Home » How I Got My Energy Company To Pay For 50% Of My Car

How I Got My Energy Company To Pay For 50% Of My Car

Power Company Pays Half Ts
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Power companies around the U.S. are giving away free money in an attempt to get people to buy electric cars — and not just new electric cars, either. I bought the cheapest, junkiest one on the market, and I was still eligible for the money. In fact, the rebate I just got paid for half of my car! And if you get an EV cheap enough, it seems like you can actually make money off this deal. Here’s how it works.

Last fall, I bought a 2011 Nissan Leaf for $2000. It drives really well, and though its range has degraded to 25 miles, it still gets me to work, where I charge it and drive home without issue. For certain people, it’s still a useful car, and to be able to own it for only $1,000 all-in? It’s the deal of the century.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

That’s how much I paid after Southern California Electric handed me $1,000 as part of its “PRE-OWNED ELECTRIC VEHICLE REBATE PROGRAM.” Yes, the company paid for half of my electric car.

There Is Literally No Catch

Here’s a bit about the rebate program that the company offers its 15 million customers:

Screen Shot 2024 04 19 At 9.50.01 Am

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Another nearby public utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) offers pretty much the same program to its 16 million customers:

Screen Shot 2024 04 19 At 10.22.49 Am

That $4,000 rebate on the bottom right, by the way, applies to low-income households which could — yes, this is real — actually make money by purchasing an electric car. That’s because the eligibility requirements do not stipulate a minimum cost. You can read the full list of SCE’s requirements here, but these are the main ones (not listed is the requirement to have the car registered in CA for 20 months):

Applicant Eligibility

  • Your application must be successfully submitted within 180 days of the date of EV purchase or lease.
  • You must be an active SCE residential customer; the service account does not have to be in your name to apply.
  • Effective 12/2/2021, eligible applicants can receive a maximum of three rebates.
  • Each owner or lessee, including co-owners and co-lessees, may only receive one rebate per eligible vehicle.
  • A household, defined as the same residential service address, may not submit more than three rebate applications for vehicles purchased in a single calendar year.

I didn’t make money on this, but $1,000 for a 2011 electric car? That’s not bad!

Reason 1 Why This Exists: Power Companies Make Money Off Credits From EV-Driving Customers

2011 Nissan Leaf N 16 SourceSo, what exactly is going on, here? Why did I get free money? Well, here’s how SCE describes the program:

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SCE is proud to offer the Pre-Owned EV Rebate program to those who want to be a part of California’s electric vehicle future. The Pre-Owned EV Rebate is funded through SCE’s participation in the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, which the California Air Resources Board has operated since 2009 as part of statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by incentivizing the adoption of clean transportation fuels, such as electricity.

What is the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program? Well, according to the California Air Resources Board, it’s “a key part of a comprehensive set of programs in California to cut GHG emissions and other smog-forming and toxic air pollutants by improving vehicle technology, reducing fuel consumption, and increasing transportation mobility options.” It involves keeping track of credits, with public utility companies generating positive ones for clean fuels and deficit credits for dirty fuels. From CARB:

The Board approved the LCFS regulation in 2009 and began implementation on January 1, 2011…In 2018 the Board [added]… new crediting opportunities to promote zero emission vehicle adoption, alternative jet fuel, carbon capture and sequestration, and advanced technologies to achieve deep decarbonization in the transportation sector.

The LCFS is designed to encourage the use of cleaner low-carbon transportation fuels in California, encourage the production of those fuels, and therefore, reduce GHG emissions and decrease petroleum dependence in the transportation sector. The LCFS standards are expressed in terms of the “carbon intensity” (CI) of gasoline and diesel fuel and their respective substitutes. The program is based on the principle that each fuel has “life cycle” greenhouse gas emissions that include CO2, CH4, N2O, and other GHG contributors. This life cycle assessment examines the GHG emissions associated with the production, transportation, and use of a given fuel. The life cycle assessment includes direct emissions associated with producing, transporting, and using the fuels, as well as significant indirect effects on GHG emissions, such as changes in land use for some biofuels.

[…]

The carbon intensity scores assessed for each fuel are compared to a declining CI benchmark for each year. Low carbon fuels below the benchmark generate credits, while fuels above the CI benchmark generate deficits. Credits and deficits are denominated in metric tons of GHG emissions. Providers of transportation fuels must demonstrate that the mix of fuels they supply for use in California meets the LCFS carbon intensity standards, or benchmarks, for each annual compliance period. A deficit generator meets its compliance obligation by ensuring that the amount of credits it earns or otherwise acquires from another party is equal to, or greater than, the deficits it has incurred.

Here are some more details on the credit system, which involves EV drivers generating credits for power companies, who then make revenue off these credits, but are required by law to give that revenue back to customers:

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers generate Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits by using low carbon fuel (electricity), and the IOUs receive credits on behalf of their customers. When the IOUs sell the credits, they must return the value of the revenue to benefit current or future EV drivers. While historically, the IOUs had to either provide EV rebates or on-bill credits with this revenue, effectively lowering a driver’s cost to purchase or operate the EV, the types of programs the IOUs now fund with LCFS credit revenues is now more varied.

[…]

In February 2021, California’s utilities—IOUs and publicly-owned utilities (POUs)—and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) launched a new point-of-purchase EV rebate program funded with utility LCFS credit revenue. The program, known as the California Clean Fuel Reward, offers all purchasers of new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) a rebate off the initial purchase price of a vehicle.

Since 2018, the CPUC has worked with CARB to establish the California Clean Fuel Reward program.  In August 2019, the CPUC authorized SCE to serve as the administrator for the statewide utility-run program.  All of the state’s utilities contribute LCFS credit revenue to fund the program, with the IOUs contributing 67 percent of their LCFS credit revenue.

Here you can read about the programs that this Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program is funding at PG&E (one of the power companies I mentioned earlier):

In December 2021, the CPUC approved PG&E’s LCFS Holdback programs, which will mostly run from 2022 through 2024:

  • Pre-Owned EV Rebate—Provides a post-purchase rebate for used EVs, with a base rebate of $1,000 for all customers, and an additional rebate of $3,000 for income-qualified customers.
  • Multi-Unit Dwelling and Small Business Direct Install Pilot—Installs low-power chargers (Level 1 and Level 2) at small multi-unit dwellings and small businesses. The pilot will cover all EVSE installation costs and two years of networking and software fees for the site host. The implementer will be responsible for procuring EVSE and coordinating the installation at the site so that the site host has no upfront cost.
  • Residential Charging Solutions Pilot—Allows PG&E to develop educational resources and provide financial support to help customers install EV charging at single-family residences or multi-unit dwellings while avoiding or lowering the cost of electric panel upgrades. Implementation will occur in phases—1) customer assessment tool that improves on existing online tools, including the buildout of a “home charging wizard” tool; 2) technology solutions rebate focused on avoiding panel upgrades to help renters and customers for whom an upgrade would present challenges; and 3) additional support solutions.1
  • Research and Innovation Fund Pilot (funded with non-holdback LCFS funds)2–Funds small proo-of-concept pilots and research studies to support research and development in TE technology to generate lesson learned to inform other PG&E TE investments.

And here you can read how the Low Carbon Fuel Standard was implemented at SCE, the company that just gave me $1,000 for nothing:

In November 2022, the CPUC approved Resolution 5236-E authorizing SCE to spend approximately $224 million in LCFS Holdback funds for programs supporting light-duty and MDHD sectors.[1] Approximately 86 percent of the funds between 2021-2024 are allocated to underserved and disadvantaged communities. The following programs were authorized in this Resolution including data collection and reporting requirements:

  • Pre-Owned EV Rebate–A total of $56 million in rebates to offset some of the cost for the purchase or lease of a pre-owned EV. The program offers a $1,000 rebate per EV to any SCE customers, with an enhanced rebate amount of $4,000 to customers if they live in a lower income household, or are enrolled in California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)[2] or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA).
  • Home Electrification Readiness Program—Recognizing the importance of home electric panel upgrades towards supporting EV charging, $55.49 million is authorized for rebates to upgrade home electric panels contingent upon the purchase of an EV charger. SCE estimates that this program could benefit 13,000-26,000 households.
  • Drayage Truck Rebate–$87.90 million is authorized to support the purchase of new EV drayage trucks, with $150,000 and $115,000 rebate towards the purchase of Class 8 and Class 7 drayage trucks respectively.
  • Zero-Emission Truck, Bus, and Infrastructure Financing (ZETBIF) Program—To support access to financing for small- and medium-sized businesses a loan-loss reserve mechanism is dedicated to fund commercial EVs and supporting equipment. The California Pollution Control Financing Authority will administer this program, utilizing $20.93 million holdback funds from SCE to unlock approximately $100 million in private capital loans.
  • TE Research and Studies–$4 million is authorized for research projects that would enhance the data and understanding for TE infrastructure planning and grid reliability optimization.

Reason 2 Why This Exists: Power Companies Will Make Loads Of Money From EV-Driving Customers

Let’s be very very clear, here. These power companies may be handing out cash, but not only are they already making money from your EV purchase in the form of credits, they’re also going to make money hand over fist when you start charging your car.

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I talked with Sam Abuelsamid — a brilliant engineer and automotive journalist/analyst at Guidehouse Insights — to learn more about power company rebates. “It varies by state and region; at the core of it is the fact that yes, they see this as a significant potential increase in sales of electricity,” he told me over the phone.

“The average U.S. household consumes about 29kWh a day of electricity. So you buy an EV that’s got a 75KWh battery. If you’re using a quarter of that — that’s 20 kWh a day. All of a sudden, you’re potentially spending another 60-70 percent on electricity,” he said, noting that the driver would still be paying less than they would on gas if they drove an ICE car.

Let’s have a look at how much I’ll end up paying SCE just to charge my car. Here are some power rates as a function of time-of-day — let’s say, on average, I pay 29 cents per kWh.

Screen Shot 2024 04 19 At 10.08.34 Am Screen Shot 2024 04 19 At 10.08.44 Am

Now, since I drive about 15 miles one-way to get to work, that’s 30 miles a day. Factor in grocery store runs and weekend activities and the truth is that I probably drive 40 miles a day. So how much power does that translate to?

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Well, according to the EPA, my Leaf requires 34kWh to go 100 miles. So that means that in order to go 40 miles, I need 34 * 40/100 which equals 13.6 kWh per day. Since I’m paying 29 cents per kWh, that’s 29 cents times 13.6, which equals $3.94 every day.

If you divide 1000 by that figure, you realize that it only takes me 254 days, or just over 8 months, to pay the company those $1,000 back.

Screen Shot 2024 04 19 At 10.55.45 Am

Granted, the power company isn’t making pure profit when I pay them $1,000, but it’s pretty close. And if you extend my EV ownership out a few years, you realize that I’m paying them an extra $7000 every five years that I wouldn’t have otherwise paid them.

So this makes tons of sense for a power company.

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Reason 3 Why This Exists: Power Companies Need To Store Their Energy Somewhere

Preproduction Model Shown With Optional Equipment. Available Spring 2024.Abuelsamid also talked about how valuable it is to a power company to have the ability to send their power somewhere during off-peak hours. “Most charging gets done at night, during their off-peak hours,” he said. “For some types of generation, they can keep those generators going and sell that electricity,” he noted, mentioning natural gas as an example of something the power company can keep churning out during a time when they otherwise might have had to throttle back.

Abuelsamid mentioned that power companies are increasingly installing stationary battery storage for this very reason as they try to deal with solar and wind power generation. “It’s not putting much in the way of incremental load on the utility, but they have the opportunity,” he told me.

“It’s worth it for them to provide incentive for customers to buy an EV.”

Berkeley Labs’ Energy Markets & Policy department has a great piece out called “Electric vehicles provide financial upside to electric utilities and ratepayers” with the subheading “New Berkeley Lab study quantifies the rate and utility earnings impacts of electric vehicles under a range of deployment scenarios.” The article digs into the math associated with EV adoption and utility company earnings, starting with an intro about how both a utility company and consumers at large win out if people charge EVs at home:

EVs may provide possible financial upside to electric utilities and their ratepayers in several ways. For example, from the utility perspective, EVs could drive increased electricity sales and new earnings opportunities through increased capital investments. From the ratepayer perspective, increased electric loads from EVs could reduce average all-in retail rates. Whether there are net benefits or costs to utilities and/or ratepayers depends critically on how EVs are integrated and managed through enabling grid investments and charging strategies.

The piece jumps into the numbers:

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The study finds that shifting EV charging away from utility system peak demand periods reduces average retail rates ~0.8%-1.0% by lowering incremental generation and distribution system investment costs. This suggests that pricing and programs to encourage non-coincident peak charging are highly beneficial from the ratepayer perspective. Shareholder earnings are also reduced under a low peak impact charging strategy (~1.9%-2.4%), because reductions in new generation and distribution infrastructure investments erode some of the incremental earnings. It’s important to note, however, that utility shareholders are still better off compared to a future without EVs.

Screen Shot 2024 04 19 At 11.10.25 Am

Large initial utility infrastructure investments enable both greater EV deployments and greater long-term decreases in retail electricity rates. In a case of high EV penetration levels, large early infrastructure investments cause retail electricity rates to initially rise ~1.6%, but increases in sales from EV load cause retail electricity rates to decline ~2.9% in the later years of the analysis period. A forward-looking, long-term perspective can overcome near-term rate increases and enable long-term decreases. Overall, the rate impacts in this study are quite small on a total utility basis; but, they could be more significant for particular customer classes depending on approaches to cost allocation and cost recovery, which are not explored in the study.

So look at that: My free money actually benefited everyone somehow. The power company is going to make more from me; they’ll be able to pump their energy into my car at night, effectively using it as a storage bank; and they’ll receive credits from the state. Plus, on top of that, my increased energy usage will help reduce the energy rate for other customers.

I was told there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but this seems like about 50 free lunches. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Chick-fil-A in my half-price Nissan Leaf Leaf — well, assuming it’s within 25 miles.

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Ben
Ben
29 days ago

There Is Literally No Catch

After seeing what you pay for electricity I’d say there’s a big catch. It would be interesting to do the math on whether it’s worth it to live in California and pay triple or more for electricity but be eligible for some convoluted rebates like this (using the electric company as a middleman for this seems unnecessarily Rube Goldbergian) or just be able to charge your EV on much cheaper electricity elsewhere.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
29 days ago

So the market for $500 used EVs should increase considerably. Do they have any requirements that it has to be operable or how long you have to hold on to it? Does it have to be insured or can it stay in my driveway?

Haranguatank
Haranguatank
29 days ago

I’m sure when the electric companies have everyone by the short hairs they definitely won’t do anything crazy like, say, jack the rates up. Or maybe they’ll just call it surge pricing whenever there’s a few cloudy days and the solar isn’t so efficient then forget to bring the price back down.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
1 month ago

For general purposes, I loath programs like these. Too much funny money flowing up and down all sorts of channels.

there is no free lunch, so in the end it’s always the working middle class taxpayers that end up footing the bill.

My story, and I’m sticking to it.

LongCoolLincoln
LongCoolLincoln
1 month ago

Nice program as far as it goes, but the problem with structuring things like this as a rebate after purchase is that you have to be able to afford to make the purchase in the first place. Most folks for whom the low-income rebate is intended don’t have $4k sitting around that they can float until the rebate (hopefully) comes through.

By contrast, CA has a program for low-income residents that will pay for a significant chunk of emissions repair if your car fails smog (80% of the first $1.5k, and the full $1.5k for anything above) that you can get pre-approved for and take to a participating shop, and only pay the smaller amount out of pocket.

My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
29 days ago

You can also use this SCE program on new leases or a program just like it only for new vehicles. This lowers the upfront cost as you’re not buying the car and could be used to pay yourself back some of the down payment.

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
1 month ago

-1 for Chick-fil-A.

Marantzer
Marantzer
29 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

Nice virtue signal! The internet is so impressed!

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 month ago

Shifting the load to off peak is very evident with my utility company. I am in Oklahoma and we have very high AC loads in the late afternoon. That’s what the grid here is built for so there is a lot of excess capacity outside those times.

I have two EVs and switched to the EV rate plan.

My rates are (with current cost of fuel surcharge)

  • Regular “Off Peak” is $0.1/kwh
  • “Super Off Peak” is $0.06/kwh – 11pm to 6am
  • “On Peak” is $0.24/kwh – 4pm to 7pm
Mouse
Mouse
1 month ago

Your on peak rate is less than my super off peakin socal. And is a shorter window too.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

It might be a good deal for you but a 25 mile range vehicle is a waste of space.

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
1 month ago
Reply to  Chronometric

I’m looking forward to the day when this sort of thing is like an engine swap. While you’re at it, you upgrade that nickel metal hydride to whatever the latest chemistry is. Maybe flash a few more hp or something while you’re at it.

Andy Hoodward
Andy Hoodward
29 days ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Hard disagree, there’s plenty of use cases. For example, in my area of SoCal, the Metrolink system is a viable option for thousands of people going from the IE to LA or OC and significant amounts of commuters are within that limited range of the Metrolink station they use. So, car to station, train adjacent to work location, bus or shuttle to work.

There’s significant numbers of people who can exploit the cheap EV usage, even with the limited range.

Chronometric
Chronometric
29 days ago
Reply to  Andy Hoodward

Talk about range anxiety. Every place you go you are looking for a charger. And heaven forbid you need to run an unexpected errand or go out to dinner after work.

My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
29 days ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Why, my commute is 16 miles a day? it’s the perfect second car / commuter car for SoCal.

Chronometric
Chronometric
29 days ago
Reply to  My 0.02 Cents

I will admit that a 25 mile Leaf is a good substitute for an electric bike.

SK2807
SK2807
1 month ago

“The average U.S. household consumes about 29kWh a day of electricity”

How many electrical devices are you guys using over there? An average four person household in my part of the world uses 14.5kWh a day.

My six person household only used 8.2kWh last month….but I did feed 400kWh back into the grid from my solar panels.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
1 month ago
Reply to  SK2807

Likely a lot of it is HVAC.

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 month ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

And resistive electric water heaters.

Autopizen
Autopizen
1 month ago
Reply to  SK2807

Yeah, that’s a shock.

We use 8 (summer) – 14kWH/day (winter). No a.c., no EV & gas hot water, but d/w, elec. dryer & cold winters.

Last edited 1 month ago by Autopizen
Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
1 month ago

Well I guess that cool, free $grand$ will almost pay for the tent on the Aztec.

Jblues
Jblues
1 month ago

David, I need to know why you bought the Leaf when you have the i3 already.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

You know DT I am starting to no longer view you as a blue collar hard luck car journalists who I feel sorry for. That I3 is about free now and I’m no longer rooting for you. So I hope many people have farted in that Aztec. Frigging Hollywood people. LOL

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
1 month ago

Sweet Jesus those electric rates are 3-4x higher than Washington state.

Uninformed Fucknugget
Uninformed Fucknugget
1 month ago
Reply to  Jdoubledub

It is shocking to see how high the rates are in California.

Autopizen
Autopizen
1 month ago
Reply to  Jdoubledub

Yeah, us too.

We’re new here, but our elec. rates are over $.30/kWH here. Higher than our last home, which was already high. (Both northern New England.)

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
1 month ago

David, if you have the AC running and you’re stuck in traffic, have you been able to see the range on the Leaf decrease? Or is the system efficient enough that it has a nominal impact on your 25-ish mile range?

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
1 month ago

No rebates here in XCEL occupied territory in southwest Minnesota, I think XCEL is scared we’d buy EVs and they’d have to upgrade their century old grid.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Diana Slyter

Here PG&E is excited we’ll buy EV because they have no plans to upgrade anything unless millions of acres go up in flames because of them.

Hiram McDaniel
Hiram McDaniel
1 month ago

Hmm, does it have to be front half and back half to divide ownership? What about top half, and bottom half. Just asking the big questions, over here.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
1 month ago
Reply to  Hiram McDaniel

Well, then the power company would take the bottom half with all that sweet, sweet electron storage.

Fineheresyourdamn70dollars
Fineheresyourdamn70dollars
1 month ago

Youch. I pay 0.129 per kWh here in central IL, and we’re on a rural co-op. My effective rate is 0.03 per kWh (wholesale electric rate) when I have excess solar, so I drive my commuter car for pennies in the spring and summer. It’s still close to a wash, though – higher insurance and fuel tax makeup on the tags eat a lot of the savings.

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
1 month ago

The fees on electric vehicles are brutal. I pay triple to register my electric motorcycle than I do my ICE car. It is literally impossible for me to ride enough to cause that much wear and tear on the roads to justify that and I’m certainly not saving money on not paying for gas.

Harmanx
Harmanx
1 month ago

Some states are unfairly gauging EV owners, aligning themselves with the interests of big oil, sad to say.

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
1 month ago
Reply to  Harmanx

I get it, but most states use gas tax revenue to pay for road maintenance. If EV owners don’t pay for gas, and therefore don’t pay gas tax, is there another solution? Or should the owners of EVs – including the 9,000-lb GMC Hummer – get to drive on roads “for free?”

Harmanx
Harmanx
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

From Consumer reports: “…two-thirds of states with registration fees are requiring EV owners to pay at least 50 percent more than what drivers of modern gas-powered cars pay in gas taxes.” Some of those unfair fees date back 7+ years, well before there were enough EVs on those roads to affect much of anything. Those were clearly designed to disincentivize EVs. Should EVs get to drive on roads “for free?” No — but that’s not what I suggested in the comment you responded to.

Gabriel Jones
Gabriel Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Buchholz

Most of road damage is caused by heavy truck traffic. Make them pay their fare share first and stop subsidizing Walmart and Amazon.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago
Reply to  Gabriel Jones

Heavy trucks pay almost nothing compared to the damages to the roads. Back of envelope fourth power calculations are that trucks cause 10,000 times the damage as cars per mile traveled.
It’s ridiculous to charge ev car owners $500 a year for 20,000 miles unless trucks are paying $25,000,000 for their 100,000 miles a year.

Even if my calculations are off by an order of magnitude, I think they are probably underestimating the problem but someone else can do a deep more detailed dive, it’s still ridiculous.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_power_law

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
29 days ago

Yeah, about those taxes. California residents pay $0.78/ gal compared to $.66.5/gal in Illinois. Auto insurance shows that Illinois is 3 places behind California (37 to 41). Can’t even ascribe the rankings to blue vs red states and surprisingly, California is not the most expensive. That falls to New York with Florida next.

I just returned from a 5,000 mile round trip to Alabama. I bought premium for my turbo car in Alabama because 2.959/gal for regular there was just too cheap. ;). The most I paid for gas was 3.83/gal for regular in Arizona… until I got to California, 5.099/gal at the cheapest place I could find on I-5. WE’RE NUMBER 1, Whoo hoo!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 month ago

Regarding your power rates… it’s interesting your off-peak rate is from 8am to 4pm. Traditionally in most places, the lowest power rate is in the middle of the night to early morning.

It must be due to all the solar panels installed over there.

And with the high rates there, I suspect it makes sense to get an oversized solar array with a powerwall to reduce on-peak 4pm to 9pm power usage.

Last edited 1 month ago by Manwich Sandwich
Green_NGold
Green_NGold
1 month ago

I found that interesting, too. I thought maybe those rates are specific to residential, which would make more sense. I don’t know if that’s a thing, though.

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
1 month ago

It almost certainly makes sense these days to add battery storage if you are getting a solar generating system in California now. This is because, now that we are on the Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM3.0) scheme, the homeowner is credited for surplus generation at the wholesale rate even though the electricity that the homeowner purchases is at the retail rates shown in the article. The PUC recently found an excuse to change the prior strategy (used in NEM 1.0 and 2.0) in which surplus generation is credited at the retail rate as an incentive to add solar. I am a SoCal Edison (SCE) customer, and luckily for me I purchased my 6.5kW solar PV system in 2016 when NEM 1.0 was in effect. I get retail credit for my surplus generation, and I am not forced to pay Time Of Use (TEU) rates; my rate for electricity is the same at any time of the day. My SCE bill is negative, since (on a whole-year basis) I generate more electricity than I use. The grid is my battery!

Last edited 1 month ago by Widgetsltd
Cayde-6
Cayde-6
1 month ago
Reply to  Widgetsltd

There’s two parts to this:

1) sure, it kinda sucks for new homeowners who want to put in solar, however….

2) CA has craptons of solar already. A study conducted in 2018 found that 20% of all solar power generated in the state went to waste because of the mismatch between peak use and peak generation. And that was 6 years ago.

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
1 month ago
Reply to  Cayde-6

Thus, the need to add a battery to a home PV system…and to utility-scale solar too. Or pumped storage. Or something! On an individual basis, though, it sucks to pay the $8-10K (or more) that a battery adds to the cost. We just don’t see enough power outages around here to justify home battery storage on that basis.

Autopizen
Autopizen
1 month ago

I wonder if the daytime lowest rate means they can reimburse solar panel owners at much lower rates, too.

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
1 month ago

I feel like you got the raw end of the deal, as shown in the top picture their half has the motor, coolers, steering gear, etc. They’d be able to part their side out for a lot more than your half which only has seats and a bad battery.

Vicente Perez
Vicente Perez
1 month ago

It is very important to read the fine print and to be strategic. We got an early rebate from our power company, which at the time was only $400. When we later replaced that EV with another used EV we applied for their new rebate, which had already increased to $1500. They denied it because they only allow one used EV rebate per customer… ever.

David Lorengo
David Lorengo
1 month ago

I’ve forgotten how expensive electricity was from SoCalEd. Here in the PNW electricity is around 11 cents per kwh

IanGTCS
IanGTCS
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lorengo

That was my takeaway too. I’m outside Toronto and average is ~18 or 19 cents per KWH all in, so about 13 cents American.

Don’t know how it works in other places but in Ontario we have our usage and delivery charged separately. Usage is either on time of use, ultra low overnight or tiered. Tiered is up to a certain usage at one price, then each step over that at a higher rate and is the same for all of Ontario. Delivery is a base cost plus a usage factor. Basically to cover “your” portion of the grid. Live in a 50 unit condo? Cheap delivery. Live in the country where your neighbours are far away? Expensive delivery.

Last edited 1 month ago by IanGTCS
Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lorengo

The funny part is while the electricity is expensive, the gas is somehow more so. I’m seeing prices in LA coming in around $6.50/gallon. Let’s say at best, David’s YJ gets 18 mpg. His 40-mile commute would consume 2.22 gallons…which would cost $14.43/day. As David is a cheap man, the $3.94 commute cost in the Leaf is a screaming deal, coming in 81% cheaper than gas.

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lorengo

Only 9 cents all day long on the peninsula and there are no peak times.

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago

they’ll be able to pump their energy into my car at night, effectively using it as a storage bank

OK, so what happens when they want to make a withdrawal from the bank?

Grid connected cars might be great in theory, but tell that to the guy who starts his road trip at 50% because the power company really needed his electricity that morning.

Vicente Perez
Vicente Perez
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

I don’t believe this is exactly the point. Power companies produce excess energy at night, so it is to their advantage to give that energy some use. For instance, a fleet of EVs that need to charge when everybody is sleeping. No need to come asking for those electrons during peak hours to make this valuable.

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
29 days ago
Reply to  Vicente Perez

There is a lot of publicity promoting just that. You can power the grid w/ your car! Eff that, if I’m paying retail for electrons, you (the power company) don’t get to take them back at wholesale rates, never mind when that might happen.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

David worded it weird, but they aren’t taking it back, I haven’t heard of any vehicle to grid programs actually going past testing. The energy is going somewhere, they got their money for it.

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago

I may be confusing this wording with other articles written here about vehicle to grid, but at the very least it seems to be an option on the table for the future, one that I’d rather not ever have to deal with.

Vicente Perez
Vicente Perez
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

Yeah, I believe that is for way further down the road. If I am not mistaken, there are some pilot programs using home battery storage (not cars) already going on, but those are voluntary and the user gets paid.

But you have a valid point, there is some level of risk if we ever use EVs that way, even if you enrolled voluntarily 🙂

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

I agree. The concept that I hook my car to the grid so they can take power back at will is not one I am comfortable with. Especially when buried beneath is also the possibility of the gov’t using that capability. Get a warrant, suck someone’s battery dry, now they can’t run. Great thought, if you could actually trust the government not to overstep. Maybe that’s tinfoil hat, but if so, I’ll keep mine on tight.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
1 month ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

“Did someone say warrant? We don’t need no stinking warrants.” -Section 702

Last edited 1 month ago by getstoneyII (probably)
Chris D
Chris D
1 month ago

If people are afraid of the government and mind-reading satellites, why do they put home-made antennas on their heads??

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris D

I put the blame squarely on the underrated and sub-culturally invasive masterpiece that is “UTV”.

(also, on the off chance you are being snarkily serious 😉 , there is a difference between trust and fear.)

My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
29 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

That would take bi-directional charging which is very rare, to almost non existent.
Although there is VPP programs for folks with Powerwall’s, they make out really well.
The user gets to decide how much they want to sell back too.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

I wonder if these programs will be available in the Confederate states, too?

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Only for card-carrying Southern Baptists.

EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
1 month ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

The Civil War was fought for state’s rights to not have a EV mandate!

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
1 month ago

I too, have considered getting an old leaf for an around town car.

However, unlike David, I still live in Michigan. How does the theoretical range on one of these old girls compare to the real world range in winter time?

What’s the cheapest (lowest capacity, not crappiest quality) battery replacement? has anyone succeeded in putting together an aftermarket pack for them?

Detroit Lightning
Detroit Lightning
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Pritts

Came very close to buying an older Leaf earlier this year – the financials just didn’t quite make sense…and it was going to involve driving it back from the Grand Rapids area to Metro Detroit…so I might still be around Jackson trying to make it home.

Will definitely consider this moving forward though. Some of these leaf’s are going to be real extreme examples though – cold weather & terrible battery management in those things. Maybe in a few years once some of the newer models that started with ~150 miles of range.

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Pritts

You might want to look at the Spark EV instead. Despite being a compliance car, GM is *way* better at EVs than Nissan was with old Leafs, and they go like hell.

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
1 month ago
Reply to  Beasy Mist

Hmm. I like the idea but part of the goal is for my son who’s about to turn 16. Goes like hell might not be for the best.

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