Electric Cars, follow up.

In a post last month titled Electric Cars or Really Fast Golf Carts I calculated my payments on the new Tesla Electric Powered Roadster. The payment was $1872 per month for 72 months! My new friend Matt from Members CU in Winston-Salem commented “But think how much you’ll save on gas! 🙂 “. While typing a response to Matt I thought it worthy of it’s own post so here it is:

When I bought a used motorcycle last summer I calculated that I would need to drive it approximately 10,000 miles for it to pay for itself. Even though it gets 55 mpg that 10,000 mile goal continually grows as I find more and more things to do to it. Stuff like change the oil, buy a new tire every so often, and buy some warmer clothing to wear!

Here’s a rough calculation to try and justify the cost of the Tesla: I drive about 9000 miles per year without kids in the car. My Corolla averages 29 mpg. That’s 310 gallons of gas per year. If gas averages $2.75 per gallon that’s $853.44 per year spent on gas. Since the Tesla takes no gas I’ll save that money, every penny! But the total cost of the Tesla including interest on the loan is $134,827. So I would need to drive it for 157.98 years to break even on it! Or that’s 1,421,825 miles!

So, as totally cool as it may be, the only way I’ll ever drive one of those cars is if I get a part time job as a valet in a major city! 🙂


3 Responses to Electric Cars, follow up.

  1. The comment was obviously a joke, and your reply definitely puts it into perspective. It also brings to light the myth of cost savings associated with buying the first generation of hybrid cars. The price you’ll pay for these vehicles is not justified from a cost-savings standpoint…unless you drive the car for many, many years. Hopefully the next batch will make switching to hybrid technology a smart financial choice to go along with its lower fuel consumption benefits.

    Good post, Dan!

  2. Dan Veasey says:

    Thanks, And you’re right about the hybrid cars. It’s not as economical to drive one yet. I’d be interested to know how many people actually realize that financially they would be better off to drive an economical gas powered car. But I guess there are many who intentionally make a financial sacrifice to do something good for the environment.

    You also got thinking about my previous calculations for my motorcycle. Those were based on me driving an old Ford Explorer which was wrecked last October. Now that I’m driving the Corolla I probably need to ride much more than 10,000 miles to break even on it.

  3. Most people know that right now, it is not economically advantageous to drive a hybrid car. (Unless you drive a grease-powered car, in which case it’s literally free, as my friend Josh has been doing for a year now.) Many people are buying hybrid cars despite the economic disadvantage.

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