The Economics of Electric Vehicles versus Gas Powered Vehicles By: Ethan Masten & Kaitlyn Cotton
"Fuel" Cost Comparison • Zap car costs about $0.03 per mile • Nissan Leaf costs $0.04 per mile (based on $0.12 per kwh) • Gas car (averaging 25 mpg) $0.16 per mile at $4.00 per gallon
Electricity Cost • Cost to fully charge Leaf for one excursion: (73*.04) = $2.92 • Cost to fully charge ZAP for one excursion: (25*.03) = $0.75
Tax Refund • Zap car classified as NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) so does not qualify. • Other EVs can qualify for up to $7,500 in tax refunds • A Neighborhood Electric Vehicle has speeds of up to 45 miles per hour and a weight of 3,000 pounds.
Road Tax • Gas prices include a road tax in Oregon of $.30 per gallon • Proposed bill would charge EV owners 1.43 cents per mile • Would only effect owners of 2014 and newer models • Washington has proposed a $100 annual fee • The char below shows the estimated tax cost per year based on driving 13,500 miles.
Insurance Costs • Many different ways to look at this so we decided to compare our cars to the Nissan Leaf (Zap car not listed) using the same information for both quotes. • Geico: • Kat's 98 Subaru Forester: $80.96 per month • Kat with Leaf: $148.34 per month • Ethan's 07 Subaru Impreza: $102.56 per month • Ethan with Leaf: $120.04 per month • Allstate (coverage may not be similar to Geico) • Ethan's car: $209 per month • Ethan with Leaf: $203 per month • Kat's car: $166 per month • Kat with Leaf: $146 per month • Cost difference depends on company and what you would be driving otherwise
Battery Cost versus the Cost of Gasoline • Batteries in Zap car: Fullriver DC110-12 12V 110 ah • $1,400 to replace all six of the batteries when they die • The battery for the Nissan Leaf costs the company $9,000 to produce. The price for the consumer will of course be higher. • Batteries vary greatly in price dependent upon which type your car uses. With the advancements being made in technology, battery prices should come down to more and more reasonable prices for more and more efficient batteries. • The average electric car battery lasts for 130,000 to 150,000 miles. • The average amount of money a person driving a gas powered car over this mileage would spend is about $22,400. (At 25mpg, $4/g) • That means at this point an electric vehicle is the better option financially.
Climate Changes on Battery Efficiency • The main effect that climate has on a battery is to decrease its starting efficiency. • Moist climates can cause corrosion on the battery posts, impeding electrical currant. • Climates that are too extreme in temperature -- hot and cold -- do not play nice with batteries either. • "At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a battery loses up to 50% of its starting ability." • An easy, cheap fix to battery climate problems is to buy an insulation blanket for it. These cost around $30. Having one of these blankets prolongs the life of your battery, saving you money further down the road.
Service/Repair Cost • Not much information on this topic • Hybrids tend to cost more to fix but have fewer problems • Finding a mechanic to fix it may also prove problematic depending on where you live
Breaking Even • Zap Car costs $12,500 + $1,400 for batteries (not included with car) = $13,900 • Nissan Leaf costs $35,200 - $7,500 = $27,700 • If you compare to a new car costing $20,000 • Zap car costs less and "fuel" is cheaper • Already saving money • Leaf costs $7,700 more but "fuel" is $0.12 cheaper per mile • $7,700 / $0.12 per mile = 64,167 miles to break even • In the future may need to include road tax • $7,700 / $0.105 = 73,334 miles • Miles to drive for savings to pay for • Zap car: 13,900 / .13 = 106,923 miles • Leaf: 27700 / .12 = 230,834 miles
Sources http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evsbs.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighborhood_electric_vehicle http://www.zapworld.com/zap-xebra-electric-sedan http://www.priusownersgroup.com/2008/07/30/hybrid-repair-costs-higher/ http://www.truedelta.com/http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/04/oregons_electric_car_owners_sh.html http://green.autoblog.com/2010/05/05/report-nissan-leaf-battery-pack-costs-only-6-000-9-000-or/ http://the-grayline.com/2008/11/12/battery-life-in-electric-cars/