PHEV Economics

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by John Lilly, Jan 27, 2018.

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  1. John Lilly

    John Lilly Member

    Has anyone done the math on what it costs (fuel or electricity) to drive a Clarity compared to a gasoline car?

    I did today, and it turns out that the Clarity costs about 4.77 cents/mile to drive (43 miles average electric range, 12 cents/kWh for electricity, 17 kWh battery).

    My last car was a 2015 Accord Hybrid, and based on about 15,000 miles of driving (summer 2015-December 2017) with about $800 spent on gas, the cost was about 5.33 cents/mile.

    Doesn't seem like much, but there should be significantly fewer maintenance expenses, so that'll help, and gas here is about $2.45/gal and will probably rise, so we'll see.

    I'd be interested to see what others think. Of course, cost isn't the only issue; love the way the car drives, and other intangibles.
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  3. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    Seems to me the math really depends on your daily range. If your range is entirely EV them it will cost less than if you need the additional range from the gasoline engine.

    What was your average daily distance for your hybrid?
    Tiralc likes this.
  4. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    Solar panels help too:) I expect free electrons in my later retirement years, but will be paying down the loan for some years too, so kind of "free", but not for now. I have a hard enough time just trying to time my draw down of my summer credits over the winter, so figuring actual electricity costs for Claire is too much for now.

    The cost comparison is probably closer than we would like - gallons of gas to kWh, especially with gas still relatively inexpensive. Also, some pay a horrendously high cost for electricity, such as CA and parts of MA (I think as high as .24/kWh in MA) But, just wait till some world crisis when gas prices hit $4 to $6 a gallon!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  5. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    You don't use the whole 17kWh. It should be 14.35kWh x .12 = $1.72 for 43 miles
    This includes charge loss from wall.

    The 2015 Accord is 34 mpg. So you need 1.265 gallon for 43 miles.
    1.265 x 2.45 = $3.10 for 43 miles.

    You're electric rate seem high compare to gasoline price. In socal my off peak is 13 cents and gas price is $3.20.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  6. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    Wow. Down by the border, our lowest winter off-peak rate is $0.21/kWh. SCE is that much lower?
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  8. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I think my rate in Cincinnati is .05/kwh. Gas is around $2.50/gal. If that .05 is correct you would think electric cars would be more popular in this part of the country.
  9. John Lilly

    John Lilly Member

    I’m assuming that the battery charge is down to 0 and that you drive it until empty each day, so why wouldn’t 17 kWh be used?

    My Accord mileage is based on actual consumption, recorded each gas fill, for the 15k miles I drove the car.

    12 cents/kWh is actual for my location.

    Sent from my iPad using Inside EVs
  10. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    You'd think EVs and PHEVs would be avoided like the plague out here - Summer on-peak (4PM-9PM June 1–Oct 31) is 54¢/kWh. This is where utility deregulation has landed us in 2017. Of course people charge at super off-peak rates (that's 21-22¢/kWh year-round around here). Gas is running about $3.05/gal before discounts (shopping Vons/Albertsons can earn credits at Chevron stations - that's anywhere from 10¢/gal to $1.00/gal).
  11. Tiralc

    Tiralc Active Member

    Most EVs are only allowed to use a portion of the battery size, probably about 14 kWh for the Clarity PHEV. There is "buffer" both on top ("fully charged") and at the bottom ("fully discharged"). "Zero" does not mean the battery is completely discharged (that would be bad for battery health and life). Even more fun on the Clarity, fully discharged seems to be two bars remaining (just a relative indication anyway), go figure.
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  13. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    15.0kW and 15.2kW are the two greatest draws I've had so far.
    Tony Vo likes this.
  14. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    10pm-8am 13¢
    8am-2pm 17¢
    2pm-8pm 36¢
    8pm-10pm 17¢
  15. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    We have to go by EPA because everyone's driving style is different. Some people are more efficient than others. The only was to compare apple to apple is by using EPA figures. My Clarity BEV is rated for 89 miles but I get 120 miles.

    Every battery has a buffer that is not usable. My 2013 volt has 16kWh battery buy only 10.2kWh is usable.

    We can only estimate how much is usable in the Clarity but it looks like 12kWh. Power is lost in battery charging due to resistance. On 240v, it's around 10% and 15% on 120v.

    12¢ is pretty high for $2.45 gas price. There must be another plan for EV the utilities offers.
  16. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    Within 5 years, the entire state will be TOU, so at least we'll already be used to getting screwed early and often. Good thing we get plenty of sun - and have room to store the excess energy in batteries. Once these Cali POCOs get their TOUs fine-tuned, the rest of the nation is going to learn what on-demand energy is all about.
  17. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

    They will screw solar owners with connection fee and penalty for using too little. We got charged by the water company for using too little during the drought. WTF!!!

    This is why I don't want all BEV. The utility will find the way to screw us.
  18. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    About the same story here. Electricity is $0.15/kWh 24/7. Gas is about $2.85 now. California.

    Our solar system is new, generating power, but I don't have enough data to know how it all shakes out. Over the next year I'll be able to compare each month grid based kWh with last year and begin to get a picture. In addition to what the house normally uses the Clarity is adding an average of about 16 kWh per day. We don't charge the car anyplace but home so that 16 kWh is our true daily consumption.

    All of our daily drives are within the EV range of the Clarity. Out of range trips are rare, perhaps once a month on average. We haven't been to a gas station for 37 days so far, and that includes the Toyota 4Runner which sits in the garage 98% of the time. Hey you can't take a Clarity to the outdoor shooting range. That requires an SUV or Truck! I teased a guy one day for pulling into the range in his Prius.

    We paid cash for our solar system so don't have a loan or lease situation. Yes there will be an 8 to 12 year payback period but I don't look at it that way. I am retired and that money was just moved from one investment to another. While that cash was in the stock market it was earning about 10%, but things can change and markets can dip or crash. Also profits made in the stock market are taxed. When the cash was moved out of the stock market into the solar system the returns are about 6% (could be more if grid rates increase) and the return on investment isn't taxable, nor is it subject to dips or crashes. So to me the solar system wasn't an expense, it was simply moving money from one investment to another.

    We just experienced our second full charge. Friday my wife gobbled up the miles hitting school, the gym, doctor, and four stores. As she pulled into the garage the EV indicator read zero. It took 2 hours and 6 minutes to fully charge the car. We are not seeing the 2 1/2 hours advertised to recharge the car. The charge times are so quick we can almost always pull out of the garage with a full charge.
    dstrauss likes this.
  19. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Here on L.I., I’m at about .18 for a 24/7 rate. I had once inquired about a night rate, but you get pummeled for all the other hours with that rate, so it didn’t pay.

    On a different note, I’ve noticed when charging, the draw never reaches 30 amps. The highest I’ve seen is about 29.1. However with a fully depleted battery, I can get to a full charge in only about 2 hours 10 minutes, so I’m not complaining.
  20. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    1. If you think going to the gun range in a Prius is tough (you meanie) try living and earning your living from oil & gas production here in Midland Texas and driving first a Prius and then the Clarity...
    2. Your observation on your solar power system is spot on - it IS and investment, and given history, will pay big "dividends" as the overall trend of energy costs is to go up.

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