Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 49

Thread: Electric Cars and Hybrids

  1. #1
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    14,836

    Electric Cars and Hybrids

    I've been thinking a bit about what I'm going to do when my 13-year-old Hyundai Sonata inevitably fails its next smog check and must be retired. What I'll probably do is buy a regular gas car that's 2-3 years old, but what I might do is go crazy. Expensive batteries and expensive electric motors, which cost many dollars and must be replaced rather than repaired, frighten me. But that's what warranties are for, right?

    I just drove a Ford Fusion Hybrid for a few days up in Sunnyvale. Its mileage didn't impress me all that much -- we averaged 38 mpg for the whole trip -- but it's a big car, and it was carrying 3-4 people plus luggage. And it's a damn sight better than my Sonata's 21 mpg. The Toyota Prius and Chevy Volt are hybrids, and there's even a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. But as far as I'm aware, there's at least a couple different types of "hybrid" -- the kind that switches between gas and electric, charging when you hit the brakes, and the kind that has a gas engine to keep the battery charged, but doesn't connect that engine to the drive train. I dunno which hybrid is which kind.

    The Nissan Leaf is all-electric, but looks stupid. Which, I guess, brings us to Tesla. Consumer Reports came right to the brink of calling the Model S "the best car ever."



    Am I gonna spend $90k on a car? Fuck no. But it sure is pretty!

  2. #2
    If the Tesla shot lightning bolts, then it would be worth the $90 grand.
    Oooh, shiny!

    Check out my gaming channel on Youtube! Streams, videos, and more right here!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    340
    The owner of the company I work for has one and I am very impressed with it. Do I think the 90k price point is for everyone, no. however it by far felt like the least hybrid / electric car I have ever been in. The acceleration and performance are very impressive. The interior design is fantastic as well. I would love to see them be able to hit a much lower price point yes, but the question is by doing so would they have to lose everything that makes it so appealing now? I would think that is pretty likely.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3,664
    The squeaky wheel turning in my brain today is electric cars. We have two Honda's, a Pilot and a CR-V. My wife barely drives 7,000 miles a year, and I do closer to 10,000, so neither of us is driving that much. However, I'm increasingly annoyed with driving myself mostly in a two-ton SUV, spending about $200/mo in gas. (yeah biking would be ideal, if my three small kids drove themselves to daycare*) Getting a smaller car that fits three car seats makes some sense, but what's the tipping point for still using gas but saving enough to bother to change and still deal with gas.

    That's where my electric car thoughts start. Supposedly it's possible to fit three car seats in a Nissan Leaf. My daily commute is 22 miles round trip, about 50/50 city/highway.

    Help me think this through, electric cars being a new thing and all I'm trying to learn all the angles and decide if it's even worth proposing the idea to my wife. We'd probably keep the Pilot, which my wife would drive daily, and allow us to drive the family 150 miles to visit her parents or 300 miles to visit my brother. The 2007 CR-V is probably worth around $11,000(?). A dealer in Florida has a Leaf for sale for $12,999.

    Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

    * 2 or 3 days a week I drop off the kids in the morning and my wife picks them up so we need two kid hauling vehicles.
    Last edited by nynnja; 05-20-2014 at 12:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    384
    Can a rickshaw hold three car seats?

  6. #6
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    14,836
    It sounds like your primary consideration is operation cost. In that case, it should boil down to simple math. A high MPG used Honda or Toyota would last you 10+ years, and the amount you'd save with an EV instead would take at least that long to come out in the wash, particularly with your low mileage. There are also practical considerations regarding batteries in cold weather. I know it's not the sexy option, and if you have some other reason to look at an EV then maybe that changes the logic, but for now I'd stick with gas (but get out of the SUV market).

  7. #7
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    14,836
    That said, I've got a friend who loves his Ford C-MAX. From what I understand, it's about the largest hybrid vehicle you can get your hands on (it was born of a failed attempt to make a hybrid version of the Escape, which convinced them it needed to be just a little smaller; enter the C-MAX).

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3,664
    Fair point, I haven't done the math yet. Rough numbers a Honda Fit gets 28-35 so probably averaging 32 for my commute, and my Pilot is 18-25 so let's be pessimistic and say 18. That doesn't even cut my gas usage in half. So why not make the jump to no gas and get 100 mpge.

    Rough fuel cost per year...
    Pilot = $2400
    Fit = $1200
    EDIT: C-MAX = $1000
    Leaf = $350

    Oil changes...
    Pilot = $100
    Fit = $100
    EDIT: C-MAX = $50 (?)
    Leaf = $0

    Sorry, I'm thinking out loud. Clearly I need a spreadsheet. What other parameters should I add?

  9. #9
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    14,836
    I'd start with...

    • Initial cost (or current debt)
    • Miles per tank/battery charge
    • Avg. cost to fill tank (based on rough average of cost per gallon)
    • Avg. cost to fully charge battery (figure it out based on kWh and however your G&E bill is tiered)
    • Cost per mile (gas+battery for hybrid, gas alone for CR-V, battery alone for EV)
    • Expected number of years the vehicle will operate
    • Expected annual maintenance costs (oil changes, part replacements, budget for breakdowns)
    • Total cost (initial cost + [cost per mile * miles per year * years] + annual maintenance)
    • Yearly cost (total cost / years)

    Edit: Maybe that's overcomplicating it. But you can probably find a lot of this data online with minimal googling.

    Edit: Another link with tables!

    Edit: Yet another cool link, this time from fueleconomy.gov!
    Last edited by Macheath; 05-20-2014 at 02:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,002
    Edmunds has a True cost to own calculator. I've never used it and I don't know exactly how they calculate it, but I'd imagine it's got most of the crap you'd try to do on your own plus some.

    http://www.edmunds.com/tco.html

    One thing though, it's not really fair to compare a CR-V to a Leaf. You should be comparing a similar sized gas vehicle and/or hybrid to the Leaf. I'm not sure what those would be, maybe Civic, Camry, Prius, WRX, Focus(?), etc.

    I'm guessing you'll find that a Leaf would save you money over the CR-V, eventually, but something like a Civic might save you even more. In that case the Civic would be the better financial answer.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •