Friday, July 04, 2008

The real operating cost

"Kill-a-What? What's that? No dude, Kill-a-Watt" -discussion at work.

A Kill-a-Watt is a meter that you can buy which will tell you how much power any particular appliance in your house is using. You can calculate how much money something costs you for a day, a week, or a year. It's cheap and simple. The only limitations are that it's 110 volts only, and 15 amps maximum.

Guess what? My car's onboard charger draws 16 amps. The meter was very cheap so I plugged it in and babysat the affair until the bulk phase was over and the amps dropped off for the finishing phase. I didn't care if it melted down, I just didn't want to start a fire. The car has a bigger impact than I thought but it's still better than $4.09/gallon.

If I drive every day, the car uses 300 kwh (kilowatt hours) per month. My May electric bill was 1001 kwh, so the car was 1/3 of that. I pay .10 cents/kwh. That's $30.00/month, driving 20-40 miles a day.

Let's compare that to my DeLorean that gets 23 mpg combined city/hwy. 30 hwy.

20 miles a day for 30 days: 20 X 30=600 miles.
600 miles / 23 mpg= 26 gallons of fuel at 4.09/gallon, is $106.00


And yes, I probably drive 20 miles on the weekends too. All that errand running, grocery shopping, etc. Hell, it's more if you factor in my 98 miles of driving to and from my reserve unit in Baltimore once a month. So is it cheaper to operate? Yeah, now that gas prices are crazy. If the oil bubble pops, it might not be.

Now I have to recoup the cost of those damn batteries I bought. $1245.00 total, $83 each and I bought 15 of them.

A savings of $76.00 a month...that'd be 16 months.

Should be cake right?

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