A new Argonne study offers the most complete understanding yet of the costs of owning and operating a vehicle and how those costs vary by powertrain, from the conventional to the cutting-edge.
Advanced vehicle technologies are sometimes more expensive to purchase than conventional technologies but often pay for themselves in reduced operational costs. Now a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory offers the most complete understanding yet of the costs of owning and operating a vehicle, and how those costs vary by powertrain, from the conventional to the cutting-edge.
“There has been a lot of past research on the cost of vehicles and the cost of fuel, but these other operating costs haven’t been studied in quite the same detail before.” — David Gohlke, an energy and environmental analyst at Argonne and co-author of the study
“There has been a lot of past research on the cost of vehicles and the cost of fuel, but these other operating costs haven’t been studied in quite the same detail before,” said David Gohlke, an energy and environmental analyst at Argonne and co-author of the study. “There were gaps in the data, especially with respect to alternative fuel powertrains — electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles. They are newer to the road, so it was hard to know, for instance, their historic needs for maintenance over their operational life. Our analysis helped fill those data gaps.”
The study, sponsored by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office, is the result of a collaboration between Argonne and four other DOE national labs: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories.
The report covers light-duty passenger vehicles — compact and midsize sedans, small and large sport utility vehicles, and pickup trucks — as well as medium-/heavy-duty commercial vehicles: semi-tractors; medium-duty vans and pickups; transit buses; box, utility aerial and dump trucks; and garbage trucks. The study looked at several powertrains: internal combustion engine, hybrid electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, fuel cell electric vehicle and battery electric vehicle.
Key findings include insights into vehicle depreciation, an in-depth examination of insurance premium costs, comprehensive maintenance and repair estimates, an analysis of all relevant taxes and fees, and considerations of specific costs applicable to commercial vehicles.
The study finds, for instance, that battery electric vehicles have maintenance costs 40% lower than ICE vehicles. Overall, hybrid electric vehicles tend to be the lowest-cost powertrain. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles
Widespread inflation has led to the highest raw material cost per U.S. vehicle since 2011, a new Bank of America (BAC) Global Research report found.
The report examines the recent bout of US inflation and examines its consequences for the automotive industry.
One key takeaway from the report is that the cost of raw materials has risen sharply since mid-2020. “In the past year, the raw material cost in an average U.S. vehicle has been steadily rising, increasing ~87% from a low point of approximately $2,200/unit in Apr ’20 to now roughly $4,125/unit in May ’21,” the report found. “During this raw material cost inflation, average transaction prices seem to have stalled, although [they] still remain elevated at record high levels.”
The compressing spread between rising raw material prices and stagnating average transaction prices is expected to increase pressure on automakers and suppliers’ respective financial bottom lines.
The average vehicle is composed of 39% steel and 11% aluminum. The increase in raw materials cost has been concentrated heavily in high steel prices; the Bank of America report estimated that the average cost per pound for steel used in automotive manufacturing has increased 106% year over year as of last month. This is “relatively alarming,” according to the report, given the high makeup of steel in the average vehicle.
Suppliers and original equipment managers (OEMs) are expected to bear the brunt of rising material costs, with the latter facing even greater exposure to indirect costs from the former.
Rising inflation costs, plus pre-existing damage to supply chains caused by the pandemic present problems for both groups. “The automotive value chain is already facing significant headwinds from supply chain disruptions and production stoppages,” the report noted, “which continue to pressure margins in addition to rising raw material costs.”
The costs of raw materials have risen so greatly that they now make up a significantly larger percentage of the price of a vehicle. “The cost of raw materials in an average vehicle as a % of the average transaction price (ATP) in the U.S. reached historical lows around 6% (5.9% in April ’20) at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by historically low raw material costs and all-time high average transaction prices,” the report found. “However, this cost ratio has since increased, now reaching ~11%, as commodity prices have bounced materially off of lows and ATPs have remained near peak levels.”
By the end of spring, raw material costs had approached post-2000 historical levels, while average transaction prices remained essentially unchanged, posing “significant headwind for companies at the front end of the value chain,” according to the report.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Nebraska grocers say several products including meats are at alarming prices. Some are higher than they’ve been in several years.
One of the big reasons is transportation costs.
Local grocery stores including Suji’s Indian Grocery are already seeing a 5 to 20 percent price increase on certain products.
The owner, Mahak Singh, said, “Produce is going up and down every week. The beans and rice, they [the wholesalers] are increasing from February until every time you order that.”
Singh said he also pays for the transportation of products, which has gone up an additional 15 to 20%. But, the owner refuses to raise his prices because he said he planned and bought some of his items in bulk this February.
“I got them on a reasonable price before they increased the prices,” Singh said. “I got all the year-round supplies then.”
While Suji’s may not be raising their prices, the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association said other Nebraska stores don’t have a choice.
Executive director Ansley Fellers said, “Grocery stores and the food industry run on really tight margins so it’s only so long that folks can absorb some of those increased prices before consumers start to feel it.”
Fellers said this is why some cuts of meat, including briskets and chicken wings are in very limited supply. The grocery association said the issue behind this is demand for these is very high.
“I think once the supply side catches up to the demand side, everything will even back out,” Fellers said.
Grocery officials said the prices for some products is alarming because it’s the highest it’s been in a long time.
US President Joe Biden gifted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson a custom-built bicycle as a special souvenir for the first meeting between the two heads of state in Cornwall ahead of the G7 summit. According to reports, the special hand-built bicycle was designed as a part of the customary exchange of gifts between the heads and was chosen keeping in mind Johnson’s regular cycling outings in London.
Biden gift to Johnson
The bike was custom-made by a Philadelphia firm in a record time and at a third of the price. The red and white bike, in the colours of the United Kingdom flag, would otherwise take months to construct. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, owner of Bilenky Cycle Works- Stephen Bilenky was contacted by the US State Department on May 23 with a request to design a custom-made bicycle and a matching helmet for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Operating on a staff of four persons only, Bilenky Cycle Works usually takes up to 18 months to make a custom-made bicycle, however, the order was expedited ahead of the President’s visit to the UK for the G7 summit on June 10.
‘Controlled chaos’ followed shortly after, as per the owner who began powering to meet the prestigious order. The price of the special hand-made bike stands at a whopping $6,000, however, the budget was only set to $1,500 (£1,060), a third of the minimum price the firm charges.
Apart from Biden’s gift to Johnson, US First Lady Jill Biden gave Carrie Johnson, UK PM’s newly-wedded wife a leather tote bag made by the wives of American troops, along with a presidential silk scarf.
UK gifts Biden a mural
In a nod to the Black Lives Matter protest, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the other hand gave US President Joe Biden a framed photograph of a British mural featuring 19th-century Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The gifted image is painted by Ross Blair and it is a part of a mural trail around Edinburgh, photographed by Melissa Highton, an American-British dual national.
Johnson also gave US First Lady Jill Biden the first edition copy of Daphne du Maurier’s The Apple Tree. Downing Street said in a statement that the choice of the book was to reflect Du Maurier’s Cornish links.
ORLANDO, Fla. (September 12, 2019) – It’s going to cost more for those looking to buy a new car this year. Finance costs on new car purchases have jumped 24% in 2019, according to new AAA research, pushing the average annual cost of vehicle ownership to $9,282, or $773.50 a month. That’s the highest cost associated with new vehicle ownership since AAA began tracking expenses in 1950 and a reminder that the true costs of owning a vehicle extend far beyond maintenance and fuel.
“Finance costs accounted for more than 40% of the total increase in average vehicle ownership costs,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director for Automotive Engineering & Repair. “AAA found finance charges rose more sharply in the last 12 months than any major expense associated with owning a vehicle.”
The spike in finance charges – which rose from $744 to $920, a nearly $200 increase — was fueled by rising federal interest rates and higher vehicle prices. It comes as 72-month car loans have become increasingly common – meaning car buyers are paying more, and longer, for vehicles that lose value the moment they’re sold. Long-term loans offer lower monthly car payments, but they ultimately cost the consumer more. AAA found that, on average, every 12 months added to the life of a loan adds nearly $1,000 in total finance charges.
“Smaller monthly payments may be tempting to potential buyers, but they can add big costs in the long run,” Nielsen said.
The new figures come from Your Driving Costs, which reviews nine categories of vehicles – consisting of 45 models – to determine the average annual operating and ownership costs of each. AAA focuses on top-selling, mid-priced models and compares them across six expense categories: fuel prices; maintenance/repair/tire costs; insurance rates; license/registration/taxes; depreciation; and finance charges. Annual average costs increased in each category.
Of all costs, depreciation, a measure of how quickly a car loses value, remains the single biggest cost of ownership, accounting for more than a third (36%) of the average annual cost. It slowed a bit this year, with vehicles included in the study losing an average of $3,334 a year, up $45 – or 1.4% – from last year. In 2018, depreciation rose by $117, or 3.7%. In two vehicle classes this year – small and medium sedans – depreciation costs actually declined.
Other key findings of this year’s Your Driving Costs include:
Average fuel cost rose to 11.6 cents per mile, 5% higher than last year. The per-mile increase was driven by gasoline prices, which are up 15.6 cents per gallon over the timeframe covered by the study. Electricity prices for EV charging also rose 0.1 cent per kilowatt-hour (0.08%), but the market share of the electric vehicles in the study (0.48%) makes the effect of this increase on the overall average fuel cost negligible. Fuel costs vary widely by vehicle type, ranging from a low of 3.65 cents per mile
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