Gas to Electrons
Now that the electric Porsche is roadworthy, let’s discuss the real benefits of owning an EV in terms of battery life, range, and energy expense. One way to compare gas to electrons is by breaking down the cost of charging the batteries in relation to miles driven and lifespan.
The lithium iron phosphate cells in my EV’s traction pack are rated for 2000 charge/discharge cycles. That 2000 cycle figure is based on 85% discharge of the cells, beyond which there is a risk of internal damage to the batteries. An 85% discharge of the full pack would provide an effective range of about 80 miles, which I would rarely need on my 14 mile round trip commute to work. If I were to drive and charge 365 days per year, that would give me about 5 1/2 years of effective service. But if the pack is only partially discharged on a daily basis, I can spread those cycles out to 3000 or more, giving me over 8 years of service.
Now let’s compare to the cost of my petroleum consumption. Given the $60 per week I currently spend on gasoline, I’ll be saving $3,120 per year, and $24,960 for the life of the battery pack (calculated at 8 years). Using the approximate figure of $3.00 per charge, I’ll spend $1095 per year on electricity, for a total of $8760 over a period of 8 years. The savings in the cost of gas to electrons is $16,200 over 8 years.
The savings could even climb higher for a few reasons:
* The pack will not be fully discharged every day, requiring less time to charge every night, or possibly every two or three nights.
* Charging at night during off-peak hours will reduce the cost of electricity even further.
* Reduced electrical utility rates are becoming more available for those who charge their EVs at home.
* My personal costs for electricity are already offset by an investment in rooftop solar panels.
* Gas prices will certainly escalate.
Calculating a yearly 5% fuel price increase over 8 years returns an adjusted total of $29,792 not spent on fossil fuels. Using that figure, gas would be $7 per gallon after 8 years. If I cut my electrical costs in half due to lesser charge times, off-peak energy rates, and solar energy offsets, then my charging costs drop to $3880 over 8 years. My total possible savings over the life of the battery pack could reach $25,912. That’s enough to build another EV!