2011 Coda Sedan prototype - sideEnlarge Photo
Have you ever wondered how much money you'd save by switching from a gasoline car to an electric vehicle?
If you're not too hot at math (join the club), it can be a confusing process. Now, Southern California-based Coda Automotive wants to lend you a helping hand.
Their website features a handy Impact and Carbon Dioxide Emissions Calculator. The tool allows you to enter your make and model of vehicle, your annual mileage, price per gallon of gas and your miles per gallon.
Then just enter the price you pay per kilowatt-hour of electricity and the calculator presents the stats in two handy columns.
Be warned, though: If you like your current car, the calculator can really ruin your day.
Even if you're getting the 51-mpg city mileage Toyota claims for the 2010 Prius, using the default settings on the calculator ($3.00/gallon for gas, $0.07 per kWh, and 5000 miles a year), you'd still be paying $203 more to fill up the Prius over a year than the $124 in electricity the 2011 Coda Sedan would cost to charge.
Along with the numbers, you're given a useful run-down of the comparative environmental impact, maintenance costs, political issues and other considerations affecting gasoline and electric cars.
It's clever self-promotion for Coda, of course, but the points can equally be applied to all battery electric cars, including the upcoming 2011 Nissan Leaf.
Figures vary significantly depending on how much you pay for fuel and electricity. Coda's defaults are based on the California statewide average cost of electricity overnight (when most EVs will be charging) and a typical price per gallon of gasoline.
And although the chasm between gasoline and electricity widens even more if you do more miles each year, you might find the 90-to-120-mile range Coda quote for their 2011 Sedan insufficient if you drive a lot.
Still, considering that U.S. EV buyers are almost at the bottom of the chart when it comes to saving money by going electric, the potential savings (if we skip past the thorny issue of the initial purchase price...) are very impressive.
The first 2011 Coda Sedans are expected to start hitting fleets and individual buyers in late 2010, though only in California, and will likely cost $40,000 or less before Federal tax credits and state incentives.
The Chinese-built sedan is fitted with a battery pack containing Chinese-made lithium-ion cells. The 2011 Coda Sedan will be the first Chinese-manufactured passenger car sold in the U.S. when it arrives.