# Help me figure the cost to charge a Chevy Volt in my town?

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• posted on November 13, 2010, 10:33 pm
Can someone help me, I'm trying to win an argument at work Monday morning...
At 15 cents per killowatt hr, a charger running on a 220 volt branch drawing 16 amps continuously for 5 hours will cost how much?
The above dollars divided by the expected 40 miles (on all electric drive) should tell me how much money per mile it will cost to use up that electricity (or coal in my area) as motion.
The remaining 280 or so mile range of the car will be on all gas from the measly 9 gallon tank at a supposedly (probably overrated) 33 MPG. So I can figure out that the dollars per mile running on gas will be approx 10 cents a mile at \$3 gas prices here.
I'm just trying to figure out what the electricity costs on a per mile basis for a 40 mile charge will be here. 40 miles is being too kind considering that in cold weather GM says you may only get 25 miles out of the charge. Or even lose half the charge while you sit in work with the car sub-freezing outside.
TIA
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• posted on November 13, 2010, 11:21 pm
RickH wrote:

220 volts times 16 amps = 3520 watts or 3.52 killowatthour. Multiply by 15¢/kwhr 52.8¢/hour. It looks like \$2.64 for 5 hours.
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• posted on November 13, 2010, 11:35 pm
On Sat, 13 Nov 2010 14:33:01 -0800 (PST), RickH

\$2.64, assuming a purely resistive load.

\$.066
Your gas is expensive.

You'll "save" about three cents a mile, at least until the state figures out another way of taxing you. That's, of course, also ignoring the initial cost.
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 2:22 am
On Nov 13, 5:35 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Our gas is as cheap as anywhere, but gas taxes high.
GM says 25 to 50 miles, but I would think the terrain and temperature would play a large role.
The up-front sticker premium cost for the vehicle itself still cant be re-couped in a reasonable lease or years of ownership by the amount it is saving. But I did think the power would cost more than \$2.64, thats not too bad. Basically you are getting the energy output of a gallon and a half of gasoline (in this car) for that \$2.64 worth of electrons. It's just that 5 hour thing and all the losses going from mining, to shipping the coal, to the coal burn, to generator, to batteries that the system as a whole is essentially wasting at each energy modality change step.
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 2:51 am
On 11/13/2010 9:22 PM, RickH wrote:

IMHO, right now, plug-in electrics are in the stage of 'if you have to ask, you can't afford it'. Let the rich yuppies buy them for the first five years, and pay for the ramp-up and beta testing. Early Adopters always end up paying twice what the normal person a few years later pays. We are just now getting toward end-of-design-lifespan on the Gen I Hybrid cars, and I have to wonder if the cratering sales of those is related to real-world promises not kept about range and durability, or simply to the sky-high costs to play.
--
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 3:55 am
wrote:

I'm not entirely sure of the message you're trying to convey but hybrid sales in Austin TX are as brisk as ever. We have almost 50k on our 2005 Prius and it's a dependable car that gets amazing gas mileage. The cost of it was about the same as a Camry. Not one problem. The thing is built solid.
I was skeptical when we bought it but my wife really wanted it and it turned out to be a very good decision so far. I'm a big believer in not buying the "new model" but the Prius had been around for a few years when we got ours. On the Volt I think I'd wait a few years. Plus, I hear they cost much more than a Prius.
Jim
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 12:57 pm
On 11/13/2010 10:55 PM, JimT wrote: (snip)

50k should be maybe 1/4 through the design lifespan of a car. If it is still running fine at 200k, and still has the original battery pack, then the car may be interesting. For those of us who are cheap SOBs and/or live lower on the food chain, brand new cars are not an option. (I never understood people who calmly accept ALWAYS having a car payment. Pay one off, and immediately buy another one. If I can't write a check for a car, I don't buy it.)
As to Hybrid sales tanking- I'm just going by what the business sections in the Detroit newspapers say- I have no way to personally verify. I certainly don't see many on the road here in SW MI.
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 2:51 pm

All could very well be true.
I seriously doubt the battery is going to last until 200k but they are lasting longer than expected. The battery is covered for 100k and the price we were quoted for replacement was approx. \$3k. I figured it would drop in price. Right now they (Toyota) isn't sure how long they last, last time I checked.
I'm with you on car payments. The Prius has been paid off for quite a while now and I drive a 98 Tacoma I bought used. I'm sure if we buy another hybrid we'll pay cash. We've been "cash only" for quite awhile now. The only loan we have is our mortgage and I'm working on that one.
Jim
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• posted on November 15, 2010, 12:52 pm
JimT wrote:

I worry about availability. Ever tried to find a new battery for a 5-year-old laptop? In most cases, all you'll find is an UNUSED battery that was built 5 years ago. Technology is changing fast. Proprietary battery pack designs are required to keep margins up.

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• posted on November 15, 2010, 1:06 pm

I tried pricing a prius battery when they first came out. 9 grand:(
Wonder how the taxing authorties will handle road taxes on battery vehicles?
Some have proposed mandating charging stations at malls stores etc.
if they were free you could do much of your charging at other peoples expense:)
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 4:26 am
On Sat, 13 Nov 2010 18:22:49 -0800 (PST), RickH

Where? The price includes the taxes. It's not like you have a choice. I just filled up at \$2.59 yesterday. You have forty cents in additional gas taxes?

Certainly, though it depends on how they run the batteries. AIUI, they're very conservative in the charge cycle limits to extend battery life. They may be playing games with this for more range in cold weather.

Power companies are pretty efficient. You won't come close and, of course, their fuel costs are a lot lower.
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 8:24 pm
On Nov 13, 10:26 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Yes in Chicago that is about the amount of the taxes close to .50.
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 11:40 pm
On Sun, 14 Nov 2010 12:24:39 -0800 (PST), RickH

Illinois (plus federal) highway fuel tax is \$.545/gal where I pay (Alabama) \$.387/gal, so that's a bit over a third of the difference. Where is the other 60%?
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• posted on November 15, 2010, 3:18 am
On Nov 14, 5:40 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

We also suffer seasonal blends mandated for winter/summer. It gives the refineries and suppliers another excuse to jack up prices. And there is additional tax in Chicago city limits on top of the .55. And we're only getting 85% gas for that, the other 15% is alcohol for the corn lobby.
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 3:31 pm
RickH wrote: ...

That assumes full power draw that entire 5-hours; I'd reckon it doesn't pull close to that for a significant fraction of that time.
So, that part's an overestimate of cost but US nominal voltages are 120/240V so that using 220V is underestimating so it probably about balances out...
--
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 4:06 am

I drive about 22,000 miles per year so potential savings are \$660 a year. The "premium" over a comparable sized car is at least \$12,000. I'll break even after only 18 years.
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 7:39 am
Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I'd like to see the math on that one. Stated another way, send me \$12,000 and I'll gladly return \$660 per year for 18 years. Break even...right?
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 11:41 am
Help me figure the cost to charge a Chevy Volt in my town?:

Well, 12000/660 = 18.182 so he's assuming a discount rate of about 0% which is correct for the economy the Fed has set up (and which will lead to inflation and another speculative bubble).
--
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 3:14 pm
wrote

They are just raw numbers. You'd also have to factor in three battery packs in that time adding another \$9000 or 13 more years and that means two more battery packs for \$6000 or another ten years.
In any case, you know what I was alluding to.
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• posted on November 14, 2010, 10:37 pm
Biggest trouble with these is their 40 mph range, tin can safety, and slow speeds. Some electric cars go faster and farther, up to 1,000 miles, but they haven't been able to figure out how to make that long of an extension cord yet.
If we all were driving them, it would be a different thing. But I see people driving around in these tin cans with normal sized cars, and just hope they have their wills made out. Even a VW Beetle would be able to push one around.
Just me. I'll keep my Ram 2500 diesel.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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