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Published on August 10th, 2011 | by Andrew


Cost to Run a Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Vehicle: $233 a Year; $0.82 a Gallon

August 10th, 2011 by  

Photo Credit: www.hybridcars.com

The cost of running an electric vehicle, specifically a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, amounts to NZ$280 (US$233) a year, the equivalent of paying NZ$0.26 a liter (US$0.82 a gallon), according to the southern Pacific island nation’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

High efficiency and low running costs are the key factors behind electric vehicles’ (EV) extremely low running costs, according to the EECA, which determined the cost of running the Mitsubishi i-MiEV as part of introducing a consumer label August 8. EECA labels have appeared on petrol and diesel vehicles since 2008, giving consumers the benefit of “independent, comparative information on the efficiency and running costs of vehicles,” according to the EECA.

“The label makes it easy for people to see just how much lower the annual running costs of an electric vehicle are,” said Acting Energy and Resources Minister Hekia Parata upon introducing the label.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the first electric vehicle (EV) to be made available retail in New Zealand.

A “zero emissions” vehicle, the i-MiEV emits only approximately 30% of the CO2 of a gasoline minicar even when taking into account the emissions produced to generate the electricity required for charging.

The cost per kilometer to drive the i MiEV is 1/3 that of a comparable gasoline vehicle. That can drop as low as 1/9 that of gasoline when recharging is done overnight, according to Mitsubishi.

“As well as being highly efficient and low-cost to run, electric vehicles are a good fit with New Zealand’s renewables-based electricity system,” Ms. Parata explained.

Some 74% of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable resources. The government has pledged to increase that to 90% by 2025.

Using renewables to fuel transportation has proven more difficult than transitioning the electric grid to renewable resources. The New Zealand government sees EVs and the new consumer label as ways to spur that transition. To support EV purchases, the government has waived road user charges until July 2013.

“With less than 1% of our transport energy currently coming from renewable sources, electric cars offer significant potential to reduce our emissions,” Ms. Parata said.

Moreover, building a complex infrastructure to recharge EVs overnight isn’t necessary. Commuting distances in New Zealand are low and people tend to have home garages with suitable charging points, the EECA noted.

“The label is another practical step to encourage uptake of electric cars in New Zealand, and as more models become available on the New Zealand market we expect to see the upfront costs come down,” said EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill.

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About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.

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  • electric

    INSURANCE my friend

  • electric

    USA does not see the future.If we don’t lead by example.Then we are in for a big surprise.We are like the movie WATERWORLD SMOKERS.

  • Anonymous

    What would be the cost if solar battery charging was used in conjunction with swappable units?
    Why was the charging done at night? Most people drive to work where the car could sit all day under a charging canopy. This also alleviates peak charges from utilities.
    What is the expected lifetime of these vehicles?
    If they save $200 a month x 12 months = $2,400 a year = $24,000 over 10 years. or x 25 (lifetime of solar unit) = $60,000.

    Wouldn’t the extra money saved by the publicly owner rooftop and canopy solar tend to drive the economy forward on an ascending scale?

    • Anonymous

      In general, daytime electricity is more valuable than nighttime/off-peak electricity. If you’ve got solar panels it’s better to use that power to offset expensive peaking power and fuel-based power.

      (We should be covering our parking lots with solar panels. But feed that power to the grid.)

      When utility companies purchase power on the wholesale market it’s common to pay several times more for daytime/peak power than for off-peak power. Because of that some utilities have gone to TOU (time of use) billing in which customers are charged more for power used during peak hours and often considerably less during off-peak hours. That causes some use to be pushed to off-peak hours and lowers the amount of expensive peak power the utility has to purchase.

      Do the charging at night when demand is low, wind often up, and electricity is generally the cheapest.

      Lifetime of these EVs? That’s a hard one. We see Toyota Prius(es?) with around 300,000 miles on the odometer and still using the original battery. The Honda Fit EV will be using the Toshiba SCiB lithium-ion battery which is rated at 4,000 cycles. Since the Fit is a 123 mile range EV, that makes the battery life an expected 400,000+ miles.

      The BYD e6 has been used for taxi service in China for more than a year. Some of those EVs have piled up more than 100,000 miles with no apparent loss of battery capacity.

      Industrial quality electric motors should easily do 300,000 miles. I suspect that these vehicles will be easier on their transmissions and drive trains than ICEVs, but that’s only a guess.

      Car companies are generally giving an 8 year, 100,000 mile guarantee on their batteries. But that shouldn’t be taken as an expected life. Remember, it’s common to see 36 month, 30,000 guarantees on gasmobiles and we expect at least 100,000 trouble-free miles out of most.

  • bbei

    What does this cost cover? Does it take into account the cost of battery replacement? How many charges do the batteries last? What is the cost of one battery replacement?

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