Saturday, February 1, 2014

TCO; Jan 2014 Drive Report

Another month down and first full month with LEAF II.   Before we begin, the balance sheet has been tilted my way slightly with a check from Oly Nissan for $36.75 for an overpayment on tab fees.  This now makes my drive off -$36.75! The lease did cover my first month payment, title transfer fees and tabs (which does include a $100 EV surcharge)

I was also reimbursed $479.58 from my employer for mileage driven in my personal vehicles for work. Now; this is not always the case but 100% of the Corolla's mileage was due to work needs (or getting gas...)  The LEAF, conversely I drive for EVERYTHING else which means it covers nearly all my personal transportation needs.

1999 Corolla

Anywho; Corolla "made" $277.79 from mileage reimbursement (remember, its tax free!) Insurance costs for the month was $31.75 for the month of Jan. This will be added to the adjusted reimbursement for the latter part of Dec. The pay periods do not line up exactly with dates in my TCO calculation so have decided to extrapolate and split the pay on both cars so each will get $92.24 applied to their balance sheet. Now this does favor the Corolla but only slightly I am guessing. The Corolla went 621.5 miles at an estimated cost of $53.70 which works out to 8.6 cents per mile @ 39.4 MPG.  These costs are estimated but only because the last time I got gas was Jan 13, and still have 3/4th of a tank of gas so I am taking $24 of the Jan 13th fillup to apply to Feb cost. This is approximate for a specific Jan cost but  makes no difference in a lifetime TCO calculation.

So this means a total TCO on the Corolla (includes all gas paid for but not used  and insurance to 2/17/14) of  $2830.38  along with the 1569.5 miles driven lowers TCO from $2.61 per mile to $1.80 per mile.  Tabs are due next month so the improvement will not be as wonderful but its getting there!  Removing mileage reimbursement from work and the TCO drops to $1.57 per mile.

2013 LEAF

The LEAF traveled 1661.4 miles at a cost of  $35.39 which works out to 2.12 cents per mile.  This includes public charging costs which amounted to a generous 56.45 kwh received at an enormous cost of.... 38 cents.  OK, to be fair with a very busy work schedule my free time to charge publicly is very hampered so most of the charging was done at home or during my very rare time off. But that is Jan and Feb is now here which means a bit of a slow period before a half dozen major clients crank up for the season.  My personal utility costs went up slightly to 9.1 cents per Kwh but more likely due to additional electronic flotsam acquired during the Christmas holiday more than plugging in. Keep in mind that Jan 8th, I went from 85% 12 amp charging (EVSE upgrade rev 0) to 20 amp charging (EVSE 2013 upgrade Rev ummm 3 or 4 or so??) which is running right at 90-91%.  So this should have saved me AT LEAST a quarter... well, maybe only a dime but every little bit helps!

On work reimbursement, I received $201.75 which will be added to the $92.24 for Dec.  Because of the lag in pay verses the mileage driven, this is the reason why the LEAF which drove more than 250% more miles gets less in reimbursement. Next month, the LEAF will be dramatically higher.

TCO adds $245.75 lease payment, $68 insurance payment, EVSE upgrade $339.50, misc shipping costs, random electrical parts and of course the MOST important cost of all of $71.75 for the new Seattle Seahawk personal plate. I am now officially "Seahawk 5020!!"

This brings TCO to $862.64 after 2150 miles to 40.1 cents per mile. Subtract my mileage reimbursement and we are now at 24.8 cents per mile

Now, after reading thru this a few times, it is a bit hard to follow so if you have any questions, please ask. I am probably gonna look at making a simple chart format for future entries.


  1. With respect to your charging numbers, a friendly suggestion. Follow a consistent format that gives the complete picture. You are almost there, but not quite. It's impossible to figure out miles driven per kWh from the numbers you have given.

    Tell us:

    - How many kWh you used

    - Price per kWh. If some kWh had one price while other kWh were had a different price (e.g. at home vs. a public charger) then separate the categories by volume and price.

    - Miles driven on the kWh you bought

    - How you measured the kWh, i.e. through carwings or with an appliance or utility meter

  2. Something else.

    You report your electricity cost at 9.1 cents/kWh. In Olympia, you pay 8.2 cents/kWh for the first 600 kWh/month and 10 cents/kWh thereafter. Given that everyone in a house exceeds 600 kWh/month before they plug in a car, I suggest that you apply the marginal cost of 10 cent/kWh when calculating your EVs fuel cost.

    Your EV is just another appliance. When you plug it in, you pay 10 cents/kWh more than you were paying before you plugged it in. The blended rate gives your EV undeserved credit for the discounted lower pricing tier.

  3. Finally, about your mileage.

    This won't be precise because I don't know how much the public charging portion of your electric usage cost. But it seems like a trivial percentage of your total use, so I used 9.2 cents/kWh (a tenth of a cent higher than your reported cost of 9.1 cents/kWh) to do the following numbers.

    If you paid 9.2 cents/kWh and you achieved fuel economy sufficient to bring your cost to 2.12 cents/mile, this works out to fuel use of 0.23 kWh/mile, the reciprocal being 4.3 miles to the kWh. At a conversion rate of 34.8 kWh to the gallon of gasoline, that works out to MPGe of 151.

    The federal gov't rates a LEAF at 129 MPGe city and 102 highway. My own car, the Think City, got an EPA combined MPGe rating of 102, and I actually get 98 MPGe, so the gov't numbers are pretty good.

    Therefore, I'm well, let's say surprised that you'd be getting such better mileage. Do you hypermile? If so, how? Are you one of those guys who goes 45 miles an hour on the freeway, or what?

    1. Looking at performance numbers between different cars is great from a relational aspect but its like saying every 4 cylinder car should get the same gas mileage and we all know how that goes. a Kwh maybe the same amount of power in every battery but that is where the similarities end. Nissan states one of the reasons why they chose not to use TMS was due to a higher quality cell with lowered resistance, better pack matching, etc which results in less generated heat. 100% of generated heat is lost efficiency. The same goes with the motor, converter, etc. They are all NOT created equally. Nissan did a great job of boosting efficiency everywhere they could. Now, some was good and some not so good. The tires they used; the Ecopias have a rep of best rolling resistance but at the sacrifice of handling, braking and comfort... Now, I dont see all these drawbacks in my style of driving which is very conservative most of the time so ya, some might consider it hypermiling but I think we all do that to an extent at least here and there.

      And yes! if given a choice of stopping and charging or driving 55 mph or less, I will drive less. 45? not quite there but did do about 50 mph a few times. But most of them were very late at night so minimally invasive driving

  4. In the interest of providing full disclosure and benefits of EVs, it is unrealistic to ignore parts of the equation. my cents per mile DOES include the nearly free public charging I received. As far as figuring cost of power at home, my tier 1/2 rates are 9.1414/11.0236 cents per Kwh. After adj its 7.2845/9.6449 cents per kwh but then construction program fees are added so the final tally is 7.7477/10.1081 cents per Kwh.

    So I had 137 kwh at tier 2 rates. that is the easy part. i simply calculate the rest at tier one rates. Now, if you are a PSE customer you know that they change one rate or another nearly every month along with the Wind Power Exchange Credits, etc. so these numbers change every month. So I simply use the previous bills numbers thru the entire month until the new bill comes in and I recalculate with whatever new figures I have. The change is fairly minimal so the cost per mile may not be exact but is close enough and keep in mind that each month its calculated, the error is reduced.

    Now all this could be resolved by simply not using public charging options but would that be a true TCO analysis? I think not.

    Now, for kicks, I used to just take the percentage of the bill multiplied by the percentage of power that went to charge the car. This actually raises my cost per mile slightly because of the connection charge is included and despite only being 6 bucks and change, it was enough to add a few tenths of a penny to the mix...but then again, we are not talking pennies, only fractions of pennies :)

  5. oh cant edit posts... seems like I should be able to edit my own but anyway. Take out the public charging and my costs run roughly and this is not calculated since I would have had to figure out exactly how far I went on those public electrons but would have put me at around 2.5 cents per mile