Is the electricity really cheaper?

Discussion in 'Prime Fuel Economy & EV Range' started by NMPP, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. NMPP

    NMPP New Member

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    I am a 2 time Prius owner and just bought my third.......a 2018 Prime. This may seem like a stupid question so maybe I'm figuring things incorrectly. I don't drive a long distance each day and only spend $40-$50 a month on gas (I live in NM and we are usually slightly under the national average for gasoline costs). At any rate, I anticipate being able to do almost all of my driving on my electric charges. Not sure how many kWh it costs to do a full charge but NM's average is 12.83 cents per kWh. I'm concerned that if I'm charging every night, electricity costs will far exceed gasoline costs! Am I doing something wrong? We don't have any Primes out here so I got my car from NY and, thus, wasn't able to have someone explain all of the finer points. I'm sort of overwhelmed and stressed with the high-tech car and 500 manuals to figure it out....

    Thanks so much for any help you can provide!
     
  2. m8547

    m8547 Member

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    I pay $0.11/kwh, and electric is cheaper than gas here.

    A full charge is about 6KWH, and on that you can go about 25 miles. So that's $0.77 for a full charge, or $0.031 per mile.

    Let's assume you're in Albuquerque and gas is around $2.10 per gallon. If you get 60mpg that's $0.035 per mile.

    There are other costs that are hard to account for. Putting cycles on the battery has some cost, since the battery has a finite life. It might last a few thousand cycles and cost a few thousand dollars, so the cost of the battery could approach the cost of fuel. But to get 60mpg you need a hybrid, which needs a battery, but for a non-plug in the batteries are smaller so cheaper. So the marginal cost of wearing out the plug-in battery is hard to account for. And by the time it wears out the rest of the car might be worn out, obsolete, or totaled anyway, so you won't necessarily have to buy a new battery in 10 years.

    Driving on gas has the cost of making more pollution where you live. I don't know how to value that but in cities and densely populated areas reducing smog has significant value, and it probably one of the biggest benefits of EVs and plug-in hybrids. Even if your electricity comes mostly from fossil fuels, it's still worth driving an EV to get pollution away from where people live.

    Using the engine also puts wear on the engine and other engine-related parts (exhaust, fuel pump, emissions systems, oil, spark plugs, etc.) Most of those things get more wear as you use the engine more, but it's hard to tell how much that costs.

    Driving on electricity has the benefit of being way more fun than using gas. A normal Prius would be so boring to drive. The Prime is actually kind of fun in EV mode.

    There's a map somewhere that shows if a EV, Plug-in hybrid, or regular hybrid is best, by state. I can't find it again, and I'm not sure what their assumptions are. It said Hybrid is better than EV in Colorado, and I suspect NM would be the same. But it's still not a bad choice to drive a PHEV.

    The Prime is also probably not the cheapest form of transportation if you consider all the costs. By my calculations it costs me $0.28 a mile to drive. An old used sedan would be about $0.24 a mile. I think a pure EV was higher, depending on purchase cost. But a new Prime is a lot nicer and more fun than an old sedan.
     
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  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Rule of thumb for PRIME is that if the cost for full charge (6.3-6.7kwh) is less than cost for half gallon of gas in your local, you are saving money by driving EV.

    This assumes, ~25-35 miles of EV range and 50-70 mpg for gas. As you can see, full charge of EV range is roughly half the range 1 gallon of gas can run PRIME. So, in your case 12.83 cents per kWh, and say gas price $2.50 per gallon now. For full charge, 6.5 times 12.83= ~$0.84 for electricity. Half gallon of gas is $1.25. EV cost less to go the same distance by ~30%. There is nice table somewhere in PC for break even point for given cost of electricity and gas, but I can't find a link now.

    EDIT: I found the chart in this thread.
    Gas or electric where is the break Even Point | PriusChat
     
    #3 Salamander_King, Nov 19, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! you're saving plenty at 13cents/kwh. i pay 24cents, and that's about breakeven with $3. gas
    did you buy prime to save money or the world?
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is new mexico a great place for solar panels?
     
  6. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Active Member

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    6.3kWh gives you 25-30 miles range. In your case, it is 3.2-2.4 cents per mile. At 54mpg, it equals $1.7/gal gas price.
     
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  7. ALS

    ALS Active Member

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    It all depends on where you live and the cost per KwH of electricity.

    I had a guy all gunho about his Plug in Prius until he found out what the real cost was. He lives outside of San Diego in Carlsbad and found out that he has progressive electric rates. The car if plugged in jumped the amount of electricity he used at home up into the stratosphere as far as his rates went. It was something around.12-13 per KwH per so many KwH per month. Once you surpassed that base limit the rates jumped up to .25-.30 per KwH on everything he used over and above that base limit. He told his wife don't you dare plug that car in at home, use the companies charger at work.
     
    #7 ALS, Nov 19, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  8. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Active Member

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    Same here with PG&E, my charging price is 28c/kWh, that equals 7 cents per miles, and gas price is $3.3/gal which is 6 cents per mile. It is actually cheaper to use gas, thanks to stupid PG&E.

    Fortunately I installed the solar panel. PG&E price is every rising due to the law suites every year.
     
  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    A number of electric utilities have separate rate schedules for electric car charging. Customers afflicted with these punitive tiered structures such as above, should check into the local electric rate choices for something better for BEVs.
     
  10. CraigM

    CraigM Active Member

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    Maybe folks need to check their total monthly electrical usage and not just “blame” the car?

    I just reviewed my electric bills for the past 12 months and I had one month with less than 500kWh, and one month (summer a/c) with 1020kWh usage. Looks like the average is about 600kWh. Granted, we use natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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    I guess if you go to a full-electric vehicle it's a whole 'nother story, once you drop-kick the engine off the end of the driveway: a lot of maintenance expenses/headaches go away.

    It hurts just saying that...
     
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  12. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Active Member

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    My utility requires a separate meter installed at customer expense and pay a "Monthly Meter Charge" to get the EV rate. The difference in price for EV rate and "regular" means I'd have to pass about 30,000kWh through the meter before I broke even - charging the Prime from 0% to full every day for over 12 years. That's just to recover the cost of the meter, not including the $385 in meter charges.
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i guess they were targeting teslas
     
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  14. Gaëtan Lafrance

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    Hi
    The cheaper place in North America for electricity is Québec. My cost for full range in electricity is 0,50$ (in canadian dollar)

    Bonne journée!
     
  15. VTBIGDOG

    VTBIGDOG Active Member

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    I pay 5.4 cents per kwh in Georgia. I go a minimum of 35 miles per charge, which is about a penny a mile

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  16. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    Less wear and tear on the ICE and brake system and the occasional free charge and you're that much ahead. ;)
     
  17. MikeDee

    MikeDee Active Member

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    I find it amazing how much cheaper electric power is in most areas of the country than in California.
     
  18. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I'm seeing CDN 5.91 cents/kWh at Hydro-Quebec. So adjusting for exchange rates, his Quebec energy is still cheaper than your Georgia energy.

    But just across the Cascade mountains from me, Chelan County has US 2.7 cents, and Douglas County has 2.33 cents/kWh. Which is why the Bitcoin miners converged there.
     
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  19. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Active Member

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    Literally 1/10th the price I pay. :(
     
  20. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    I think you're going to be way ahead using electricity at 12.83 cents per kWh. To make the comparison, you also need to know your local cost per gallon for gas and the number of mpg you achieve when driving in HV-only mode (nominally about 50 mpg for the Prime.)

    I am in a state with a much higher residential electric rate of 20.9 cents per kWh and regular gas selling for about $2.80 per gallon. For me, the cost of electric vs gasoline driving is pretty much a toss-up. See my earlier PriusChat post for how I did the calculation.

    For a state-by-state look at average electric energy costs, see:the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Note that these figures are state-wide and local energy rates may vary.
     
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