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Monday, December 19, 2011

Is your car paying you back for the purchase price in 5 yrs.?

Electric cars start to pay for themselves right away by saving about $4,000 a year in gasoline*, about $500/yr. in tags (they are exempt), $70/yr. in oil changes, $25/yr. in emissions tests, and about $100/yr. on avg. on brakes, since electric and hybrid cars’ brakes last 5 times that of others due to regenerative braking. So, you save about $5,000/yr. for the first five yrs. over a gas car, which means at the $25,000 price, it will pay you back for the purchase price of the car in just 5 years.
However, after the first five years or so, electric cars really start to get cheap to own and use, when compared to a gas car. Repairs on older used gas cars are often as much as $5,000/yr. With electrics you'll avoid most all of that, and, you’re still saving the original $5,000, as well. So older used electric cars will save as much as $10,000/yr. over gas cars. That should be enough savings to buy a new battery pack (current estimates are about $4,000 every ten years)
…’here's just a few things that can (and do) go wrong with gas cars after they’re a few years old (but not on electrics, since they have over 300 less moving parts). These can typically cost a couple hundred dollars each for the repair of any one of them:
Coolant Leak Diagnosis
Coolant Reservoir Replacement
Engine Oil Light Diagnosis
Engine Overheating Diagnosis
Fuel Injector Replacement
Fuel Pump Replacement
Head Gasket(s) Replacement
Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement
No Start Diagnosis
Oil Leak Diagnosis
Oil Pan Reseal - Engine
Oil Pressure Sensor Replacement
Oil Pump Replacement
PCV Valve Replacement
Radiator Fan Assembly Replacement
Radiator Fan Motor Replacement
Radiator Replacement
Rear Main Seal Replacement
Spark Plug Replacement
Thermostat Replacement
Valve Cover Gasket(s) Replacement
Water Pump Replacement
Air Filter Replacement
Automatic Transmission Fluid Change
Automatic Transmission Fluid/Filter Change
Brake Fluid Replacement/Flush
Coolant Replacement/Flush
Differential Fluid Replacement - Front
Drive Belt(s) Replacement
Fuel Filter Change
Oil and Filter Change
Valve Adjustment
ABS System Diagnosis
Brake Booster Replacement
Brake Master Cylinder Replacement
Brake Shoe and Drum Replacement
Brake Shoe Replacement, Resurface Drums
Brake Shoe(s) Replacement
Drive Train
Automatic Transmission Diagnosis
ABS System Diagnosis
Air Conditioning Diagnosis
Automatic Transmission Diagnosis
Charging System Diagnosis
Check Engine Light Diagnosis
Coolant Leak Diagnosis
Engine Oil Light Diagnosis
Engine Overheating Diagnosis
No Start Diagnosis
Oil Leak Diagnosis
Exhaust & Emissions
Camshaft Position Sensor Replacement
Canister Purge Valve Replacement
Muffler replacement
Crankshaft Position Sensor Replacement
EGR Valve Replacement
Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor Replacement
Knock Sensor Replacement
MAP Sensor Replacement
Oxygen Sensor Replacement
* - When you get an electric, you tend to use it as much as possible, planning your errands, taking turns, sharing it among all the drivers in the household, and leaving the gas car(s) at home much more. You’ll do this because A: It’s free (if charged with solar) or cheap if charged on the grid. And B: It’s really fun, and easier to drive than a gas car.
So, the typical electric will drive about 20,000 miles/yr. (and, of course, that is the goal, - to replace as many miles driven as possible with electrics, to help reduce oil depletion and green house gasses) So if gas is $4/gallon, and your gas car gets 20 mpg, then you would’ve spent $4,000/yr. for gas. If you charge by solar, you’ll save the whole $4,000. If you charge on the grid, like most people will, at the night time off-peak price of about 3 cents/kwhr, you’ll be spending about $200/yr. for “fuel”, and be getting about 400 mpg equivalency.

Electric cars just make sense. Think about it...
No pistons, no valves, no oils, no salves.
No gas tank or transmission, no tail pipe, or Co2 emissions.
No belts, no alternator, starter or regulator.
No radiator or hoses, no muffler, and no noises!
No gas pump, oil pump, water pump, or crankcase sump.
No air filter, oil filter, fuel filter, or fuel injector.
No piston rings, spark plugs, ignition coils, or engine lugs,
No backfiring, or dieseling, running rough, or tune ups.
No more water in the fuel tank, or rusted manifold bolts,
No more timing chain yank, or big repair bill jolts!
No more stopping for gas, more pain in the ass,
300 less moving parts, as dependable as a shopping cart!
Instead of going for emissions tests, I think the electric car is best.
Instead of spending 15 cents a mile for gas that’s causing wars,
it costs just 3 cent a mile for energy that can be made by the sun,
or the wind, wave power, hydro power, nuclear, or geothermal.
Sure, it only goes 100 miles, ‘till you need to find a wall,
but most days I go, just 99 miles, is all.
If I really need to cruise, like on over to L.A.,
I just go visit Hertz, and rent me a Chevrolet.
‘Hope ya’ll come around to my thinkin’, and stop spendin your days tinkerin’,
to try ‘n keep your gas car runnin’, ...just get an electric, and start funnin’.
We need to save the planet for our kids’ kids, so let’s just start with something of ease,
‘try a car that’s green and simple, I think you’ll find it’s a breeze!

see also:

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 xmas letter

December, 2011

Hello friends and family,

We hope you are well and enjoying the holidays. It’s a rough time for many people, so our hearts are with you if your family has suffered job losses or other difficulties.

It’s been a relatively quiet year for us. Wendy is still, luckily, employed fulltime at Pearson as a Digital Writer/Editor. Fred continues his small business, Regina is living with us now and just started a “real” job at Banner, after a long and discouraging job hunt. Ethan is a junior at School of Visual Arts in NYC, where he’s doing well with his major in film/editing.

Wendy’s brother Dennis and daughter Alison visited in March while Regina and Ethan were here for spring break. We hiked a little but mostly just hung around and enjoyed our (finally) completed renovation of our home. Mid-August, we very much enjoyed a brief visit of Wendy’s cousin Eleanor, together with her husband George and daughter Allyson.

Regina moved back “home” end of June, and wanted to keep her car, and Ethan wanted to visit for part of the summer as well, so we decided to turn it into a “road trip” vacation and flew to Boston. Then the three of us drove to New York, picked up Ethan, and all drove home starting with a stop at Niagara Falls. After enjoying the “Cave of the Winds” tour (which has no cave!?), we took turns driving and hurrying (due to Wendy’s limited days off), and saw the northern part of the country, including Chicago, Minnesota farmland, The Black Hills, and timed it so that we were in Estes Park, Colorado for July 4th fireworks, which were the absolute best we’ve ever seen! The next day we toured the “haunted” Stanley Hotel, however, there didn’t happen to be any supernatural phenomena that day. Hmm. In the Badlands a buffalo walked right by our car, we stopped and ate at Wall Drug, and we toured “The Wind Cave”! (which had no wind?). With a surprising lack of arguing, the trip could have used a few more days, but it was still fun to see some parts of the country we’d never seen before, even if just through the car windows most of the time!

Having Regina “home” has been a delight. We love having her (even if she does spend the majority of time at her new boyfriend’s place!). In late July, we all went kayaking on the lower Salt river with Fred’s brother Tom and his wife Samantha. And although the RV was down for repairs, we hopped on our Vespa motorcycle one weekend and went up to the cool mountains, hiked a bit, and stayed at a nice little cabin in Christopher creek.

At Halloween, Fred helped put on another charity fund raising haunted house (his biggest, by far), and Regina helped by directing the actors. For Thanksgiving we visited Ethan, enjoyed the city, helped him decide whether to renew his lease, saw some old friends, and really lucked out with absolutely gorgeous weather!

The other major change for us this year is that we’ve stopped buying electricity and gasoline! We bought a solar panel system (and water heating panel) and a Nissan Leaf electric car. It will take 10 years to break even and pay for the solar, and then we’ll have really free power ‘till the system needs replacing. But the Leaf has already started to pay for itself. Wendy drives it every day about 44 miles to get to work and back; there’s plenty of charge left for running errands in the evenings. We plan our weekend errands as well, so that we hardly ever have to use the gas car anymore. In fact, in 3 months, we’ve put over 6,000 miles on the Leaf. We really love the smooth quiet ride, and Fred loves the linear torque that is double a regular car, and the zero-to-sixty-in-8-seconds acceleration. We estimate it will save us $4,000/year in gas alone. Not to mention greatly reduced repairs since it has over 300 less moving parts than a gas car!

We hope things start to improve in the world in 2012, although we fear it might take much longer… In the meantime, let’s all be grateful for what we have, not the least of which are caring, supportive friends and family.

Love and peace to all,

Wendy, Fred, Regina, and Ethan