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Re: [EVDL] "Payback time" (was:Reaction to US News article)

Damon wrote -

> Of course there is the looming pack replacement to consider as well. After 9 plus years and 170K
> miles on my Honda Insight I needed to replace the pack. I was able to do it for $500 by buying a
> pack off ebay and doing all the work myself. Having it replaced at a dealership likely would have
> cost $2000 - $3000. That's a lot to spend on maintenance for a car that is only worth $5000 -
> $6000. This is a 120v 6.5ahr NIMH pack The pack in a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt is potentially
> much more expensive and an unknown percentage of them will need to be replaced at the owners
> expense at some time in their life. I can see where these type of concerns might turn many off.
> However, having been an early adopter of hybrid technology I can say in my instance taking a
> chance definitely payed off in the long run. Here is the way it breaks down for me.
> I bought my Honda Insight brand new in March of 2001 and paid $18,999. 2001 was the second year
> Insights were sold and the initial demand had disappeared so I was able to pick mine up for a
> couple thousand less then the first wave of buyers :)
> To make the math simple I will use very round numbers which aren't 100% accurate but close enough
> for a good payback summary.
> Insight lifetime mpg = 60Henry family fleet mpg excluding the Insight = 20Average price of gas $3
> gallon.
> Total miles driven 180000Total fuel consumed in Insight 3000 gallonsTotal spent on fuel for
> Insight $9000Amount which would have been spent on fuel for same mileage using other fleet
> vehicles 18000/20*3 = $27000Total savings in fuel from Insight $18000
> So did I get a good payback out of the deal. To me it seems like I got the car for free :)
> I expect over the long term owners of the new generation of EV's will will feel like they got
> excellent payback, but it is hard for people to see this up front, and there is some real risk
> involved, which I think falls in line with what the author of the article was stating. I did not
> see any anti-EV sentiments, only reasons why the new EVs may be a tough sale to the masses.

The Insight is an odd hybrid. Since it was the first hybrid, it has some strange ways of operating.
One is that it charges the battery pack in the background, the charge leds are not always on when
the pack is being charged. So the charging of the pack actually puts drag on the gas engine, thereby
decreasing mpg.

It has been found that if you disable the IMA (electric motor) by unpluging the BCM (Battery Control
Module) you can get better milage. The electric motor assist is not there and the acceleration is
terrible, but you get better mpg. You also have to make sure the 12 v battery gets charged by the
DC/DC converter.

I've done it when I had a bad battery pack code and the IMA would not function and my mpg increased
from 61 mpg to 67 mpg...

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