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! 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 CleanMPG.com 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.