Saturday, July 7, 2012

You pay how much to drive an EV?

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez
A friend recently sent me this (offensive) cartoon produced by some people who "just don't get it".

After 4 months and 5500+ miles, I now have a very good sense for how much it actually costs to plug my car into the grid.  $1.95 per day!  About the cost of 1/2 gallon of gas.  Heck, some times I pay more for an energy drink to fuel my body!

Here's how I calculated this.  My electric company sends me a bill each month which shows me my usage for the last 13 months.  This way I can compare year over year to see the difference.  In general, my home energy consumption can vary with the temperature, but the average monthly temparatures year over year have been pretty consistent.  In the first 4 months, my increased consumption has been between 12 and 15 kWh per day.

Our electric company is a private company that only serves our town so it's overall costs are vey low.  40% of the energy we buy comes from non-carbon producing plants including wind farms in the Berkshires (MA) and regional hydro plants. 

We pay about 9 cents per kWh, well below the national and local average.  When you load in the various fees and surcharges, it goes up to 13 cents total.  Basic math says .13 + 15 = $1.95.

More basic math shows the cost for driving 100 miles in my ActiveE plugged into my house is around $3.50.  The same 100 miles with my small SUV is $15 at $3.75 per gallon.  For my Honda hybrid it's $9.40.  So real world data shows that I'm saving between $80 and $150 per month in driving costs.  And, on top of it all, I'm cruising around in an all-electric BMW that is, and continues to be, a blast to drive!

For more information about ActiveE owners who save even more money by leveraging the power of the sun, read here and here.

So, the moral of the story is that all energy is not created equally.  Green cars plugged into green grids are our pathway to future, on many levels.  Don't let anyone fool you otherwise.