Monday, February 6, 2012

Loving the ActiveE. 1,250 sun powered miles.

Most of us are going to be driving for about 50 years.  I have been driving for 33 years and plan on driving another 30,  hopefully in all electric BMW’s. Below is a flow graph I put together that shows the basic flow of energy and cost for gasoline and for solar electricity.   This is the true "cost of fuel" for driving during those 50 years.

The graph is simple to understand.   It does not include external cost such as the protection of oil, propping up oil supplying countries, clean up of oil, environmental or healthcare cost,  nor does it include the cost of grid electricity at night when an electric car normally charges. Electricity at night is generally cheaper and of lesser value than the electricity provided by solar during the peak hours. Nor does the graph include the price of the cars themselves.  A reasonable argument can be made for both the gasoline car and the electric car as to which one will be cheaper to own and maintain for the next 50 years. I'm betting on the electric car :)

For a larger image, click on graph

There is no question that electric driving in the ActiveE is awesome.  We much prefer the smooth trouble free, instant torque, nearly silent driving of electric over gasoline any day. In our household the ActiveE and its 100 mile range fit perfectly.  After nearly 40,000 miles in both the ActiveE and the Mini-E during the past three years, we can definitively say that in our two car car household, there has not been one single time the electric car has been any different  than if it were a gas car.   We simply do not have range anxiety,  we do not drive over 100 miles at a time, and we love the major cost savings of driving electric.

In most case with utility supplied energy the cost to drive electric will be 25%-33% the cost of driving with gasoline.   So for an average driver that spends $200 a month on gasoline, the electricity cost would be $50 -$75 per month, a savings of over $100 per month.  Check your utility rates as they vary greatly.

We invested in solar PV nearly 5 years ago when building our home, Today, our system is paid in full using  only the gasoline and utility energy savings during those 5 years.  This is the story I want to share with you.   The electric car is half the story, Solar energy is the other half of this great EV +PV combo.

In most of our country a 2kw system will generate 3000kwh.  Here in So-Cal a 2kw system generates  3400kwh per year and cost about $7500.  3000kwh is the energy required at 4 miles per kwh  to drive an electric car 12,000 miles.   The BMW Active E is returning 3.7miles per kwh, the BMW i3 will be well above 4 miles per kwh.

You can live and drive on sunshine.  cheaply



  1. $4000 per kilowat? That is so 2012 you can get 1KW per $1080. Look:

  2. Hi oreto,

    you're right, it's high and reinforces the main point and info graphic. The lowest i have seen in the San Diego area for an installed system is $3200 per KWH with TRINA panels.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. Hey, Really great work, I would like to join your blog anyway so please continue sharing with us,