CARS: The Real Cost – PART 3 : Electric Future?

While we are discussing car costs, it’s important to give a nod to the growing electric car industry…

Can an electric car realistically save you $175,872 compared to a 4-cylinder gasoline powered car?

        In the last article, we boiled down the true cost to fuel a car over a lifetime (see it here: CARS: The Real Cost – PART 2 : FUEL) We used the economic V-4 as the base for comparison. Is it really possible that a simple change of engine type could someday make us look back at a tiny VW beetle, and think of that cheap, small-engine car as a financial glutton?

         Most people are not yet hyper-focusing on the possibility of electric cars playing a major role in our futures, but Tesla’s new electric car clocks way faster than a Ferrari, which has really opened some eyes, especially since it’s a tall 4-door sedan. The electric car market is emerging – and among those competitors there is a very smart man with a photographic memory, a guy who’s probably read 5,000+ books in his lifetime and apparently remembers them all.  His name is Elon Musk, owner of Tesla motors, and a slew of other companies to boot.

          Elon has made the first true strides towards creating an electric car-recharging station grid across America, and the world.  Simultaneously, he’s as also made enormous gains in solar energy with his company Solar City.  The Tesla company is building a $1 BILLION dollar battery factory called the Gigafactory that will reduce the cost of batteries significantly.  While there are some old oil-lovers who scoff at electric vehicles at this early point, the director is no inexperienced mutt.  Musk has always been a man of foresight: he was the first person to make an online telephone book in the 1990’s, and he was also the inventor of Paypal – both companies he sold for hundreds of millions of dollars – which he reinvested in Tesla Motors.  Oh yeah, he also funded the first private space company to send missions to outer space, SpaceX (yes, he’s a rocket scientist too).  For many people, this guy is a total rock-star of ingenuity, and the point is, this guy might end up helping people save a lot of money on gasoline.  This comes not only from his own car designs, but because it’s making electric vehicles popular, which means the framework for the whole industry will happen.

         Tesla is not alone – many other car manufacturers are also starting to put out electric cars.  Even Tesla will be put out an affordable model soon.  There are many other car companies that will push electric in years to come – but right now Tesla is one of the few that has gone 100% into electric car production.

The truth is, electricity is a ubiquitous energy because other energies can create electricity with ease: you can create electricity with solar, wind, coal, nuclear, bio, hydrogen, solar heat concentrators, and even gasoline (as seen in hybrids).  The reverse is not true: you cannot a wide variety of energy types to easily create oil, natural gas, plutonium, coal, etcetera. This makes the prospect of an electric car future much more realistic.  So the question is, within the next decade, is it possible that an electric car could revolutionize people’s Early Retirement as well?

Let’s compare the lifetime fuel cost of an electric car to the costs of gas-guzzling automobile:

The economical cost of a V-4 seems hard to beat:
V-4  : $27/week —  $108/month — $1,296/year – 12,960/decade — $103,680/ 80 years

     – Lifetime opportunity cost (x2) : $207,360

ELECTRIC CAR (economy) CHARGED FROM YOUR HOME OUTLET: $4.1/week —  $16/month — $196.8/year – $1,968/decade — $15,744/ 80 years

Lifetime opportunity cost (x2) : $31,488

        Electric car savings of $175,872 compared to a V-4


– It will cost $2-$4 to fully charge an electric car
– Driving 100 miles in an electric car might cost you $1.30
– Driving 100 miles in an electric car might cost you $8.65

    Of course, you can’t pounce on Early Retirement by buying an unreliable electric car, or NEW electric car which would wipe out those savings considerably over a lifetime! (see CARS: The Real Cost – PART 1 : PRICE and also the maintenance article coming up)  Consider that saving the $175,872 by going electric someday is getting close to half the amount you need to retire…

SAGA can save your friends! Feel free to like and share!

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