By Ami Cholia
Posting in Energy
Pike Research has found that the Volt is slightly cheaper to drive than the Prius plug-in, as long as you are going less than 70 miles between charges.
With complete details of Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid being revealed, Pike Research has found that the Volt is slightly cheaper to drive than the Prius plug-in, as long as you are going less than 70 miles between charges. The calculations were based on gas prices set $3.50 and electricity at 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. At distances greater than 70 miles, however, the Prius PHEV was the more cost efficient option.
The Prius can go about 14 miles in pure electric mode before its gas tank kicks in, while the Volt has an electric range of about 35 miles (per the EPA). On the other hand, the Prius PHEV will get 49 MPG in hybrid mode, while the Volt gets 37 MPG. This difference eventually is what causes the price shift.
Of course, neither car is a gas guzzler and the question for customers eventually becomes whether they need more electric driving range, or total vehicle fuel efficiency, as Plug-in cars mentioned.
There are some other differences as well. The Prius PHEV will be able to drive in HOV lanes in California because of its low total emissions, while Volt owners will not. The Volt's large battery pack though, will allow its owners to get the full federal tax credit ($7,500), while Prius PHEV owners will only get $2,500.
It is important to note, though, that for distances less than 15 miles though, both cars will cost exactly the same to run, because you will be driving in electric-only mode.
Oct 19, 2011
The graph is wrong because it doesn't take into account that the Volt requires premium gas while the Prius takes regular gas. That adds to the driving costs of the Volt significantly. This is not a well researched article.
The price used to calculate the cost of electricity is a subsidized price. Gasoline has numerous taxes added. If electric vehicle usage increases, its cost for vehicle usage will have to be increased commensurate to that of gasoline, negating any cost advantage. In addition, electric vehicles emit more pollution that gas vehicles, you just do not see it. Consider, a gas vehicle emits pollutants at the SULEV or PZEV level,lower than ambient. Electricity emissions are a complex mixture of emissions and cost based generation that varies from moment to moment. However, when an electric vehicle plugs in to recharge, the emissions are the highest of any generating source at the moment, and the situation gets worse as more and more electric vehicles plug in at the same time or recharge at high load factor times. Eventually, it will become apparent that electric vehicles generate more pollution that gas vehicles, the pollution is just moved to a different location where the population has no say over it.
I was sad to see that the author of this article (Ami) produced such an incomplete and unbalanced piece. Ami does not quantify the amount and cost of pollution created 1) in the manufacture of each car and 2) in the actual driving of each car. Ditto for stating the amount and cost of pollution per mile in electric mode versus in gas mode. Nor does she quantify the actual selling price of each vehicle, nor the relative size of each. Nor does she quantify what she means by "slightly" cheaper. C'mon SmartPlanet - you can do (a lot) better.
Neither one is as cheap to drive as my paid-for 16-year-old internal combustion automoblie that gets 27mpg in town and still passes emissions tests.
Don't want to be picky, but chosing a 2nd generation Prius as the leading photo in your article already shows some bias ... Then obviously using "rated values" to determine running costs when from experience everyone knows that "your mileage may vary" ... I'd be surprised if the Volt held to its rated values as well as the Prius does.
Your graph does not take into account the original cost and cost difference between the two vehicles and depreciation to be added to the cost per mile. Very misrepresented here...
Letsee, I have been driving my Prius conversion (10KWh) for over 20mos. more than 30K miles....I get about 5mi/Kwh in pure EV (40mph, flat), but better than 100mpg on my hilly commute (40mi) in mixed mode...Enough to get me through until more efficient EV's are available.
I am sure there is something not quite accurate in this report. In the Volt, the gasoline engine does not the actually propel the vehicle in any shape or form. It is just a charging unit.and the car is always in battery mode. Nor so in the Prius. To believe it takes more gasoline to charge a battery than actually propel the car itself seems foolhardy.
"It is important to note, though, that for distances less than 15 miles though, both cars will cost exactly the same to run, because you will be driving in electric-only mode." NOT TRUE - The Volt is charged with home electricity much more cheaply than the Prius that charges with the gasoline engine.
I guess it would have something to do with the weight of the vehicle...the Volt has a 1.4L engine and the Prius has a 1.8L engine. The Volt weighs 3520 pounds and the Prius weighs 2,932 pounds. This makes a big difference!
How do you figure? The Volt runs strictly off of the battery...never off of the built-in gasoline engine (yes, they both have gasoline engines) It's just that the Volt's engine is bigger than the Prius and as such, costs more to run!