February Monthly Recap

It’s the first of March meaning February is finally behind us! What I do every month is keep track of how far our two vehicles were driven, how efficient they were, and how much it costs them on a per mile basis. I can also see how much total each vehicle used and it’s nice to know exactly how much money is going into powering these things. I intend on doing one of these every month so you can see how they perform and compare against each other.

February was a pretty cold month and you can see that reflected in how terribly the vehicles did in terms of efficiency. But as you can see here, efficiencies seems to vary seasonally so it’s not unexpected. Plus they seem to be getting better thanks to the warmer weather!

First, our Dodge Caravan. It was driven 201 miles last month and obtained 14.8 miles per gallon (mpg). Considering gasoline is about $2.50 per gallon, the van would’ve used about $34 dollars in gas. In cost per mile terms this is $0.17 per mile. The past two months the van was at $0.19 per mile, so it’s doing slightly better compared to the middle of winter.

The Ford Focus Electric was driven 839 miles and used, according to the car, 316.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy. The meter that the charger is plugged into gives an actual reading of 518 kWh due to efficiency losses. This means the charger was about 61% efficient: the lowest it has been. (I will soon make a post on this “efficiency loss”.) Electricity still averages $0.12 per kWh so on a per mile basis the car costs $0.07 per mile to drive for a total cost of $62.

As you can see the Electric cost more to operate than the van on pure cost but was driven about four times as far. It still wins on a per mile basis by being more than twice as efficient as the van.

Here’s a chart of the cost per mile over the (almost) past year:

chart (1)

This is actually the first time I ever graphed the car’s cost per mile values over time. I’m glad to see it looks just like a gas-powered vehicle’s efficiency curve. Seeing as we bought the car in March, it’ll just be a few more months until I have full-year data!

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