Having recently received my own shot of life-restoring formula, at the start of May it was time for Baymax to receive his as well. An end to the cold winter temperatures coincided with reaching 8,000km and the first scheduled oil change. I booked the car into Crowfoot Dodge Chrysler, which provided its usual efficient service. In addition to a new fill of super-low-viscosity 0W20, they ordered and fitted the PDC cover that had been noticed as already broken when they applied the recalls in September last year. The selling dealer should have covered the cost but unsurprisingly flaked out, so I stumped up the C$50 myself.
Reinstalling the all-seasons and a temperature consistently back above 7°C were also my signals to officially mark the end of winter driving and reset the trip. We wound up with final numbers of 5,456km (3,390 miles) covered since late-October, of which 3,659km (2,274 miles) were on electric for an overall average of 5.4L/100km (43.6 mpg US). Pretty happy with that, even though the consumption would have been higher if we’d been able to travel further afield in a non-Covid situation. As it was, trips to the mountains for skiing were about as ambitious as it got.
I wanted to get a bit more specific though, so here we go. Under the new deal, the price of electricity per kWh went up slightly from a fixed rate before tax of C$0.0549 to a still-low C$0.0599. The PacHy’s battery has a nominal capacity of 16kWh but usable capacity is thought to be no more than 13kWh, so our cost-to-charge now comes in at around C$0.82 including tax. For that we’re getting about 50km (31 miles) of running in summer, perhaps 35km (21 miles) in winter.
By way of comparison, a non-hybrid Pacifica officially gets 10.6L/100km (22.2 mpg US) on the combined cycle. If it’s thus using 3.71 litres to do 35km (10.6 / 100 x 35) at a gas cost of C$1.10/litre (roughly the average local price this past winter), then the equivalent cost of energy to one full charge of electricity is C$4.08 (3.71 x 1.10). Dividing our winter electric mileage of 3,659km by 35 and multiplying by 4.08, we can say that we saved at least C$427 in gas through the winter – most likely much more, given that official economy figures are rarely matched in cold weather. None of these numbers will be 100% accurate of course, but they make for interesting ballpark figures!
We shouldn’t forget that an electrified vehicle is only as green as the electricity that powers it. In the absence of large-scale renewables here in Alberta we choose to pay another C$5 a month to offset 300kWh of electricity, which equates to around half of our domestic usage (including the car) in the winter, more in summer. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a start.
If the weather holds and the restrictions permit, we’ll be taking Baymax on our first camping trip of the year on the May long weekend. More on that in the next update. Thanks for reading!