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  • discodanman45
    started a topic Solar and EV's - Great Investment!

    Solar and EV's - Great Investment!

    I want to know how many people here have EV's and if it makes financial sense in their area. If you are in California and don't have solar with an EV, you are missing out in some areas. I bought a Chevy Bolt two years ago and I got so addicted to EV's I traded in my Ford Explorer and got a CPO 2013 Tesla Model S. My electric company has a great EV plan and I am trying to get all my friends to buy at least a used EV to get enrolled in the PGE EV plan. Typically you get grandfathered into this plans in California, and economically it makes so much sense when EV's will be increasing in sales in the future.

    I think the only way an EV makes sense is if you have a TOU(time of use) plan and solar with net metering. I bought my Bolt on March 20 in 2017 and ironically my install date was March 20, 2018 for my solar. I have 10 months of data to back up my investment so far.
    In 10 months I have produced 16,520 kWh of electricity and used 21,348 kWh. With the PG&E EV plan I owe $318, including the $10 per month to be hooked up to the grid, for those extra 4828 kWh I used. That is under $0.07 per extra kWh I have used. For 12 months I estimate my usage will about 25,600 kWh and my true-up will be under $400. In the future it will be closer to $200 because my system was clipping about 3 hours a day on average. I can get credits during the summer at $0.48 kWh feeding the grid and charging my car at night for $0.13 per kWh. Thank you PGE!

    My solar investment was $22,000 for my 11.25 kW system after tax credit. Using 25,000 kWh is about $5000 a year with average California prices. However, with tiered pricing, you would pay much more than this without a special EV plan. This will be right around a 4 year payback for my system.

    Before solar and EV's I was spending $4500 in electricity per year for a 3100 sqft house and over $4000 in gasoline driving 40,000 miles a year. This same usage now will cost somewhere around $250 per year after my $22,000 investment.

  • jflorey2
    replied
    Originally posted by funguy11 View Post
    As EV's get cheaper, have longer range and charge faster, they will be unambiguously better for people in 99% of cases.
    Going to depend on a LOT of things - like the cost of gas and the need for heat.

    The best ICE engine is about 40% efficient. That's a big minus when it comes to driving long distances when gas is expensive. It's a big plus when you live in Alaska and use most of that 60% waste heat to melt ice and keep the car warm.

    Leave a comment:


  • funguy11
    replied
    Originally posted by discodanman45 View Post
    The cheap gas prices have gotten us Americans in bad habits with vehicles that you don't see anywhere else in the world. We have 800 HP muscle cars that can literally kill you if you are not a great driver. We use pick-up trucks as commuters. We have huge SUV's for families of 3 to 4. We also try to justify these things. My neighbor bought a pick-up truck last year and I asked her why and she said she sometimes has to pick up large things. It has been a year and she hasn't used the bed of the truck once. People buy huge SUV's because they might need the space one day to pick up a few extra people. The "what ifs" are not a reason to buy a truck or SUV.

    In Europe they don't have pick up trucks because cars have hitches to tow small trailers. So why does the average American need a pick up truck??? The answer is they don't. When you have to transport more than five people either take two smaller cars or rent something for a week. You don't need a SUV for the few times a year. The same can be said for that 1100 mile drive. You don't "need" an ICE car for that, you can rent an ICE car for that infrequent trip.

    I have no problem with efficient ICE vehicles. My problem is the cars/trucks/SUV's that get 10 to 20 mpg and are not used for their intended purposes. I am fine with people buying sports cars with 800 HP engines, but only driving them for recreation and not putting high miles on them. If you have a large truck, you better use it 50% of the time for its intended purpose.

    For most people, plug in hybrids are probably the best for the environment and you can put 90% of your miles as pure electric. I choose pure EV because I drive a 130 mile commute every day. I should move closer to work, but house prices in that area are insanely high or the lower priced houses would endanger my family because of crime. I choose EV's because I wanted to lower my impact and got solar to make myself net carbon neutral.
    ICE vehicles have major negative impacts which aren't accounted for in the price of gas. First, the US spends major amount of money each year controlling the Middle East and interfering in oil producing countries like the Venezuela. Secondly, ICE cars create a lot of pollution which negative effects everyone health and exacerbates climate change.

    Leave a comment:


  • J.P.M.
    replied
    Originally posted by discodanman45 View Post
    The cheap gas prices have gotten us Americans in bad habits with vehicles that you don't see anywhere else in the world. We have 800 HP muscle cars that can literally kill you if you are not a great driver. We use pick-up trucks as commuters. We have huge SUV's for families of 3 to 4. We also try to justify these things. My neighbor bought a pick-up truck last year and I asked her why and she said she sometimes has to pick up large things. It has been a year and she hasn't used the bed of the truck once. People buy huge SUV's because they might need the space one day to pick up a few extra people. The "what ifs" are not a reason to buy a truck or SUV.

    In Europe they don't have pick up trucks because cars have hitches to tow small trailers. So why does the average American need a pick up truck??? The answer is they don't. When you have to transport more than five people either take two smaller cars or rent something for a week. You don't need a SUV for the few times a year. The same can be said for that 1100 mile drive. You don't "need" an ICE car for that, you can rent an ICE car for that infrequent trip.

    I have no problem with efficient ICE vehicles. My problem is the cars/trucks/SUV's that get 10 to 20 mpg and are not used for their intended purposes. I am fine with people buying sports cars with 800 HP engines, but only driving them for recreation and not putting high miles on them. If you have a large truck, you better use it 50% of the time for its intended purpose.

    For most people, plug in hybrids are probably the best for the environment and you can put 90% of your miles as pure electric. I choose pure EV because I drive a 130 mile commute every day. I should move closer to work, but house prices in that area are insanely high or the lower priced houses would endanger my family because of crime. I choose EV's because I wanted to lower my impact and got solar to make myself net carbon neutral.
    Still comes down to pay your money - take your choice regardless of what others may think of that choice.

    For a lot of folks, maybe even most, driving a fuel efficient vehicle and then driving it as little as possible may be better, but such choices are often/usually overrule intellectual humility in favor of myopic self interest. But, not my money/life/whatever.

    Real objective analysis of information and situational awareness are keys to helping the environment. Emotion and mental sloth are two of the villains that often withhold such information and so become the tyrants that control the flow of information.

    Leave a comment:


  • discodanman45
    replied
    The cheap gas prices have gotten us Americans in bad habits with vehicles that you don't see anywhere else in the world. We have 800 HP muscle cars that can literally kill you if you are not a great driver. We use pick-up trucks as commuters. We have huge SUV's for families of 3 to 4. We also try to justify these things. My neighbor bought a pick-up truck last year and I asked her why and she said she sometimes has to pick up large things. It has been a year and she hasn't used the bed of the truck once. People buy huge SUV's because they might need the space one day to pick up a few extra people. The "what ifs" are not a reason to buy a truck or SUV.

    In Europe they don't have pick up trucks because cars have hitches to tow small trailers. So why does the average American need a pick up truck??? The answer is they don't. When you have to transport more than five people either take two smaller cars or rent something for a week. You don't need a SUV for the few times a year. The same can be said for that 1100 mile drive. You don't "need" an ICE car for that, you can rent an ICE car for that infrequent trip.

    I have no problem with efficient ICE vehicles. My problem is the cars/trucks/SUV's that get 10 to 20 mpg and are not used for their intended purposes. I am fine with people buying sports cars with 800 HP engines, but only driving them for recreation and not putting high miles on them. If you have a large truck, you better use it 50% of the time for its intended purpose.

    For most people, plug in hybrids are probably the best for the environment and you can put 90% of your miles as pure electric. I choose pure EV because I drive a 130 mile commute every day. I should move closer to work, but house prices in that area are insanely high or the lower priced houses would endanger my family because of crime. I choose EV's because I wanted to lower my impact and got solar to make myself net carbon neutral.

    Leave a comment:


  • J.P.M.
    replied
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
    But then again if the population is greatly reduced due to some cataclysm, 99% of the people left may find an EV the best form of transportation.
    How about a thought experiment: If the cataclysm kills 99 % or the population but leaves all the vehicles the dead people owned, the remaining 1% will have their choice of vehicles, probably on the cheap, or zero cost. Then, it might be interesting to see what the vehicle ownership choices would be, ICE or EV.

    It would be telling if Bubba went for the trivked out F150 with 5 ft. tires and the N. CA techno geek went for the EVs - tricked out model S teslas of course.


    Leave a comment:


  • SunEagle
    replied
    Originally posted by funguy11 View Post

    As EV's get cheaper, have longer range and charge faster, they will be unambiguously better for people in 99% of cases.
    I think your 99% target is a little high. But then again if the population is greatly reduced due to some cataclysm, 99% of the people left may find an EV the best form of transportation.

    But for now a large % of the 8+ billion people on this planet will either use man power (bikes, walking, rickshaws) or ICE vehicles to get around.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ampster
    replied
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

    Going to the "cheaper" oranges should be an economical choice. Not because it makes people feel warm and fuzzy because they think it may save the environment.
    As I said each of us has a different point of indifference. I rationalize my decisions based on the economics but at the end of the day, there is someting to be said about feeling warm or fuzzy. That is the tyranny of the subconscious.

    Leave a comment:


  • funguy11
    replied
    Originally posted by Ampster View Post

    I agree the economics are different based on location. As far as comparing apples and oranges there is a concept in economics called cross elasticity. At some point people will shift from apples to oranges if the price of oranges goes low enough. Each of us has a unique point of indifference.
    As EV's get cheaper, have longer range and charge faster, they will be unambiguously better for people in 99% of cases.

    Leave a comment:


  • SunEagle
    replied
    Originally posted by Ampster View Post

    I agree the economics are different based on location. As far as comparing apples and oranges there is a concept in economics called cross elasticity. At some point people will shift from apples to oranges if the price of oranges goes low enough. Each of us has a unique point of indifference.
    Going to the "cheaper" oranges should be an economical choice. Not because it makes people feel warm and fuzzy because they think it may save the environment.

    Leave a comment:


  • bcroe
    replied
    Originally posted by funguy11 View Post

    Exactly, EV sales in Norway demonstrate the viability of EVs in cold weather climates.
    That hardly covers the picture. Maybe they sell in a very small country, where it is so cold that
    ICE cars are quite difficult to start, and transporting fuel is a problem. Bruce Roe

    Leave a comment:


  • Ampster
    replied
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

    I understand the relevance to a cold climate and EV's. I just wonder why people keep trying to make comparisons between apples and oranges.

    EV's just do not make economic sense everywhere.

    Perhaps people are comparing behavioral differences between human beings in Norway and the USA. The difference is easily explained by different public policy that affects the economics. EVs are cheaper than ICE vehicles in Norway. China and India are headed in the same direction. Those are global trends in political policies somewhat relevant to the subject of this thread.
    I agree the economics are different, based on location and government policy.
    Last edited by Ampster; 06-03-2019, 09:11 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • funguy11
    replied
    Originally posted by Ampster View Post

    No, I dont think California comes close to what the trends are in Norway. I think the point of the Norway example was about EVs in a cold weather environment.
    Exactly, EV sales in Norway demonstrate the viability of EVs in cold weather climates.

    Leave a comment:


  • SunEagle
    replied
    Originally posted by Ampster View Post

    No, I dont think California comes close to what the trends are in Norway. I think the point of the Norway example was about EVs in a cold weather environment.
    I understand the relevance to a cold climate and EV's. I just wonder why people keep trying to make comparisons between apples and oranges.

    EV's just do not make economic sense everywhere.
    Last edited by SunEagle; 06-03-2019, 08:43 AM. Reason: added last sentence

    Leave a comment:


  • Ampster
    replied
    Originally posted by SunEagle View Post

    Does that ratio come close to what people in CA are doing?

    Why does everyone think that comparing purchase patterns of another small country to the entire US is accurate?
    No, I dont think California comes close to what the trends are in Norway. I think the point of the Norway example was about EVs in a cold weather environment.

    Leave a comment:

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