Houston, meaning any car that got more than that mileage on gas would have cost less to drive per mile.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Most cars aren’t going to give you 42 mpg in the city, nor at 75 mph. So compared to an average car, sounds like electric would usually be cheaper.

      I know, I know, PIATA (Prius is always the answer).

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Remember that 50 cents per gallon of gasoline is tax in the US (about 20% of the total price), and any serious expansion of the EV fleet will without any doubt lead to some sort of taxation on EV mileage whether it is an electricity tax or an actual tracking of mileage. Thus the EV fuel cost advantages will be at least 20% lower if EVs get a similar level of “fuel” taxation as ICVs. Since all EVs except the Tesla are small city cars, it is also unfair to make a comparison with a 25mpg ICV, when a fairer comparison would be with a 36 mpg Civic or Fit, which again would eliminate all or most of the fuel cost advantages. Many such comparisons also assume the use of the cheapest electricity such as off-peak rates and/or no use of fee for electricity charging points, when the reality is about 20% of EV recharging is not at home and probably more than that is during peak rate hours, and thus the more use of “expensive” electricity the smaller the saving. But as many commenters have already stated, even the most optimized EV fuel savings will be dwarfed by the much higher EV depreciation and in some case insurance costs, and higher purchase prices, and cost of fast home rechargers. Most “fair” comparisons put the payback period for EVs in comparison to comparable ICVs at beyond the average length of vehicle ownership (at best) to never.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Suppose all of that is true. I think the point of an EV though, from a humanitarian perspective anyway, is to avoid the externalities of running an ICE machine.

      The exhaust pipes of ICE vehicles are not benign; they cause avoidable and quantifiable extra cases of lung cancer, asthma, climate impact etc. It’s just that the market does not have a way to capture those in the price of gasoline, so an artificially low price signal is sent for our fuel. Government could do the math and tax accordingly to close that delta and send an accurate price signal, but that would be unpopular, and politicians like having jobs too. So we’re left with a situation where, as Dick Cheney once said, conservation is not a national strategy but a personal virtue.

      Obviously some electricity sources are cleaner than others. In coal-heavy states like Ohio, driving electric doesn’t make you any cleaner than driving a Hybrid (at least until it gets old and its catalytic converter starts to fail). In most other states though, electric is considerably cleaner and more efficient.

      (Bonus to the EV route though: you can pretend to be virtuous when really you just like the giddy feeling of instantly sending several hundred lb ft of torque through the front wheels whenever you feel like it. Traffic becomes FUN. Especially if you don’t mind a little Shelby GLH style torque steer.)

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @hotpotato: I’m in the category of EV ownership because they’re just so enjoyable to drive. Everyone can spend their time debating costs and environment and government conspiracies but the fact is I just enjoy my car.

        The cost of charging at home should be clarified a bit. For about $600 (and maybe cheaper if you look) you can get a portable level 2 charger that can plug into different types of 240v outlets or 120v outlets. With the 120v outlets, you can control the current draw meaning you can take advantage of 120v 20 amp outlets. Depending on how much driving you do you can easily get an overnight charge without having to resort to having a 240v outlet installed. You also don’t have to install the outlet in a garage. These chargers work well outdoors with standard outdoor outlets.

        As far as depreciation goes, the numbers can be misleading. In my case, the car’s sticker was almost $40k, but between the government money and some huge incentives from Nissan, I actually paid Versa money for a Versa loaded with options not available on a Versa. So while the depreciation from the sticker price looks bad, it was actually probably normal for a car of its size. Not everyone got that kind of deal, but it wasn’t difficult to get. I think part of the reason for the bad depreciation was that you get heavily discounted new vehicles pretty cheap, so why buy used especially when there were battery issues with the early Leafs?

        Still, it’s all about the driving experience for me. I really think that’s what’s really driving EV sales. People are test driving them and discovering how superior they are to the 4 cylinder CVT alternatives. When you put it to the floor on the highway, there’s no delay for a downshift and no high rpms that make you wonder about how many miles you’ve just removed from the life of your motor. It just goes with no hesitation or complaints. Sure, people say they’re trying to save money or the environment, but I think it’s the driving dynamics that are driving the vast majority of sales.

        • 0 avatar
          stingray65

          Nothing wrong with buying a car because you like the way it drives. Driving pleasure is what sells most GTIs, M3s, and 911s, and I know that many EVs are nice driving vehicles. The problem I have with EVs is the same problem I would have if governments were giving people thousands of dollars to buy 911s, because I don’t believe that is a good use of my tax dollars. If the “driving pleasure” or “fuel economy” or “greenness” isn’t enough of an incentive to buy the vehicle, I don’t see why the government needs to help out a rich person to buy the vehicle no matter what the power source is. I also think it is a bit ridiculous to criticize people that would rather have a reasonably priced larger truck or SUV rather than and “overpriced” EV city car or “wildly overpriced” Tesla sedan. If you are willing to pay market price for your Leaf, i3, or Tesla because of the driving pleasure, more power to you, but I shouldn’t need to contribute to your fun.

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  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States