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Do EVs Make Good Cents or Sense?

David Herron of Torque News stated in his article “60 kWh Tesla Model S rated at 208 mile electric driving range by EPA:” 

“The 85 kilowatt-hour Model S, $77,400 for 265 miles range, or $292/mile of range. The 60 kilowatt-hour Model S, $67,400 for 208 miles range, is $324/mile of range. The other electric cars cost a lot more per mile of driving range. [1]

Taking this comparison to the next logical step, a cost analysis of EVs and gasoline powered passenger vehicles was conducted to determine their comparative Life Cycle Cost. This analysis included 30 vehicles (2013) ranging from a Mini Cooper to a Ferrari F12. Vehicles represented high-end and low end models from a sampling of manufacturers.

Only Teslar’s Model S all electric vehicle was considered in this study. Results may look somewhat different with other manufacturer’s lower end all electrics cars.

Items evaluated included:

  • Engine Power (HP or kWh),
  • EPA’s MPG Combined Fuel Economy Rating or kWh /100 mile rating
  • Fuel Capacity (gallons).
  • MSRP less delivery, tax, title and license
  • Range (= Combined EPA rating x Fuel Capacity)
  • Cost per Mile ( = MSRP / Range)
  • Cost of Gasoline over 60,000 miles [ = (60,000 / MPG) x cost of gasoline]

Cost of Electricity over 60,000 [ = (60,000 /100) x (kWh/100 miles x cost of electricity)]

  • Total Cost (= MSRP + Cost of Fuel)
  • Cost Difference from Telsa S 60 kWh (= Total Cost – Total Cost of Telsa S)
 

Data for each vehicle was obtained from the EPA and manufacturers’ technical specifications. The cost of gasoline ($3.257 per gallon) was obtained from the EIA – U.S. National Average for Regular Grade, 12/24/2012. The cost of electricity ($0.1187 per kWh) was obtained from the EIA – Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Residential Customers; rolling 12 Months Ending in October for 2012.

The analysis did not include costs for tax, title, license, routine service, unscheduled maintenance and towing cost for discharged batteries or running out of gasoline.  The fact that electricity is primarily generated by fossil fuels was not taken into account in this study.

It is suggested to view the entire spread sheet (.xls) attached or at:  http://tinyurl.com/barry-stevens487 

The summary is as follows; from largest to smallest cost savings or cost differential from Tesla S 60 kWh at 60,000 miles:

     
   

 

Model  

Cost Savings

Toyota Camry LE Sedan  

($40,233)

Toyota Camry LE Sedan Hybrid  

($38,986)

Mini Cooper S Coupe  

($38,404)

Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL  

($37,370)

Ford Taurus Limited  

($28,296)

Dodge Charger Daytona R/T Plus  

($26,402)

Lexus ES 300h Sedan  

($26,157)

Buick Lacrosse Premium 1  

($25,302)

Cadillac CTS Coupe  

($22,105)

Nissan Maxima 3.5 Premium  

($21,740)

Chrysler 300s Sedan  

($19,612)

Lexus GS Sedan  

($14,496)

Audi Q7 TDI  

($14,210)

Infiniti M37 Sedan  

($12,387)

Audi A6 3.0 TFSI  

($10,610)

Corvette 1LT  

($10,007)

BMW 535i Sedan  

($8,350)

Cadillac XTS Premium Sedan  

($7,002)

Tesla Model S  

$0

Land Rover Sport HSE  

$4,030

Cadillac CTS- V Coupe  

$8,581

Tesla Model S  

$10,214

Jaguar XL  

$12,613

Lotus Evora S  

$20,440

Mercedzes-Benz  S550  

$32,743

Nissan GT-R  

$37,784

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S  

$45,043

Corvette ZR1  

$54,203

Bentley Continental GT  

$127,124

Lamborghini Gallardo (2012)  

$135,035

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta  Coupe  

$273,135

In closing, the data speaks for itself. From a pure cost basis only Teslar S with either 60kWh or 85kWh versions make little financial sense. Critically acclaimed cars such as Audi A6 and Q7, Cadillac CTS, BMW even the base Corvette are better deals.

The problem is society’s need to get off fossil fuels. With high cost EVs that show little or no cost savings, it’s difficult to motivate consumers to purchase EVs – even if it benefits all of us in the long run.

References:

[1] http://www.torquenews.com/1075/60-kwh-tesla-model-s-rated-208-mile-elect...

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author Dr. Barry Stevens, an accomplished business developer and entrepreneur in technology-driven enterprises. He is the founder of TBD America Inc., a global technology business development group. In this role, he is responsible for leading the development of emerging and mature technology driven enterprises in the shale gas, natural gas, renewable energy and sustainability industries. To learn more about TBD America, please visit: http://tbdamericainc.com/

 

Barry Stevens, Ph.D.

President

TBD America, Inc.

December 28, 2012

Ben Lack's picture

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Discussions

Max Kennedy's picture
Max Kennedy on Jan 9, 2013 3:52 pm GMT

You mean like the TRS 80 model II that sold for nearly $4000 in 1979 with a whole 64K of memory?  Or maybe we shouldn't have the 4K TV's because they are so expensive nad go back to the black and whites?  Comparing new tech costs with old and tired tech is a red herring.  Also using a high end all electric instead of something like the Nissan Leaf or the soon to be released all electric Smart Car is either just plain stupid or a deliberate attempt to mislead.  Having noticed the trend for TEC posters to be pro fossil fuel it's likely both are true.

Dennis Hucul's picture
Dennis Hucul on Jan 9, 2013 7:19 pm GMT

 

Some salient points you missed.

1.       Tesla model S is designed to be a premium sedan  - not a Ford Taurus

2.       Your gasoline fuel cost is way off base.   The national average for 2012 was $3.60/gal.  and the costs are likely to go higher ($4.00 gal isn’t unreasonable).  This is nowhere near the $3.25/gal. that you used to slant your results.

3.       I pay 0.06 kWh to recharge my Model S

4.       What about things like oil changes that are required for a gasoline powered car – at least 16 for 60,000 miles.  They are not free and require time (see last point).

5.       Time savings.   I plug in my EV as I walk in my garage to my back door.  I never have to wait in line or stand around waiting for my tank to fill at a gas station.

 

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