OK, here’s a test of your intuition. Let’s see how well you score. (Dunning and Kruger proved we’re all above average, so no worries if you don’t do very well.)
The test will be broken down into twenty simple yes/no/true/false questions. Answer truthfully (no cheating!) I am betting no one gets them all right.
And that includes you, Elon!
I will present two vehicles in each comparison. Your task is to correctly identify the car which is more expensive to operate over its fifteen year life. The trick is that I’ll give you the total mileage the vehicles will have to travel, a monthly budget, and insurance costs.
*(I’ll throw combustion cars a bone and assume they don’t break down faster and at a higher cost than EVs, even though in reality they do. This will greatly help the combustion cars in high mileage situations, because combustion engines simply aren’t designed to last as long. We’ll just assume you keep paying equal per-mile costs to keep either vehicle you choose alive.)*
I’ll give you either the makes and models or the fuel prices (gas vs. electric), and fuel economy. Heck, I’ll give you all that information. Couldn’t be simpler, right?
Here we go…
For five questions, we’ll assume we’re in California. For the next five, New York State. Four will be Texas. One for Hawaii, two for Colorado (tip of the hat to T.E.), one for Seattle and one will be Louisiana.
1. You drive 18,000 miles per year. Your budget is $550. Insurance costs you $85/month, you live in L.A. Your choice is between a 2018 Chevy Malibu LT ($25,220) and a 2018 Chevy Bolt…LT! ($36,620).
2. You drive for Uber in the Bay Area. Your budget is $900. Insurance costs you $150/month. You drive 42,000 miles per year and your choice is between a 2018 Honda Accord LX ($23,570) and a 2018 Nissan Leaf SV ($32,490).
3. You live in San Diego and work as a real estate agent. You drive 36,000 miles per year and your choice is between a 2018 Prestige 2018 A6 3.0T with automatic transmission and quattro® all-wheel drive in Tornado Gray metallic with available Driver assistance and 20” Wheel packages ($65,000) and a 2018 Tesla Model S 100D ($102,300.) You have $1550 per month to spend, and insurance costs you $165/month.
4. You’re a solar contractor in Sacramento. You need a truck for work, and you don’t want to spend more than about $1800 per month. Commercial insurance is running you $200/month (you got caught drinking once…) You drive 44,400 miles on the job, occasionally tow cement mixers and haul around sheet rock, plywood and (you guessed it…) solar panels to work, and you’ve got a choice between a 2018 Ford F150 RAPTOR Supercab 4x4 featuring a High-Output 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 Engine with Auto Start/Stop Technology and an Electronic 10-speed Transmission with Tow/Haul, Snow/Wet, EcoSelect and Sport Modes!
Either that or a 2018 Model X.
…because you just plain don’t mess around (i.e. image is everything to you; you still aren’t quite grown up.) You know you’re going to have to buy a trailer for the plywood, but hey…
…it’s a Tesla!
Which happens to be able to outrun a Corvette and tow a Boeing 787–9 (though probably not at the same time…)
5. Bonus round! This question is worth triple!
You live in Barstow, California. Four days a week you commute to L.A. and the other days you average about 55 miles (hey, you like to go to Vegas every couple weekends!) You have four weeks off and you manage to cut your average down to 30 miles per day when you do. You put 66,360 miles on your car last year (learned Vietnamese off a Rosetta Stone audio course, too!) and you’re figuring you’ll get whatever car can most economically do about a million miles before it croaks. You don’t really have a preference, but you’re thinking of a diesel Mercedes, a few different Volvos, a Toyota Prius C3, or…well, someone told you to check out that ‘new’ company — Tesla Motors. He said they make some pretty good electric cars. Even said you could order off their website (www.Tesla.com) and you wouldn’t have to dick around with another dealer (thank God!) Oh, and one more thing…your budget is $2200 per month. You’re figuring insurance will only cost you about $75 a month for the Prius, and something like twice that for the others. Will at least one of the combustion cars beat the electric? (waaaah! I didn’t even tell you which Tesla it would be!)
Spoiler alert! California…answer key.
2018 Chevy Malibu ($25,220) vs. 2018 Chevy Bolt ($36,620)
2018 Honda Accord ($23,570) vs. 2018 Nissan Leaf SV ($32,490)
And oh ye of little faith:
2018 Prestige 2018 A6 3.0T ($65,000) vs. 2018 Tesla Model S 100D ($102,300)
You got me this time. No way I could put this one past you.
You knew the Model S would save you money, right?
2018 Ford F150 RAPTOR Supercab 4x4 vs. Tesla Model X P100D
Oh my God!
You had to know better than to pick the Found On Roadside Dead!
You didn’t really do it did you? Didn’t you realize by now that this was a set up?
HEY! Where’d that dirt cheap electricity come from?
You’re a solar contractor, remember? Please keep up, here.
Question 5, part A:
2018 diesel Mercedes vs. Tesla
Oops! It seems as though Mercedes has gotten wise to a couple of things:
Thankfully, I got your back.
I found one last diesel Mercedes, basically brand new, on www.cars.com:
It’s a 2011, but it’s only got 190 miles on it so it’s like brand new! Plus, the sticker is only $16,500 and he promised a price of $11,100 — just so long as it’s cash.
But surely the Volvo…
Because these two
might be able to figure out why there’s a smoking crater where your bank account used to be. (Hint: nobody thinks they’re going to get murdered just before they get murdered. That’s what 9/11 was for.)
Don’t like dark humor? Too fucking bad. I bet this guy
didn’t like losing his legs, either. Something to think about when you saddle up to the pump and pay your $200+/month membership to Exxon-Mobil. You want to know why you’re “only” paying $3/gallon rather than $5.84/gallon like in Germany and Israel? It’s because you’re too stupid to realize that your country is going into UN-RESOLVABLE debt policing its oil interests around the world, throwing its weight around like Watterson’s Moe, and failing to pay for the negative externality of carbon emissions the whole time because we’re perfectly content to have the kids pick up the tab.
And Puerto Rico. Don’t forget about Puerto Rico. They’ll have power at some point…
But they’re “not really citizens” anyway, right? James Otis is turning over in his grave:
“Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
Yeah, the kids are looking a little like Calvin right now, and the adults are looking like Moe. Sure is a good thing the media is controlled by the morons with the “Heave a ROCK at ME” signs on their backs or else a revolution might be in the works. (You know, instead of that pretend one we had in ‘16.)
Okay, okay, let’s lighten the mood a little. It’s getting a bit depressing…
GETTING DEPRESSING? WTF CHANNEL HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING, “GETTING DEPRESSING”?!?
IT’S BEEN LONG PAST THE STAGE OF MERELY DEPRESSING TO WATCH WELL OVER 300 MILLION PEOPLE WHO THINK THEY’RE AWFULLY SMART CONTINUE TO PUFF AWAY ON THEIR FUTURE DESTROYERS (A.K.A. TAILPIPES) FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS, I GOT NEWS FOR YOU.
Chill, man! Just CHILL!
Who you talking to?
Hey, dude, we’re all friends here. Chill! Can I offer you a smoke?
THAT’S IT…YOU’RE A DEAD MAN!
Okay, surely “the Ultimate Driving Machine” can save the day…
What say you, Bavarian Motor Works? Whatcha got for me? Got a hybrid? You gotta have a hybrid, any one will do — I hear they’re great on gas and it’s really starting to look like I need better fuel economy…
I hate to do it. I really do. What with “the ICON living on” and all that. But this test would hardly be complete without BMW’s 3 series. I promise I’ll pick the very most fuel efficient one I can find, and compare it to the most expensive Tesla (Model 3) you can buy.
Thankfully, you just rented a room out to the woman who installed panels on your neighbor’s house. You work $400 of the money she’s paying you into your budget and you can now (sort of) afford a BMW 3 series (diesel) which tries really really hard to live up to it’s “iconic” status and the trash BMW likes to talk:
Yes, yes, I know. Your BMW is oh so much more luxurious than a Performance Edition Model 3.
That’s of course why I made sure and ordered two of these:
…one for the back seat and one for the front, and had them custom fit by an upholsterer for $1000. After that, I installed one of these in the front seat (because hey, a Breville espresso maker might get scratched if it’s sitting directly on pristine white vegan leather seats — or the seats might get dented by the legs of the espresso maker, so you need an ermine buffer. And no, the irony of installing an ermine blanket over the only vegan leather seats industry wide DOES NOT escape me):
…and one of these in the frunk:
…and oh yeah, one of these for the trunk:
So, I guess I’ll have enough money left over for the last part I need:
You’ve got one last shot before we move on from California.
Surely, the vaunted Toyota Prius C3 can save the day!
No sir, I don’t think it can. And stop calling me Shirley.
You didn’t really think I could top that in any other state, did you?
Follow me for the other states. It will take me another full day for each of them, I’m sure, but since hardly any of you are even pretending to do the math…
The rest will be in order by population, most to least. Requests for specific cars and mileages (or for the calculator I built and I’m using) should be directed to:
firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: GAS SUCKS!
(all caps, please.)
Also check out the image residing here:
www.negativecarbonroadtrip.com and try to figure out how I managed to drive an EPA-estimated 75-mile range stock 2013 Nissan Leaf S to every one of the 48 contiguous state capitols while you were busy telling people:
“Electric cars are great, but you can’t take them on a road trip.”