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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:


  1. Nice post Fred! Lower Maintenance Cost will be a huge sleeper benefit for consumers...but those companies implementing EV trucks (Lays, FedEx, etc) are implementing EVs BECAUSE of lower maintenance cost.

  2. Years ago, I did a total cost of operation and ownership spreadsheet, comparing my Ford Taurus with a Tesla Roadster. I was surprised to find that, if I kept the latter for ten or 15 years, my total cost would be the same or less as if I went with the Taurus and tried to keep it alive that long. This was assuming then-current prices for gas, electricity, and maintenance/repairs. Economic changes since then have only favored the Tesla. My problems, then and now, have been twofold: 1) Getting upfront financing to acquire the EV; 2) A two-seater with limited trunk space isn't a practical option for me. Now, however, the Model-S is, depending on options, tens of thousands of dollars less expensive, and it contains more passenger and cargo room than any car produced after the 1970s, which I have ever owned. If I can get suitable financing, the Model-S, or one of its near-term siblings, such as the Model X, will be in my future.

  3. James,- Fascinating to think that we all could've had a roadster all this time, instead our taurus'!! 'Good luck on getting your funding for an model S! We have a leaf now for a year, and it just keeps getting better everyday. We continue to find more things to appreciate about it all the time. I really love everything about it except for perhaps the exterior styling. But we're older now (mid 50's) and don't worry about that stuff quite as much now. The only reason I really discuss it at all with people is because due the the nature of the vehicle I feel we will have it for a very, very long time, and so the styling needs to be as "time-proof" as possible. 'How about the focus for you?? It is really good looking, cheaper (I think $40k sticker?), roomy, a little better range than the leaf, a little more HP, twice as fast a charger (6kw/3hr instead of 3kw/6hr like we have on our leaf), and I think the exterior styling would hold up over the years. ? Of course FINDING one to buy is still an issue :(

  4. WOW! That RAP song was brilliant!
    Did u write it?

    I have become a fan of yours - all the way from India.
    Am excited bout the electric car, i just booked.

    Looking forward to speak out for the quiet electric!

    1. Hey Kamlesh, that e2o car looks great! I really like the styling, features, and specs. It's so great to see the electric car revolution taking off in so many parts of the world! Yes, I wrote that rap/poem about 3 yrs ago, after we had ordered our Leaf but were still waiting (a year) for delivery. I had planned to memorize it so that I could recite it at gatherings, but I still haven't. :( I read your entire blog. It is extremely well written. (I only saw one typo toward the end where you said: "torque of electric vehicles cannot be managed by any gas powered vehicle" and I think you meant "matched". The global oil industry cartel is shaking in their boots (I don't know why, all they have to do is start to invest in green energy) and they are spending millions on anti-EV propaganda which is still affecting people's view of the new technology. But little by little, more and more, people like you and I, Elon Musk, Nissan's Carlos Gosn, and millions more, will break down the will of the stubborn rich oil profiteers, by spreading the facts and logic of the electric transportation revolution, and eventually help save the sustainability and survivability of our species!

    2. Hey Fred. Thank you! I got the e2o last week and i drove around a lot this weekend and love it! My friend who was a complete EV cynic, sat inside the car and drove it. He was flabbergasted by the lack of noise, vibrations, that u experience in a Gas car. The smooth acceleration, the super techie feel that the EV experience provides has made him change is mind and is considering buying one!

      What it takes for ppl to get interested in these cars is a test drive.
      Once they get on the car - step on it then they see that there is good acceleration due to the instant torque but they dont feel the vibration and they dont hear the noise. Its just a smooth acceleration.

      Then they realize that - "Oh My God! This is a good car!"
      Then u can start telling them bout the social implications like - there is no war for electricity, there is no pollution, u r not sending money out of your country
      then they realize that this car is a life changing vehicle.

      With all the troubles we have in the world - How the banks and large corporations (OIL)( are hoarding the money. All of us give them the money. All electric car owners stop giving them the money. The electric car owners pays a little bit to the utilities and they spend the money on things they want to buy and thus vitalizing our economy.

      Lets stay connected - my EV friend!