Infographic: How to Spend $0 on Gas Next Month

posted by Shannon on June 30th, 2011

Infographic: How to Spend $0 on Gas Next Month

how to spend zero dollars on gas next month

How to Drive 800 miles for Zero Dollars

In this three minute video, San Francisco homeowners Rick Walsh and Pat Dowd explain how they’ve stopped paying for gasoline altogether.

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13 Responses to “Infographic: How to Spend $0 on Gas Next Month”

  1. Chris Sully says:

    Another great infographic! I especially like the myths section. That argument about electric cars being no cleaner than gasoline cars always comes up in a discussion about EVs. From now on, I’ll point people here.

  2. Ruth Cheung says:

    In terms of the myth section of electric cars being no cleaner than gasoline cars, you have to consider that using the grid for electricity generates CO2 at a point source versus driving a gas car around is emitting CO2 as a non-point source. The point being you can better clean CO2 emissions from a point source (concentrated area) with scrubbers and other technology versus a non-point source (larger area) where CO2 emission are harder to capture and clean.

  3. Eric C. M. Basir says:

    Try a bicycle.

  4. Andres Spagarino says:

    We actually have an electric car in CA, and there are even better incentives just for the cars to charge at night (Super Off Peak) with a rate of $0.027 kWh, so the numbers are way better for some lucky people. There is a separate meter for the car but I believe this is the best way to go… SOLAR for the HOUSE, TOU (time of use) for the EV.

  5. Jose H Rojas says:

    Good information. I wonder if my sub-division would let me put solar panels on my roof. Maybe not, after all, we are in Texas. “Here, global warming is another myth.”

  6. Spencer K. Hunter says:

    “Even a small solar system on your roof …”

    I am all for solar, but having an entire solar system, even a small one, seems like a lot of trouble. Will God even allow you to install a solar system?

  7. Mark Love says:

    This is what I’m talkin about! Go Nissan go! Also, let it go on the record that you can replace the combustion engines in a lot of modern cars with an electric engine and battery pack. Most conversions, to obtain approximately 80 miles at 60 MPH, will run you about $8,000, give or take, depending on the electric engine you get. However, the equivalent you’ll be paying in electricity to do 80 miles is approximately $0.20 and a four hour charge.

  8. Mike Ohr Jr. says:

    I just don’t think a bicycle will help me out on my 30+ mile trek to work, no sidewalks on highways..

    Also, would a 3kw-5kw system really handle an entire average household?

  9. Brahm Goodis says:

    Funny my math says the electric car will cost me 5748$ a year. Plus the increased insurance rates and registration fees for having a new car. (so maybe another 1000$?) That also is assuming I live where I can get 100% power out of my solar panels year round. (Which is not the case… …ever hear of winter?), and I don’t own my home so I’d have to lease solar panels to put on the condo I rent for the next 15 years. Doubt I’ll be living in the same place for 15 years. I drive an old jeep. It gets 20 something a mile, it’s long paid off, insurance is less then 300 a year. My only expense on it is gas and oil, and about 200 in maintenance a year. Pretty sure it’s going to be tough to beat that $$$ wise.

  10. Mike Panic says:

    This all looks good but doesn’t address a whole lot of other issues.

    Buying / leasing an electric car means your current car has to go somewhere. If not sold to someone else – where it will continue to pollute, it goes into a scrapyard or land fill, none of those options help the environment.

    No where in here does it mention what happens with the Lithium Ion batteries when they need to be replaced, and where the old ones go. No one talks about the lack of proper recycling facilities out there.

    This also assumes you own your own home and can facilitate installing the solar panels. Leaving condo owners and renters out, which make up a huge majority in major cities. It also doesn’t apply to densely populated areas where homeowners only have street parking available to them. Leaving an electric cord out over night for someone else to “borrow” and charge their own vehicle very easy.

    There is also lack of information on repairing solar panels or the increase to your homeowners insurance for the additional coverage you’ll need for them. In many parts of the country hail storms come through several times a year, not to mention falling limbs from thunder storms that can cause damage.

    Some quick math for fun. This example showcases a Leaf + solar panel rental for $479 / month to eliminate gas costs. Over the 36 month lease you’d expect to pay $17,244 to operate your vehicle. This assumes zero maintenance needs to be done. A 2004 Honda Civic with average miles will cost approximately $6,000 and according to the average miles per gallon for most models is about 30. If an average person drives 12,000 miles per year the civic will consume roughly 400 gallons per year. At the gas price of my local station today of $3.50 per gallon your annual fuel cost would be $1,400. Total cost of ownership over 36 months for vehicle and gas is $10,200. This assumes, like the Leaf, there is zero cost in maintenance and that you are buying the car outright without paying interest to a loan. At the end of the 36 month lease, figuring roughly on the Honda’s depreciated value putting it down to perhaps $4,000. A quick sale would bring your total cost of ownership down to $6,200 per year out of pocket. Even factoring in the insurance discounts for the Leaf car and benefits of the car-pool lane, insurance for an older car is always cheaper, and you don’t have to worry about excessive mileage charges that could occur when returning a car. This example also factors in a 15 year lease term for the solar panels, whether you stay with electric cars or not.

    Assuming both cars drive the same 36,000 miles per year, here’s your actual cost per mile:

    Electric powered Leaf: $0.48 / mile
    Gas powered Civic: $0.28 / mile

  11. John LeReverend says:

    This infographic is a little misleading in the fact that it implies that you can use direct solar power to charge your electric car. For most people that work during the day and park their car at home each night, they will likely not have enough sunlight to charge their car fully before the next day. If they use another bank of batteries that are charged during the day by the solar panels, or have a grid-tied system, then this system would work. I still believe that electric vehicles and solar power are worthwhile investments but should be researched individually to see if they make short and long term sense.

  12. Eddie Dockery says:

    There is a charging station that kind of looks like a little carport. The top is covered in solar panels, and then along the wall there’s a bank of batteries. (You can’t see the batteries as they’re inside of the wall), and then a plug that comes from the wall that charges the car just like a normal electric car. I think that’s what this is trying to get across, although I’m pretty sure they’re just talking about putting solar panels on top of your garage. Then again… I don’t know. you can check out I think that’s where I saw that at.

  13. Ann Harlan Nelson says:

    if you dream of living off the grid this is an interesting site albeit somewhat biased.

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Infographic: How to Spend $0 on Gas Next Month

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