Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Electric fuel is $100k cheaper than gas.

And they say electric cars are expensive!

First a few disclaimers, This is not advise, this does not come from a University, a think tank, a car manufacturer, a utility or an oil company. Now on to what it is!

This is my actual experience driving a super fun Mini-E, 26,000 miles the past 20 months and my actual cost to provide “Electric Fuel” for the car. Your results may vary (I love saying that!)

The upcoming BMW Active E gets even better miles per Kwh than the Mini-E, and following that, the BMW i3 will be an even more restrained kilowatt sipper.

On to the charts.
25 years of Gas driving, $114,536
25 years of Electric driving, $8,800

Click on charts to enlarge

*Electric driving on solar PV cost about the same as buying three years of gasoline.

Ok, so a few points to clarify, This chart does not take into account the cost of batteries and the service cost of an EV over the next 25 years , nor the cost of a gasoline drive-train and the service cost of a gas car for the next 25 years. You could make a fair argument that either will be cheaper over the long haul, after all the electric car motor/battery warrantee is as long or longer than its competitor the gas car. but I won’t get into that.

This also does not estimate how long you will keep your car, some trade up every two years and some keep cars for over a decade. This does not take into account peak oil, or new oil supplies, or 2 billion new potential consumers of that oil, or continued unrest in the Middle East. It simple begins with today and adds a 5% cost increase each year for gasoline. Again you can argue less or more, but 5% is my best conservative guess.

What this does assume is that you will be driving for the next 25 years (I’ve been driving for 32) and that you will be buying fuel for your car. For the first time in history we now have a real choice of how to power our cars. In fact we now have multiple choices including gasoline, utility supplied electricity, natural gas and “homegrown, roof top solar” to name a few.

I have chosen the homegrown roof top solar option combined with an electric car. The combo of solar PV and an EV provides the most economic savings. ( It’s amazing to say ) and it's amazing that this has gone from the domain of environmental-futurist crazy dreams, to my radio, TV and internet being bombarded with adds for Solar PV and for the new crop of electric cars. Today, one phone call to a car dealer and one phone call to a Solar PV installer and your on your way to energy independence. It truly is amazing light-speed progress and as simple as that. Well ok not quite that simple as the cars are slow to roll out.

The cost of the Solar PV in the chart is determined by 15,000 miles multiplied by .25kwhs per mile for a total of 3750 khw per year to power the car. A 1.7 kw solar pv system in sunny states like California will produce 2635kwh a year. As part of our larger sytem to power the home and car the per kw system price was $4,000 for a total cost of our gas station of $6,800.

In our case this production is at peak time when we are at work and we are paid $0.29 per kwh produced. We plug in and power our car at super off peak times between midnight and 7am for $0.14 per kwh hour. The net result is that the 2635 kwh produced at peak time is the same cost as 3750kwh used at off peak. This is called time of use metering. In year 15 we project a new inverter will be needed for $2,000.

Again your results may vary.
You can live and drive on sunshine.

If you would like to see our "Electric Fuel" system in action with live real time monitoring, just click on the following link. Total system size is 7.5 KW.

Norby House Solar Production

Peder Mini-E #183
26,000 sunshine powered miles.

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