In the upcoming years, the money saved by
switching to electric may be the biggest draw to
To elaborate more on the
following subjects, click on the bullet points
to expand them.
As gas prices rise the
lure of lower costs per mile is greater
per-mile cost for an electric car, using off-peak
residential rates to charge, is about two
cents. If we calculate the cost of today’s
gasoline, say $3.00, the 'per mile' estimate for
a Hummer H2 is about 30 cents a mile, which is
about fifteen times the EV’s cost!
variable is that there are public
charging stations which offer free
parking and free electricity. How
many places do you know will give you
Examples of regular costs would include fuel;
periodic costs would include replacement tires
and oil changes, spark plugs and belt/hose
replacements; while occasional costs would
include light bulbs, valve reseating, radiator
replacement costs, clutch transmission, or
catalytic converter replacements.
Why do gas car costs
increase over time?
Maintenance costs generally increase
over the lifetime of an gas car, but are
relatively low and constant by comparison in an EV.
It is primarily due
to mechanical friction on moving
metal parts. In spite of space-age
lubricants and fancy metal alloys,
lubrication can only serve to reduce
(but not eliminate) friction.
So just what wears
Some parts erode
(spark plugs) or get plugged up
(fuel, air and oil filters).
But usually the mating surfaces of
metal rub and wear thinner and
thinner. For example the
piston seals erode over time, and as
they do, high pressure exhaust gases
escape, causing compression losses
which cause a loss of power, and
contamination of the lubricating
debilitating effects of ’wear and
tear’ include bearings loosening up,
valve seals no longer sealing, oil
and fuel pumps no longer operating
optimally, clutch plates slipping
(even in automatic transmissions)
components means taking the vehicle
out of service, arranging the repair
and hoping it’s done adequately.
Other regularly replaced items
include belts (for water pumps, air
conditioner, power steering), and
then the less regularly but
expensive complicated timing belt or
chain. Hoses rot out,
radiators get plugged up from gasket
material disintegrating, exhaust
systems fail or corrode and need
replacement, (such as catalytic
At the advanced age of
150,000 miles, an engine rebuild (to
address these ills) would be required
for continued operation at a cost of
$2,500 to $4000 depending on the size
and make of the engine.
alternative to the internal combustion engine is
some sort of hydrogen-based vehicle. The fuel
cell has been a hot topic in politics during the
past few years. What the public doesn’t hear
about is that to make them a viable alternative
to gasoline would “cost hundreds of billions”
and “would certainly be a daunting task”,
(Scientific American 8). It is questionable if
the infrastructure, a street corner type of
hydrogen fuel distribution system would even be
ready before we run short of gas.
Why build an
infrastructure for hydrogen when all
houses have 110/220 volt power available
to go electric?
another large problem in fuel cells, they use
rare and pricey platinum inside, which would
make “the ‘engine’ of a fuel-cell car […] cost
about $10,000” (Lincoln 75).