Author Topic: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?  (Read 783 times)

Kroaler

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Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« on: April 09, 2020, 11:16:48 AM »
Assuming 85% charge efficiency and using the MPGe figures for various cars, its seems its close to break even and sometimes gas hybrids edge out electric charging?

This seems to be unique to the current times, for example my state average is 1.68$ a gallon and electric rates are 12.34 cents kw/h.

Am I doing my math wrong? 

I realize Im not counting the maintenance cost, purely the cost per mile of fuel.  - I guess I just always assumed electric charging was SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper than gas on a mile per mile fuel usage basis.

dandarc

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2020, 11:29:53 AM »
My EV gets 4 miles per KWH. My 2014 leaf show's that, I've seen it cited as an average on the internet. Obviously analysis varies depending on the mileage you actually get. I'm seeing Teslas get more like 3 miles per KWH - larger cars = less efficient. How you drive can also affect your efficiency - are you running heat or AC? Going 40 or 70?

Interesting thing - larger range means carrying around a much heavier battery. So my 2014 leaf gets better efficiency than a fancy Tesla. But I can only drive it around town really.

To account for losses in charging, call it $0.04 cents per mile for the electricity - meaning worse than your stated 85% charge efficiency.

That means at $1.68 / gallon, you'd need to get over 42 MPG to be at the same efficiency.

So, right now, even with cheap gas, you'd need an ICE car at the high-end of fuel efficiency to tie or beat my Nissan Leaf.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 11:36:47 AM by dandarc »

Car Jack

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2020, 11:32:38 AM »
Assuming 85% charge efficiency and using the MPGe figures for various cars, its seems its close to break even and sometimes gas hybrids edge out electric charging?

This seems to be unique to the current times, for example my state average is 1.68$ a gallon and electric rates are 12.34 cents kw/h.

Am I doing my math wrong? 

I realize Im not counting the maintenance cost, purely the cost per mile of fuel.  - I guess I just always assumed electric charging was SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper than gas on a mile per mile fuel usage basis.

Back when I was a student at track driving, I remember the chief instructor doing classroom lessons and the answer to a lot of questions was "It depends".  That's the case here.  Because I play gas points shenanigans, I pay on average about 88 cents a gallon.  My car gets 35 mpg.  Electricity (all in) on my bill is 20 cents per kWHr.

Using the Teslanomics calculator, my gas cost per 1500 miles is $37.70.  Electricity cost over the same miles for a Model S is $114.  Electricity cost for a model 3 is $87.24. 

Working backwards with the 3 to see what my gas cost would have to be to equal electric, I'm finding $2.04.  Well, I could get that price with zero gas points.  So for me, an electric saves me nothing.  In reality, I'm saving about $50 every 1500 miles compared with a 3 and $76 compared to an S.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 11:35:53 AM by Car Jack »

yachi

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2020, 11:38:13 AM »
Why don't you use the EPA KWh/100 mile figures to check? 

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/what-is-mpge

I don't think assuming a 15% energy loss in the charging process is valid if you're using the MPGe numbers.  It only makes sense to me that the test to determine the MPGe rating would start with a KilloWatt Hour meter on the electric supply side, therefore accounting for any losses in the charging cord, battery etc.


StashingAway

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2020, 11:39:30 AM »
They are "substantially" cheaper when gas is reasonably priced. Gas prices are over 30% cheaper than they were in January. 40% cheaper than at last year's high, and are absurdly low compared to the $4.00/gallon we were seeing in 2011. And that's without inflation.

It is completely attributed to the oil price wars. And to your definition of "substantially cheaper".

And like others said, how you drive, what you drive.

Most people don't drive EV's just for the cost. Some do, and some don't care at all about the cost. But most people are in between.


« Last Edit: April 09, 2020, 11:42:41 AM by StashingAway »

jamesbond007

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2020, 01:21:16 PM »
Wait till the prices go up. This is temporary. I've been saving on gas on my Tesla for over 6 months now. Even now, it is cheaper than gas for me as I get about 4.5mi/kWh. Net I am still coming out ahead compared to gas.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2020, 01:19:44 AM »
In SoCal, gas is cheaper.  The cities Iíve lived in here double charge for electric, ie you pay ~ 15 cents per watt/hr and then the additional charges/fees for every watt hr  - that means charging your car is at least 30 cents per watt hr.  Do other cities in other states have this bullshit or is it just SoCsl ?

Thatís if youíre lucky enough to own a home - if you have an apartment and have to pay ChargePoint - forget it.

I donít know what Tesla charges because those cars are so far out of reach at this point, not just because of the price of the car but the insurance premiums.

Kroaler

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2020, 07:25:34 AM »
Interesting.  Sound like electricity is much higher in socal.

But even here I see a Prius or other similar mpg vehicle would be cheaper than electric.

For simplicity, compare a Prius prime.  At current gas and electricity my math shows it's cheaper to run it on gas at 1.68 a gallon. (Not factoring maintenance cost)

JLee

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2020, 07:51:36 AM »
Assuming 85% charge efficiency and using the MPGe figures for various cars, its seems its close to break even and sometimes gas hybrids edge out electric charging?

This seems to be unique to the current times, for example my state average is 1.68$ a gallon and electric rates are 12.34 cents kw/h.

Am I doing my math wrong? 

I realize Im not counting the maintenance cost, purely the cost per mile of fuel.  - I guess I just always assumed electric charging was SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper than gas on a mile per mile fuel usage basis.

It generally is, but absurdly low gas prices change the equation.  Eating at home is cheaper than eating out, unless restaurants cut their prices so much that it isn't anymore :)

FatFI2025

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Re: Gas is cheaper per mile than electric?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2020, 10:41:51 AM »
I have a Fusion plug-in and have run this analysis since I bought it in 2016. The car gets around 36MPG in hybrid mode and let's say 18 miles on a charge, 7.6KWH. At local rates that's $1.41 for electricity vs. $1.45 for a half-gallon of gas.

But I live in an apartment and have to pay for charging. It takes 2.25 hours to charge and I think the cost is typically $1.5/hr. So basically it's double the price if I charge vs use gas.

So if I lived in a house with a garage outlet, I would charge it every night, but given the hassle and added cost to use a public charger, I almost never do it.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 10:44:52 AM by FatFI2025 »