Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Here’s another view of electric car nonsense. From a contact in the USA, here’s his real time analysis of how things work:

"I always wondered why we never saw a cost analysis on what it actually costs to operate an electric car.

"Now we know why. 

"At a neighbourhood BBQ I was talking to a neighbour, an energy company executive. I asked him how that renewable thing was doing. He laughed, then got serious. If you really intend to adopt electric vehicles, he pointed out, you had to face reality. For example, a home charging system for a Tesla requires 75 amp service.

"The average house is equipped with 100 amp service. On our small street (approximately 25 homes), the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than 3 houses with a single Tesla, each. For even half the homes to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly over-loaded. 

"This is the elephant in the room with electric vehicles. Our residential infrastructure cannot bear the load. So as our genius elected officials promote this nonsense, not only are we being urged to buy the damn things and replace our reliable, cheap generating systems with expensive, new windmills and solar cells, but we will also have to renovate our entire delivery system!

"This latter "investment" will not be revealed until we're so far down this dead-end road that it will be presented with an oops and a shrug. 

"If you want to argue with a green person over cars that are eco-friendly, just read the following:

"My friend Eric test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of a GM dealer, and he writes...
For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine. Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery. So, the range including the 9-gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles.

Got one of these on your street?
It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours. In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.

According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery. The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned so Eric looked up what he pays for electricity (Note: these are USA prices, but the relativity is probably similar to where you live).

Eric pays approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery. $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.
Everything you need for a road trip!

Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile, to operate the gasoline-powered car.

The gasoline-powered car costs about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000.

So the American Government wants loyal Americans not to do the math, but simply pay 3 times as much for a car, that costs more than 7 times as much to run, and takes 3 times longer to drive across the country.....

1 comment:

  1. John,

    FYI, this story has been floating around the net and prompted me to respond to an enquiry from a fellow member of our local U3A who heard me talk on the subject last year..


    Your enquiry has stimulated me into update mode.

    There are some inaccuracies in the report to say the least.

    US electricity prices quoted are a way off beam, average is about 16 cents per kWh see attached file not $1.18 quoted.

    The infrastructure problem is interesting but the reality is that electric car production and acceptance will be slow enough for the utility companies to develop infrastructure and energy savings such as led lighting will partly compensate.

    Petrol cars are becoming more efficient, with lower demand for oil products oil demand will drop and with it petrol prices. California will not be able to continue electric car subsidies.

    Below is a link to a magazine comparison of the latest Chev Volt and Toyota Prius Hybrids, the top selling plug in cars in the US which includes petrol consumption and a performance comparison.


    The Volt averages about 2.6 miles per kWh (4.2km) and it’s 400lb battery pack takes a maximum 17.6kWh charge providing an electric range of 45.6 miles (73.4km) and cost to recharge at 16 cents per kWh of total $2.80 US

    Note: off peak recharging rates can be significantly cheaper.

    The price of an equivalent petrol car in the US say, a Chevrolet Cruise is about US $26,000

    You can look up 5 years and millions of miles of Volt owner fuel consumption experiences on the website - Chevrolet Volt MPG - Actual MPG from 491 Chevrolet Volt owners


    I hope this information enables you to put your relatives on the right track.

    Bottom line, these latest plug in hybrids are cost effective when subsidised in places like California ( half all such vehicles sold in the US are sold in California)

    The new Tesla 3, the Chevrolet Bolt, and the new up graded Nissan Leaf are pure electrics and now offer 220 plus miles of range between charges (350km) In Australia the cost to recharge the battery would be in the order of A$15.60 at 26 cents per kWh.

    If we see these cars in Australia the pricing is unlikely to be much below $50,000 plus for a basic model, more likely to be above $60k.

    And it would cost as much more again to be self sufficient with a large roof covered in solar cells and sufficient battery storage.

    Would this sort of investment be cost effective? Energy cost savings and lower service costs may provide a long term return on the investment however battery life and replacement costs are a significant unknown.

    Range anxiety is a factor however few of us ever travel more than 300km in a day.

    Cheers in discussion,