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ECONOMICS OF ELECTRIC CARS Keith Hungerford, BSc, BE Bathurst, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "ECONOMICS OF ELECTRIC CARS Keith Hungerford, BSc, BE Bathurst, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 ECONOMICS OF ELECTRIC CARS Keith Hungerford, BSc, BE Bathurst, 2009

2 Declaration All care has been taken in the preparation of this presentation No responsibility will be accepted for any conclusions you draw

3 Electric car facts and issues Electric cars are one solution to Zero Emission Vehicles – vehicles that produce no emissions as they drive Electric cars can have a zero Carbon Footprint if charged from Green Electricity Most major manufacturers have R&D projects under way, some have product in the pipeline In Australia only after-market conversions are currently available – both New and Used In the UK and USA new electric vehicles are on the market. Not in Australia due to non-compliance with Australian Design Rules. Major issues are Range and Cost (inter-related)

4 Range issue (indicative)

5 Range requirements Majority of suburban journeys are reported to be about 5 km – very compatible with electric car capabilities Many cars are also used for occasional extended journeys – a major issue for electric cars Analysis of economics based on a mix of Commute and Maximum journeys

6 Analysis method Calculation of Electric vehicle costs including conversion and operation 40 assumptions of varying reliability Data obtained from Internet – AEVA, ZEVA, etc. Discounted cash flow analysis of comparable Petrol and Electric vehicles Specific travel model – mostly commuting with some longer weekend journeys



9 Assumptions 1 Vehicle Mass assumptions Vehicle gross mass1530kg Vehicle bare mass907kg Required payload200kg Motor, controller, gearbox, battery box, charger, ancillaries80kg Battery assumptions Battery energy density10.5kg/KWh Recharge cycles at discharge depth 13000 Discharge depth 1 (commute journey)70% Recharge cycles at discharge depth 22000 Discharge depth 2 (max journey)80% Battery cost$619$ per KWh Battery charger efficiency70% Stored =x% of supplied

10 Assumptions 2 Vehicle energy use assumptions Vehicle width1.65m Vehicle height1.5m Drag coefficient Cd0.3 Rolling resistance coefficient Crr (ZEVA web site)0.01 Rolling resistance formula (ZEVA web site)Prr = v Crr G M Aerodyamic drag formula (ZEVA web site)Pd = 0.5 *1.2 Cd A v^3 Kinetic energy formulaEk = 0.5*M v^2 Gravitational energy formulaEg = MhG Loading for other factors20%

11 Assumptions 3 Journey assumptions Max vehicle speed80km/h Max elevation range200m Commute distance45km Average commute speed60km/h Commute days per year230days Commute journeys per day1journey/day Max driving distance200km Speed during max distance80km/h Max distance days per year50days

12 Assumptions 4 Conversion cost assumptions Cost of electric motor, controller, battery box and ancillaries$3,000 Cost of labour to perform conversion$3,000 Fuel cost assumptions Cost of electricity$0.16$ per KWh Cost of petrol$4.00$ per Litre Petrol vehicle consumption data Fuel consumption7L per 100 km Engine service interval10,000km Cost of service$200 Initial purchase price$15,000 Financial assumptions Discount rate for money7%per annum Escalation rate of Petrol and service costs7%per annum Escalation rate of Electricity costs7%per annum

13 Basic model result summary Basic electric car summary Battery mass338kg Required battery capacity32kWh Battery cost$19,963 Total conversion cost$25,963 Total annual distance20,350km Expected battery lifetime9.8Years Cost of recharge energy per km$0.028$ / km Simple cost of battery per km$0.100$ / km Driving cost, recharge energy + battery$0.128$ / km Petrol car driving cost$0.125$ / km

14 Discounted cash flow analysis Item/ Year No.012320 Basic car purchase$15,000 Fuel and services$3,256 Total Discounted to Year 0$18,256$3,043$2,844$2,658$841 Nett Present Value (Cost)$52,750 Nett Present Value 10 yr (Cost)$39,470 Electric Car Basic car purchase$15,000 Electric Conversion$21,603 Recharge energy cost$709 Total Discounted to Year 0$37,312$662$619$578$183 Nett Present Value (Cost)$52,750 Nett Present Value 10 yr (Cost)$41,928 Ratio of Electric to Petrol cost1 Ratio of Electric to Petrol cost (10 yr)1.062

15 Things to consider Expect fuel prices to rise over time (model inflates them at eg 7% pa) Expect battery prices to fall over time (model has them constant) New off-the-shelf electric cars will become available in the next year or two, and get better as the industry matures In Australia new and second hand conversions are available now

16 More things to consider Electric cars are now cost effective for specific journey patterns If recharge at both ends of the daily journey (eg at Home and at Work) halves the commute range and improves economics Max journey (non-commute journey) dominates design requirement and costs

17 Sustainability Zero carbon emissions if charged from renewable energy Long life, low maintenance motor may reduce significance of energy embedded in the vehicle structure Battery elements should all be recyclable (needs recycling program)

18 Ancillaries on retrofit vehicles Power steering – choose base vehicle with electric power steering Brake booster - ? Petrol vehicles use inlet manifold vacuum, not available in electric Air conditioning – power hungry, continuous rotation needed On board battery charging

19 Primary features LiFePO4 (LFP) batteries now give best performance/economy mix Lead Acid batteries OK for short range use (heavy, low energy per kg and limited life) AC motor superior to DC and provides regenerative braking for more range in hilly country or city driving, but more expensive High battery voltage requires proper safety installation

20 Competitors Plug-in Hybrids – use electric grid energy for short journeys, petrol for longer ones Compressed air cars – need to be purpose built structure, range TBD Hydrogen/fuel cell – doubtful at present, most H 2 production now fossil based Cycling with or without electric assist a good alternative for short journeys and more healthy

21 Where to buy? Australian Electric Vehicle Association – see their web site Zero Emission Vehicles Australia – see their web site Blade Electric Vehicles (converted new Hyundai Getz Mitsubishi iMiEV

22 Conclusions This technology is available now and is cost effective for some journey patterns Two (or more) car families are more likely to obtain good economics Expect continuing improvements and expansion of the cost effective journey patterns

23 Mini Minor conversion



26 For more photos and information on this conversion visit

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