Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Electric Car Boondoggle (Cost comparisons)
American Thinker ^ | February 22, 2014 | Matthew Hurwitz

Posted on 02/22/2014 10:58:52 AM PST by jazusamo

There are two electric cars on the market that have received a lot of attention in the media. One is GM's Chevy Volt and the other is the Tesla Model S. Extravagant claims have been made by both manufacturers to have us believe that these that these automobiles are practical and economical to drive. As we shall see, that is not really true when one takes into account all the factors which contribute to the total operating cost of each of these two vehicles.

Chevy Volt

The manufacturer claims that "The Chevy Volt is the most fuel-efficient car with a gasoline engine currently sold in the U.S. -- and it's easy to see why. While most plug-in cars can make it about 20 miles tops before switching to hybrid mode, the Volt can run up to 38 miles on battery before switching over to its 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine." GM describes their product as follows: "The Volt is powered by an electric motor that's connected to a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. It runs exclusively on battery power until the charge drops to 30 percent and the gas motor kicks in. There are four modes -- Normal, Hold, Sport and Mountain ....When running on gasoline, the Volt returns 35 mpg city and 40 mpg highway." When all of the energy, battery plus gasoline, is used the total range of the car is 270 miles. At that point one must recharge the battery which takes nearly 10 hours if the car is plugged into a 120 V outlet. The charging time is less if one has a 240 V outlet and a special battery charger.

(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: allelectrics; chevyvolt; efv; electicvehicles; electriccars; energy; evs; hybrids; tesla
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-52 next last
Plus taxpayers foot a $7500 federal tax credit and various state tax credits for every one of these EV's sold as well as federal and state subsidies to the manufacturers of the cars and batteries.
1 posted on 02/22/2014 10:58:52 AM PST by jazusamo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

Think the average American idiot knows what amortize means?

We live in an Idiocracy. We are far outnumbered and swirling down the drain quickly.


2 posted on 02/22/2014 11:10:56 AM PST by bicyclerepair (TERM LIMITS .......... TERM LIMITS .......... TERM LIMITS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

Used Tesla S Class cars are now worth more than new models. They have become instant collectors items. I’ve seen them at classic car shows.

Teslas won’t even start to move from must haves of the wealthy —to middle class must haves until their price moves down to 35k in 2016—as promised.


3 posted on 02/22/2014 11:12:03 AM PST by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

electric car - attached garage - fire - no thanks


4 posted on 02/22/2014 11:13:04 AM PST by Ben Hecks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

The Volt gets 40mpg hwy ... BFD! there are many gas only cars that do the same at 1/3 the cost ... and the Volt , here in Florida , will have the gas engine running 100% of the time as it’s needed for the A/C to operate...


5 posted on 02/22/2014 11:13:10 AM PST by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

EV’s are perfect for touchy/feely Metrosexual TV commercials.


6 posted on 02/22/2014 11:16:07 AM PST by umgud (2A can't survive dem majorities)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

Has anyone made a comparison of the cost of INSURANCE between the Volt and the Tesla compared to cars they were matched against.
Insurance costs are never ending cost of owning a car. If one drives a paltry 100 miles a year, the insurance costs must still be paid, and factored in.


7 posted on 02/22/2014 11:16:53 AM PST by CaptainAmiigaf (NY TIMES: We print the news as it fits our views.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Neidermeyer

Yep, and they’re a disaster in below freezing weather.


8 posted on 02/22/2014 11:16:56 AM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ckilmer

Do they come with an onboard fire detection and suppression system?


9 posted on 02/22/2014 11:19:10 AM PST by meatloaf (Impeach Obama. That's my New Year's resolution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

10 posted on 02/22/2014 11:19:50 AM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

The author is basically right. Currently, electric cars don’t make economic sense. However, there are some other factors that are never considered in comparisons like this one. For example, how nice would it be to never have to spend time at a gas station? Does anyone enjoy their time at the gas station? I doubt it. How much leisure and other productive time is wasted just with the process of purchasing gasoline? Let’s suppose that you spend 20 minutes of your life per week getting gas. That’s like 17 hours per year. Suppose you spent that 17 hours doing something that you enjoy. An economic value should be assigned to that. Do other factors such as the one I’ve mentioned justify purchase of an electric vehicle economically? Probably not, but such factors can’t be totally ignored either.


11 posted on 02/22/2014 11:21:07 AM PST by irishjuggler
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

IOW, a car good for half the year in Minnesota.

Nice if you’re a trust fund leftist like our governor.


12 posted on 02/22/2014 11:26:31 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad and lived with his parents .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

The author seeks to gain credibility with his math skill.

“The cost to fill the 9 gallon tank with $4 a gallon gas is $38.”

Being a car guy and a math guy, I lost interest at that point.

Anybody driving a vehicle other than the cheapest to operate, is deciding on non-economic criteria.

Gas-electric hybrid works great. Electric only not so much, with some exceptions.

Do we have any people here that would pick a Corvette over say a Cruze?

A major goal in life for many, is to reach a point where not all decisions have to be just economics.


13 posted on 02/22/2014 11:30:36 AM PST by truth_seeker (Nissan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: truth_seeker

I would agree that people strive for luxuries and economics should not be the main factor for those people.

However all taxpayers are subsidizing electrics and hybrids for those that can afford them when in fact they themselves cannot afford them, in my view that’s wrong.


14 posted on 02/22/2014 11:35:28 AM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo
south park smug photo: GOOD FOR YOU! south_park_smug.jpg

Hybrids and electric cars have nothing to do with economics but have everything to do with hipster smugness.

15 posted on 02/22/2014 11:54:28 AM PST by Snickering Hound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

the world’s dependence on liquid fuel from
the middle east is the root cause
of immense human suffering.
...................
electric cars,
you have to start somewhere.
the Volt is a great car,
but it costs too much for
what you get.


16 posted on 02/22/2014 12:06:27 PM PST by RockyTx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

The Volt.....Chevies Jubilee


17 posted on 02/22/2014 12:10:28 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Snickering Hound
Is it hipster smugness to have the quickest badass cars around?

If so, sign me up for the course.

18 posted on 02/22/2014 12:12:59 PM PST by diogenes ghost
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Neidermeyer

Chevy destroyed its own argument for the Volt when they created the Cruze Eco.

Under $20,000, 46 MPG highway. 500+ mile range. No battery costs in the future.

The Cruze Diesel might make that discrepancy even worse. I hear it has a 700+ mile range.


19 posted on 02/22/2014 12:13:21 PM PST by FLAMING DEATH (I'm not racist - I hate Biden too!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

Can’t imaging being in rush hour traffic in sub freezing and needing to run the heater. Just what is the effective “mpg” for an EV in heavy traffic with the heater running?


20 posted on 02/22/2014 12:14:39 PM PST by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: irishjuggler

Don’t know where you get gas but if I spend 5-6 minutes it’s a lot.


21 posted on 02/22/2014 12:14:51 PM PST by billyboy15
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo
Idiotic article. "The Tesla model S, with the 85 kWh battery, costs $74,000. Assuming that the owner drives the car for 10 years and puts on 150,000 miles, and assuming the car depreciates by 90%"...

Reality check, kids: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2014/02/07/tesla-model-s-worth-more-used-than-new/ Tesla Model S Worth More Used Than New

Now, you are hereby ordered to post a bunch of mindless rants denying the above.

22 posted on 02/22/2014 12:21:55 PM PST by Southack (The one thing preppers need from the 1st World? http://tinyurl.com/ktfwljc .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sgt_Schultze
Here's a piece I posted a while back for the Volt, I'd imagine the drop in battery miles would be similar for most EV's.

Chevy Volt Electric Range Drops to 20 Miles in Cold

23 posted on 02/22/2014 12:24:47 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: truth_seeker
Gas-electric hybrid works great.

Not so much. Ultimately, the fuel used to get somewhere is a function of the total work to be performed, and a heavier car (meaning one with a lot of weight in batteries and electric motors) will take more total energy (fuel) than a lighter car.

The only exception to that is if you waste a lot of fuel in non-productive segments - such as low-speed, slow-acceleration, start-and-stop driving. If your primary driving is on congested city streets, then a hybrid might be competitive on total fuel used - though never on cost.

One way they make the hybrids seem competitive is by decreasing performance. As an example, a Prius weighs 1/3 more than an Echo (both by Toyota), but the combined gas/electric power of the Prius is 98 hp. vs. 108 hp. for the Echo. If you put a 70hp engine in an Echo, it would get better gas mileage than a Prius and still have a higher power-to-weight.

If the EPA really wanted to help the citizenry (which they obviously do not) then they would create a third category of mileage - highway, city, and congested city. On the third (but only the third) hybrids would be competitive. If that is a driver's primary situation, then they should buy a hybrid and I'm glad they have the choice. But forcing it - through subsidies - on the rest of us is not good economics, it's not good environmental policy, it's not good energy policy, and - ultimately - it's not fair.
24 posted on 02/22/2014 12:29:39 PM PST by Phlyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Phlyer

Interesting. Thanks!


25 posted on 02/22/2014 12:31:38 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

Never would have thought I would have a hybrid. I have the Ford C Max and love it!


26 posted on 02/22/2014 12:33:12 PM PST by Moleman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moleman

My son bought a used Prius hybrid strictly for commuting to work, has had it close to a year and it’s worked out good for him.


27 posted on 02/22/2014 12:36:14 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo
This is a terrible article. The Tesla S and Chevy Volt are not comparable vehicles.

The Chevy Volt and the Prius are comparable vehicles.

The Chevy Spark and the Prius C are comparable vehicles.

Tesla's next model, which is the Model X, will be comparable to the Volt and the Prius.

28 posted on 02/22/2014 12:39:54 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moleman

Of course you love your hybrid. No one likes to admit they made a mistake, do you?


29 posted on 02/22/2014 12:40:40 PM PST by billyboy15
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Ben Ficklin

He’s not comparing the Volt to the Tesla, he’s comparing each with a similar gas model car.


30 posted on 02/22/2014 12:41:47 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Phlyer
"Gas-electric hybrid works great....not so much"

It depends on what your criteria for 'works great' is.

By my criteria, it is phenomenal.

Porsche 918

McClaren P1

31 posted on 02/22/2014 12:56:35 PM PST by diogenes ghost
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo
It can't be done.

OTOH, you can compare the Chevy Spark electric with the Chevy Spark gasoline.

But if you want to get auto reviews from a political website, you are doing good.

32 posted on 02/22/2014 1:04:55 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: RockyTx

There is nothing but left-wing/green/watermelon politics between North America and energy self-sufficiency.


33 posted on 02/22/2014 1:24:00 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: billyboy15
Of course you love your hybrid. No one likes to admit they made a mistake, do you?

Oh no mistake here love it. I will admit it is a company provided vehicle but now that I have it its quite cool.

34 posted on 02/22/2014 1:31:46 PM PST by Moleman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: billyboy15
Don’t know where you get gas but if I spend 5-6 minutes it’s a lot.

Sure, for some folks, it might be possible to spend so little time getting gas... if your gas station is never crowded, is right on your daily route, takes credit cards at the pump, etc. Not for everyone, though. There actually isn't a gas station directly on my normal daily route. It's like a 3-5 minute detour off the route. And then sometimes there's a wait for a pump. All of the time adds up. How long would it take to simply plug in at home? 20 seconds?
35 posted on 02/22/2014 1:33:58 PM PST by irishjuggler
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Phlyer

Nice analysis.

I am curious - using the math of this article, what would the comparable costs be for the Toyota Prius and the Honda high mileage Civic?


36 posted on 02/22/2014 1:40:56 PM PST by volunbeer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

to post 33.
what you write may be true,
but the muzzies will still dictate the price.

as far as, energy delivered to the wheels,
liquid fuel costs 5x to 10x as much as mains electricity.


37 posted on 02/22/2014 1:41:00 PM PST by RockyTx
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: trisham

Interesting, until I thought of my own auto usage.
Daily commute, home to work is 3 1/2 city blocks.
Daily commute, Work to Home. never the same by the time errands etc are run.
Every last nice weekend is 50 miles ONE WAY to boat in adjoining state.
Drive to see daughter and kids is 124 miles ONE WAY. I can fill up car before I leave and drive UP and BACK on that single fill-up. And it is non-stop each way (but for tolls) Even then I have 3 more days until I “need” more gas.


38 posted on 02/22/2014 1:58:38 PM PST by CaptainAmiigaf (NY TIMES: We print the news as it fits our views.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: CaptainAmiigaf

What a short commute! You’re very fortunate. My commute was usually an hour each way, mostly highway.


39 posted on 02/22/2014 2:04:02 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: irishjuggler

“Suppose you spent that 17 hours doing something that you enjoy”

Like, say, waiting by the side of the road for a tow truck because your didn’t quite get enough mileage out of your plug-in.

Or maybe NOT doing something because you still have 6 hours to go before your plug-in hybrid is fully charged.


40 posted on 02/22/2014 2:04:55 PM PST by RFEngineer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: jazusamo

“However all taxpayers are subsidizing electrics and hybrids for those that can afford them when in fact they themselves cannot afford them, in my view that’s wrong.”

All taxpayers are subsidizing Toyota/Lexus hybrids? All taxpayers are subsidizing VW, Nissan, Honda, BMW, hybrids?

Isn’t your complaint only with firms that got money directly from government subsidies, without repaying the money?


41 posted on 02/22/2014 2:21:37 PM PST by truth_seeker (Nissan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: truth_seeker

I’m referring to plug ins.

http://www.plugincars.com/federal-and-local-incentives-plug-hybrids-and-electric-cars.html


42 posted on 02/22/2014 2:31:55 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: meatloaf

you got a point there. I don’t know how that shakes out. But if it were a serious problem, the demand for the car would go down and the stock price would fall from the stratosphere.


43 posted on 02/22/2014 2:39:19 PM PST by ckilmer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: bicyclerepair
Amortize doesn't that mean horny? .
44 posted on 02/22/2014 2:40:58 PM PST by WilliamRobert (Obama so loves the poor he created millions more.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: diogenes ghost

There are no “quickest badass” electrics or hybrids that don’t have comparably priced, conventionally engined competitors that are as quick or quicker.


45 posted on 02/22/2014 2:46:05 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: diogenes ghost
It depends on what your criteria for 'works great' is.

Of course. It would appear your criteria is: If you put unlimited money into a hybrid, can you get it to perform better than a car that costs 1/10 as much? I expect you could.

But if you let me have an unlimited budget, could I produce something that I called a hybrid that outperformed even the vehicles you mentioned? I expect I could. For example, if I put a brake/generator on an F-16 to recharge the existing battery after taxi I could call it a hybrid (even though recharging the battery is a negligible drain on the generator once the main engine is running) and I'd have performance that Porsche could only dream about.

But with equal constraints in every way *except* that one is a hybrid (a meaningful hybrid, where the battery/motors contribute significantly to the overall performance/range, etc. of the vehicle) and one is not, then the non-hybrid will be less expensive to own and to operate unless your driving is almost exclusively slow-speed, low-acceleration, start-and stop where the energy wasted idling in traffic is greater than the energy lost accelerating the heavier hybrid vehicle.
46 posted on 02/22/2014 3:05:20 PM PST by Phlyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

Seems to me that hybrid delivery vehicles in urban areas would be a good use of the gas/electric combination, more so than passenger cars.


47 posted on 02/22/2014 3:13:31 PM PST by Rockpile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: volunbeer
I'm not sure I understand your question. If you look at the math in this article, any high-mileage car (which is largely depreciated) will win over any new car. It might not win overall if the cost of maintenance for an old car becomes excessive.

On the other hand, if you're talking about the best, highest miles-per-gallon gasoline-powered Civic versus a Prius, then that question was answered in the article. That is another example of the comparison between the conventional subcompact car and the Volt, stepped up one level in cost (Volt/Sub-compact stepped up to Prius/Civic). The ratios will pretty much hold - the Prius will cost three times as much to operate when you consider only fuel/energy and depreciation. If you add in maintenance (battery replacement on the Prius) the ratio gets even worse.

If anything, the Prius will be worse in comparison to a Civic because they can hardly give Volts away so no one is paying a premium like they are sometimes paying for a Prius.

The clearest statement of hybrids that I have found is analogous to the statement about lotteries. A lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. A hybrid (or all-electric) is a car for people who are bad at math.

Or for smug, self-satisfied people who like to 'feel good' about driving a hybrid regardless of the math, and regardless of the true environmental impact.
48 posted on 02/22/2014 3:14:50 PM PST by Phlyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Phlyer
Ummmm, no.

My criteria is 'does a hybrid hypercar outperform a normal one?'

And the answer is unquestionably yes.

You see, I dearly love vehicles that burn copious amounts of carbon based fuels but if adding an electric to the mix allows me to wax the other guy, then sign me up.

The 918 and P1 are rather pricy, granted, but cheaper and quicker than the Veyron, which is petrol only.

49 posted on 02/22/2014 3:24:55 PM PST by diogenes ghost
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: RockyTx

The OPEC cartel has lost a lot of its price-fixing powers in recent years. More supply = lower prices. The same could be said for lower demand = lower prices (what you’re advocating).


50 posted on 02/22/2014 3:34:04 PM PST by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-52 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson