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Electric Car Update

April 14th, 2019 at 08:53 am

Not much new to report on this front. Battery did not perform as well in winter, but most days was enough to get me to/from work. On particularly cold mornings where I ran the heat more, I might have use a few miles of gas on the way home. This might equate to one tank of gas every winter (if even that much).

Things have way settled down re: how many miles we are putting on this car. It helps that MM(15) has his own car now. He is the one that we drive everywhere. I'd say we are putting about 1,000 miles per month (much more reasonable) plus using for Bay Area trips. Which we haven't done the past couple of months.

MH and MM are maybe putting 300 miles per month on each of their cars. But it's becoming clear that MH's car will probably remain the "out of town" car for longer trips. Will probably still mostly use the electric car for Bay Area trips (which are much more frequent). Honestly, is probably the only reason we'd ever get through the gas anyway. Which you have to use up at some point (to replace with fresh gas).

I don't remember the last time I Went to a gas station. It's really only necessary on our way out of town (or on the way back home). Which means it's no longer an ongoing chore. I really like the simplicity aspect.

I was going to share a "gas savings" update, but I guess pictures are still not working.

So I will use my words...

We paid a $8,000 premium for this car (over our "forever" car budget of saving up $100/month). {The older we get the nicer cars we can afford and the longer they last, so the more we can save, without having to ever save more per month for a car}. But in this case, we splurged. I intend to offset the splurge with gas savings. We replaced a gas guzzling minivan and I doubled my commute, so the savings is substantial. I just started tracking this year because last year we were paying for the fast charger we installed in our garage. That was paid for with first few months of fuel savings.

This first three months of 2019 we have saved $535 in fuel and oil changes. Shaving $535 off of the premium we paid for this car. I expect to breakeven in about 4 years.

{Oil changes are only necessary every 2 years on this vehicle. We do oil changes every 6 months on our gas vehicles. Electric car is significantly lower maintenance all around.}

I have started working from home one day per week, to reduce the wear and tear on the car. I could have maybe pushed for it sooner, but waited 5 months to get settled in new job first. I actually personally dislike working from home (used to) but all of the variables changed in this situation. If my office is just 10 minutes away (as it always was before), I much rather keep work/home separate and go into the office. But anyway, the major variable that has changed is I can save an hour of driving if I just stay home. & my work/life boundaries seem to have been totally shot in the past year or two anyway, so it's less of a big change than it would have been prior. Thirdly, the work is different enough that I am okay with it. If this was 20 years ago at my old job, I don't think I'd be very happy. The work culture at my first post-college job was pretty insane on the work hours front. So I really drew a firm line about taking any work home. & then I just kind of extended that to my last job because the culture was very good re: work/life balance.

I suppose I tested this out at my new job. Towards the beginning my boss asked if I wanted to be set up to work from home, and I said no. He look surprised, but then he *shrugged* and said okay. Which I think kind of says it all. It's a very family oriented office (everyone else has young kids). So he really encouraged everyone to work from home if they have sick kids or have to leave early, etc. Super flexible job. (This was mentioned in my interview/encouraged, because of my longer commute that I should work from home some days). But beyond that, the culture is very 9-5. (It's actually more 7-3). For these reasons, I eventually caved and decided that I needed to reduce my commute hours. This may be the first job I've had that I can keep very clear work/life boundaries, even if I bring work home. Between that and things changing a wee bit during the past 20 years (technology), I am embracing it. I think it's working out pretty well.

After typing this out, duh, I also don't think working from home with (young) kids would have ever been particularly useful or productive. I suppose that is another variable that has changed substantially.

Edited to add: I didn't mention, but electricity costs are still about $25/month for the car. That hasn't changed with the lower miles/less driving, because anything above that is going to be gas miles.

P.S. According to my blog, our electric costs started out at $35/month? I will have to check my math. I think it's been $25 in recent months. We have the same electricity rates for 8 months of the year but will change to summer rates (UGH) in June. I did have a week off in February and started working more from home after that, in addition to MM getting his own car, so that may account for the $25/month electricity average during the past 3 months.


Added picture now that it is working.

I am starting to wonder if increased summer electric prices will be offset by increased summer gas prices. I may get to keep chugging along at this pace.

3 Responses to “Electric Car Update”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Your new job sounds pretty nice. Glad they are family oriented.

  2. MoneyHoney Says:

    So when you talk about fuel savings, is that how much less fuel you use compared to a comparable sedan you would have bought for $8,000 less than the hybrid, or is it how much less fuel you use compared to the old gas-guzzling van? I'd like to get a hybrid myself, so I've been following along with you to get an idea what the real costs and benefits are.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    @MoneyHoney - it's fuel saved compared to the gas guzzling minivan. I also doubled my commute, so the numbers are quite exaggerated. But I'd otherwise be paying that ridiculous amount on gas, so it is what it is. It is my real savings with the car purchase.

    That said, the same car can be had for about $13,000-$16,000 today. We will most likely replace our second vehicle with a Volt (within a year). To be clear, we did not pay the extra $8,000 because it was electric. We paid the extra $8,000 because it's a significantly nicer vehicle than we have ever bought before. If we were more budget conscious, we could have just waited 8 months (apparently) or bought the same car more used. The all electric vehicles cost pennies on the used market, and had been more our plan before our circumstances changed.

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