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  #1  
Old 12-11-2008, 10:29 AM
heimat heimat is offline
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Exclamation The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

Good Morning.

I am still looking for at the least one reason for converting a car to electric drive. Please, can somebody here help me to find one?

Because, If I am calculating this "example situation" right...
  • Gasoline costs $3.90 per gallon and a car gets 30 miles to the gallon, then the cost per mile is 11 cents per mile for gasoline.
  • Electricity in North Carolina is about 8 cents per kilowatt-hour right now (4 cents if you use time-of-use billing and recharge at night). That means that for a full recharge, it costs $1 (or 50 cents with time-of-use billing). The cost per mile is therefore 2 cents per mile, or 1 cent with time-of-use.

    +

    Battery replacement for this car runs about $2,000. The batteries will last 20,000 miles or so, for about +10 cents per mile.

    +

    Car conversion on the beginning. It is about $4.000 If am I calculating exactly (without batteries). If you will drive 80,000 miles with this conversion than will be the price for about +20 cents per mile.

    +

    Hours of work on it.

    The cost per mile is fully 22 cents per mile for electricity.
So, If I will let my car run on gasoline the price per mile will be twice (11 cents counter to 22 cents) cheaper on comparison with electricity.



... I can not see any advantage of conversion.


Thank you for all new informations about this dilemma.




Best Regards



Heimat, Czech Republic - Europe (Sorry for my english)

Last edited by heimat; 12-11-2008 at 10:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2008, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

What about oil changes?
Coolant?
Spark Plugs?
Fan belts?
Timing Chains?

There's very little to break with an electric motor. The major overhaul of a motor costs ~$40, and could be done by an amateur.

After 80,000 miles you'll still have a valuable motor and most other EV parts. They'll last a million miles before they're dead. Put another 80,000 miles on your ICE and it's got one foot in the grave.

You'll need to factor these costs into the analysis.

Last edited by Bottomfeeder; 12-11-2008 at 10:54 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2008, 10:52 AM
lumberjack_jeff lumberjack_jeff is offline
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

Quote:
Originally Posted by heimat View Post
Good Morning.

I am still looking for at the least one reason for converting a car to electric drive. Please, can somebody here help me to find one?
Your analysis is incomplete. You include the capital cost of the EV conversion, but not the capital cost of the existing ICE (or replacement) mechanicals.

If you buy an ICE car intending to drive it 80,000 miles, you either buy a relative new one with good mechanicals or one with worn out mechanicals intending to replace them. Either way, you're spending something for the good ICE.

The amortized cost of batteries is a valid per mile cost. The amortized value of the car can be too, but don't pretend that the ICE alternative is free.

From a purely economic standpoint, it is prudent to convert a car in which the ICE is worn out or broken. If done well, it appears that a builder can recoup most (if not all) of their conversion costs when they resell.

The below is quick and dirty.


Assumptions: 30mpg for the car, batteries last 50k miles, no opportunity cost or car loans. If the batteries only last 25k miles, then the per mile cost goes up to $0.15.

Also, comparing a Caliber to a 15 year old truck? Only because I'm familiar with both. It would be better to compare a new Colorado to the S-10, I suppose. In that case, the price goes up and the MPG goes down.

Last edited by lumberjack_jeff; 12-11-2008 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:57 AM
TheSGC TheSGC is offline
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

You forgot all the costs of ICE maintanence, actual price of the new car (assuming you get a used one for conversion), and that fact that building an EV is a fun project. My "reason" for the financial aspect was that I would build an EV instead of upgrading my desktop computer.

Here is a good personal example: My EV has a total cost coming in to about $3,000, with patience on the part selection. That price includes the car, motor, controller, batteries and everything else. It should have a range of 35 miles and perfect for around town use. Now, my mom's minivan has cost us about $3500 in exhaust problems, failed gaskets, ECU problems and oil in the past 6 months. And that car gets driven maybe 10 miles a day.

My dad did call my EV project a "cash cow" because I have been working on it for the past 6 months, but changed his mind overnight when the 2003 Mazda MPV started to cost crap loads in ICE repairs. Now he wants my EV done so he can drive it (I though this was my car...) and start saving for a Chevy S10 conversion.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

Also, if the car already got 30 miles to the gallon, you'll probably get much more than 20,000 miles on a set of $2K batteries. Probably more like 25 or 30k.

I can understand why you're being conservative in your estimation. But if money is your sole reason for converting to electric, you might be in the wrong place. Personally I'm doing it to cut back on fossil fuel usage in my life. I switched my home power to "green" so we're paying for solar and wind power. It's a small change, but that's all I personally can do. If everyone made the same small change, we'd be going in the right direction. Besides, I'm looking forward to making the smug hybrid drivers look bad by comparison.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

I did a pretty in-depth comparison of buying new ICE vs buying used & restoring/converting several months ago.

In the end, the gas vehicle (@$3-something/gal) was more than double the price per mile of the electric vehicle (@$0.12-something/kWh).

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...8&postcount=29
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:06 PM
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech is offline
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

Quote:
Originally Posted by heimat View Post
Good Morning.

I am still looking for at the least one reason for converting a car to electric drive. Please, can somebody here help me to find one?

Because, If I am calculating this "example situation" right...
  • Gasoline costs $3.90 per gallon and a car gets 30 miles to the gallon, then the cost per mile is 11 cents per mile for gasoline.
  • Electricity in North Carolina is about 8 cents per kilowatt-hour right now (4 cents if you use time-of-use billing and recharge at night). That means that for a full recharge, it costs $1 (or 50 cents with time-of-use billing). The cost per mile is therefore 2 cents per mile, or 1 cent with time-of-use.

    +

    Battery replacement for this car runs about $2,000. The batteries will last 20,000 miles or so, for about +10 cents per mile.

    +

    Car conversion on the beginning. It is about $4.000 If am I calculating exactly (without batteries). If you will drive 80,000 miles with this conversion than will be the price for about +20 cents per mile.

    +

    Hours of work on it.

    The cost per mile is fully 22 cents per mile for electricity.
So, If I will let my car run on gasoline the price per mile will be twice (11 cents counter to 22 cents) cheaper on comparison with electricity.



... I can not see any advantage of conversion.


Thank you for all new informations about this dilemma.




Best Regards



Heimat, Czech Republic - Europe (Sorry for my english)
The fun of doing an AWSOME project and the feeling of accomplishment!!!

PRICELESS!!!!
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2008, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

Quote:
Originally Posted by heimat View Post
I am still looking for at the least one reason for converting a car to electric drive. Please, can somebody here help me to find one?
as others have noted... you are mixing the initial capital expense with operating costs. Granted, even the operating costs of an EV (cost of electricity+consumable batteries) don't make a financial case until gas gets to about $3/gallon. At that point I think a purely financial case for EVs really can be made.

In my case the battery pack cost $1500, and should last at least 30miles*500 days..... aprox $.10/mile . The electricity used would be about 8kWhr*500= 4000 kWhr and the cost of retail electricity in my area is $.09/kWhr gives about $360, which adds another $.024/mile. so.... right around $0.125/mile... with no ICE maintenance (oil, fluids, tunups, etc)

In my SPECIFIC case, I actually get PAID to produce electricity since I invested in PV on my roof. The local utility pays me $.13 per kWhr, plus my comsumption is 'net metered', so really I get $.21 per kWhr. Even after figuring my investment cost, I still make/save about 5% on my original investment in the PV for the first 12 years, then better after that when the capital is paid off.

...and the kickers are...
not buyng any more gas
not polluting
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:13 PM
Technologic Technologic is offline
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

Here's a general cost break down of my custom 2 seater 0.15 Cd custom fiberglass aluminum car I'll be building shortly (in 6 months)... batteries will last about 150,000-250,000 miles and curb weight of roughly 700 lbs.

Aluminum tubes and welding supplies: $175
Fiberglass, Kevlar, vaccuum bags, epoxy resins: $420
Custom CNC'd gears for single gear tranny: $329.97
Salvaged stearing columns and R&P steering: $120
Sexy electronics, top end (my own design as well) efficient audio system and electric AC compressor: $475
Two aluminum racing seats: $370
Other salvage components such as pedals and pots for the controller: $40-50
Lithium 8kwh battery pack: $3400
BMS system of my own design: $119.20
Charger and controller: $700.
Lexan windshields and side glass: $550
3 Tires, brakes, interior side mirrors: $350
Misc parts like Turn signals, windshield wipers, brake lights: $500

$7600 ish... for a car that will last anywhere from 10-15 years with a mere battery replacement even then... range of about 200 miles or so (based upon rough guesses in virtual wind tunnels in SW). After 15 years I can just replace the batteries and keep going.

about $500 more since I intend to make permanent molds/welding jigs.

Honestly $7600 is a small price to pay for the coolest car in all of the US's eastern seaboard.... but that's just me

Last edited by Technologic; 12-11-2008 at 03:18 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2008, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: The Comparison: Closing prices per mile (gasoline vs. electricity)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technologic View Post
Here's a general cost break down of my custom 2 seater 0.15 Cd custom fiberglass aluminum car I'll be building shortly (in 6 months)... batteries will last about 150,000-250,000 miles and curb weight of roughly 700 lbs.
...
Lithium 8kwh battery pack: $3400
BMS system of my own design: $119.20
Honestly $7600 is a small price to pay for the coolest car in all of the US's eastern seaboard.... but that's just me
where did you get 8kWhr worth of Li for $3400 ?

d
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