What if Oprah gave me an EV?

How much would my electrical demand increase?

In a prior post, I worked through numbers that explain why my electric utility company sent me an email alert of “ABNORMAL USAGE” … followed by an insinuating alert asking me: DO YOUR DRIVE AN EV?’

The post’s numbers show how EV-charging likely triggered the “unusual usage alert” … and a subsequent series of EV charges led the electric company to infer (incorrectly) that I was on the EV bandwagon.

The email alerts got me wondering…

I asked myself: How much more electricity would I use if Oprah gave me an EV and I ditched my gas-sipping SUV?

Let’s work the numbers…


  • Like an average American, I drive about 13,500 miles each year Source
  • From what I can ascertain, a Tesla gets about 5 miles per kWh of stored electricity. (e.g. a T3, 50 kwh battery gets 250 miles of range)
  • So, my lowball annual charging consumption would be at least 2,700 kWh … some at home, some at charging stations

Note: The above assumes that “filling” a battery is like filling a gas tank  — i.e. a gallon “flowed” is a gallon “stored”.

This assumption probably understates the amount of electricity that is required to recharge a battery … maybe by a lot!


For simplicity, let’s assume that I do all of the charging at home…

  • Our home’s annual electricity consumption runs about 27,500 kWh

Note: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration: In 2020, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,715 kilowatthours (kWh).

Before you accuse me of being an energy glutton, consider…

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research estimates that Al Gore (former VP and current Climate Control Advocate)  has a 20-room home that “devours” nearly 221,000 kWh annually … that’s about 20 times the national average.

  • Again, I estimate that my annual charging consumption would be at least 2,700 kWh

  • That’s about 10% of my current TOTAL electricity usage.


So, is a 10% increase in my electricity consumption a good thing or a bad thing?

Let’s monetize it…

  • In 2021, I was charged 11.5¢  per kWh
  • Currently I’m being charged 14¢ per kWh … a 20% increase over 2021 rates
  • So, my @home charging charge (<= I love the alliteration) would be about $400.
  • My Audi Q5 SUV gets about 25 MPH
  • So, driving 13,500 miles annually requires about 540 gallons of gas.
  • At Biden’s induced $5 per gallon, that’s a whopping $2,700 annually.
  • The electrifying cost benefit of my hypothetical EV: $2,300.

Of course, the savings depend on $5 (or higher) gas prices and 14¢ (or lower)electricity.

My hunch: Gas prices fall like a rock when Biden is sent packing in 2024 … and electricity prices will keep going up since the industry is already at capacity (think: rolling blackouts) with demand rising


Of course, Oprah’s not giving me an EV, so I’d have to buy one to get the savings.

Tesla T3’s go for about $50,000.

With $2,300 a year in cost savings, it would practically pay for itself. … albeit taking 20 years to break even.

Unfortunately, that’s a bit longer than my actuarial life expectancy, so I think I’ll hold off buying one.


Of course, there’s even more to the story.

The above is an incremental analysis that only adds one user (me) to the electrical grid.

Surely, BGE could accommodate that small increase.

But, what if there was a veritable groundswell towards EVs?

We’ll tackle that question next, by asking “What if Opah gave everybody an EV?”

Stay tuned…

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