Cost of Electric vs Cost of Gas - where is the break even point

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by hackenfort, May 18, 2017.

  1. hackenfort

    hackenfort Member

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    I'm rather new to the plug in world. I have been charging my car each night, I can make it to work and back on one charge if careful.

    One of my co-workers asked, with our high electric rates (aprox 17.1 kwh) and gas being about $2.30 a gallon why I'm charging the car?

    Not knowing the answer to this, thought I'd ask here as there is such a wealth of knowlege.

    Thank you
     
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  2. MattStevenson

    MattStevenson Member

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    It works out to be more expensive if you are paying to charge. Find a place at or close to work you can charge at.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  3. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I can go about 10 miles on 3 kWh and I round off the gas to about 50 miles per gallon to be on the pessimistic side and make it easier to calculate in my head. (Usually, I'm closer to 60.)

    At $0.10 per kWh, it costs me about $0.30 to go 10 miles on all electric.
    At $2.30 per gallon, it costs me about $2.30 to go 50 miles, or $0.46 for 10 miles using gas. ($2.30 / 5)

    If you have the same driving efficiency:
    At $0.17 per kWh, it costs you about $0.51 to go 10 miles on all electric.
    At $2.30 per gallon, it costs you about $2.30 to go 50 miles, or $0.46 for 10 miles using gas. ($2.30 / 5)

    So, at 17 cents per kWh, gas is cheaper for you, as long as you're getting 50 mpg or better and not getting way better miles per kWh than I do. Your break even is about $2.55 per gallon depending on your driving habits. ($0.51 X 5)

    It can vary quite a bit depending on traffic, terrain, temperature, and so on, but those are ballpark numbers.
     
  4. gallde

    gallde Active Member

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    My Con Ed-supplied electricity is the most expensive in the country (I think), so I pay about 10% more per EV mile than per gas mile. I charge anyway to reduce my carbon emissions, since I buy power from renewable sources (and generate my own solar power).
     
  5. hackenfort

    hackenfort Member

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    I guess until I get solar panels and off National Grid - I'm better off buying gas.

    As always, Appreciate the great answers - THANK YOU
     
  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    :( There may be other places to charge for free. Is your workplace a possibility, for example?

    And, as @gallde said, there is the emissions aspect to consider. But the Prius is a really clean car, so it might be cleaner to use hybrid mode if your electricity comes from coal, but I don't know if anyone has done a comparison study.
     
  7. SlidingBike

    SlidingBike Active Member

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    Being a recent PiP owner, I am also running into this question. When I charge my car at my work(which charges one cent per minute for the first 120 min and then it charges sixteen cents per minutes. Each time( I am not able to get an alert when fully charged), i am paying around $1.5 for full charge. One day I forgot to unplug, I got a $15.30 bill for that 7 miles range charge... (I spoke to the ChargePoint, they have refunded it as one time benefit).
    It has been going in my mind that Electricity is expensive and your above analysis is confirming that.
    I am charging my car at home when I can but mostly depending on gas. One full tank is around twenty bucks... it may go way beyond what I pay for electricity for the same distance.
    I am glad that I didnt bite the new Prime model dreaming its electric range by paying more than double for what I have paid for my current PiP
     
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  8. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
    I would call that an "It's not for sale" price.
     
  9. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    To answer the question your co-worker asked...

    Because it lowers CO2 emissions.
    Because it lowers local pollution.
    Because charging at home is more convenient.
    And if the driving is smoother/quieter/better, for that reason as well.
     
  10. KCobby

    KCobby Member

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    +1 for these reasons. That's why I'm plugging in. See my plate? :D
     
  11. MattStevenson

    MattStevenson Member

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    If you use your a/c often, charge it but run it in hybrid mode.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  12. lewalcindor

    lewalcindor Junior Member

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    I live in the state with the most expensive electric rates. Had I stayed with normal residential electrical rates, I would definitely be losing money compared with using my PiP in pure hybrid mode. But I switched to Con Ed's voluntary time-of-use program, so I'm only paying 1-3 cents for delivery if I charge after midnight (supply rate is still the same, so figure about 15-20 cents per kW total vs 25-30 cents for normal rates). So I'm maybe equalling what I would pay for gas as a pure hybrid.

    That said, I charge my car up because it simply feels better as an EV car. For me, the PiP feels like a reluctant hybrid in hybrid mode in city driving. In EV mode, the drivetrain pulls strong off of stops and accelerates linearly. The difference is so drastic sometimes, that I've described the PiP as feeling like two different cars depending on which mode you're in.
     
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  13. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    6 if you count ECO, PWR, and Normal :)
     
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  14. QuantumFireball

    QuantumFireball Active Member

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    I'm paying the equivalent of US$5.75 per gallon vs. 7c per kWh (night rate), so I'm always surprised to see discussions like this!
     
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  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    As far as U.S.situation, one perspective to keep in mind is that plug-ins came out in 2012 when gaso prices were at their peak.
    So that was good timing, but historically that was unusual situation compared to US historical energy prices. So Plug-ins were not really intended to be less$ to fill-up in the USA, that cost is going to vary with time as gaso/electric prices vary.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    at 24 cents/kwh, i plug in because i hate the sound of the engine firing up.:eek:
     
  17. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Where I lived in Honduras (on an island) gas was over $5/gallon and electricity was over $0.50 per kWh. A lose-lose situation.
     
  18. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    Yikes, just got a huge electric bill for June. That southwest heatwave last month cost me to be fully in tier 2 rates of $0.28 per kWh, which equates to $3.36 a gallon of gas equivalent. :mad:(Multiply by 12). I was previously at tier 1 rates of $0.20 per kWh or $2.40 a gallon of gas equivalent. Gasoline is at $2.59 :cautious:so I was barely breaking even as it is.

    I have to keep reminding myself that $0.08 difference is about ~$5 extra a month to drive with cleaner electric energy. No biggie. :love:
     
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  19. NeilPeart

    NeilPeart Hybrid & PiP Convert

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    If you are on PG&E's EV-A rate that may help you (no tiers - it's a time-of-use plan). That's what I'm on and it saves me about $50 a month if my family and I maintain the usage discipline. Also my HVAC system is an efficient natural gas Trane model so that allows me to keep the 'stat @ 77 and feel comfortable (insulating the attic was a huge upgrade in this regard).
     
  20. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    I used to be on the EV9-A plan. They discontinued it 2 years ago. That plan saved me money. According to PG&E, my yearly $930 on E1 would balloon to $1130 on EV-A. I assume it's because I'm mostly in tier 1 where not having tiers in EV-A doesn't make up for the increased cost per kWh. I figure another 100 kWh usage per month like with a Prime or a Volt will make the difference.
     
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