How California is killing the Electric Car

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] The elephant in the room is not OEM ZEV Credit regulation, high upfront costs, or even "Range Anxiety", but Southern California's appallingly high electricity rates!

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Jan. 3, 2016

    Our 2013 Prius PHEV-11 – 11-miles of AER and it is rarely if ever plugged in anymore… :( At least we received HOV lane access and the total cost after the tax giveaways was just $22k new when picked up in early 2013.

    I have posted the basic analysis numerous times to FB but never a full write-up on so why not today after a number of OEM electrification announcements from CES in Las Vegas. Many of you will be pissed when I speak about high electricity rates and the ridiculous charging experiences here in the Home of the PHEV/BEV. That being Southern California.

    Remember a few months back during the 2016 Kia Soul EV + Review <-- This was just a minor write-up as a placeholder since I was neck deep in the 2017 Kia Niro Guinness World Record planning at this point. In particular, did you notice the various Charging Stations and cost detail? Same car, more of the same...

    EV Refueling Costs in Southern California, Home of the PHEV/BEV

    To begin, here is the latest San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) rate schedule. That being August 2016 – Schedule DR - RESIDENTIAL SERVICE Effective 8/1/2016. The rates swing around on a monthly basis and are even higher mid-summer!

    $0.191/kWh per month for the first 384 kWh
    $0.395/kWh per month for power above 384 kWh

    The average home in San Diego uses 500 kWh/month and everyone is pumping in amps at the higher bracket for anything extra. Meaning plugging in your BEV/PHEVs will guarantee the average consumer will be paying the 130+ percent of baseline rate(s) spelled out above.

    The average US home uses just over 900 kWh to give you a comparison.

    There is a winter time break where the cost in Southern California drop a tad but not nearly enough.

    $0.175/kWh per month for the first 384 kWh
    $0.362/kWh per month for power above 384 kWh

    Let us complete a little math using the 2016 24-kWh Nissan LEAF at .3 kWh/mile combined rating per the EPA as the standard since it is an affordable and somewhat popular pure electric here.

    At the EPA stated .3 kWh/mi combined efficiency, it takes 15 kWh to travel 50 miles. At the Summer Rate of $0.395/kWh, it costs the SDG&E LEAF owning customer $5.92 to travel 50 miles.

    With San Diego Gasoline prices avg. $2.80/gallon this week, a 52 mpg combined rated 2016 Toyota Prius owner pays $2.69/gallon to travel 50 miles.

    Why would someone consider a somewhat affordable short range BEV in Southern Calif., despite the cleanest grid in the country??? A Prius rides and handles better, has more utility, far more range, better resale, and is generally a more comfortable car.

    Whenever I go over these details, I always ask the listener if they had a choice to go to a Shell that costs $2.70/gallon at the South end of the block or a Shell that costs double that at $5.90 at the North end of the block, which would they choose?

    Now let us consider a 2016 Tesla Model S AWD P-85D at 0.34 kWh/mile combined rating per the EPA.

    At the EPA stated .34 kWh/mi combined efficiency, it takes 17 kWh to travel 50 miles. At the Summer Rate of $0.395/kWh, it costs the SDG&E Tesla AWD - P85D owning customer $6.71 to travel 50 miles.

    At least a 2016 BMW 740i x-Drive (22 mpg combined) or 2016 MB S550 4-matic (19 mpg combined) costs $6.36 and $7.37 to drive the same 50 miles distance respectively so the Tesla Model S is competitive but not a clear winner on a fuel cost price basis given our sky high Southern Calif. electric rates. Adding the time it takes to fill with a low-energy density fuel – electricity – vs. a high energy dense one – gasoline, that is a lot of inconvenience and in case of the std. BEV and PHEV, amount to pay for the geo-political security gain that not using oil provides.

    BMW i3 and a LEAF on a Level-3 Combo Charger.​

    But what about Time of Use (TOU) plans, are they much less expensive?

    The SDG&E TOU for EV ownership minus solar plan(s) and SDG&E EV Rates

    EV Time-of-Use 2 rate (EV-TOU 2)

    The EV-TOU-2 rate uses your existing household smart meter to track home and EV electricity use. Since all of your electricity is measured by one meter, the time-of-use price applies to your overall use and the price does not change as you use more electricity. It will, however, change depending on the time of day you use it. On time-of-use rates, electricity is at its lowest price between midnight and 5 a.m. and you can set your car's timer to start charging at this time. If most of your electricity use occurs during the day, time-of-use rates may not be the best rate for you.

    EV Time-of-Use rate (EV-TOU)

    The EV-TOU rate requires a separate meter for your EV. The EV meter tracks your vehicle’s electricity use separately from the rest of your home. A licensed electrician of your choice is required to install this second meter at your expense. Solar customers are unable to use solar energy for this meter.

    The EV-TOU rates are for those with Solar Power in particular and have a little wider window for BEV/PHEV power times. They have to have the second line installed at their expense however. Total rip off! On-Peak is (Noon to 08:00 PM) and Off Peak and Super Off-Peak are the same for both TOU plans.

    TOU RATES Breakout

    $0.461/kWh Day Time On-Peak (Noon to 06:00 PM)
    $0.220/kWh Off Peak (05:00 am until Noon and 06:00 PM until Midnight)
    $0.178/kWh Super Off-Peak (Midnight until 05:00 AM)

    There is a winter time break where the cost drops a tad

    $0.212/kWh Day Time On-Peak (Noon to 06:00 PM)
    $0.209/kWh Off Peak (05:00 am until Noon and 06:00 PM until Midnight)
    $0.189/kWh Super Off-Peak (Midnight until 05:00 AM)

    On a TOU plan, a 2016 LEAF driver at 0.3 kWh/mi can get his “fuel” costs down to $2.67 to travel 50 miles, about the same as a Prius driver. Heaven help you if you have a desk lamp, Refrigerator, TV, or anything else that consumes electricity on from 12:00 noon to 06:00 pm at $0.46/kWh however!!!

    The Onerous Cost of BEV Ownership

    There are many that are not taking into account what it actually costs to plug in their BEV/PHEVs into our Southern Calif. grid at home let alone what it costs to plug into a Charging Station. Do the calculations from your own electric bill and see if it makes sense. Which means you pull out your monthly bill, look at the kWh used and divide that by the “Amount Due” – amount you write the check for – and divide and see if it makes sense.

    Cost Breakdown - LEAF or equivalent BEV vs. 50 mpg Hybrid

    $0.13/kWh beats the cost of gasoline at $1.95/gallon
    $0.15/kWh beats the cost of gasoline at $2.25/gallon
    $0.17/kWh beats the cost of gasoline at $2.55/gallon
    $0.19/kWh beats the cost of gasoline at $2.85/gallon
    $0.21/kWh beats the cost of gasoline at $3.15/gallon

    If you are paying more than that for electricity or gasoline, heaven help you…

    Real World Charging Case Study

    My wife used to work at Life Technology here in Carlsbad, CA where they had a now defunct Blink Charger. The rate was $2.00/hour for a non-subscriber when it was plugged in no matter if it was charging or not. The Prius PHEV-11 can hold about 2.9 kWh of power and charges in about 1.5 hours through the onboard 2kW charging unit from flat. This comes to $4.00 as a non-subscriber and $2.00 as a subscriber to drive 11-miles in a Prius PHEV-11. If you did not unplug it, the meter continued to spin until you unplugged. A 9-hour day could cost upwards of $18.00 to drive all of 11-miles!

    With gasoline at $2.80 per gallon, would you rather travel 50 miles on gasoline or 15.4 or 30.8 miles on electricity? Would you fill up at the Shell on the north end of the block for $2.80/gallon or the one at the south end of the block for $5.60?

    Which is why I rarely plug-in our 2013 Prius PHEV-11. Even with my miserly ways – we usually consume between 300 to 350 kWh of power/month – we have to be very careful not to go over the 384 kWh monthly threshold just to have the Prius PHEV on electricity break even with itself with gasoline price at $2.80/gallon. BEV owners are waiting hours – an hour on a Super Charger somewhere – to charge to 80 percent from flat while we stop by our local Shell for some extremely energy dense fuel, add 12-gallons in 5-minutes and are on our way until the next 5-minute stop 500 to 600 miles later. I attached the charging screen of a 2016 BEV – time from 32 percent to full – while plugged into a 120V outlet in our garage during the third week in September. It took 21 hrs. and 15 minutes actually.


    As a green driving advocate, I wish I had better news about the BEV/PHEV revolution. I own one but only because it cost the same as a non-PHEV. I just cannot afford to plug it in here in Southern California much of the time.

    PHEV/BEVs do remove our foreign oil stigma in one hell of a hurry, they can be picked up new or slightly used for a song, and some OEMs even include two years of free charging. Tesla for free IF you live nearby a Super Charger and can stop in twice a week for a 30 minute to 1-hour charge.

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) strives for a cleaner transportation while the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is working against that ideal with rates that make BEV/PHEV ownership a financial burden. And to think just 5 years ago electricity rates were half to one-quarter of what they are today.

    It is the financial cost of ownership details that make the PHEV/BEV a poor choice for our personal transportation needs here. I hope they are not a financial burden in your locale. You can always go solar and become your own utility if necessary. An end game but not necessarily the right option for most in this day and age.

    Another chapter of my never ending diatribe.
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  2. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    And if you're not plugging in that PHEV, you bought too much battery--battery that is not only expensive, but takes space in your car and weights a lot. I have always been baffled by the promotion of the electric car in CA and the big subsidies by a state that certainly has no surplus of electricity or tax dollars.

    I was doing the math last winter in Tucson (lowest gas prices in the US at the time) between the HEV Ioniq and PHEV Ioniq and figured that fuel parity at $.10/kwh was about $1.50. That is, at $1.50/gal and below it was cheaper to fuel up than plug in and you would never recover the extra money spent on the PHEV. For much of the winter our gas prices were below $1.50 and even touched $1.18/gal briefly.
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  3. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    SoCal has been battleground zero for the war against coal and the fight for open borders.

    Supply?.. Demand? ... Hello 46c/kwh.
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  4. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Any business that uses much electricity has to flee CA if they can. Some of them don't stop running till they get all the way to China (take a bow, Cisco). I worked at a telecom central office in CA, so we had to stay. Our monthly electric bill was $30k. That was several years ago at $.13/kwh. It's probably much more now.
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  5. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    I know how you feel I'm paying about 20.96 cents per KwH. Four of my neighbors have had Solar City install solar units on their homes. Supposedly most are seeing savings of 75% to 90% on their electric bills. The only way I would ever consider a plug in if I went to solar with a Tesla power wall unit or two in the house. That way I could charge up during the night with electricity that came off my roof.

    If I didn't live like a hermit and an Eco CleanMPG member I would probably have $150 plus electric bills like my neighbors instead of the $40-$50 on average bills.

    It isn't so much the cost of electricity it's all the utility taxes the government throws on your bill. The 20.96 cents is with all the taxes included.

    For example my bill this month is $39.23 for 187.08 KWh's. Now back out the est taxes -$4.98 and the base bill is 34.25 or 18.3 cents per kWh

    Base rate is only 7.83 cents per KwH they say.

    What kills me is how they talk about how reasonable their 7.83 cent rate is per kWh.

    Throw in supply, transmission and distribution and I'm up to 13.6 cents.

    Then a base rate for having it connected to my house is another $13.84 which brings it up to 18.3 cents per kWh.

    Add in the taxes and it jumps to 20.96 cents per kWh.

    If I used more electricity my overall rate would be much lower but because I'm a cheap skate I have to pay more per kWh than an energy hog.

    Personally I feel that it is false advertising when they don't show what the true rate is 13.6 cents per hour not 7.83 cents per kWh.

    With that base rate of $13.84 it really jumps my overall cost per kWh since I use so little electricity.

    At work my rate with everything included is 13.32 cents per kWh.
    $270.64 for 2,031 kWh, see how that base rate at home kills me with such low usage?
    My electricity rate at work is lower than the residential rate at 6.85 cents per kWh vs 7.83 for residential.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
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  6. dr61

    dr61 Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to mention that California is a big state, with many utility systems. SDGE is not as big as several others. I don't know how your analysis would work out with PG&E, the largest utility I think. My local city-owned utility (Redding, CA) rates are about $0.15/kwh fixed, with $15 connect charge per month. And we have a small PV system to offset most or all of our 400 kwh average per month, even with local EV driving with our Ford PHEV added in the last 3 years.

    Never the less, it certainly would make sense to have a carbon tax, so the true cost of fossil fuels to society would be reflected in the cost to consumers.
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  7. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    You would think that Hawaii would be the mecca for electric cars. First being fairly small islands so not much range is needed. Second having mild temperatures so batteries don't suffer temperature extremes and the degradation or charge loss that comes with them. Third having the highest gasoline prices in the country, currently about $3.30/gal for regular. But no, electric rates are about $.29/kwh. Nope.
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  8. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Meanwhile, back in Texas....

    I'm paying 10.5c/kWh (all in) for 100% wind generated electricity.

    ... Go figure
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  9. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    High electric rates will destroy any economical reason to purchase an electric car. That why we bought our Volt, 2016. Even running on just gas we have been averaging 45+ mpg. Electric rates here in northwestern Oregon with all charges, taxes, fees. etc is .117 / KWH. All electric range winter 45-48 miles, summer 55 +. If our power goes out for a few days, and it has in the past, we can still run on good ole regular 87 octane and obtain better mpg than perhaps 90% of all the cars out there.
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  10. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I've observed that Texas has plenty of wind. That's from driving thru the wind farms on I-40.

    We have wind turbines here (Illinois) , but not nearly enough to make a big difference. And we pay MORE per kwh if we want wind-generated electricity.

    alster, I really like the 2nd gen Volt ! When I finally "need" a new car , there will be boo-coo options.
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  11. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    Cheap natural gas and plentiful wind generation is keeping our costs down in south central US.
    BEV still cheaper than gas.
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  12. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Costs for renewable energy is coming down, pretty quickly. If you put solar panels on your house, you pay a fraction for electricity, and the cost of driving an EV drops to a fraction of when you are paying normal rates.

    You cannot make your own gasoline.
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  13. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Someone needs to make an affordable solar car port. That:

    1. Produces 20 kwh per day
    2. Can store 20 kwh per day (because the car is typically at work during peak solar hours)
    3. Can transfer power to your car from the stored at level 2 charging
    4. Is affordable ($5,000 - ish)
    5. Can be grid tied (for an upgraded price, needs an inverter)
    6. (the big selling point) can be broken down/set up and transported fairly easily, for when you move (or sell to another)

    Am I asking for too much?
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  14. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Tesla Powerwall 2.0 + solar panels is functionally there (including inverter if you like), and the costs are coming down quickly so maybe not such a huge request...
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  15. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Thanks, that's what I think too.

    Five years ago that request would've been a "roll eyes" :rolleyes:, but today I kind of think .." that might be do-able.":)
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  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    It's Southern California, there should be a hydrogen station on your corner already. Why don't you have Mirai already?

    I think California has issues in their energy sector like in their gasoline. Polices prevent or deter the building of cheap natural gas plants. The power companies being anti home solar across the country isn't helping plug ins either.

    Hawaii has high electric rates for the same reason they have high gas prices, the fuel needs to be shipped in, but they are investing in renewables and grid level storage.
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  17. dr61

    dr61 Well-Known Member

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  18. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    You could just think of the whole California situation as being very European,.... very Chic.

    (There's a long list of why California electricity prices are so high. You'd never get it all into a title)
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  19. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    I just paid my "JAN." 2017 bill-obviously it was actually Dec. use
    $24 for 450 KWHrs- roughly 5 CENTS per
    Normally it is 10 cents per-last month $45 for 450 KWHrs
    I think it was corrected for some "cheat" of ENTERGY-
    The bill break down NORMALLY is easy enough to read
    but this one very pointedly sorta "glossed over" the half price

    In any case-here in south louisiana we pay 10 cents per
    I think it peaked many years ago-at about 15 cents-when NG was much more expensive-pre-fracking days
    We have NG and a NUCLEAR plant(Waterford 3) across the river-and slightly upriver-from me
    maybe 10-15 miles away as crow flies

    35 CENTS in CA- geez-
    isn't that roughly what EMRON(INRON??) sic "charged" you poor W coasters when they were blatantly price fixing?
    Wind power-which CA has some of-can't be much more than 10 cents to produce??
    Wayne you must know those numbers-your line of work-actual cost to produce deliver
    CA wind power
    CA NUKE power
    CA NG
    CA Hydro-Hoover dam etc
    CA-maybe even some coal
    So how much is the cost to deliver
    And WHY and HOW are you being screwed
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  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Charlie:

    At the bus bar, between $0.01 and $0.025/kWh vs the $0.17 to $0.395 retail. Wholesale line charges are just a few pennies more than the bus bar cost.

    A small few in Calif. are making $billions at the average California Consumers expense. Some of this was to pay for the two nukes decommisioning but that is just a $billion, not $billions.

    And you are right. These prices are higher than Enron days other than when they pulled the plug on a red grid incl. forced brownouts and wholesale prices went to $1/kWh or more mid day to afternoon during peak.

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