Gas vs Electric Cost, tipping point

Discussion in 'Prime Fuel Economy & EV Range' started by lmans66, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. lmans66

    lmans66 Junior Member

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    This forum is a global community, ....nice to see. Given that, this question will vary in response since prices of both gas and electricity differ in all countries as well as how it is packaged...liters vs gallons etc.

    But what does anyone find as the 'tipping point'.....the point where using electricity comes out to be more expensive than using gas? When should we place the Prime in Hybrid mode,...even though it is a great opportunity to use EV with a loaded battery (knowing we have to recharge)....?
     
  2. lmans66

    lmans66 Junior Member

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    I am going to take a chance at answering my own question here but correct me if I am wrong. In New Jersey where I am, the average electric price appears to be .12 per KW. This is less than the country average of .13. Currently the price of gas in New Jersey is 2.60 a gallon.

    Give the range of a Prime using Hybrid mode, lets say you get 55 mpg to make it easy. So that is $2.60 for 55 miles.

    To continue to make it easy....if I fully recharge and say my miles on EV mode is exactly half of 55 miles-- or 27.5 miles on EV, fully charged, that would cost me .72. To go 55 miles would be .72 x 2 = $1.44.

    So my cost driving in EV mode and fully charging is only 55% of the price of a gallon of gas (1.44 compared to 2.60).

    I realize that some electricity rates will be on a sliding scale where you pay less up to a certain amount and then the higher cost per KW kicks in. But I am assuming .12KW for your entire bill. I am also assuming you are an eco-minded driver although if you are or are not, your driving style wouldn't differ between strictly hybrid and EV. This is also based on the assumption of gas prices remaining somewhat low.

    Thoughts?
     
  3. breakfast

    breakfast Active Member

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    There are more reasons than economic ones (like ecological ones including lower pollution, selfish ones like driving feel, practical ones like the ability to plug in where you happen to be, common sense ones like the time you have available to charge or fill up, etc.) to choose gas vs electric.

    Don't overthink it. Like the Prime manual says...charge it when you can. You're driving one of the most efficient and lowest polluting vehicles in the world regardless of fuel source.

    But since you are thinking in terms of money cost:

    In New Jersey, and most of the world, electricity is cheaper than gas when charging at home. Tipping point? Approximately 20 cents a kilowatt is competitive with today's just about $3 per gallon prices, so, with New Jersey's average rate of around 16 cents per kilowatt, it's cheaper to plug in at home if you can. (Of course, people in New Jersey have an relatively cheap gas, and they may have a hard time learning how to plug in, since they aren't allowed to pump their own gas ;):giggle:. I'm kidding, but remember that you weren't even allowed to buy a Tesla in New Jersey until 2015 )


    Charging on the road? It's a crapshoot (the dice term...we're being classy here!) For a Prius Prime, charging on the road with a public charger is typically either totally free, or significantly more expensive than driving on gas (if they are billed by the hour).
     
  4. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    You're on the right track in post #2, @lmans66. It's even more accurate, once you have a few tanks for a database, to figure your miles per gallon with the price of gas and the miles per kWh with the cost of electricity. I find in my PiP that it's about 3 cents a mile on electric and about 5 cents on gas at our present prices.
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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  6. ziggy29

    ziggy29 Junior Member

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    Most of the ones I see charge either by the kilowatt-hour or by the hour. The ones I'm seeing here in Oregon currently seem to be charging about 18-22 cents per kilowatt-hour. (By contrast, residential power in our area is about 9-10 cents per kWh, we do have cheaper electricity than most folks.) That would make it roughly the same as using gas, or maybe *slightly* cheaper. If you figure 4 miles per kilowatt-hour, at 20 cents per you'd be paying 5 cents a mile using a public charger at that rate. With gas at $3 per gallon and (say) 50 MPG to make the math easier, you're paying 6 cents a mile to use gasoline. So in this case, if you have the time to spare for the charging, using EV and charging up is probably slightly cheaper, but not by a whole lot.

    Roughly speaking using "quick napkin math": If you can get 50 MPG in HV and 4 miles per kWh in EV mode, the break-even point is when a gallon of gas is about 50/4 = 12.5x more than the cost of one kWh (though each person has to find their own equilibrium based on "plugging in" [no pun intended] their own economy results in HV and EV). So when a charging station wants 20 cents per kWh, in this example that is more economical than using HV when gas is more than $2.50 a gallon.
     
    #6 ziggy29, Jul 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i drive ev as much as possible, and pay no attention to gas or electron prices. if i wanted to save money, i'd be driving a yaris.
     
  8. ziggy29

    ziggy29 Junior Member

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    I mostly agree, I wanted a PHEV for reasons that go beyond cheaper operation per mile (i.e. the quiet operation and the "greener" aspect of it). But this thread was specifically about the cost and where the "tipping point" is in terms of choosing to plug in or use EV mode.

    That said, even if I have EV capacity left if I'm about to drive quite a few miles on the interstate, I'm probably going to switch to HV mode unless I have enough EV capacity left to get home and charge up (and I won't be going anywhere for at least a few hours).
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i know, it's about the 50th thread on the piping point since prime came out. and there are 50 more over in pip country.
    don't mind me, it's too early to start tippling.:cool:
     
    #9 bisco, Jul 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  10. NR427

    NR427 Member

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    Don't forget you can avoid the warm up penalty for short trips by plugging in.
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    good point! short trips would have a whole different tipping point.
     
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  12. lmans66

    lmans66 Junior Member

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    My apologies for this is probably the 50th type of these postings....but I haven't been on this site much, even though I joined in 2008:)... In either case, it would appear that it is cheaper using EV as opposed to gas, for now. I agree though, I will use up the EV but if on a highway, might just stick with HV and save the EV for the in-town battle:)
     
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  13. alfon

    alfon Senior Member

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    We have a 2016 Volt. Here on the northwestern Oregon Coast our electric rate per KWH, is $.114. This is computed by the entire bill, what you pay, with all taxes, surcharges, delivery fees, etc., divided by the KWH used. Gasoline, reg. 87 octane at Costco in Warrenton Oregon is the least expensive anywhere in the area at $3.099 per gallon.

    Our Volt when running just on gas has been averaging for the month 56 mpg, and 4.5 miles per KWH on electric. Electric is still the least expensive fuel in our case. A full charge of electric, 16 KWH, this includes the estimated 2 KWH for charging losses cost $ 1.83 for a full charge with a usable 14 KWH.

    14 KWH X 4.5 miles = 63 miles cost ($1.83). Gas to drive 56 miles = cost ($3.099).

    This is summer driving, of course electric range drops to about 45 miles of range in the dead of winter, and gas mpg to about 50 mpg or so. When gas dipped below $2/ gallon and electric was the same price, $.114 / KWH, during winter it was basically the same cost to drive on gas as electric..
     
    #13 alfon, Jul 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  14. Jamesb93612

    Jamesb93612 Member

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    Wow!!! I really need to move. Here in California, we pay between $0.21-$0.27/ kWh!! Gas is about $3.50 so it seems to be close to a wash.


    iPhone ?
     
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  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yeah, but think of what you'd be giving up.:)
     
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  16. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Subtle reminder:

    1976953B-CBBF-4E33-B55E-A094CF9D6E82.jpeg 24B7D538-CABB-4A2A-86E1-38E16D65D777.jpeg 4909C866-CCE2-4D5A-904E-EB69B70304F8.jpeg

    Just one example of a California weekend(y).
     
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  17. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    Who's your electricity supplier? I have PSEG and it comes out roughly .165/kWh for me.
     
  18. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Active Member

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    It is quite simple to calculate for me. With gas, I get a little more than 50 miles per gallon. Give the $3.5 gas price, the gas cost is 7c/mile.

    With EV mode, I got 5 miles per kWh, and the electricity price is 27C, then my cost 5.4c/mile.

    Yeah, I know the price is cray, thanks to Democratic Republic of California.
     
  19. breakfast

    breakfast Active Member

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    That's right - for short trips on gas alone, the Prime can still deliver in the low 40's thanks to the warm-up cycle - so for short trips, make sure to compare the breakeven point to, let's say, a 40 MPG car. In that case, even Bisco's $.24/kWh electric rate starts looking good in comparison to gas prices a little under $3/gallon... and it's zero emissions in town and the engine gets less wear and tear.
     
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  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that's why my wife uses my car instead of her hycam for anything within ev range. keeps her mpg average up as well.(y)
     
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