Thursday, November 29, 2012

Almost @ 1 year of ownership with the Volt. My fuel savings!

I am not going to do a big write-up on this one.  I think the numbers speak volumes.  At the end of the year, I will calculate the yearly average price of fuel (will likely be about 20 cents higher than  the current rates listed) and give a total.  Look for that post around the one year anniversary mark, which will be January 7, 2013.

If you drive a car that gets 23 MPG (the national average), the yearly savings based on my driving habits and electricity costs are going to be around $3000 PER YEAR.

Here is a snippet from my bill.  It has three components.  On-peak kWh is the top line.  Off-peak kWh is the second line.  Demand factor is the third line.  Demand factor by definition is the most amount of energy used during peak hours for any 15 minute period.  That number, the demand factor, is multipled by a rate that changes seasonally.  I can completely discount the demand factor from any costs associated with the Volt.  Why?  Because I know when we generate the peak rate.  It happens when the clothes are being washed, the HVAC is on, and I am cooking on the stove.  When I know those moments are going to happen, I simply throw the breaker on the car charger.  If I allowed my car to charge during those peak moments, it would likely add about '1' to the demand factor, increasing my bill anywhere from $3.50 to $6 a month.  Since I make the decision to disconnect the car during peak moments, my car does not affect the demand factor.  All that is left is adding up the on peak hours and off peak hours, and that will average out somewhere around 6 cents per kWh.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Sales are in!

Electric cars are here to stay.  The market for electric cars was around 1,300 cars at the beginning of the year.  This month: nearly 6,500.  If you include Tesla, Fisker, Ford, Mitsubishi, and the other smaller players, the number is likely over 7,000.  The market growth is amazing.  Had sales numbers been stock prices, and we bought in at the beginning of the year, we'd all be very happy people right now. 
As I stated in my previous blog, electric cars are late bloomers.  Are they selling in the quantity that the manufacturers wanted straight out of the gate?  No.  Are they getting really close in a fairly short period of time?  Absolutely.  10 months into the year, General Motors is only about 5k away from their targeted sales rate of 40k a year.
How long can this growth maintain?  I'm not entirely sure.  I think the Volt could sustain about 40k-50k Volts a year with current gas prices.  If prices go lower, so do sales.  I do believe that come January, we will see a big drop in sales.  This is due to the nature of a heavily subsidized car.  Not only is January a bad sales month, but people will have to wait over a year to get their tax credit if they buy in January.  A lot of people will not want that.
I will also prognosticate that we will see a dip in November sales.  Is it demand related?  No.  Inventory is at year low levels due to the factory shutdown.  Demand has been so high, inventory has been stripped to a 30 day supply.  Back in January, we had close to a half a year supply of Volts on the lots.  It takes about a month for the supply chain to be cranking again.  Since the Volt assembly line restarted in the middle of October, dealerships won't see new inventory in significant quantity until the middle of November.  This is going to hurt sales a good bit.
But look for December to be the largest ever, possibly above 3,500 Volts delivered to customers.
It is an exciting time for electric vehicle advocates!!