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Check my math - annoyed with ICE shills

6695 Views 103 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  Lance Boyle
Listening to friends, family, and politicians talk about how expensive and terrible EVs are is irritating - especially while multiple countries are setting daily heat records. I wanted something relevant to show them to try (and likely fail) to convivence them that EVs make financial sense. In short, this is the cost comparison between the best selling small SUV and a Bolt EUV. This doesn't include the costs for oil changes.

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Speaking of things that are probably not possible, I'm not sure that the friends and relatives mentioned by the OP will EVER be convinced of anything new until they start listening to news sources other than the ones they are currently listening to.
I wanted to keep it simple for them to understand. If they seem receptive then i can get into the oil and reliability benefits. I really think people are starting to get scared about the climate with the sever weather.
As I'm often saying, the math is good but not the assumptions.

*The price of regular gasoline since 2017 has averaged $3.22/gal in my relatively expensive state of Oregon. That trend holds true even back a decade. The $4.50 estimate is at least a dollar higher than reasonable.

*The average EV is driven 7,000 miles per year while the average ICE 10,200 miles.

*The average cost of electricity in the US is $0.1477 / kWh

Finally, we'll always have the "apples / oranges" problem to contend with. How much is having a tow rating worth? How much is differing interior volumes worth? How important is an AWD option? How much is rapid refueling worth? How much is starting out full every day from the garage worth?

All this leaves out the #1 cost of ownership for most people, and that is depreciation. Who knows how much value will be retained 5 years from now? Typically, EVs have depreciated more rapidly than ICE with the exception of Tesla. We would need to make big assumptions about this to estimate future cost.

The vehicle total cost of ownership spreadsheet I have linked in my signature is a way better tool for doing cost analysis because it attempts to factor in as many variables as possible.
These aren't assumptions - its data.
  • This is the average gas price today and for the foreseeable future. AAA Gas Prices
  • These figures use equal mileage per year (15k)
  • I got the price from this site - looks similar to yours. State Electricity Profiles - Energy Information Administration (
  • For the small SUVs in this comparison - the tow rating, volume, and drive wheels are similar
  • Depreciation on gas cars is going to be massive. the most in-demand vehicles are EVs already.
Speed of charging sucks on the bolt, but most people are kidding themselves if they think they take enough trips over 300 miles for it to matter - to the people that do take long trips regularly, i dont recommend the bolt. Id suggest an Ioniq5.

Obviously there are lots of variables. The point here is to get people thinking about it with a simple chart.
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Current data is a poor way to make assumptions about the future. Trends are imperfect, but better.

The most in-demand vehicles are not EVs, given that they represented 3% of sales. It's true that demand for EVs increase when fuel prices are high, but that is very temporary.

A wise person might sell now at the peak of used vehicle value and demand for efficient vehicles, though the future is never certain. (buy low, sell high philosophy)

Those that concern themselves with making wise financial decisions will own a vehicle for a longer duration (and buy used in the first place). Practically nobody makes vehicle purchasing decisions based on financial reasons though. It's why car commercials show animations of cars dancing with music instead of saying a single thing about the vehicle.

For the couple percent of people who are interested in total cost of ownership, they would utilize something like my spreadsheet so they can get the most accurate estimate possible rather than relying on assumptions that don't apply to them.
EVs represent low sales because most cars available are gas. Gas cars will not become more desirable as EVs become more available - excluding collector/fun cars. I think most people have a budget when buying a car....
Why bother? They'll just come back with something about you not counting having to buy a new $10,000 battery or something else. It's a car, not a cause. Drive what you like and let other drive what they want.

If you do think it's a cause and not just a car, look at how easy it is for any group with a cause to convert those with an opposing cause.
EVs alone arnt a cause. We need to fundamentally change sentiment towards the environment. Things are looking grim and transitioning from gas to electric is one piece of the puzzle to turning things around.
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Can you be direct and ask them to quit criticizing your choice?
I don’t care about criticism. I do care about ignorant people praising gas and not believing in climate change.
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Math check: Your math takes the RAV4 tank to empty, but not the EUV. At $0.11/kwh and a 65kwh tank, it would cost $0.11 × 65 = $7.15 to fill the EUV, not $6.89. Subsequent calc of annual fuel cost increases to $436 (from $418), and total 8 year cost becomes $3489. Still saves vs. RAV4, though. Apples to apples.
Looks like rounding errors in excel. Thanks
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