Even if we use your number of 2.8 miles/kwh, the Nissan still costs 4 cents/mile @12 cents/kwh. Or 1/2 the cost of a Jaguar @ the national B100 average of $4.20/gallon.


With respect, please take the time and make the effort to understand the world around you. Today, the average kwh rate in CA is about $.24 rather than your suggested $.12kwh.  Many areas of CA are now peaking at $.38kwh. This is the result of clean air legislation and increased renewable energy sources. Should the rest of the country opt for the same level of clean air legislation, the kwh price in many parts of the country would rise to 3-4x this cost – over $1kwh – due to the lower number of photons and greater amounts of rain, hail, snow, ice, humidity, tornadoes, hurricanes, …, in those areas. A more viable alternative is the proverbial National Smart Grid where solar and wind power are long hauled from their optimum generation sources to other parts of the nation. Though this plan, by all estimates, will require a double digit $T something commitment (in the range of $12T-$25T by most reports) – to power the states that need the energy.  This also results in something close to $1/kwh.

The cost of solar modules may be reduced over the next 20 years.  Please do not make the common error of thinking that when solar panels are half the cost, that the total installation of solar panels will be half the cost.  Labor costs will never be reduced dramatically.  Then again, energy costs for mining the needed minerals and for the manufacturing for solar panels are actually radically rising.  Shipping costs for solar panels are also radically rising.  So the over-all total costs of solar installations may never decrease from where it is today.

For the past 100 years, the initial and maintenance costs of our roads and highways have been primarily paid for with road taxes paid at the pump. So add to this real-world EV/solar business model some new form of road tax, most likely in personal property tax for EV’s and additional PUC/DoT fees (I sit on 2 of these committees).  EV’s are heavier than ICE vehicles due to the weight of the batteries and so will stress our roadways more than traditional ICE vehicles.

The U.S. EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality uses a testing method labeled, “worst case mode” to determine the true emissions of any vehicle.  To explain the basic premise by example: Consider a diesel powered vehicle that will run on B100 with emissions of “X”. As with all vehicles operating on U.S. roads, it must be tested for its EPA emission certification.  If this vehicle has the potential of running on petro diesel, then the EPA will only test and rate the emissions of that vehicle as if the vehicle would only be operated on petro diesel which would present far less desirable emissions ratings (B100 burns 87% cleaner than petro diesel before additives – 97% cleaner with additives).  These undesirable petroleum sourced fuel emissions test results dictate the EPA requires an emissions control system for this diesel vehicle – based on the petroleum diesel only emission tests.  Actually no B100 fuel emissions testing is ever performed.  This “worst case mode” model has cost the U.S. public in the range of $2T in the purchase of higher volumes of lower energy fuel burning in lower efficiency engines over the past 10 years.  The rest of the world’s industrialized nations migrated to diesel and adopted biodiesel fuel mandates over a decade ago and this “worse case mode” regulation has kept the U.S. primarily on gasoline.  Virtually every other industrialized nation in the world has handled this correctly – impose biodiesel blend mandates B2, B5, B7, B10, B20, …, so the emissions are always lower based on less petroleum in the blend.  This reduces the emission control requirements and increases engine performance and efficiency.

To apply this “worst case mode” model to an EV and plug-in hybrid as convention would require, the emissions of an EV are based on the energy generation source.  Since EV’s are mobile, their emissions per this EPA methodology must only be rated as if the electricity generated for that EV (not limited to the electricity delivered) is sourced from the worst emitting coal plant in the U.S..  While many will balk at this argument, ETC Green engineers and attorneys are having these conversations with Administrators of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality in Ann Arbor currently and the memos include references to a multi-$T Class Action litigation to motivate the EPA to adopt more responsible units of measure.

Therefore, replacing liquid fueled vehicles with electric powered vehicles directly increases the most health impacting emission particulates into the air and our oceans – heavy metals from coal burning power plants.  So while the over-all volume of emissions from EV’s is lower than gasoline and petroleum diesel vehicles, US power plants are primarily coal powered (please do not argue the majority is now NG – while the NG capacity may be in place, actual energy generation is still primarily from coal) and so an increase in electricity generation for EV’s is worse from a health perspective than emissions from 2nd generation feedstock sourced biodiesel powered vehicles by 3 orders of magnitude (the emissions of one EV that is recharged from a coal powered plant have a greater negative health impact than thousands of advanced diesel vehicles burning B100).  Very simply, until EV’s are only charged from renewable sources, they will be the direct catalyst for the health issues and deaths of many more people.  Please consider a migration to EV’s shifts the pollution from a highly regulated, very low emission source, the car engine, to one that is much less regulated and much more polluting in most cases. Since most power plants in the country use coal and they produce considerably more pollutants than a gasoline or diesel car engine. It’s a poor, uninformed choice for a true environmentalist.

You might also take the time to have rare earth mineral discussions with the material engineers and materials acquisitions staff of the EV manufactures.  Have you tracked the price of dysprosium over the past 10 years? Take the time to extrapolate and project the price of gallium, selenium and neodymium based on the demand (2-3 orders of magnitude) your future vision is suggesting.  While rare earth minerals are not that rare, research the history of Molycorp over the past 4 years in their efforts to start mining operations in the U.S.

So the real cost of driving an EV will be a factor (3x-4x) of what you are suggesting which is twice the current real cost of driving an advance diesel vehicle.  You quote a $4.20 national average for biodiesel today.  Unlike petroleum sourced fuels, biodiesel will cost less in the future.  Most importantly, biodiesel from 2nd generation feedstock is sustainable and the cost per gallon for production is already below $1/gallon with no justification for that price to change for decades to come.

Been there, done the math. I was an Analyst for the DoD and DoE, served as a university research engineer for years and I have run a renewable energy company for 4 years and I will go on record to state, “A rush into a solar/EV future will bankrupt our nation several times over.”  For more information about the current status of EV’s and Plug-in Hybrids I have written 2 comprehensive reviews:

EV Tech – Postmortem

EV’s and Hybrids are not our Future

Join the Migration… This is real today – it is scalable, it is immediately economically viable, it is environmentally friendly and it is sustainable.

http://etcgreen.com Article: U.S. Migration

If we take 20-30 years to migrate to a solar/EV infrastructure (20%-30% of light fleet vehicles over 30 years), the promises can work.  Moving too fast and our economy will be sorely impacted.