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  • Zina

Another adventure reducing our footprint

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

On Friday, we did a thing.

I left work early, and we drove down to McKinney, TX to pick up a new car. For the record, I HATE buying cars. I really liked buying from Carvana back in 2020. I may do it again someday. But this time, it was necessary to go to the dealer and all that.

With supply chain shortages, labor shortages, and inflation, getting ANY car is not an easy transaction these days. We ended up with "more" car than we wanted. And, we ended up with an interest rate (4%) that we didn't like. But we did our due diligence. 0% interest just isn't to be found these days - especially on "hot" models.

We wanted a plug-in hybrid. This one was ordered by someone who got tired of waiting and bought something else instead. It's "loaded". Of course, that makes it fun. And, I don't mind that part. But I'll have to cut back on a few other things to make it all work.

Of course, one of the first things we did, was start charging it when we got it home. It takes about 12 hours. So, we're looking into the "fast-charging upgrade". The charge only provides a range of about 35 miles. By my calculations, that's about as good as I would get on a gallon of gas - given the fact that this car is also a "regular" hybrid and therefore gets pretty good gas mileage on its own.

So, I needed to know about how much the electricity costs to charge it for 35 miles! The car comes with an "app" for my phone so that I can get that kind of information. According to the current rate of charging, it will take about 12 kWh to charge 100%.

This is where the calculations get tricky. A kWh from my electric provider costs about 12¢. But, of course, a kWh from my own solar array doesn't cost anything. (Well, there are sunk costs, but it doesn't cost anything extra.) So, as long as I charge as much as possible during the daylight, it's free! And even on a cloudy day or overnight, that "gallon equivalent" is only costing $1.50 or so! So, I'm saving over $3 on a hypothetical 7 gallons a week. So, that's about $20 a week or over $80 a month saved on gas.

Also, remember, it's a hybrid, so the rest of my gas is getting me about 35 miles per gallon!

It's not going to save the planet, but I'm still happy with the choice. Living as far out in the country as I do, it doesn't make sense to get a fully electric car - unless I wanted to go for a primo model. I like this middle-of-the-road solution.

Note: I could have kept driving our 14 year old hybrid and that would have been EVEN better. No excuses or rationalization. There was a certain amount of curiosity about the technology AND a desire for creature comforts involved.

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