# Electric-Car Versus Gasoline-Car Cost Comparison

L. David Roper, http://www.roperld.com/personal/roperldavid.htm
21-Feb-2017

## Introduction

Consider two cars that have the same 5-years lease cost and travel the same 75,000 miles in 5 years, one a BEV (Battery-Electric-Vehicle) and one an ICE (Internal-Combustion-Engine car). Do not subtract federal, state and local tax credits from the cost of the BEV. The purpose of this web page is to compare the cost of leasing these two cars under specific reasonable assumptions. It is assumed that insurance costs are the same for both cars.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is a good example for a BEV. It has a 60-kWh battery, a range of >200 miles and an MSRP of \$35,000 and up, not accounting for tax credits

## Internal-Combustion-Engine Car (ICE)

### Assumptions

• Efficiency is 30 mpg
• Cost of gasoline is \$3/gallon

### Therefore

• Gasoline consumption is 75,000-miles/(30-miles/gallon) = 2,500 gallons
• Fuel cost is ~(2,500 gal.)x \$3/gal. = \$7,500

## Battery Electric Car (BEV)

### Assumptions

• Efficiency is 3.8 miles/kWh
• Cost of electricity is \$0.15/kWh
• The electricity is supplied by renewable energy

### Therefore

• Energy consumption is 75,000-miles/(3.8-miles/kWh) = ~19,740 kWh (rounded up)
• Fuel cost is ~19,740 x \$0.15 = ~\$2,960

## Comparison of BEV and ICE Costs

### Fuel Cost Only

Without accounting for the cost to repair the damage done to the environment and maintenance cost, the difference in cost for the BEV and the ICE cars is:

(ICE cost) - (BEV cost) = \$7,500 - \$2,960 = \$4,540

### Fuel and Maintenance Cost

Assume that the 75,000 miles is accumulated over 5 years at 15,000-miles/year.

• ICE maintenance cost: ~\$400/year or \$2,000 for the 5 years.
• BEV maintenance cost: ~\$100/year or \$500 for the 5 years. Mainly tire rotation and interior-air filter changes.

These costs do not include tires. Assume that tires' cost will be the same for both.

Thus, the total costs are:

• ICE cost: ~\$7,500 + \$2,000 = ~\$9,500 for the 5 years.
• BEV cost: ~\$2,960 + \$500 = ~\$3,460 for the 5 years

Without accounting for the cost to repair the damage done to the environment, the difference in cost for the BEV and the ICE cars is:

(ICE cost) - (BEV cost) = \$9,500 - \$3,460 = \$6,040

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### Fuel, Maintenance and Carbon-Dioxide-Emissions Reparation Cost

A BEV using renewable energy for fuel emitts no carbon-dioxide. However, usually more carbon-dioxide is emitted manufacturing a BEV than for an ICE. Assume that a BEV must be driven 15,000 miles before that difference is accounted for. Then the carbon-dioxide emissions for the ICE should only be calculated for 60,000 - 15,000 = 45,000 miles. At 30 miles/gallon, this corresponds to 1,500 gallons.

Of course, if the electricity for the BEV is not supplied by renewable energy, the BEV will also have a carbon-dioxide-mitigation cost.

Burning gasoline emitts 19.64 lbs carbon-dioxide per gallon. (Diesel emitts 22.38 lbs per gallon.)

The question is what will it cost to repair the damage done by global warming and what discount rate should be used. A recent detailed study of social cost of global warming calculates the reparation cost at \$220/ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

For the ICE: 1,500 gal. x 19.64 lbs/gal. / 2000 lbs/ton = ~14.7 tons carbon dioxide emitted.

Without using a discount rate, the reparation cost for the ICE is ~14.7 tons x \$220/ton = ~\$3,200

Assume that the discount period is 100 years and the discount rate is 4%: then the reparation cost for 5 years is ~\$650

The total difference in cost for the BEV and the ICE cars for 5 years is:

(ICE cost) - (BEV cost) = (\$9,500 + \$650) - \$3,460 = \$6,690

## BEV Battery Replacement Cost

BEV large traction batteries lose capacity with use. Assume that the capacity loss is 0.035% per charging cycle.

For calculational purposes:

• Assume a 60-kWh battery, such as in the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
• Assume one charging cycle per week, or >200 mile/week.

Then, after 5 years, or 260 charging cycles, the battery will have lost 260*0.035% = ~9% of its original capacity.

This corresponds to an original 200-miles range being reduced to 0.91*200 miles = ~182 miles in 5 years.

Would the lessee of the BEV want to replace the battery before the 5-year lease expires? My guess in "No". If the answer is "Yes", then what would the battery cost to replace? The 2015 Nissan LEAF's battery replacement cost is ~\$6,000. Assume that would be cost for the battery replacement. Then the difference in cost for the BEV and the ICE cars for 5 years is:

(ICE cost) - (BEV cost) = (\$12,600 + \$650) - (\$3,700 + \$6,000)= \$3,550

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