Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hybrid and Electric Cars -- Are they worth it?

Since the introduction of Hybrid cars in the US market with the Honda Insight in 1999 and release of plug-in electric car GM Impact EV1 in 1996, I have long considered the benefits of owning one.   The promise and perception of high MPG and helping the environment has been extolled for years since.  Does this really add up to being beneficial to owning one?

Fuel Savings (aka Save me money):

In order to understand the fuel savings we need to factor both the initial and recurring costs of operating the car.   Lets model out two choices available on the market today for my 50 mile daily commute:

  • Chevy Volt
    • MSRP: $39,995
    • Recurring:
      • Cost per day: 
      • Cost per year:
        • $3 * 5days * 52 weeks = $780.00
  • Hyundai Veloster
    • MSRP: $17,999
    • Recurring:
      • Cost per day:
        • 50 gas miles = $3.70 @ 31 Mpg = $5.96
      • Cost per year
        • $5.96 * 5 days * 52 weeks = $1550
    • MSRP: $22,000
    • Recurring: $770/year
Obviously the plug-in EV gets better recurring costs, but factor in the initial price difference of $22,000 and I would need to drive the Chevy Volt for over 28 years to start saving money!

Environmental Impact:

According to Wiki North Carolina electricity comes from 62% coal fired plants, so lets look at the environmental impact for both of the cars listed above:

Volt 21,070Kg  vs Veloster 5,400Kg for the year == Shocking isnt it!  The car obviously burning fossil fuel is far less harmful to our environment.


I am publishing this out to the internet in order to get feedback to help catch any errors in my logic and will happily adjust anything that is brought up.   However it seems quite clear that buying a PlugIn Hybrid car in NC is a huge logical mistake.

Interesting Reading:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

ToneMatrix - Mini Flash Web Sequencer

Just stumbling around the WWW this morning and ran across this cool little Flash based audio sequencer called "ToneMatrix" created by Andre Michelle:

A melody that I created this morning: