Archive | November 2015

With US Gas prices averaging $2/gal, why buy an electric car?

National gas prices are on average $2/gal, with some prices more than 2.56/gal and some less than 1.54/gal according to GasBuddy. I can get it for $2.25 near me in Olympia. If I shop around it might be a dime cheaper. So, with gas prices that low, why should somebody buy an electric car? Electricity costs me 10-11 cents per hour, plus another cent for green power. It can take 8 hrs to charge a Nissan Leaf at 120 volts. That’s 95 cents. If you charge your car every day of the month that would be about $30 or $1/day. If you car gets good mileage you might have to only fill it up once/week, depending on how and how far you drive. If you’ve got a 12 gallon tank, it’s costing you $24 to fill up at $2/gal. It would cost me $27. That’s about $115/month.

If I bought an electric car, I’d save $85/month or $1020/year on fuel. Plus it would be less polluting. That’s just rough calculations, but I’d still save a good deal of money, even if it wasn’t quite that much.

So, if you’re looking at buying a new car with the end of year car deals, you might want to think about an electric car.

I’m not looking to buy a new car. My Toyota Echo gets about 40 miles/gal and I try to do little hypermiling tricks to get it do go further, like putting it in neutral when at a stop light, only making right-hand turns, sliding through parking places when possible so I can pull out head first, rather than backing out, and most importantly having a light foot on the gas pedal. I can get 43 mile/gal when I really try. It still has a lot of miles left on it and is in good running order. I’m also not flush with money at the moment. Another factor which prohibits us from buying a new car is that it takes about 4 years for a new car to air out enough for us to be able to breathe in it, due to all the toxic new-car stuff. Photocatalytic spray will help, but it’s still better to buy a used car just for financial reasons.

Hopefully by the time we’re ready for a new car, we’ll be living in Kauai near enough to the bike path that bicycles will be our major form of transportation and buses our alternative.

You might be thinking it takes less time to fill your car, but it takes me at least 5 minutes to pull into the filling station – longer when there’s a line. That minimum of 5 minutes is to get to the place where my door will open without hitting the concrete pole. Then it takes another 5 to get the machine working (insert credit card, enter zip code, etc). Then I have to stand there while the gas pumps to make sure nothing untoward happens, at least that’s what I’m supposed to do an am liable for according to the gas companies. That’s at least ten minutes. And another 5 to replace the nozzle and get in the car and drive away (provided there’s not a line). All that takes time. To plug in an electric car in the evening and unplug it might take 2┬áminutes each. ┬áSo 106 minutes at the gas station minimum vs 120 minutes at home for an electric car. If there’s a line at the gas station, I’ll easily go over the 120 minutes. If there’s a line at home, there will always be a line at home whether I have an electric car or not. And I forgot to mention the time it takes to wash the smell of gasoline off my hands. Electric car wins again.