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Electric Car Updates

November 4th, 2018 at 04:27 pm

MH went out of town to do some political canvassing, yesterday. He was pleased with his gas mpg:

This is the spreadsheet I have been keeping to track fuel costs. I don't know if this sheet is ideal, but it's one I just found and copied. It worked in a pinch. I can tweak it later.

You can click on it to see the details more clearly.

We drove the car 2,000 miles total. UGH! I don't have a handle on total household driving because I didn't track miles on the other car. For November 1, I made sure to take a picture of both odometers. We generally average about 20,000 miles per year total. How we divvy it up between the cars just depends. But this was before I doubled my commute. For the long run, I expect to work from home one day per week, to lessen the wear and tear on our cars. October was clearly unusual with *a lot* of out-of-town driving. But there was also an element that we barely drove the other car.

{These cars are so under-advertised. We had *no idea* we could get 50mpg on the gas side of the car. We didn't expect this to also be our out-of-town car?
We just lucked out that we found a car with so low miles to start. I really didn't think we'd be piling on the miles this quickly}.

Electricity costs: $31.65

1,516 Miles Driven

386.4 kWh Used x $0.0819/kWh = $31.65

Fuel Savings: $226

1,516 Miles/ 20mpg old minivan
=76 gallons of fuel

76 gallons x $3.40 = $258

$258 cost of commute in old minivan
-$32 cost of commute in new electric car

NOTE: We were not spending that much on gas before because we bought the new electric vehicle at the same time I found a new job and doubled my old commute. But I do think it was somewhat critical to address our vehicle situation with the new commute. I also took a large pay cut, so the fuel savings is important.

Although my commute is HUGE compared to any frame of reference I have (I have never commuted more than 15 minutes?). I think it's a relatively small commute in the grand scheme of things. Isn't that gas savings mind boggling?? I think this is probably pretty average. It's probably pretty average that Americans drive gas guzzlers and would commute at least 20 miles each way.

For now, I am focused on tracking the fuel savings to offset the cost of the fast charger we installed in our garage. Once that is paid for, I would like to offset the premium we paid for the car. To be clear, we did not pay a premium because the car is electric. We paid a premium because it was a huge step up in car. We had saved $15,000 ($100 per month x 13 years) to replace the minivan. We ended up spending $22,000 + tax on this car (less sale of van), or $23,000 total cash out-of-pocket. I'd like to whittle down the extra $8,000 we paid with fuel cost savings. At this rate, we might breakeven in just 3 years. WOW! This wasn't really our intent with the car purchase. We had received a $15,000 completely unexpected cash gift that we decided to use towards buying a newer vehicle. I think it was more to the point that we felt I could buy my "dream car" with the extra money. I did not expect the fuel savings to be quite this substantial. I guess the substantial fuel savings is just icing on the cake!

$745 Cost of Fast Charger/Installation
-226 Fuel Savings October
$519 Net Cost To-Date

It looks like we can get this charger "paid for" by the end of December.

NOTE: I am just ignoring gas fuel costs for simplicity. The Gas Fuel mpg comparison is 20mpg minivan versus 43mpg Volt. (I corrected my sheet after I posted it here). But the 43mpg is more in line with our other (gas) car, which is what we used to use for longer trips. So I don't know that we are seeing any fuel savings on longer trips or gas usage on the hybrid car. Will just track the smaller/electric trips, which is mostly my new commute.

7 Responses to “Electric Car Updates”

  1. alliecat79 Says:

    So many questions about going electric! I've been driving my Honda for 8 years, about 150K miles on it and with my son reaching driving age in about a year, was hoping to lend him my oldie and purchase a new vehicle. With the climate change reports that have come out, I've decided to go electric. We live in the midwest so we do not have as many options as you have in California. Also, I'm having a little one (due in January) and was hoping for more of a family sized vehicle (but with the older child driving....I may be thinking too hard on that). I drive about 60 miles per day to and from work, errands, etc.

  2. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I haven't yet found it to be worth it but then maybe I'm wrong. Mostly because DH has considered getting a electric car but since his commute is 1 mile to bus stop it seems a waste. The car personally is a waste but it's his sense of "freedom" we are buying so I let it slide. If he stops working we'll talk.

    As it stands I managed to convince him to buy the car instead of leasing a car again. He barely drives but wants a "top of the line" car with safety. Argh. Whatever 3 years ago I couldn't convince him to keep his car which was fine, I won't be able to now. I guess that's his big indulgence. Driving a car he doesn't need.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Wow, that's good mph or whatever you call it for an electric car.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    @alliecat - We went plug-in electric. We still have a car that goes 400 miles (Generally 50 miles electric + 350 miles on fuel).

    We looked into the Leaf and the Volt, and so those are the only cars I am really familiar with. For sure, California has all the benefits. The used cars flood the market and are very cheap. (We seriously considered buying a 2012 Leaf for $5,000-ish at some point. It was a super nice car!). I think the #1, "Are you crazy!?" type question I get is about the cost to replace the battery. But the Volt we bought has a 150,000-mile/10 year battery (due to the state law). Which is more than ample for a family who has always kept their car for 10+. Plus, if you save $3,000 per year on fuel... (The electric engines are also super low maintenance, so there are other savings). You can probably afford to replace the battery some day if you really have to.

    Money Mustache had a really good post about the Leaf; he bought a brand-new one for $15,000-ish out of pocket. I think it was literally like $13,000 + sales tax. He got so many incentives and tax credits.
    Text is and Link is
    Let me know if you have any specific questions.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    **We went plug-in electric.

    Correction: That was supposed to say "plug-in hybrid". Makes more sense!

  6. HP Says:

    We have a Chevy Bolt, & got an incredible deal on it. There was also a $700 Costco cash card, an electric company rebate, etc. The Bolt can go 300 miles on a charge, so it's our primary car, with the exception of when we've had to go to Fresno, Tahoe, etc. (I think we're pretty close to you, based on your Mountain Winery post :-)).

  7. alliecat79 Says:

    Thank you for the info! Really appreciate it. One factor for me is AWD. Because I do heavily commute and winter conditions can vary here in the midwest, I feel most comfortable with AWD. I have been driving a CR-V for the past 13 years and after driving an AWD vehicle in snow, I'm not sure I can ever go back. I mean, I have survived not getting stuck in close to 2 feet of snow. I wish some of the more reasonably priced car manufacturers would come out with an SUV or AWD option for their vehicles. I see many luxury manufacturers are rolling out EV's this year, but that's not really what I want to spend. But I do really value the AWD. I'm pretty dead set on an EV because I'm a buy it and drive it until it dies kind of gal. At least I'm not in a go position right now. I've got time to think about this.

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