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Modeling the Total Cost of Ownership of an Electric Car Using a Residential Photovoltaic Generator and a Battery Storage Unit—An Italian Case Study

1
Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics “Bruno de Finetti” (DEAMS), Trieste University, 34127 Trieste, Italy
2
Department of Engineering and Architecture, Trieste University, 34127 Trieste, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(10), 2584; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13102584
Received: 6 April 2020 / Revised: 12 May 2020 / Accepted: 14 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Electric Vehicles)
As electric vehicles gain acceptance, an increasing number of households consider the possibility of buying the bundle including an electric car, a photovoltaic system, and a battery storage unit. Apart from the attractive environmental benefits, a relevant uncertainty concerns the economic convenience of such a choice. Since many variables play a role, we set up a total cost of ownership model to evaluate whether, and under which conditions, the bundle is cost-competitive relative to buying an electric car only (and charging it from the electrical grid) or a conventional combustion engine car. By combining, for the first time, such an economic model with an energy model and a driving profile model, we find that the degree of electricity self-production used to charge the electric car might be very high, varying from 90% to 62%, depending on the annual distance traveled. The cost of such electricity varies widely and can be lower than the grid electricity price when fiscal incentives are available and for long annual distances traveled. A smart charging practice based on both economic factors and weather forecast can greatly enhance self-sufficiency, i.e., independence from the electrical grid. We estimate that, given the current Italian financial incentives, 10,000 km/year are needed to make the electric car cost-competitive with respect to an equivalent petrol-fueled one. Such threshold increases to more than 25,000 km/year if financial incentives are removed.
Keywords: electric vehicles; photovoltaics; battery storage; total cost of ownership; driving profile electric vehicles; photovoltaics; battery storage; total cost of ownership; driving profile
MDPI and ACS Style

Scorrano, M.; Danielis, R.; Pastore, S.; Lughi, V.; Massi Pavan, A. Modeling the Total Cost of Ownership of an Electric Car Using a Residential Photovoltaic Generator and a Battery Storage Unit—An Italian Case Study. Energies 2020, 13, 2584.

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