According to John Voelcker, Senior Editor for High Gear Media, "Car buyers are notoriously fond of focusing only on the purchase price of new vehicles, without much thinking about the total cost of ownership."
Nowhere is that more evident than the coverage of new Electric Vehicles currently on the market and of many soon-to-be on the market. Most media outlets have painted EV's as 'too expensive' or 'not worth it' and that has stopped thousands of would-be EV purchasers from even taking a firsthand look for themselves.
In reality, plug-in electric vehicles are significantly less expensive to operate that gasoline powered vehicles; but they do not suit every purpose. In the coming years, we will see a significant portion of our personal transportation transition to EV's, along with select local business applications. Any vehicle that travels 50 miles or less per day can easily be replaced by an Electric Vehicle and be operated at significantly lower cost.
Why? Just check out this chart:
Does anyone believe that the price of gasoline will be dropping over the next few years? I didn't think so. So how would you like to be driving a car that runs on $1.00 per gallon energy? You can do it today! At current Connecticut electric rates, the Chevy Volt costs about $1.25 for a full charge that will take you 40+ miles.
Across 50 of the largest U.S. cities, EV owners can save $1,000 to $1,500 on fueling costs each year compared to the average new compact gasoline vehicle filled up at $4.00 a gallon.
And, of course, driving on electricity slashes our U.S. oil consumption. Not only are you avoiding trips to the gas pump, very little of the nation’s electricity is generated with petroleum. In fact, less than one percent of our U.S. electricity is generated using petroleum. Plug-in Electric Vehicles run on domestically produced energy, keeping vital dollars within our U.S. economy rather than sending them overseas.
If you have not driven a Chevrolet Volt for yourself, you need to add it to your 'to do' list. Ask any Volt driver, and you will hear gushing praise for the car that virtually every Volt owner will tell you is the 'best car I've ever owned'. In life, experience is the best teacher, and those drivers who have been fortunate enough to be early Chevy Volt owners have been experiencing remarkable operating cost savings, top vehicle safety, and truly refined ride and handling.
Cost is relative. Have you ever compared color printers? What is one of the key points of comparison? It's the cost of the color ink refills. As you use the printer over a number of years, you have to consider both the upfront cost of the printer AND the ongoing cost of color ink refills. Thus the printer with the lowest upfront cost may not be the best buy if the cost of its color ink cartridges is the most expensive. Conversely, the most expensive color printer may have the lowest total cost if its color ink refills are the least expensive. Cost is relative and you need all the facts.
Today, a plug-in electric vehicle costs more upfront because both the technology and the batteries that store the electric energy cost more to produce. Over time, as volumes increase, we should see these costs come down, but for today, EV's cost more. That said the operating costs are such that most consumers who do the math will find that an EV will save them money in the long run.
So the next time you read or hear someone say that electric cars cost more than what a similar-size gasoline vehicle does, you will understand why.
What do you think? How would you make the case that electric cars can save someone money?
Sources for this post and for more information:
Electric Cars Equal $1/Gallon Gas For Life + $1,200 Cash A Year - John Voelcker, Senior Editor for High Gear Media, May 24, 2012
Buck-a-Gallon Gas for Life? - Max Baumhefner, blogger, 11/17/2011
The "State of Charge" of Electric Vehicles: Good and Getting Better - Don Anair, The Equation: A blog on Independent Science + Practical Solutions, 4/16/2012