How Much Electricity is your EV Consuming
Electric Vehicles (EV) are becoming increasingly popular as the search for alternative energy sources and high gas prices continue to be prevalent. The most anticipated EV release is the Nissan LEAF. If you are considering purchasing the LEAF or another EV you must always weigh the pros and cons. The biggest questions that come to mind are, will an EV save me money on fuel costs, or, how much will my electricity bill increase when I get an EV? With the addition of a new substantial electricity consuming device you will be faced with the even more daunting challenge of controlling your energy consumption and costs.
The new Nissan LEAF uses lithium-ion batteries which could take up to eight hours to charge using a charging dock. From a standard wall outlet it will most likely take twice as long to charge. As you can imagine, a device plugged in and charging for eight hours can consume a considerable amount of electricity. In order to put the amount of electricity consumed into perspective the average home uses roughly 11 kWh of electricity a day. The LEAF’s battery holds 24 kWh and in ideal conditions will last for 100 miles. According to the EPA roughly 10% of drivers travel more than 100 miles in a single day, for these drivers an EV will consume more than twice the electricity of their home. More than half of drivers travel around 33 miles daily, for these drivers, and in ideal conditions, you would be charging your EV 2-3 times a week.
The additional electricity consumption and costs are not without tradeoffs, for instance, you will no longer need gasoline. The EPA completed a study breaking down the costs per mile in cents for various vehicles at local average gasoline and electric rates for a vehicle obtaining 25 miles per gallon. For the city of New York, the conventional gasoline fueled vehicle will cost $0.1098 per mile, roughly $108.72 in fuel costs monthly for the average driver. The EPA then compared the conventional vehicle to various hybrids and EVs. For an EV with a range of only 40 miles the EPA calculated the costs per mile to be $0.048, or only $47.52 a month for fuel. Keep in mind that these figures are all in ideal conditions. Any large electrical device has the potential to be inefficient, and as anyone with a cell phone understands batteries will not always hold the same charge as they age.
It becomes increasingly necessary to keep an eye on your electrical consumption if you purchase an EV. Your energy consumption may literally sky-rocket over night if you do not pay attention. Many companies offer 10 year or 100,000 mile warranties on their batteries, but if you can’t see your real-time consumption how do you know if your battery is charging properly? Modern gas pumps tell you exactly how many gallons you are pumping and exactly how much it is costing as you pump, why shouldn’t you have the same information for your EV?
Real-time energy monitoring is an essential and completely necessary tool for any owner or prospective owner of an Electric Vehicle. Real-time monitoring will allow you to see how much you are spending each month to fuel your vehicle and allow you to budget accordingly. Most users already do this for gasoline in the form of receipts, now you have the ability to do it for your EV as well. Take control of your energy consumption and costs with real-time energy monitoring.