stop fracking around

after getting the volt, i wanted to see what the real cost savings is compared to regular gasoline. PGE offers some great nerdy stats on their website if you are on the ev-a tiered electric plan. my household is in the lowest tier ($0.09/kWh) most of the time. this is especially remarkable considering i live with a family that leaves lights on in empty rooms, uses high-energy devices like hair dryers and curling irons, and a pool pump that runs a few hours a day. the hair dryers and curling irons have a positive impact on female appearance, so i consider that an acceptable trade-off.

tiered ev-a plan usage stats per day

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after digging into the hourly stats and using my best estimation based on time-of-day usage like running the clothes dryer and that aforementioned pool pump i came up with this:

ED: 50 miles of driving back and forth to work is $1.00
ED: 250 miles for the week = $5.00

compare this to wife’s car at about 20mpg, and assuming gas is $4.00:

WIFE: 50 miles of driving back and forth to work is $10
WIFE: 250 miles for the week is $50

for the year, that’s $250 for my car vs $2500 for her car but this number reflects the best case, and there are plenty of things that could affect that number, such as:

  • using electricity all the way back and forth to work. currently, i have to dip into about .2 gallons of gas on a couple days because of traffic flow. my range actually increases when i am in stop-and-go traffic because of regenerative braking.
  • gasoline is priced at $4/gallon. currently, you can find it at ~$3.80/gallon if you look. in the midwest, the electric car advantage wouldn’t be so great because gas prices are below $3.50/gallon, but i think there would still be considerable savings.
  • whether it’s me of the wife driving the car. she tends to have inefficient driving techniques while on electric power along with using the AC at all times. i only use the AC when the temperature runs into the 90’s or i have guests in the car.
  • summer electricity is cheaper than winter electricity.
  • west coast vs east coast geography since i believe that natural gas powers lots of our electricity here in the west but some electricity on the east coast is still powered by coal and is more expensive. also battery efficiency drops in cooler temperatures, such as in the northeast. here in california, it’s 70 and sunny for half the year.

i’d still like to get solar panels for the roof to offset my monthly electric charge by selling my electricity back into the grid. how cool is that?