San Diego Gas & Electric Answers “What Are the Benefits of Owning an Electric Vehicle?”

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 20

Nissan LEAF Being Garage Charged in San Diego

Nissan LEAF Being Garage Charged in San Diego

We’re often asked “What are the benefits of owning an electric vehicle?”

Does Away With This

EV Ownership Benefit – Does Away With This

The answer depends on who is doing the asking and who is asked.

For this writer, the primary benefits would be zippy acceleration and money saved on gas.

Others, of course, answer the question differently.

That’s why we often like to “hand the mic” to someone else for their thoughts.

This time around, that someone else is San Diego Gas & Electric.

Q: What are the benefits of owning an electric vehicle?

A: There are many benefits, both in terms of the savings generated by the cars’ technological innovations and low charging-rates plus other incentives offered on the local, state and federal level to promote these emissions-free vehicles. Here are just some of the benefits that are possible with an electric vehicle (EV):

Saves money: On average, EV charging between midnight and 5 a.m. is equivalent to paying less than $2 per gallon for gas.

Incentives available: Californians can receive up to $2,500 off the purchase price thanks to state incentives and up to $7,500 in federal tax credits.

Helps the environment: More than 1,500 metric tons of emissions are removed from the atmosphere each year for every 1,000 passenger cars replaced by plug-in electric vehicles.

Promotes energy independence: America currently imports approximately 60 percent of its oil.

Helps avoid traffic: Electric vehicle drivers can use the carpool lanes with a single driver on California’s busy freeways.

Provides great driving experience: These vehicles are quite sporty and provide a fun drive, more like a sports car than an economy car.

Now, it’s your turn.  If you were asked “What are the benefits of owning an electric vehicle?” what would be your answer?

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20 responses to "San Diego Gas & Electric Answers “What Are the Benefits of Owning an Electric Vehicle?”"

  1. Jason says:

    Charging at home and work (I haven’t had to waste time going to a gas station in months!)

    1. Brian says:

      Good one! I too like to stress that fueling an EV is far more convenient than fueling a gas car.

  2. Bill Howland says:

    Decent Article, but SDG&E and SCE are the worst utilities in the country to be asking the question.. A friend in Palm Springs just told me SCE is arbitrarily increasing everyone’s bill by $60/month (in an area where $1500/month bills are not uncommon in the summertime) to pay for the ongoing SONGS fiasco – payroll.

    1. Jesse Gurr says:

      $1500 /month?? He must use his A/C 24/7 to get it that high. Since he lives in the desert, he might want to invest in some solar to bring that down. Are you sure that isn’t $150 instead of $1,500? That seems like a lot, even for that area.

      1. io says:

        FWIW, further north but still in California, before solar, my electricity bill used to be roughly 20x less than what Bill imagines — or 40x less if I exclude the Leaf.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          I’m not imagining anything, Its what I’ve been told. And if youre much further North, here is where I would let the imagining begin. Probably PG & E.

          Io must have no idea what the temperature is in Palm SPrings in the summertime. I thought I left this kind of thing on PlugInCars.

          I always liked InsideEv’s due to the intelligent comments. Please don’t disappoint me.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        He actually pays $300 a month. But that is with a huge solar panel. His neighbor pays $1500 / month with no panels. These are large houses. It is Palm SPrings, after all Jesse.

        1. Jesse Gurr says:

          I also live in the high desert but my bill doesn’t get nearly that high. I don’t run the A/C all day though and that is probably what they do. Sometimes you have to though. But if your friend pays about $300/month when his neighbor pays $1500/month. That means that his solar system is saving him up to $1200/month. That is an excellent investment.

          Also, SCE can’t just arbitrarily decide to charge an extra $60/month. They have to go through the CPUC to get it approved. Living in SCE territory, I haven’t seen that increase so I don’t know what he is talking about.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Well, Jesse, maybe I should say he’s more of an acquaintence than a friend so I didn’t get huge details. He did say the Air Conditioner ” Seems to run all the time, with 125 degree days and 90 degree nights. And 5000 sq ft houses.

            As far as the SCE increase goes, I’m pretty sure you guys are going to have to pay and pay and pay. I’d don’t know if he ready about the $60 in the newspaper, but I’d be surprised if it was as meager as this , seeing SD&E, and SCE have been without about 2.1 GW of continuous power that now they have to go out and buy, besides that huge payroll for the past 2 years (since Jan 2012) that they’ve only recently laid off. Decommissioning is going to cost more than expected (Yawn, as if anyone ever accurately projects the costs for these things because, if the did, it would never be done in the first place, kinda like the Iraq War).

            So I’d expect heavier bills in the not too distant future.. After all, the company isn’t going to swallow the expense while there are ratepayers to take advantage of.

  3. Francis L says:

    For me, except for the gas saving, the best thing in an EV is the low maintenance required. Not only for saving money, but more important : saving time. No need to take appointment to change oils or all the others (too much) things you have to care in an ICE car. My time is valuable, and I hate spending it on fixing ICE problems.

  4. Dave K. says:

    I’ll add a speculative observation, of course no one can predict the future but I think it’s likely EVs will last longer than ICE cars. With only one moving part in the motor and really no transmission it’s hard to see what could break that would lead to scrapping the car. Of course the battery will eventually need replacing but once that is done the car is mechanically as good as new!

    1. Or even better than new. I imagine that by the time you will need a new battery, the energy density of the replacement pack will be 2-3 times what is currently available, probably at a much lower cost. So a leaf might be upgraded to 200 mile range.

      There will also be opportunities for aftermarket upgrades of onboard chargers, car to grid inverters (turn your car into a giant UPS if the lights go out) or the addition of DC fast charger ports.

      If the manufacturers don’t offer these upgrades, surely third parties will. Think about how that would enhance owner utility or resale value.

  5. We got our FIT EV in August and personally I will never go back to an ICE vehicle. It is smoother and quieter than the Acura it replaced. The Acura now sits in the garage in the way. We will use it over the Thanksgiving weekend to visit my daughter and family but I would be just as comfortable renting a car if we wanted to get rid of the Acura. The savings in insurance costs alone would cover the rental for a couple of weeks a year.
    We never waste time going to a gas station and never have smell raw gas fumes while doing it. The driving experience is superb. The occasional click into sport mode is a kick, but it does show off the fact that a FIT is an economy car.

  6. James says:

    5100 of 5850 miles on electric. Electric is both less polluting and more efficient. Currently running 94.5 MPGe lifetime.

    And like the Tesla, all torque, all the time. 🙂 Well, when I want it.

  7. scott moore says:

    1. Cost. In overall costs to drive, it is clearly less. In fact, I will probably use this to extend the distance I am willing to commute, resulting in other benefits from that (higher pay/opportunity).

    2. Convenience. I have a “filling station” at home. I don’t go to the gas station anymore. There really is no comparision.

    3. Feelings. I don’t contribute to the smog problems in my city. Not just a little less. None. Nothing.

    4. Quiet/smooth. The car is dead quiet and silky smooth. If you stop (idle) it makes no noise at all, and no vibration.

    5. The car is a power center. I can go out and have lunch in my car and turn on the air conditioning or heat, and the radio. Without the car using much power at all (I have run the A/C for a half hour without seeing the mileage budge).

    1. io says:

      Fully agreed.

      3a: Being able to later show my kids what I (and/or they) did to help with this planet’s climate and resources, and other issues like public health, instead of dismissing responsibility or making up excuses.

      Kids are smart, they ask questions about everything, they don’t try and avoid embarrassing topics. They will want answers.

      (The EV is just part of the measures I took or plan to take to make our home carbon-neutral and net-zero energy).

  8. Spec9 says:

    “America currently imports approximately 60 percent of its oil.”

    Actually, due to the shale oil boom, America currently imports about 40% of its oil. But that is still a HUGE amount.

    1. Jesse Gurr says:

      You sir, are correct. Since you mentioned it I just had to look it up. As of 2012:

      “Net imports accounted for 40% of the petroleum consumed in the United States, the lowest annual average since 1991.”

      http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=727&t=6

      The “Net” is key too, as that includes what we import and what we export. We could very well import 60% but then we also export some too and that brings the total down to 40%. The wording is kind of confusing though because they mean “petroleum” to include crude oil and refined oil like gasoline. This part might confuse you even more, where they say:

      “…about 57% of all crude oil that was processed in U.S. refineries was imported.”

      1. scott moore says:

        One of the leftovers of the original oil boom was a system of first class refineries here in the USA. We actually have a lot of oil that is shipped here, refined, then sent abroad again. the Keystone pipeline was designed to get oil down to the southern refineries, then export that again, which is one reason there was opposition to it.

        Personally I would be fine with anything that imports money here instead of our usual exportation of it.

  9. Volt Owner says:

    Owning an EV… Knowing my monthly car payment is building equity into owning the car and not going out the tail pipe!