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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’ve been lurking around for a few weeks learning as much as I can about the Volt. It was really bothering me not knowing whether or not the high price of the Volt made it obsolete. My summer class load is exceptionally boring so I’ve spent my “free time” in class building a pretty extensive cost analysis excel “program” if you will. The program is very simple and helpful, it requires you to input the following:

1) The price you are willing to pay for a regular car in 2010
2) Regular car average fuel efficiency (MPG)
3) Estimated regular car maintenance cost per year
4) Number of miles you drive on an average weekday
5) Number of miles you drive on an average weekend day
6) Number of long driving trips you take per year
7) The average total distance of one long driving trip (miles)
8) Amount of down payment on vehicle you can afford
9) Interest rate you would expect on a car loan given your credit score
10) Number of years you want it to take to pay off the vehicle
11) Trade in value of your current car (in two years)
12) Sales tax of your state
13) monthly car insurance payment

Then it takes the known facts about the Volt (which can all be changed to see effects) and gives a detailed breakdown of a ton of different things. The breakdown takes into account three different cases for gas and electricity prices (worst case/exponential growth, optimistic linear growth, and a case for values of gas and electric prices which you fill out). In the end you can see exactly how much you will be paying each year for both the Volt and a regular car, (interest, gas price and all). When you account for growth in gas prices it is pretty surprising to see the results. It will make a lot more sense once you see it. It really helped me understand all the cost involved and how it’s going to play out. I figured you guys would like to see it too (since half the post here seem to be about cost speculation).

I spent a lot of time making sure this thing would be robust to any numbers, it has a bunch of IF statements so you can play around with driving ranges below and above the 40 mile range as well as change the all electric range and it will all still work.

If there are any mistakes, things I missed or bugs please contact me (gtg334q at mail.GAtech.edu) and let me know, so I can edit it, it might be a little hard for someone to figure out…

I’ve also attached an example of how to fill out the sheet if it is confusing. It might be easier to understand if you look at the example first and then start with your own.

Hope this helps finally answer the question about price of the Volt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I mean, it'll calculate gallons of fuel used over the payment period. If it could calculate it out past the payment period and over the life of the car as well as calculating average cost saved on fuel vs electricity.

You'd have to enter a few field. One for expected lifespan. A second for expected cost of fuel per gallon. And a third for basic electricity rates.
I'm pretty sure all of that stuff is in there in the third tab labeled "Cost Analysis" see: "Regular car gas cost per year, Volt gas cost per year, etc" the final column gives you the cost savings by year and the break even point.

Also, I’m curious has this helped anyone? What did the results show for your case? Any other suggestions for improvement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah it’s hard to explain just because I made it so it all makes since to me ya know….

So if you want to explore how cost effect if the Volt is worth it you need to go to the tab labeled “Your Projection of Gas Prices” - once you click this tab you can fill out whatever you think the prices of gas and electricity will be in the future (research your area). Once the data is filled in you can go back to the “cost analysis” tab and the last/third group of data labeled “cost analysis of what you think gas and electric prices will be” will show all the numbers you are looking for by year. The programs pretty powerful once you get it, you can change any number of variables to see the effects. Let me know if I’m not getting what you’re looking for and I’ll make sure I add it.

Also the prices for the other two cost analysis are found in the tabs labeled “exponential projection” and “linear projection” if you want to see what values I used for each year
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That involves too much variability then I know how to capture. That’s the reason I included the “what do you think” part. Everyone’s going to be different and can fill that part out if they really want to get into detail about their specific needs. Otherwise the linear projection should give them a good aproximation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was notified of another error. The sales tax you will pay for the Volt will be on the full price (I had it after the rebate was taken out). Also, I had the sales tax computed using the loan interest parentage instead of the sales tax percentage…whups. I added a version counter to the file name. Currently we are on V1.1 if the number changes you know I made a change.

Pdt - I tried to cover the changes in battery capacity by allowing the “amount of kwh to charge” cell to be changed, I didn’t know the price per kwh. Interesting modifications. How come you assumed the HEV and the Volt would have the same mpg?
 
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