I have had my Smart Car For Two for two years now. I blogged about it when I first bought it. I now have about 3,800 miles on it. I fill the tank up with gas about once a month. When I got the car, the most frequently asked question was "Since you are such a fiscally conservative but socially liberal Republican, why didn't you buy an electric car?" The MSRP on my Smart Car was $14,500. My commute to work involves a 2-mile drive from my house to a parking lot where I get on a ferry, take a 16-minute ride, disembark, and walk across the street. So I don't put many miles on my car.
Recently I got the Fall 2012 MY FORD catalog. I couldn't help but notice these two cars on one of the SHOWROOM pages:
Look at the sticker prices of these vehicles.
- The MSRP on the 2013 Ford Focus is $16,995.80.
- The MSRP on the 2013 Ford Focus Electric is $39,995.10.
I think we all agree that electric cars are cheaper to drive and operate, but are more expensive in up-front costs. If I wanted to do the environmentally correct thing and buy an electric-powered Focus instead of a gas-powered Focus, how long would it take me to recoup the extra $22,999.30 ($39,995.10 - 16,995.80) in up front costs.
I drive 1,900 miles per year. The estimated MPG of the 2013 Focus is 28 city/40 highway. Splitting the difference and assuming 34 MPG, that means I would need 56 gallons for the year. Gas in California is $3.99 per gallon. So it would cost me $223.44 for gas for the year.
I drive 1,900 miles per year. The estimated MPG in terms of electricity is 105 MPGe. So I would need to buy enough electricity that is the equivalent of buying 18 gallons (1900/105) of gas. At $3.99 per gallon, that would cost me $71.82 in electricity for the year.
Given that I drive so little, I would save $151.62 ($223.44 - $71.82) per year. To recoup my initial extra investment of $22,999.30 (not including sales taxes and vehicle license fees based on value), I would need to drive my electric car almost 152 years ($22,999.30/$151.62) to break even. And that's why I don't yet drive an electric car. Even with The Singularity, I only plan on living another 150 years.
Simple math is alive in the lab.