Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Want a Fine Electric Car? Not in Hawaii.

The Tesla S is a fine EV, comparable to a BMW 5 series or a Mercedes S class.  Tesla argues that their model S can also be cheaper than its competitors. It has developed a calculator to prove it, based on location, incentives, fuel and electricity prices, and owner annual mileage.

I looked into the Tesla S and made some calculations. A couple of months ago I mentioned on the Rick Hamada Program on KHVH that my estimates indicated that in Hawaii if I was choosing between a $50,000 Tesla S and a $50,000 BMW 528i,  I should buy the BMW. (Cars were optioned so that with EV incentives they came with approximately the same "out the door" cost.)

This is the outcome of outrageous electricity prices which, thanks to renewable energy mandates and meddling politicians who pick winners (for their own self-interests,) are continuously escalating,

As you can see below, the true cost to own a base Tesla S in Hawaii is 17% more than California and 34% more than Colorado (excluding applicable taxes, insurance and registration differences, etc.)


Ted Peck said...

Panos, while an EV is certainly more expensive to operate in Hawaii than CO or CA, an internal combustion engine vehicle is far more expensive. That BMW getting 21 mpg will cost over $2,000 a year in fuel alone. I am at 34,000 miles on my Leaf, and have saved almost $5000 in fuel costs, and have paid only $200 in maintenance (to replace a tire). Give me the EV every time. And with the range of the Sedan S? I am looking to convince my wife I need a $50,000 car.

Panos Prevedouros said...

A big variable is annual mileage. If it is well above 10,000 miles per year, EVs become attractive. Mine is low.

Surprisingly my 2003 BMW 5 year cost is comparable to my 99 Miata and much less than the 99 Honda Accord I used to have.

I am not a big advocate of any brand but based on my utilization and driving style, when I put a 535i and a base Tesla S side by side, the 10 year cost for me in Honolulu was lower for the 535i.