Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Cost of Fuel for Our Two Cars

Julie and I are driving (loving) our two electric cars, A BMW ActiveE and a Honda Fit EV. Both cars are working perfectly for our lifestyle.  This simple chart above we created using our real world experience and cost.

We both drove gasoline cars for nearly 30 years, we have been driving EV’s for five years.  We look forward to driving the ever improving EV’s powered by solar for the next 25 plus years. The EV’s have simply proven to be better cars that are more fun to drive, easier to drive, fuel and maintain.  We're a pretty typical family for suburban dwellers, 2 car family & garage, normal to high miles per year, lots of trips all over So-Cal.  Yes, once or twice a year we rent a car or trade with a family member to go on a road trip. They enjoy the experience of having an EV for a week or two.

A few points about the chart, it’s overly simplified in order to be very easy to understand.  

Both oil and sunshine begin as free. One finds you, the other you have to look for. One is getting less costly and easier, the other is getting more costly and harder. One has a short conveyance chain, the other a long one.

The Solar PV system is paid in full at a cost that is less than 4 years of buying gasoline.

Our actual mileage driven is 12,000 a year for me and 18,000 for Julie for a total of 30,000 miles per year.

The BMW ActiveE travels 3.4 miles per Kwh, The Honda Fit EV travels 4 miles per Kwh.  The BMW i3 will be equal to or more than the Honda Fit EV as it weighs far less.  We choose to use 4 miles per Kwh.  Your 
mileage per Kwh may vary (I love saying that!)

Our Solar PV system is already paid with the savings as we installed it in 2007.   
 Gas in our area is $4.40 a gallon, we choose to use $4.00 a gallon.

The historic increase in gasoline cost is 3.5% per year.  Over the last 10 years the increase in gasoline cost is 9.2% (source EIA)  We choose to use the 3.5% year over year number.

The cost of transmission lines is not included in the Solar PV equation.

The cost of port facilities, protection of shipping lanes, roads to transport the fuel and health care cost are not included in the gasoline equation.

Solar PV generation is higher in some places and lower in others, check you area here.

If you factor in Solar PV TOU rates (Peak time you sell your solar energy at a high price and Super off peak you charge your EV’s at low rates) the system size and cost would be 30% less. We did not factor in a TOU rate plan.

Solar PV system cost can vary, in San Diego California  it's running about $3250-$3750 per kw system size.


Peder 70,000 Sunshine powered miles. 

1 comment:

  1. Kudos! A fantastic summary of why solar PV and electric vehicles are a great overall value to the consumer, and why the fossil fuel industry and its media puppets and back-pocketed politicians are doing their darnedest to propagandize to the contrary. The truth will out.

    My similar experiences with solar PV and my Chevy Volt are detailed here,