22 July, 2012
There's still nothing happening, so I'm going to have another opinion. I thought this blog would be just the facts. Our lives together, but it's not panning out that way as the bike is providing far too little entertainment. Well, it's being entertaining but not in the way of "interesting times". It's just getting me places and going about things without any effort.
So anyway, the other day I started thinking about costs. Electrics have a big up front payment. It's something that you just can't get away from. The Elephant in the room if you like. However I feel that the total cost of ownership is much lower. I've run the figures for service and fuel and that showed they're cheaper in the long run. However there was something I hadn't really put a dollar value on. My time. Now I'm in a reasonably good situation, but not unique I'm sure. I work part time and if I wanted to work more I'd just have to ask for more shifts. It might not be as easy for some people, but most people can if they wish get a second job or start a home business. So for me, I get paid a bit over 30 dollars an hour, but it's not worth the money they're offering to increase my working week. Therefore my time is more valuable than 30 dollars an hour. (to me anyway). You must have a value for your time too or you'd have that second job and we wouldn't even be talking about vehicles of any sort as you'd just walk everywhere.
So how much time is saved with the electric? Well I don't have to warm it up before riding like I need to do with every petrol bike or car. I warm petrol vehicles for 3 minutes. I always have and I probably always will. The electric I jump on and go. That's a $1.50 value for me every time I ride anywhere. I also have to fill a petrol vehicle with petrol (kinda obvious). I used to work in a petrol station "pumping gas" as the Americans call it. I didn't particularly like the job and at the time I did it for minimum wage (there's no tipping in Australia). Now I wouldn't do it for less than 30 dollars an hour. Yet I have to do it for my petrol vehicles. I timed it on Friday the best way I could. I was on the highway and I checked my estimated arrival time. It was: 14:42. I then pulled in to a roadside servo. One that had "pay at the pump". That's the quickest possible way to refuel. It was on my intended route, no queue to pay, just stop, fill, go. When I got back on the highway my estimated time of arrival was 12 minutes later at 14:54. I'd lost 12 minutes or in other words $6.00 of my time.
So what would that work out at. I'll use the new ZF9 figures... The pack lasts and estimated 300 000 km, but say half that. 150 000 km. My average trip is about 10 km, so that's 15 000 trips in the life of the pack. At $1.50 per trip of my time saved that's a saving of $22 500. More than the upfront cost of the bike. Add in 12 minutes every 200 km that I'm not stopped and filling the bike, or 9000 minutes saved. Another $13 500 worth of my time saved with an electric. So in the life of a ZF9 I'd save $36 000 worth of my time. That's just warming the bike and filling it with petrol. I haven't included servicing time... That depends a lot on which bike you're using instead. My XR600 needed 3 hours service time every 10 hours of riding time. That's one extreme. Some bikes only need a service every 15 000 km.
You might doubt these figures, but remember, if I wanted (or if you wanted) you could just work more hours, so time really is money. Even if you're on the Australian minimum wage, it's still $18 000 in time saved. Well more than the purchase price of a ZF9.
So yes, the upfront cost is high, but they more than pay for themselves in my opinion.
Posted by Jason at 11:29 AM