12,000 Gasoline free miles and counting

Reader Contribution by David Hrivnak
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People often ask the best thing about an EV and the answer is easy; it is waking up to a full battery every morning.

Imagine what your life would be like if there was a “gasoline fairy” that snuck into your garage each night and insured you had a ½ tank of gas.  If you drove 20 miles they add a gallon, if you drive 100 miles they add 5 gallons.  How often would you go to the gas station?  My guess is rarely, very rarely, and it is a great feeling. 

Now people ask what has happened to your electric bill and yes it has gone up, about $17/month.  Not bad for an average of 800 miles/month of driving and I added a plug in kit on my wife’s Prius and a battery powered lawnmower during the same time.  

Another common question is how long do the batteries last?  Unfortunately we do not know as the cars are too new.  But in careful measurement over the last year I have seen NO degradation in the battery.   

I figure one of three things will happen.  One option is in 7-10 years I will need to spring for a battery and the costs have not dropped much.  In this case then my total cost would be if I had purchased gasoline all those years.  A second option is that battery prices make a significant decline and our one data point is Tesla whose battery cost from the Roadster to the Model S was cut by more than half.  In this case while still a significant; cost would be half of what I spent in gasoline for a “normal” car.  The third case is the batteries are still holding up like any Prius cars still on the road after 12 years and 200,000 miles.

Only time will give the answer but even in the worst case I get to drive a clean, quiet and fun car that is far cleaner than any gasoline counterpart.  I know that my money is not flowing out of the country; mostly to countries that do not like us very much.  And I know I can make my own electricity.  As our next big project is to add a solar roof to the house to generate all of our electrical needs.