Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

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mister_coffee
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by mister_coffee »

Well, so far for power generation and ground transportation the transformation away from fossil fuels is happening more rapidly than was expected. I don't know if that means it will happen rapidly enough though. But those two things are the largest two consumers of fossil fuels worldwide so it makes sense to start on those first.

Yes, air transport is an unsolved problem -- I really doubt we are going to be able to use batteries to solve it, either. If I were to bet I'd suspect a manufactured fuel of some kind. If the manufacturing process sucks CO2 out of the atmosphere to make the fuel (e.g. how any biofuel works) it might well be carbon neutral.

Bigger challenges are around the corner with industrial processes (the big two of which are making steel and concrete) where we are going to have to start from scratch and build whole new processes and infrastructure. From scratch. Also how we move away from fossil fuels for heavy equipment used in agriculture and mining is an open question -- though Rio Tinto seems to think we can solve it all with electric vehicles.

Another challenge is long-haul sea transport, which currently uses very dirty and very cheap fuel.

In the longer term I suspect that EVs will become much cheaper than IC vehicles. Arguably they already are from a Total Cost of Ownership standpoint (the higher upfront cost is completely swamped by lower "fuel" costs (which can be very low if you mostly charge at home) and very low maintenance costs. Also depending on how you use the batteries the lifespan of an EV might be much longer. If you keep the battery charges between 20 and 80 percent modern lithium batteries can last for many thousands of charge/discharge cycles.

Given the fact that EVs have far fewer moving parts than IC vehicles I suspect as manufacturing scales up that they will rapidly become cheaper.
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by PAL »

Right and the overall effect of people driving EV's does or will reduce fossil fuel emisions, if it could happen fast enough.
However, jet travel. What say ye about that? It's hypocrisy is what it is. Make me feel "guilty" for driving a gas powered vehicle because I can't afford one. But hey what about all the money for the military? Buy an EV for everyone and maybe we would get somewhere.
Make me feel "guilty" and bad for using fossil fuels. Until airlines do their part and corporations, I am not gonna be told not to drive my gas powered vehicle or use my propane stove. Beside, I will not live to see what is going to be happening if all goes like the experts say. We will. We will be toast, but as I say, I won't be as I will have already been long or not so long gone.
I am not implying that you are making me feel guilty, btw, David. I know it is the industry that is laying a trip on people.
I do believe we have overshot. (The book Overshoot is quite good.)Too many people for the planet to support.
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

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How do we know it takes seven years for the vehicle to get to net zero? They aren't showing their work here. Other sources claim between 13000 and 18000 miles of driving to get to net zero. I'll point out that the numbers of miles is a better unit for calculation of net zero than years, because different people drive their cars different distances in a year.

Also, a lifespan estimate of ten years? Where is that coming from? JD Power estimates 10 to 20 years, which I would point out is longer than most vehicles of any type last.

The numbers I've seen all agree that the carbon hit of manufacturing an EV are substantially higher than manufacturing a comparable IC car. But also show that the carbon saved by not burning fuel rapidly outweighs it. They also show that where your electricity is sourced (e.g. are you charging from low-carbon solar, mid-range carbon nuclear or hydro, or high-carbon coal?) matter much more on the break-even distance calculations than any other set of assumptions you might make.

Because people on the internet are universally bad at math and criminally bad at statistics, I'm skeptical of any facts and figures where the work is not shown and where I cannot independently verify it.
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

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Then there is this. I didn't copy the pic. I think it was you David that posted an article about how they are improving the making of batteries but are they really?

DID YOU KNOW??
This is a Tesla model Y battery. It takes up all of the space under the passenger compartment of the car.
To manufacture it you need:
--12 tons of rock for Lithium (can be extracted from sea water)
-- 5 tons of cobalt minerals (Most cobalt is made as a byproduct of
the processing of copper and nickel ores. It is the most difficult
material to obtain for a battery and the most expensive.)
-- 3 tons nickel ore
-- 12 tons of copper ore
You must move 250 tons of soil to obtain:
-- 26.5 pounds of Lithium
-- 30 pounds of nickel
-- 48.5 pounds of manganese
-- 15 pounds of cobalt
To manufacture the battery also requires:
-- 441 pounds of aluminum, steel and/or plastic
-- 112 pounds of graphite
The Caterpillar 994A is used for the earthmoving to obtain the essential minerals. It consumes 264 gallons of diesel in 12 hours.
Finally you get a “zero emissions” car.
Presently, the bulk of the necessary minerals for manufacturing the batteries come from China or Africa. Much of the labor for getting the minerals in Africa is done by children! If we buy electric cars, it's China who profits most!
BTW, this 2021 Tesla Model Y OEM battery (the cheapest Tesla battery) is currently for sale on the Internet for $4,999 not including shipping or installation. The battery weighs 1,000 pounds (you can imagine the shipping cost). The cost to replace Tesla batteries is:
Model 3 -- $14,000+ (Car MSRP $38,990)
Model Y -- $5,000–$5,500 (Car MSRP $47,740)
Model S -- $13,000–$20,000 (Car MSRP $74,990)
Model X -- $13,000+ (Car MSRP $79,990)
It takes SEVEN years for an electric car to reach net-zero CO2. The life expectancy of the batteries is 10 years (average). Only in the last three years do you begin to reduce your carbon footprint. Then the batteries have to be replaced and you lose all the gains you made in those three years.
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by PAL »

Wonder when they will get some EV jets, commercial and the military which uses alot, alotta fuel. Think how quiet they might be.
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by mister_coffee »

Technologies do not advance linearly. They jump tracks frequently.

The first transistors were made out of germanium. There isn't enough germanium in the universe to keep up with our annual production of integrated circuits.

Similarly with rare elements like cobalt and samarium, while current EV technology (and also wind turbines) use them, there is no reason to assume that even in the medium term they will continue to do so. It looks to me like there are at least two or three battery technology changes on deck that substantially solve those issues and produce better batteries (faster charge times, longer lifespan, higher energy density) as a bonus. The sodium batteries look especially promising.

I'd also note at current battery prices (which are dropping rapidly on a year-on-year basis) it is cost effective to mine lithium from seawater -- but we still have cheaper surface mines (mostly from old salt flats, so effectively from old surface water) so we aren't going that way, at least not yet.

The biggest risk issue I see with EVs at this point is that the technology is improving so fast that the resale value on your five year old car might not be very great, and you could reasonably expect a lot of depreciation just from product improvements. So it is kind of like buying a laptop in the mid 1990s just as the mass production cost curve made their average price go from $3000 to $500. I personally expect to see a similar cost curve with electric cars in the coming decade. And that's why I think all of us except a few troglodytes are going to be driving one sooner than you'd think.

Also, when I Do The Math on my personal situation, if I have an EV I can charge it with essentially free electricity from my solar panels (because I have a lot more solar capacity than I can practically use) and rather than sell that electricity to the co-op at the very cheap rates here I can use that electricity to replace expensive gasoline. And because of the goofy rules on grid tie I can't get full value from the electricity I generate when I sell it back.

What matters is the marginal cost: and if I charge my hypothetical blue EV with my own solar panels the marginal cost of "fuel" is ZERO. At least for the 99 percent of my driving where I am local and within range of here.

For an example of how even Really Smart People can get technology advancement all wrong, Vannevar Bush was Roosevelt's (and Truman's, I think) science adviser during WWII. In 1945 he wrote an extremely engaging article for the Atlantic called "As We May Think" where he described a device that is plausibly similar to a desktop computer and would be used for similar purposes. But he completely missed things like general-purpose computing, transistors, networking, and mass-produced integrated circuits which make some of his predictions wildly inaccurate. And he totally missed a lot of cultural changes that came along with it in the coming years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_We_May_Think

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/media/archi ... 407932.pdf

I'd also note that we haven't completely solved the "selection" problem of effectively finding information that Bush describes. Though there is enormous promise in SAG which is what the Cool Kids are all working on these days.
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by just-jim »

.
Interesting analysis on the comparative impact of mining for elements and minerals for batteries and mining for fossil fuel transport.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... r-minerals

Conclusion is that there is no ‘special problem’ with the battery industry, beyond those associated with mining in general.

“The data we have leaves little doubt that resource extraction will be significantly lower for electric cars compared with their petrol or diesel equivalents as recycling increases.
And neither do the green credentials of electric cars absolve the buyers of battery minerals of responsibility for abuses in the supply chain.”
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by Fun CH »

You are correct Jim, No free lunch.

https://earth.org/lithium-and-cobalt-mi ... tamination.

"There is no doubt that lithium and cobalt play a huge role in modern societies, as both elements are essential components of many renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars."

'"However, we cannot talk about the green transition without taking the environmental impacts of lithium and cobalt mining into account.
Though emissions deriving from mining these two elements are lower than those deriving from fossil fuels production, the extraction methods for lithium and cobalt can be very energy intensive – leading to air and water pollution, land degradation, and potential for groundwater contamination. "
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Can't talk to a man who don't want to understand--Carol King
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by just-jim »

.
Interesting read. I suspect, right now, those comparisons may be accurate….but they also don’t account for all the real costs.

It’s not just indirect pollution, health costs and war. There are a couple other costs that are not reflected in the ‘pump price’

- Major oil spill events like Deep Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico or the Exxon Valdez in AK cost Billions. Regardless of whether the cost was borne by the taxpayer, insurance companies, or the oil companies themselves - those costs are not adequately reflected in the pump price. Ditto for the hundreds of smaller scale spills that happen all the time. True ‘costing’ would include the environmental cost to wildlife, water, etc.

- Then there is human cost. Here’s a compilation of deaths from drilling accidents, JUST in offshore drilling; over 700 deaths. (My dad was an oil engineer in the North Sea and Alaska, so I’m aware of some of this) https://www.offshore-technology.com/fea ... -disasters

There isnt any ‘free lunch’, regardless of the source of energy.
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by Rideback »

Don't forget the cost of the subsidies for BigOil.
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Re: Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by mister_coffee »

So what you are doing is comparing the price we pay at the pump for gasoline with the price of electric vehicles and all external costs.

Where is the accounting of all external costs for gasoline? To name a few:
  • The multi trillion dollar cost of multiple wars to keep the oil flowing
  • The multi trillion dollar cost of millions of people becoming sick from pollutants caused by burning fossil fuel, and toxic wastes associated with the manufacture of fossil fuels
  • Future destruction of property caused by climate change from burning fossil fuels. How many trillion dollars of real estate in just Florida will be drowned? That number likely gets very large very quickly!
It would be interested to do a fair an honest comparison, rather than somebody's bogus calculations designed to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. We called it FUD back in the day for a reason.
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Study finds the true cost of owning an electric vehicle equates to $17 per gallon

Post by pasayten »

The Street
Story by Ian Krietzberg
The electric vehicle story seems to have changed lately from an expectation of rapid adoption and frantic production to a reality of cooling interest and pullbacks in investments.

General Motors (GM) - pushed back its EV targets and postponed its coming EV lineup in what it called an effort to ensure profitability; Ford (F) - postponed $12 billion in EV investments; Hertz is slowing the electrification of its fleets, in part citing weak resale value; and Tesla (TSLA) - remains engaged in a price war meant to entice skeptical buyers.

Widespread adoption seems to have hit something of a snag.

While some data shows that EV adoption is on the rise, with EV sales making up a record 7.9% of total industry sales in the third quarter, consumer interest is still flagging.

Polling from S&P Global Mobility found in May that only 67% of respondents are open to buying an EV, a significant reduction from the 86% of respondents that were open to such a purchase in 2021.

While EV adoption might be increasing, the growth in the sector is slowing as consumer concerns over both price and range cool interest.

It's no coincidence that Tesla remains so committed to slashing its prices; the biggest pressure point in the transition to EVs, according to S&P, is price.

"Multiple hurdles need to be cleared to achieve widespread EV adoption," S&P wrote. "Buyers may want to wait for the next technological advance, or have concerns about charging time and charger availability, but in the end, consumer finances - not engineering - lead the current buying resistance to EVs."

Part of the gap in the adoption curve additionally involves differences between early adopters and the masses.

Jeremy Michalek, Carnegie Mellon professor of engineering and public policy, told TheStreet in August that the early adopters tend to have garages, meaning they can charge their EVs overnight and at home. For the second, larger wave of adopters who don't have access to overnight charging, better charging infrastructure, more robust batteries and longer vehicle range is a key concern.

EV ownership equates to $17 per gallon

An October report by the Texas Public Policy Foundation found that, after accounting for all of the hidden costs involved in owning an EV, that price becomes much more significant than an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

Adding in the costs of government subsidies, charging equipment and the added strain on the electric grid, the report says that the "true cost of fueling an EV would equate to an EV owner paying $17.33 per gallon of gasoline."

When ICE owners pay for a gallon of gasoline, the report says, they are paying for the "entire infrastructure to refine, transport and market that gasoline."

"When an EV owner connects to the electric grid, how much are they paying for the extra generation, transmission, and distribution costs that they are imposing on the grid, and will those embedded costs rise over time?"

The report identifies three different areas of hidden EV ownership costs: the first deals with direct subsidies, such as the $7,500 federal tax credit. The second deals with indirect subsidies, notably an avoidance of state and federal fuel taxes.

This, the report says, is problematic as such taxes are used to fund road construction and maintenance; since EVs are heavier than comparable ICE vehicles, EV owners ought to be paying more in fuel taxes, rather than less.

A component of this indirect subsidy deals with the extra costs imparted on the electric grid by EVs, a cost shared by everyone, not just EV owners.

"Generation, transmission, distribution and overhead costs for utilities are all affected by EVs, and it is crucial for the future of the electric grid that EVs charge at times that reduce demand volatility rather than increase it as is often the case today," the report says.

The final category involves regulatory electrification and emissions mandates.

Combined, the report found that these hidden costs add around $48,000 to the cost of an average model-year 2021 EV over 10 years.

The report estimated that the average EV accrues $48,000 in subsidies and nearly $5,000 in electricity costs over a 10-year period, equal roughly to $17 per equivalent gallon of gasoline. Even with recently slashed prices and tax incentives, the report said that EVs will remain more expensive than their ICE counterparts for years without "increased and sustained government favors."

A key component of EV costs revolves around the battery components. Toyota, which remains committed to hybrids, said in May that the same raw material used for one long-range EV could instead be used to produce 90 hybrids. The overall carbon reduction of those hybrids, according to Toyota, would be 37 times higher than that of a single EV.

Fluctuations in the cost of these raw materials, the report says, could have an enormous impact on EV costs going forward.

"Markets, not government, drive innovation and efficiency," the report says.
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