You trust politicians to give you a straight answer? Ouch. Politicians are like children. They need close supervision by the voters or they start to do silly things that don't make sense. Others have used the diaper analogy.
Myth #1 - The government does NOT give anyone $7500 for buying a leaf or any other EV or hybrid. They do SEND you $7500, but they first must take that money out of the hands of your neighbors and yourself to do so.
Myth #2 - The electricity that charges up your car with a cord is not pollutant-free.
This makes no sense. What are you talking about?? The first part is just plain nuts. How do you feel about the government giving away many multiples of that $7500 to the fossil fuel industry which is reaping record profits in the hundreds of billions per year?
Nobody said electricity is pollutant-free, but the Electric Power Research Institute has said there exists enough excess grid capacity at night, when most EVs charge, to power a million electric cars without having to add new power plants. And electricity on balance is cleaner and more efficient than fossil fuels. It's a slam dunk.
Maxx57, you make a good point that repairs vary in complexity and type. On the other hand, there are qualitive differences between ICE driven cars and electric vehicles. For example, the radiator. If the electric vehicle has one, it is usually to cool the battery. Unlike an ICE vehicle, the engine is not turning over all the time. All supplemental pumps (compressors, etc.) have their own electric motors. They also do not have to be right next to the engine, and typically are not. The fact that so much is driven off the ICE motor is the reason for the design we typically see.
The vehicle drive motor is typically lighter weight and WILL have much lower maintenance costs than any ICE. There is just a whole lot less going on. Another big expense that one often runs into on an ICE vehicle is the transmission. These are simpler on an electric car and generally need fewer gears. In fact, i don't think the Tesla Roadster has one. It is not actually needed for electrics, although some use them.
So, you may have some repairs that are about the same. On the other hand, many common ones will be cheaper and easier. The big cost driver on an electric vehicle is the battery. I looked up the situation on the Tesla Roadster so I have some information there. I have pointed it out on design news before, but I will repeat it. The battery weighs 900 lbs. It costs Tesla about $25,000. So, it is a major driver of cost and weight of the car. To replace it, retail, costs $40,000. When you purchase your roadster you can purchase battery insurance, or replacement, for $12,000. If the battery lasts the expected seven (I think) years, it will be replaced then. If it does not last that long, you will pay an extra, pro-rated, fee for the battery. The assumption is that you did not care for the battery well enough.
These costs put electric vehicles well out of reach. The smaller, cheaper ones (Nissan Leaf) has such a short range that they are not really serious vehicles for many people.
I, like you, tend to keep vehicles longer. That is more by choice.
Another data point: I drive a 2003 Camry SE, now with 143,000 miles on it. Bought new 10+ years ago for $25K, loaded. I've spent less than $4000 on repairs and maintenance (including tires and batteries, brakes, etc.), and have averaged north of 25 MPG (and this is with the 3-liter V6 and A/C in Atlanta!). According to KBB, current resale is about $5500. You can do the calculations yourself (either simplified or full-bore "engineering economics" analysis including time value of money, which was a MANDATORY subject back in the early '60s when I got my BSEE). These costs will be lower per mile than just the replacement cost for an EV battery pack! The DOE tool is propaganda, pure and simple (I'm sure about the simple, not so much for the "pure").
This calculator is made for the un calculating public. As I see it my 15 mpg pick up would break even* at 107,000 and my Chrysler 300 w/ a Hemi would be 177,000, if both require a $20,000 bump in initial cost.
* Interest on the additional 20,000 would move the break enen into infinity.
Keep spinning those numbers. Electrics need to be designed as additional, low cost no frill commuters for one person only.
The website gives a false sense of security. What I want to see is the comparison between the purchase cost of a vehicle, the cost of repairs, and the cost of engine replacement/battery/power system/etc... oh, and then after all that, the cost of gas vs electric. That's the last thing I want to see. I just dropped another $470 to repair a radiator because I could do it myself since there were tranny lines going into it, and 3 months ago $800 to repair the A/C, and prior to that $900 on tires and $1200 on wheel bearing issues, etc... If you can tell me that parts and repairs are less expensive than current gas vehicles and will ALWAYS be less expensive, then maybe I'll ponder the thought of buying an EV. But until then, I could care less about just the cost of fuel. I spend less in fuel than I do on repairs. I don't have the luxury of buying a new car every 3-5 years. The more electronics, the higher the labor costs to repair. That's the bottom line, but the gov't just wants to tax everyone more to have the money to give it to people who think that fuel price is the only factor in saving money in a vehicle.
This calculator is a ruse, deceptive, and insulting.
Others on this board have made the argument, but also lets not forget that assuming gasoline prices will go up and electricity prices will not, is short sighted. And using subsidies as a pro-EV argument is absurd.
Also, I don't care if my car runs on gasoline, electricity, atomic energy, or poop. If we run out of fossil fuels, so what, just the better, because it won't be used as a pollutant any more. Nature will take its own course, and the mother of necessity will prevail the needed inventions. The U.S.A. federal government has no legal basis for deciding what products become buggy whips. Just remember who bailed the telecom business out when it flopped ...
Energy savings? Envrionmental savings? Naah. You're just moving the energy expenditure and envrionmental pollution to where you can't see it--to coal-fired or oil-fired generators someplace out of sight.
Money savings? Well, for the nonce anyway. Gasoline costs so much because it is taxed to pay for roads and bridges. If we all switched to electric cars taxes would have to be applied to pay for those roads and bridges. It just hasn't happened yet.
Here in North Carolina (home of the highest gas taxes in the nation) a bill was just introduced in the legislature (by Rep. Neal Hunt, R-Wake, I think) to tax electric cars to make up for the lost gasoline tax revenue.
I want to see electric vehicles become the norm some day. But nonsense comparisons like this don't help.
First, what was the cost per kWh? The costs can range from 3 cents per kWH to 25 cents or more if it is charging at the wrong time on a "smart grid."
Second, let's consider the costs of replacing the entire energy storage system after 1000 cycles (I'll be gracious and consider 1200 cycles instead of, say, 300). The cost would be akin to replacing the gasoline engine and fuel system of a car after less than 100,000 miles)
Third, Where is the electrical infrastructure to handle all these vehicle charging systems? Think you can just plug one of these babies in to your suburban home? Perhaps a handful of owners in the neighborhood could do it, but pretty soon, you'll need to upgrade the service all the way back through most of the grid.
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