After a recent thread on the Volt, I'm really tryna justify the purchase of one, but bleeve, it's hard. I figger my gas cost per year is $1600 or so, and payments for a Volt would proly be $6,000 year.... PLUS electricity costs.
Now, about those electricity costs.....
If you calculate the $ per mile of gas, you get something like this: At $4/gal, with 30 mi/gal, it costs 13c/mi in fuel.
Now, how much does it cost to charge a battery? Don't for a minute believe what your ripoff utility tells you about c per kWhr.... Do the math on your bill, divide the kWhr on the bill into what you actually wrote on your check. Around NYC, that seems to be about 25c/kWhr -- which is outrageous.
So let's figger that Tesla's 85 kWhr battery takes, well, 85 kWhr to charge it..... that's about $20 in electricity. If the Tesla gets 200 miles on that charge, that's 10c/mile. If it only gets 100 miles, that's 20c/mile..... !!!! Split the diff, that's 15c/mile.... MORE than what I'm paying per mile in gas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You get similar numbers for the Leaf, and Volt.
Now, it gets worse: There's the ever-present thermodynamic kick-in-the-ass. It will NEVER take only 85 kWhrs to charge an 85 kWhr battery -- it will take proly 20% more.
So even if the Tesla DOES get 200 mi per charge (and jb's article suggests that it does not http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0 )
factor in the charging inefficiency, and you are just about EQUAL in $ per mi cost of a 30 mpg vehicle.
Anything less than 200 mi per charge, and the Tesla loses, and poss. loses badly.
So at NYC electric rates, an electric car, not counting ANY other factors, is actually MORE expensive than gas, at $4/gal.
YET, you see these huge "equivalent" mpg numbers for electrics, typically around 100 mpg, implying a $ per mile cost of less than 1/3 the cost of a 30 mpg vehicle.. But my calcs show that an electric will be *at least* as expensive as gas, and likely considerably more than gas, as a fuel.... What gives??
Holy shit.... there goes my Volt....
Now factor in the high initial cost of electrics, inevitable battery deterioration AND replacement cost, and wow, simply not viable. Unless I made a mistake somewhere.
Now, some may bleat, Oh OH, MY electric rates are 5c/kWhr.... and I would repeat, do the net division on your bill to see what it REALLY is. At a TRUE 5c/kWhr, yeah, it makes sense, you could divide all the above electric costs by FIVE. But I don't think anyone is really paying 5c, and quite a few places, like CA, pay MORE than NYS utility rates.
AND, if your small car gets 40 mpg, that's even tougher competition for electrics.