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BayouBiker 02-11-2021 07:03 AM

Tow Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership
 
This topic has come up from time to time but the like many topic new people come along, for others it never fully registers, and the market forces change over time so it's time to revisit the topic of tow vehicle total cost.

A neighbor is planning retirement in 2 years and plans to purchase a tow vehicle and a 27' Airstream and tour the country for 5-6 years visiting all National parks and other places of interest. He is busy estimating total cost of ownership for most of what he buys and wants to minimize total cost after completing the trip and selling everything off.

His research to date indicates by far a gently used diesel 3/4 ton truck will capably tow the Airstream and have the lowest net all in cost of any other option out there. I commented to him that on this site you most frequently hear diesel trucks are unneeded and more expensive and don't pay back the extra cost. He walked through his research and shows how he is likely to save over $12k-$15k in total cost over his 5-6 year journey over the next best option of equivalent equipped and capability.

He started by showing a number of reviewed and published economics and automotive categorized research papers consistently concluding diesel vehicles save an average of $2-5k with a range of $50 to $17,500 over the typical ownership period for the average consumer. He then went into specifics of the choices he looked at to date.

Where did he go wrong? What did he miss?

lsbrodsky 02-11-2021 07:26 AM

I don't understand, for sure. The only way that could happen is if the depreciation is so much less on the diesel and the market will actually pay the owner that much more. We all know the first cost and maintenance cost is markedly higher on the diesel. I wonder where he got any statistics on how much people actually paid for used diesel, compared with the original cost and with comparable gassers?
Does not pass the smell test for me...
Larry

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 07:43 AM

Larry, your gut instinct is by far the prevailing belief on this site and it is one reason I posted this. If you start with the peer reviewed and published articles, you will find that they indeed are consistent in the conclusions of a 2000-5000 average net savings. The savings are primarily due to improved fuel milage, comparable fuel cost as similarly powered gas vehicle more often than not require premium or mid grade, and retained resale value. The studies indicate maintenance and repair costs far more comparable than most people assume or realize. But don't take my word for it, if you're curious find the papers, they are easy to search.

In the case of my neighbor, he does all maintenance himself and saves much more than the papers indicate. Self maintenance of a diesel is inexpensive and parts discounts from online helps a lot to even out the cost more.

Anyway the research papers tell the bulk of the story.

lsbrodsky 02-11-2021 07:52 AM

Yeah, not sure I want to spend the time, since I have the gas version and love it. I have had one automotive diesel, but most of my experience is marine diesels(Yanmar). I have rebuilt both. The diesel concept is more simple but I know that when something does need repair on a diesel engine it is typically more costly than a similar issue on a gas engine. 6 years? maybe none of those costly repairs with today's modern engines. If he does his own maintenance, cross that out of the analysis, but even a routine annual shop visit for a diesel costs more.
Fuel savings, bah! I have done that analysis many times for costs I see here in NC. The increase in fuel mileage on a diesel is always overcome by the higher pump cost of diesel, at least if your gas engine runs the lowest octane, which my 6.0 Silverado does.
So it boils down to first cost and resale cost. Anecdotes continually tell us about diesels keeping their value at resale so if that is the only factor, his conclusion may be very true.
Larry

panamerican 02-11-2021 08:06 AM

I dunno...I ran some very basic numbers years ago, given the fact that I turn wrenches as much as I can and maint is not really an issue for me. On a great day towing with gas I get about 10, maybe with a back breeze- 11mpg. I have seen diesels get upward of 14-15 under very similar conditions. 4-5mpg does not sound like much, but when you extend shields 10-15 years out, inclusive of DEF (which can be bypassed) and probable injector/glow plug replacements, I found the possibilities with gas vs diesel sort of sobering. I keep my vehicles for a min of 10 years, and on average I've held them for 16 years, so TCO for me is a long haul endeavor.

Pretty sure the trucking industry has done case studies, which is prob why 99.9% of all semi rigs are diesel, fuel econ is prob a much smaller part than longevity. It's not uncommon to see diesels with 400k on them and still not overhauled.

What I'd be significantly interested in seeing when the time comes, is how EV will stack up. There are still a lot of "IFs" in many discussions on EV, but I'm due for a new TV in about 3-5 years, maybe 6-7. I was pretty set on a Duramax/Allison combo, which I feel is a great TV, but what I'm seeing on paper, which I understand has yet to materialize and be proven is seeing the abilities and the TCO of an EV (of PHEV) vs diesel. I've run the up front cost numbers (sans any subsidies) based on what I've seen and the purchase prices of a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel rig is not (as best as I can ascertain) that much of a difference between some of the towing EVs being tested as we type these posts. I do feel that long term ICE will be around and the preferred method for a niche set as things evolve, but a lot can happen in 3-7 years, so this will be a very interesting topic since we all have decades of data to pour over on gas vs diesel and if/how EV changes the dynamic of the game.

Mollysdad 02-11-2021 08:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2459845)
The savings are primarily due to improved fuel milage, comparable fuel cost as similarly powered gas vehicle more often than not require premium or mid grade, and retained resale value. The studies indicate maintenance and repair costs far more comparable than most people assume or realize.
In the case of my neighbor, he does all maintenance himself and saves much more than the papers indicate. Self maintenance of a diesel is inexpensive and parts discounts from online helps a lot to even out the cost more.

Sounds like he's cherry picking his "facts". Most people don't do their own maintenance. If you compared cost of self maintenance with a gas engine with self maintenance on diesels, the gas would be less. Less oil, less filters, DEF.
I suspect not many here want to be covered in diesel fuel while on a trip. Anyone ever see an oil change in a campground? Not me.
I don't know about all gas engines, but I've never put mid grade or premium in my Tundra.:flowers:
Finally, if diesels were so "bullet proof" why did LoLoHo pay $10K to have their engine "bulletproofed"?:huh:
Do Diesel engines actually get better fuel mileage? I'd like to see real world numbers. I suspect most owners have a bias towards diesel after shelling out the extra cost. "My diesel gets 25 mpg while towing, I'll have that engine paid off in no time.":innocent:

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 08:13 AM

The neighbor included Evs and hybrids in his analysis but he was unable to make any useful predictions of future costs so he assumed todays cost for everything and the EVs and Hybrids didn't do well. He did have some projections on resale value and they were very poor, nearly double the depreciation of a gasoline vehicle. Perhaps someone here will offer some objective and realistic actual numbers. Thus far here and on the internet in general it all seems to be handwaving, cherry picking and confirmation bias driving EV projections.

kscherzi 02-11-2021 08:15 AM

Sometimes personal biases can creep into analysis. Lets say your neighbor harbours a desire for the diesel truck. He could be unknowingly (or knowingly) underestimate depreciation, or make assumptions about future fuel prices that are over optimistic. Maybe he's overestimating his capacity to do his own repairs and maintenance while far from home on the road. And maybe his analysis is correct. Do him a favor and offer to check his work.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mollysdad (Post 2459854)
Sounds like he's cherry picking his "facts". Most people don't do their own maintenance. If you compared cost of self maintenance with a gas engine with self maintenance on diesels, the gas would be less. Less oil, less filters, DEF.
I suspect not many here want to be covered in diesel fuel while on a trip. Anyone ever see an oil change in a campground? Not me.
I don't know about all gas engines, but I've never put mid grade or premium in my Tundra.:flowers:
Finally, if diesels were so "bullet proof" why did LoLoHo pay $10K to have their engine "bulletproofed"?:huh:
Do Diesel engines actually get better fuel mileage? I'd like to see real world numbers. I suspect most owners have a bias towards diesel after shelling out the extra cost. "My diesel gets 25 mpg while towing, I'll have that engine paid off in no time.":innocent:

Well his analysis was specifically for him and for his decision so that is not cherry picking. I explained that to provide some insight and explanation of his final numbers. I also do my own maintenance on all my vehicles, Oil change on gasoline for me is $35, diesel including fuel filters, $85 but I do it less than once a year so it does not add up to much. Other maintenance costs are quite similar. DEF is 2.80 a gallon and I use about 6 gallons a year. He figured on 15 gallons a year in his travels. But again these numbers are dwarfed by the milage savings and retained resale value.

Not sure how you figure the mechanics get covered in diesel. I find I don't get even a drop on me. I do end up with a bit of sooty sticky oil on my gloves despite my best efforts.

In the reviewed papers, the vehicles were mixed, some required higher grades, some did not. My neighbors comparable gasoline engine trucks all required higher octane due again to his personal choice of comparable HP and minimum torque desires.

On fuel mileage, one can easily objectively show diesels excel in milage. And they have to as the base efficiency of the Diesel thermodynamic cycle is 25% better than that of the Otto cycle. In practice the typical 25% bonus plays out in real life.

In any case, the critique is mostly subjective and based on personal choices. The papers address that with a range of vehicles to come to the average savings of $2000 - $5000. Maybe you can find fault with the papers, but I doubt it as they were peer reviewed. I don't link papers much to avoid being accused of cherry picking my favorite paper, so search for the ones you like and let's talk through them, because I want to see where these papers went wrong. I can't find any significant errors, and my neighbors analysis came to a similar conclusion.

n2916s 02-11-2021 08:42 AM

Tow Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership
 
I went from a gas 5.6 liter V8 in a half ton to a 5.0 liter diesel V8 in a “5/8” ton Titan XD. Yes, I get about 30% better mileage. Diesel fuel hereabouts right now is about 20% more expensive but throw in fuel filters and DEF and it is a wash.

The “sweet spot” for my gas truck was a skosh over 60 mph — the engine just purred along. The same sweet spot in the diesel is about 66 so I do get there a mite earlier (but just a mite).

Your friend wants a diesel so he should buy one. But, “peer reviewed” research aside, the diesel won’t be cheaper when you factor in $$$ oil changes, fuel filters, DEF and $$$ maintenance.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 09:15 AM

He has all the DEF, Oil, fuel filters and EGR system maintenance factored in. He currently has a gasoline F250 and likes it a lot, in talking with him, he is not a fan of diesels. His analysis has the recommended oil change frequency and if he extends that with oil metal content analysis along with monitoring water volumes in the separator. When he extends those out using condition based replacement rather than schedule based he can make the maintenance cost difference less than $100 per year for the entire 6 years of travel.

His fuel cost difference sensitivity is the highest so he used the composite difference in national prices averaged over ten years. I didn't check his math on that.

rbs 02-11-2021 09:20 AM

I say buy what makes you happy and not worry about what the neighbors think

m rafferty 02-11-2021 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mollysdad (Post 2459854)
Sounds like he's cherry picking his "facts". Most people don't do their own maintenance. If you compared cost of self maintenance with a gas engine with self maintenance on diesels, the gas would be less. Less oil, less filters, DEF.
I suspect not many here want to be covered in diesel fuel while on a trip. Anyone ever see an oil change in a campground? Not me.
I don't know about all gas engines, but I've never put mid grade or premium in my Tundra.:flowers:
Finally, if diesels were so "bullet proof" why did LoLoHo pay $10K to have their engine "bulletproofed"?:huh:
Do Diesel engines actually get better fuel mileage? I'd like to see real world numbers. I suspect most owners have a bias towards diesel after shelling out the extra cost. "My diesel gets 25 mpg while towing, I'll have that engine paid off in no time.":innocent:

Simple fact, diesels get much better mileage towing.

tjdonahoe 02-11-2021 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2459835)
This topic has come up from time to time but the like many topic new people come along, for others it never fully registers, and the market forces change over time so it's time to revisit the topic of tow vehicle total cost.

A neighbor is planning retirement in 2 years and plans to purchase a tow vehicle and a 27' Airstream and tour the country for 5-6 years visiting all Nationals parks and other places of interest. He is busy estimating total cost of ownership for most of what he buys and wants to minimize total cost after completing the trip and selling everything off.

His research to date indicates by far a gently used diesel 3/4 ton truck will capably tow the Airstream and have the lowest net all in cost of any other option out there. I commented to him that on this site you most frequently hear diesel trucks are unneeded and more expensive and don't pay back the extra cost. He walked through his research and shows how he is likely to save over $12k-$15k in total cost over his 5-6 year journey over the next best option of equivalent equipped and capability.

He started by showing a number of reviewed and published economics and automotive categorized research papers consistently concluding diesel vehicles save an average of $2-5k with a range of $50 to $17,500 over the typical ownership period for the average consumer. He then went into specifics of the choices he looked at to date.

Where did he go wrong? What did he miss?

..gently used....? Where is this at...? The best bargain is to buy new....

m rafferty 02-11-2021 09:30 AM

And I'm in total agreement with "rbs", get what makes you happy and go camping

panamerican 02-11-2021 09:41 AM

It's really hard to get any valuable and accurate TCO on EV. I know for my ride, it's pretty good in terms of operating costs and very long terms ROI (electric costs vs gas, oil, etc), but the resale is in the swamp. $44k car (before subsides) now at best retail with 56k on the clock, $6500- $7k in 6 years, with trade in basically worthless after the state takes their trade in cut on a car I already paid tax on. My Suburban, which is a 3/4 ton is maybe around $9k (mostly because there are no more 3/4 ton burbs anymore). Regular burbs same year are about $6k.... my point being it took my Burb to go from $48k to $9k in about 12-17 years.

Now take Tesla. $90-$100k retail new....now with 40k miles $45-$60k on average, and only 3-4 years old.

Chevy Duramax Silverado in 2500 form, with 150k to 250k $14k all day long, BUT, that Duramax back then was about a $5k upgrade, today I think that same upgrade pushes $10k on a new truck.

One thing I can say as a pro for the diesel, is that even with 4.10 gears out in the Rockies my Burb worked double time towing my trailer, where the diesels at very low RPM had the torque, while mine was screaming at 3000-4000 rpm to get the same output.

At one point my eyes were far bigger than my stomach and I was actually thinking of doing a Duraburb swap, but even spending around $15k, one scratch and the insurance would total it, so that idea was quickly squashed as the TCO was just too much of a risk.

All in all, I think one thing we can all agree, whatever you propulsion preference is- that any non-collector vehicle is a SUNK COST and the race to the bottom is shorter for some than others, but we all get there! ;)

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 09:43 AM

Many people are happiest knowing the cost differences before they are ready to buy. Pricing data indicates used will save an average of 8% vs. new.

vanster 02-11-2021 09:44 AM

My VW TDI gets about 17mpg around town (which I don't do much of with it) Towing my 17 ft Caravel I get about 16mpg. Oil changes are about $250 . It just lumbers along. I have about 150k on the clock and when it's time to replace it or rebuild it I will strongly consider an EV. Torque is everything

tbrowne 02-11-2021 09:44 AM

I'm skeptical that it's possible to make long term estimates for the total cost of ownership of any future truck choice. Right now diesel is $0.30 per gallon cheaper than premium fuel in my area and my diesel will certainly beat any gasoline powered truck by several mpg's. That said you have to tow a lot of miles to break even versus a gasoline engine purchase due to the higher initial cost of the diesel. The biggest question is the rapid advances in EV technology. Hybrid electric pickups are already on the market and more will follow. An electric motor can give a huge boost to a smaller gasoline engine when more torque or power is needed. Batteries can also be recharged at far less cost than refilling gasoline tank. EV's will almost certainly be more economical to maintain and require fewer repairs. My take for a future purchase is to wait until the last moment and buy the latest technology available. The technology is changing so fast at present that what you buy today will be dated in a couple of years so waiting can only result in a win.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 10:14 AM

The research papers demonstrate you can fairly accurate estimates of TCO of a purchase choice today. None of the papers attempted to forecast a future purchase but a couple I read noted that the numbers have been quite stable over the past 20 years and suggested that society as a whole is quite predictable. Fuel price differences when averaged are also stable but long term changes in demand does influence the differential. Diesel is more in demand now than 20 and 30 years ago for example. Demand for electricity will surly drive its price upward in time, so will addition of use tax, though it is unclear when that will happen.

Poor resale demand and the corresponding rapid depreciation in EV vehicles paints a bleak picture for TCO of an EV tow vehicle. Perhaps that will change, but since the crystal ball is not working we can only go with current experience. TCO is not sensitive to maintenance costs so one can sing the praises of costs for normal use and wear all day and never move the TCO needle much. Check out the papers to see how that works. Subsidies help EVs quite a bit and I suppose if you can justify pushing a real cost of your buying decision to your neighbor and therefore not include it and that doesn't cause you to lose sleep, I suppose you can count it. Buying used, it does not figure in except it does perhaps partially explain the rapid depreciation. In any case no matter how one slices it, using available data, and EV as a tow vehicle has the highest TCO. My neighbor included a cost of recharging on the road by figuring the total number of extra overnights consumed and the cost of those due to reduced daily mileage.

featherbedder 02-11-2021 10:15 AM

what is price of ownership when of tv pur. new 21 yrs. ago now has 72,248 miles. pretty hard to fig. cost as fuel and labor is always changing.

pjshier 02-11-2021 10:30 AM

The TCO unspoken rule
 
When I owned airplanes, we had a rule: If anyone starts adding up the total cost of ownership, they are immediately out of the club until the medication kicks in.

Randonneur 02-11-2021 10:40 AM

Brian:
I wonder if you would mind posting your buddy's actual analysis, numbers and all.
Also, could you reference how you get the peer review papers that you mention. As an academic, I use many databases to do research, but the research to which you refer is beyond my expertise.
Both steps would be helpful for the conversation. Scientists like to see if they can replicate studies.
Thanks,

Eric

nswhite 02-11-2021 10:43 AM

I have a '15 Silverado 2500HD with a Duramax/Allison combination. Love it. It gets 14-15 MPG while towing. 19-20 city. Definately can go further on a tank of fuel than on my previous TV.



There are long 6-7% grades around here. The trans holds the speed with no problem.



My previous TV was an '05 Suburban with 8.1 liter Vortec. I would white knuckle it on the same grades. Downshifting didn't help so I was touching the brake.



I have not kept up on gasser technology and don't know if the current generation is better on grades than my 'Burban.



Choosing a good TV is a personal decision.

BobnGayl 02-11-2021 10:46 AM

Two comments on this post. First, as I understand gasoline chemistry and energy content "regular" 87 octane gasoline actually has more power per gallon than "premium" 91-93 octane. This is because the benzene used to increase octane has less power per volume than gasoline itself so adding benzene dilutes the gasoline. This wasn't the case when lead was used to increase octane, but in no-lead gas, benzene is used. Octane increase is necessary to prevent preignition in high compression engines, not for more power. E85 has much lower power per gallon because alcohol has lower power per volume, similar to benzene. Doing the math, cheaper E85 actually costs more, or at least as much as "regular" on a power basis.

We bought an Audi Q5 to give my wife a safer winter vehicle in 2014. I debated at the time between the 3L gas version or the diesel TDI version. They had comparable performance and we did not find any real negatives with the diesel in terms of exhaust odor or garage stink. The 3L gas engine required high octane gasoline. I did the math and we went with gas because at the time premium gasoline cost 20-30 cents more per gallon than regular while diesel was quite a bit higher. Costly mistake for 2 reasons. First the gas companies changed the pricing schedule and now premium costs (in my area) 60-75 cents more per gallon. Diesel here is about 20 cents more and in the period between 2014 and now, has ranged from actually cheaper to about 70 cents higher. Factoring in the better mileage available with the TDI engine, the diesel option would have been far better.

Another issue was VW-Audi cheating scandal. They ended up paying owners of TDI engine powered cars a lot of money to settle the suit. So all in all buying the gas powered Q5 has cost us many thousands more than the TDI would have. So trying to calculate future costs based on current pricing is an iffy proposition. At least in my opinion.

Ken G 02-11-2021 10:48 AM

Diesel depreciation
 
Contractors and tradesman will pay much more for diesel trucks as they might not care so much about how they look but know they can run $500,000 miles. I know of more than a few examples.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randonneur (Post 2459948)
Brian:
I wonder if you would mind posting your buddy's actual analysis, numbers and all.
Also, could you reference how you get the peer review papers that you mention. As an academic, I use many databases to do research, but the research to which you refer is beyond my expertise.
Both steps would be helpful for the conversation. Scientists like to see if they can replicate studies.
Thanks,

Eric

I'll ask him if I can have a photo or electronic version when I see him next. I should have gotten it before I posted, thanks for asking.

There are several papers that are public domain. Others are fire walled pay sites. I agree with your desire to verify and replace. I used to post links frequently but have been accused of cherry picking or favoritism and worst, get personal attacks for the associations or cross links so frequently so I try to avoid that these days.

Here is one search phrase that turns up some material. "total cost of ownership diesel gasoline vehicle" variations of that also turn up more articles. I ran several search variations to be sure there were a good number of papers and blogs and articles. Good luck. Will post the numbers when I get them.

pmclemore 02-11-2021 11:18 AM

"Where to find gently used?"

Why, on this forum, of course. I was looking to replace my 2004 Duramax with 235k miles for a newer version. Found a 2011 Sierra Denali Duramax with 52k miles just last May, for a fair price. I love it.

Pat

wulfraat 02-11-2021 11:25 AM

When I last did the math our 2017 3/4 ton diesel truck came in at just over $0.25/mile to operate which included fuel, maintenance and tires I believe. That did not include depreciation or insurance cost IIRC.

Our 2012 Infiniti Qx 56 (1/2 ton gas SUV) came in at $0.16/mile

Our 2018 Tesla 3 was in at < $0.05 / mile (not trying to make this an electric vs gas debate (lets not go there) just adding that point of data because we happen to operate 3 vehicles in our household using all 3 forms of fuel / energy)

I need to go back and find that file with the calculations ... but I watch the pennies carefully ;)

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 12:18 PM

Your operating cost numbers may well be correct wulfraat but they are not apples to apples because they are very different vehicles with different characteristics and purposes. Furthermore as you noted they are only part of total cost of ownership. For the purpose of this thread they are incomplete.

Its fine to bring in costs of an electric vehicle if it is capable of safely towing a 27' trailer along with the typical gear a long distance multi week camper would bring and the cost figures apply while towing including charge station fees and the cost of journey delays while waiting for the vehicle to charge. Towing, the per mile electric costs will be between 12 and 20 cents. Cost of diesel will be about the same at 14 - 22 cents. Gasoline about 17-25.

DewTheDew 02-11-2021 12:25 PM

This sounds reasonable but of course your neighbor's inputs are important. Self maintenance. Mostly towing. Lots of driving. Buying gently used (which makes perfect sense; buying a two-year old vehicle removes a huge hit from buying new). It's tougher to say if perhaps a gas engine might see additional strain (analysis of towing versus non-towing miles). Of course it also makes assumptions of costs today versus costs in five years (diesel vs gas cost). I am fortunate enough to have sufficient funds that I bought what I wanted in terms of towing performance and bought a F250 diesel (though I needed to buy in 2019; might have been different once the 2020 7.3 liter came out for Fords). I am not rich, but I'd rather have what I want even if it comes out $10k more expensive over a decade.

The point being; the analysis for HIS situation may indicate the superiority of diesel but for a different situation that may not be true. So I doubt his research is faulty and likely the experience of others on here with the opposite conclusion are likely also correct. And the variables for EVs are too large at the moment to make a reasonable projection/analysis, IMO.

jcl 02-11-2021 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2459993)
Your operating cost numbers may well be correct wulfraat but they are not apples to apples because they are very different vehicles with different characteristics and purposes. Furthermore as you noted they are only part of total cost of ownership. For the purpose of this thread they are incomplete.

Its fine to bring in costs of an electric vehicle if it is capable of safely towing a 27' trailer along with the typical gear a long distance multi week camper would bring and the cost figures apply while towing including charge station fees and the cost of journey delays while waiting for the vehicle to charge. Towing, the per mile electric costs will be between 12 and 20 cents. Cost of diesel will be about the same at 14 - 22 cents. Gasoline about 17-25.

It is also fine to bring in costs of an electric vehicle if it is capable of replacing all but 10 trips per year. That ownership model includes both an efficient vehicle for all but towing/hauling use, and a (presumably used, lower cost) vehicle for towing purposes. The towing vehicle would be parked most of the year, and then the analysis (diesel vs gasoline) for that vehicle should also consider that the negative impacts of low use/low load are generally greater on diesel powered vehicles than gasoline powered vehicles.

Hans627 02-11-2021 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjshier (Post 2459934)
When I owned airplanes, we had a rule: If anyone starts adding up the total cost of ownership, they are immediately out of the club until the medication kicks in.

Sounds like a good rule to me! :)

jcl 02-11-2021 12:42 PM

I last did a diesel/gasoline comparison for an SUV purchase around ten years back. The diesel option then was around five thousand dollars more, but they reduced it to a few thousand in a special promotion, so it seemed worth considering. I had had several diesel vehicles prior to this, but got rid of the last one in 2003. For this analysis, I used local fuel prices, and also considered the fuel prices for the regions we travelled, mostly Western Canada. Diesel fuel prices were more seasonally volatile here (they were and are impacted by heating season, and thus demand for that class of fuels). I corrected for that. For resale values, I considered the lease residuals the vehicle manufacturer was using, even though it was a cash purchase, and also five or six vehicles available on the resale market locally, all three years old. The diesels were worth less used than the gasoline models, but that was just for that type of vehicle, a premium SUV. YMMV. Scheduled maintenance was equal for both alternatives, since it was included for five years with both vehicles.

The payback period for the diesel was 85,000 km. To break even. I would have owned it longer than that, but the uncertainty in the analysis over an extended period of time meant that I didn't trust it six years out. I bought the gasoline version.

It is impossible to do an EV TCO calculation today. All I know is current energy costs. In the past year, I have paid for charging once. Free Supercharging will run out for me late this year, but for now, I have paid $1.11 in total charging costs. To travel the same distance as that single partial charge enabled, in my last gasoline vehicle, would have cost $7.20. And of course, there were no free fill ups for the rest of the year.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DewTheDew (Post 2459995)
This sounds reasonable but of course your neighbor's inputs are important. Self maintenance. Mostly towing. Lots of driving. Buying gently used (which makes perfect sense; buying a two-year old vehicle removes a huge hit from buying new). It's tougher to say if perhaps a gas engine might see additional strain (analysis of towing versus non-towing miles). Of course it also makes assumptions of costs today versus costs in five years (diesel vs gas cost). I am fortunate enough to have sufficient funds that I bought what I wanted in terms of towing performance and bought a F250 diesel (though I needed to buy in 2019; might have been different once the 2020 7.3 liter came out for Fords). I am not rich, but I'd rather have what I want even if it comes out $10k more expensive over a decade.

The point being; the analysis for HIS situation may indicate the superiority of diesel but for a different situation that may not be true. So I doubt his research is faulty and likely the experience of others on here with the opposite conclusion are likely also correct. And the variables for EVs are too large at the moment to make a reasonable projection/analysis, IMO.

Well his situation was one driver for this post. I mentioned the other. His case, if correct has the diesel 3/4 ton about $12-15k cheaper then the next option, but I'm also curious about the general cases covered in the papers that have the range of savings between 0 and $17.5k depending on particular situation and the average savings at $2-5k.

Happy also to look at a realistic towing case of your choosing, because unless it is cherry picked, I doubt it will come out opposite with another vehicle saving $12k over diesel.

On EV's the only large unknowns are future costs driven by demand and economies of scale. We have to eliminate speculation and use what we know unless someone can bring an economic model that mimics the likely path of EVs.

To jcl's point on using a different ownership model, I am good with that also. Let's better understand the model, confirm it is realistic and then put some numbers to it and see how it does.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl (Post 2460003)
I last did a diesel/gasoline comparison for an SUV purchase around ten years back. The diesel option then was around five thousand dollars more, but they reduced it to a few thousand in a special promotion, so it seemed worth considering. I had had several diesel vehicles prior to this, but got rid of the last one in 2003. For this analysis, I used local fuel prices, and also considered the fuel prices for the regions we travelled, mostly Western Canada. Diesel fuel prices were more seasonally volatile here (they were and are impacted by heating season, and thus demand for that class of fuels). I corrected for that. For resale values, I considered the lease residuals the vehicle manufacturer was using, even though it was a cash purchase, and also five or six vehicles available on the resale market locally, all three years old. The diesels were worth less used than the gasoline models, but that was just for that type of vehicle, a premium SUV. YMMV. Scheduled maintenance was equal for both alternatives, since it was included for five years with both vehicles

The payback period for the diesel was 85,000 km. To break even. I would have owned it longer than that, but the uncertainty in the analysis over an extended period of time meant that I didn't trust it six years out. I bought the gasoline version.

Idk, much of what you say is is directly contradicted by the peer reviewed University papers. How do you reconcile that contradiction? Is your purpose to suggest the studies are wrong?

It is impossible to do an EV TCO calculation today. All I know is current energy costs. In the past year, I have paid for charging once. Free Supercharging will run out for me late this year, but for now, I have paid $1.11 in total charging costs. To travel the same distance as that single partial charge enabled, in my last gasoline vehicle, would have cost $7.20. And of course, there were no free fill ups for the rest of the year.[/QUOTE]

One can do a TCO for EV's. TCO models include a host of assumptions. For an EV you just have to use todays costs and with no market force adjustments. We can speculate all day long what market changes might do to the TCO of any vehicle. We can say the range of uncertainty is higher for EV's but not much more. You suggested a different ownership model, let's run it. Also if you believe the diesel to gasoline research papers are wrong, let's talk about where they went wrong.

DewTheDew 02-11-2021 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460007)
Well his situation was one driver for this post. I mentioned the other. His case, if correct has the diesel 3/4 ton about $12-15k cheaper then the next option, but I'm also curious about the general cases covered in the papers that have the range of savings between 0 and $17.5k depending on particular situation and the average savings at $2-5k.

Happy also to look at a realistic towing case of your choosing, because unless it is cherry picked, I doubt it will come out opposite with another vehicle saving $12k over diesel.

On EV's the only large unknowns are future costs driven by demand and economies of scale. We have to eliminate speculation and use what we know unless someone can bring an economic model that mimics the likely path of EVs.

To jcl's point on using a different ownership model, I am good with that also. Let's better understand the model, confirm it is realistic and then put some numbers to it and see how it does.

For the EV, I would guess that at this time the biggest variable is resale. The technology is changing so quickly that a six-year old vehicle may be obsolete so some extent. Charging costs will vary in unpredictable ways as well.

I am not arguing this analysis, but pointing out that these peer-reviewed papers (as a scientist I love this) may be making assumptions that are not well suited for this situation. You asked "what is he missing" and I suspect he isn't missing anything. It's just perhaps a specific outcome rather than a general one. Certainly I came out ahead on my A6 diesel, in part because of the Audi and Bosch payments though (speaking of unanticipated variables....).

I actually had always figured that if you drive 6 years and 100,000 towing miles then the diesel would make great sense financially. I would have guessed it was close to a wash, but I would have been surprised if the gas engine came out ahead.

OTRA15 02-11-2021 02:08 PM

OT

:blink:

Is there a pandem goin' roun' or sumthin?"

Lots of free time . . .

:D

jcl 02-11-2021 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460012)
Idk, much of what you say is is directly contradicted by the peer reviewed University papers. How do you reconcile that contradiction? Is your purpose to suggest the studies are wrong?

I don't think it is difficult to reconcile at all.

I think it would help to back up to consider the value of theoretical models. As often stated (by people other than me), all models are wrong, but some models are useful.

Leaving aside math errors, it comes down to assumptions. My analysis didn't in any way contradict the University of Michigan TRI paper, as one example. I haven't pulled other studies, that one was easy to get. And it fits your criteria of being from a university. They used a different set of assumptions. They didn't use fuel prices relevant to where I live and travel. They didn't use maintenance costs relevant to a vehicle with all scheduled maintenance costs included for 5 years. They didn't use resale values relevant to my reality, and they used US auction sale prices as a starting point, which I wouldn't have done. That doesn't make their study wrong, as long as they used the correct auction sale prices, it just makes it less useful, or less relevant. They didn't use the actual premium charged for a diesel engine in the two vehicles (gas and diesel) that I was considering, they appear to have used average purchase transaction prices from a survey and deduced diesel premiums. I can simply look it up and have a correct price delta relevant to what I am purchasing. They based their analysis on what they call "clean diesel" as if that is or was actually a thing. The courts found differently. The study was from 2013 and 2015, and looked back to 2012 prices. All of the diesel cars, and many of the SUVs, included in the study were later pulled from the market because as it turned out, they weren't actually clean. So we would need to consider refunds, replacements, buybacks, and so on in the analysis for those. The study noted that it was very difficult to analyze other than what they called medium duty pickups (250/350 class for ease of reference) due to lack of survey respondents.

So no, I am not saying the study was wrong. I didn't check their math. It looks incomplete. Lacking sufficient data. In retrospect, given Dieselgate a few years later, probably of limited value for the cars and SUVs included in the study. Perhaps better for the pickups, although they note that the Ford engine issues from years prior complicated their analysis. It was also sponsored by a diesel fuel system manufacturer, who was promoting "clean diesel" at the time (aka greenwashing) but was later implicated in the diesel emissions scandals. Their sponsorship doesn't in any way make the modelling wrong, but the potential for bias should be disclosed.

Overall, I would just say that the study was of lower value than my own study, to me, for all those reasons. If a person was purchasing one of the listed diesel vehicles, in 2015, at an average US purchase price, it could have had more value. Until Dieselgate, of course.

When I went to the UMTRI website, the studies show up in a search, but have been pulled from the university site. Perhaps for the reasons I note above. I don't know.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460012)
One can do a TCO for EV's. TCO models include a host of assumptions. For an EV you just have to use todays costs and with no market force adjustments. We can speculate all day long what market changes might do to the TCO of any vehicle. We can say the range of uncertainty is higher for EV's but not much more. You suggested a different ownership model, let's run it. Also if you believe the diesel to gasoline research papers are wrong, let's talk about where they went wrong.

We are back to wrong vs useful. It depends on which EV we are talking about. Yes, one can do a TCO for a Model 3, Leaf, or similar, with more confidence, if it has been in the market for three or more years. The analysis will have more vague assumptions than we might like to see. It is much more difficult to do one for a vehicle to tow an AS27, until such a product becomes available. Best estimate would be for a tri motor Cybertruck, when pricing, range, etc are confirmed. But one still won't have resale value. And maintenance would be a SWAG. So I while I agree that one can do a TCO model for a BEV used as a TV, it falls into that category above, regarding how useful it is.

You note that there are uncertainties about future prices. Agreed. But if one is comparing gasoline and diesel, both being fossil fuels subject to similar tax structures, I suggest it is a manageable risk to compare several years out, as market changes are likely to impact both similarly. But the same isn't true IMO for looking several years out for BEV vs ICE. It is changing too quickly. And even with non BEV models, I think the impacts of increasing emission controls will matter for the diesel side of the equation. Imagine if one built a TCO model for a diesel pickup prior to 2010, and then bought a vehicle in the first few years of those more complex, failure prone, costly, etc add on emissions controls. Now rinse and repeat. That cycle is likely to continue with diesels, more so than gasoline models. Which is why some manufacturers pulled out of the market. The ones that decide to stay will have to deal with those sorts of issues, and I don't think it will be without cost to the consumer. Which won't make the models wrong, but it is very likely to make them less useful.

Full disclosure: I spent a career with a diesel engine and heavy equipment distributor. Sales, service, parts, financing, and often, sales and service agreements that established long term operating contracts or cost caps (up to 60,000 operating hours, from memory). Those service contracts could include scheduled maintenance, or all unplanned failures, or simply be component life guarantees. The most complete ones were termed "power by the hour" and covered pretty much everything. We did a lot of modelling. And we backed it with contracts. Not for pickups, but starting with engines in the same class as the 6-7 litre ones under discussion, and ranging up to very large ones, whether industrial engines, power generation, marine, mining equipment, or whatever. The principles are the same as are under discussion here.

jcl 02-11-2021 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OTRA15 (Post 2460041)
OT

:blink:

Is there a pandem goin' roun' or sumthin?"

Lots of free time . . .

:D

Yes to both. And it is cold outside. :)

DewTheDew 02-11-2021 02:46 PM

jcl; just to point out that Dieselgate was a financial bonanza to those of us who owned those impacted vehicles. I was paid about $10k for my troubles, which consisted of a trip to an Audi dealership and getting a nice new car to drive for a couple of days. The alterations had minimal impact on the mpg (it went from about 40 down to 38 mpg). We eventually traded it in and were given a good price. But I get your point; someone had to pay for it!

Gibson3798 02-11-2021 03:03 PM

If he's so focused on the pennies, it's likely he's missing the most important equation.

jaybauman 02-11-2021 03:06 PM

Brian

I am not surprised by your neighbor's conclusion, but maybe because it fits into my own confirmation bias.

One big factor for me is depreciation, or lack thereof, of the diesel variants. In 2015, I purchased a new Duramax. Five years later, I traded it in to the same dealer for only $16,400 less than I paid for it new. Maybe it's because the truck was immaculate or well-maintained or maybe because, well, everyone loves some big diesels here in Texas. For whatever reason, I got tens of thousands more on trade than I would have gotten with a gasoline, which means I more than recovered the initial diesel upgrade costs.

I also think DEF is a red herring. With both Duramax trucks and my 2017 BMW X5 diesel, the DEF expenses are negligible contributions to total cost of ownership. Raising the deductible on my vehicle insurance policies saves me more money than I ever spend on DEF in any given year.

As for increased maintenance costs, I am not seeing a huge difference between my previous vehicles and my current diesel ones. I pay slightly more for oil and of course fuel filters, but there's not much other stuff that seems to be different for me.

Towing my 30-foot TT all over the country and averaging 14-15 miles per gallon is a pretty good equalizer. And did I mention resale value? :-)

Capt who 02-11-2021 03:24 PM

I bought a diesel F250 knowing it may well cost more in the long run, if it does so be it. I like the power, I think I will like the exhaust brake ( never had one ), the ability to climb mountains at the speed limit with trailer in tow. It is a bigger vehicle than I am use to but the ride isn't bad and with just under 500 mi on it I am getting 23 mpg around home. Another big factor is that my wife likes it.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DewTheDew (Post 2460038)
I am not arguing this analysis, but pointing out that these peer-reviewed papers (as a scientist I love this) may be making assumptions that are not well suited for this situation. You asked "what is he missing" and I suspect he isn't missing anything. It's just perhaps a specific outcome rather than a general one. Certainly I came out ahead on my A6 diesel, in part because of the Audi and Bosch payments though (speaking of unanticipated variables....).

The general case is covered by the several TCO studies available, all placing equivalent diesel variants as the lower total cost by an average of $2,000 - $5,000 and a range of $0-17,500. Even the closest specific situation evaluated had it as a wash. No examples in any of the papers had any of the diesel variations behind. The average of course represents the general case of which you speak. jcl's observations about events affecting diesel vehicles in recent years are interesting and entertaining but none of it affects the analyses performed nor would it have an effect on any newer TCO studies performed today as all of those kinds of issues happen frequently in the broader scheme of the global vehicle market and when taken as a whole get figured into average TCO so long and the cross section of vehicles selected adequately represent the market as a whole.

I agree the neighbors analysis is very specific to his situation but it's interesting (if accurate) for this forum since it is focused on towing as the use case. The combination of his analysis and the published papers being consistent is interesting again for this forum because they both contradict the common viewpoint expressed here that diesel vehicles for towing are extravagances that do not pay out.

Jay, your experience mimics my own and exactly comports with my neighbor and the published papers. If it looks like a duck......

Mollysdad 02-11-2021 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjshier (Post 2459934)
When I owned airplanes, we had a rule: If anyone starts adding up the total cost of ownership, they are immediately out of the club until the medication kicks in.

Amen, brother.
When I had my MH, I never kept track. I knew roughly that I could take a limo to my destination and stay in the Hyatt Regency for what I paid to use the MH a month a year.
Do I regret it? Not a bit.:lol:

KK4YZ 02-11-2021 04:15 PM

The point is (probably) moot
 
I think all of his calculations, correct or not, are for naught.
I predict that one of 2 things will happen:

1) they’ll spend a year traveling around and decide that the RV stuff isn’t for them and sell everything early.

Or,

2) they’ll find they love Airstreaming so much that they keep it up beyond the planned 5 (approx) year period.

At this stage of the game get what you’ll enjoy and don’t sweat the small stuff.

JonDNC 02-11-2021 04:33 PM

Tow Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership
 
TCO of an Airstream and F350 peanuts compared to a 47’ sailboat.

I don’t even think about it... cheapest form of full time travel I’ve ever owned.

Gas vs diesel who cares, they both work buy the one you want but I can tell you the torque when accelerating and the engine brake sure work for me.

And for grins I just did a search for 2018 F250 Platinum gas vs diesel. Gas what few there were were 55-60 with reasonable mileage Diesel was 65-75. So half the upfront cost at a minimum will be gotten back at resale.

kscherzi 02-11-2021 05:31 PM

The Airstream and truck are for pleasure. Counting pennies takes away the pleasure. His exercise falls into the "if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it" category.

Talking about spending money and calculating returns, try flying airplanes for a hobby. I did this in my cessna piloting days. There is no return on investment but for the joy. Anyway, that's how I looked at it, and if I had otherwise, I would have never tried it. You only get to live once.

JonDNC 02-11-2021 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kscherzi (Post 2460116)
the airstream and truck are for pleasure. Counting pennies takes away the pleasure. His exercise falls into the "if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it" category.

Talking about spending money and calculating returns, try flying airplanes for a hobby. I did this in my cessna piloting days. There is no return on investment but for the joy. Anyway, that's how i looked at it, and if i had otherwise, i would have never tried it. You only get to live once.



exactly

jcl 02-11-2021 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460075)
The general case is covered by the several TCO studies available, all placing equivalent diesel variants as the lower total cost by an average of $2,000 - $5,000 and a range of $0-17,500. Even the closest specific situation evaluated had it as a wash. No examples in any of the papers had any of the diesel variations behind. The average of course represents the general case of which you speak. jcl's observations about events affecting diesel vehicles in recent years are interesting and entertaining but none of it affects the analyses performed nor would it have an effect on any newer TCO studies performed today as all of those kinds of issues happen frequently in the broader scheme of the global vehicle market and when taken as a whole get figured into average TCO so long and the cross section of vehicles selected adequately represent the market as a whole.

It is challenging without some more clues to determine which peer reviewed studies you are referencing. I only found the U of Michigan TRI study (2013, and corrected/updated in 2015) and you mention two, so I am not clear if the two are in fact the same study. It would also be good to see something more recent, if it exists. The issue with these industry sponsored studies is that the industry has moved on from promoting diesels in many cases, so there may not be something newer.

It isn’t a university study, rather an industry one, but this fleet study comparison was current in 2015. It wasn’t positive on the diesel option. Rather than just accept or reject their conclusion, it may be helpful to see their reasons.

https://www.government-fleet.com/156...ers-know-about

Here is one that is more current. Vincentric is an automotive data analysis firm. They analyzed cars, SUVs, vans, and pickups, in 2018. Some of those have been pulled from the market, but the trucks are still available, and they analyzed 324 models.

Quote:

As to pickups, not a single truck met the study criteria for being cost effective when equipped with a diesel engine.
Full report:

https://news.pickuptrucks.com/2018/0...ial-sense.html

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 07:24 PM

The last time I provided a link I was flamed as a conspiracy theory follower and maligned and laughed at so you'll understand when I decline. Perhaps in the future it might be better to address the content rather than the messenger.

There are several industry studies and studies from associations that promote the diesel fuel industry available also as you noted, but I don't put much stock in these unless they provide their methods and data.

I was unable to find any detailed information about vincentrics "statistical" methods so I have no way to validate it. Statisticians have a way of torturing the data till it tells them what ever the customer wants to hear. Did you find any details on their methods? It is not a peer reviewed paper so one can't accept it on the basis of third party review. The link is an article about the study, it's not a "full report". Unfortunate, but if we can't validate it, I suppose it belongs in the dust bin, with the other infomercial articles.

As to Jon and KS suggesting it is not useful to have accurate cost information, I can't see that rationale. Who wouldn't want to be told which option under consideration is likely to save them $15k?

Bcc75 02-11-2021 07:39 PM

I really think, as others have mentioned, if one overthinks this and focuses too much on dollars and cents then he will drive himself nuts or talk himself out of it.
The Airstream and the truck are investments for enjoyment and pleasure. I do believe however that an Airstream and a diesel truck will depreciate less than other other similar recreational vehicles and gas trucks. The level of depreciation will be driven by the market. Look where we are at now! If you have a modern Airstream in good condition right now you can just about name your price if you want to sell. Ford closed their Kentucky plant where the Super Duties are made for 2 months last year due to COVID. No trucks were made. When I was truck shopping last September, there were no new 2020 F250’s to be found. The ones that were hitting the dealer lots were sold before they got there. I saw used late models selling at dealerships for more than MSRP of new ones. That’s supply and demand economics. Those scenarios don’t last and will change. Sellers markets will flip to buyer’s markets and cycle back again. I almost didn’t by my truck or my AS because of this. Not a buyer’s market. But then I realized life is too short. Just had to tell myself that’s what I want and I can afford it, so I bought them.
So glad I did!

jcl 02-11-2021 07:47 PM

Brian: Here is some info on their data if you want to review it.

https://vincentric.com/Home/About-Us/Vincentric-Data

They are a subscriber service, similar to Polk. I used Polk a lot in past years, for heavy truck market data.

For the U Michigan TRI study, presumably it was peer reviewed in 2013. It was widely quoted. When it was redone in 2015, they corrected for vehicle trim levels. They were looking at average transaction prices and determining how much more the diesel option cost, and it turned out that higher trim levels cost more and clouded their conclusions. Seems obvious. Wonder if the peer review spotted that? But then, we still aren’t sure if this is the study you referred to earlier.

BayouBiker 02-11-2021 08:02 PM

I went to their site before posting. There is nothing available I could find on their approach, method or data.

I suppose I should have but didn't say anything about the government fleet article by Bob Stanton. I'll say now that his analysis is very specific to government subdivisional fleet vehicles, the use case they have, and the unique cost structures so it does not translate to the consumer and towing use case to any degree at all.

On the Michigan study it would be more interesting to describe what difference the adjustments made to the conclusions. I only reviewed the revised version of that particular study so any corrections have no real bearing on my earlier posts.

pmclemore 02-12-2021 08:14 AM

When I'm not pulling my rig with my big honkin truck, I drive to the golf course in it three days a week. About a hundred miles a week that way.

If I buy a sweet little convertible to drive instead, do I have to include that in my total cost of ownership of a diesel truck?

Pat

Jerrylax 02-12-2021 08:31 AM

In any event if I were concerned with the economics of recreation I’d stay home and watch TV. I went to diesel because it is safer.. a tow vehicle with power to spare and 8000# weight seems a good choice to pull out AS 30 classic vs that beautiful Tundra 1794 we absolutely loved. 2020 GMC Denali duramax and Allison ten speed one ton.

DewTheDew 02-12-2021 09:28 AM

As an aside, though a higher-priced TT or trailer might not depreciate as much, but that extra money is lost to you during that 6 or so years so there is that cost as well.

JonDNC 02-12-2021 09:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pmclemore (Post 2460253)
When I'm not pulling my rig with my big honkin truck, I drive to the golf course in it three days a week. About a hundred miles a week that way.

If I buy a sweet little convertible to drive instead, do I have to include that in my total cost of ownership of a diesel truck?

Pat


Of course [emoji6][emoji41]

It all goes in that TCO fun bucket, the one that never gets added up...

At least that’s how I do it

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 09:37 AM

In estimating the total cost of ownership for a new generation electric tow vehicle nearly all of the internet analyses use depreciation schedules, and insurance costs from conventional ICE vehicles despite the clear trend for EVs that are far and away more costly on both fronts. The EV accident repair charges are running quite a bit higher than traditional vehicles and insurance charges reflect that. The Cybertruck's stainless exoskeleton is likely to see this in spades. So in my neighbors analysis he is using the average surcharges for insurance. Twice the insurance cost is not unusual. Depreciation is also nearly double, as another poster mentioned. No reason to suspect this will change in the next few years, however there is a good deal of uncertainty so he used a range for both of these costs. The other big cost when towing is the number of extra intermediate overnights and the campground costs for those. He had 35% more non destination overnight stays in his numbers.

Using expected costs as described based on current experience, the EV as a choice is not a contender costing $27k more than the diesel option. By making some assumptions about changes in insurance and depreciation, they get closer, but the EV experience over the past 10 years does not bode well, so you'll have to throw caution to the wind in choosing an EV until a few more years have transpired.

KK4YZ 02-12-2021 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pmclemore (Post 2460253)
When I'm not pulling my rig with my big honkin truck, I drive to the golf course in it three days a week. About a hundred miles a week that way.

If I buy a sweet little convertible to drive instead, do I have to include that in my total cost of ownership of a diesel truck?

Pat

Nah. Just consider the big smile on your face as dividends from the convertible😀

DewTheDew 02-12-2021 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460274)
In estimating the total cost of ownership for a new generation electric tow vehicle nearly all of the internet analyses use depreciation schedules, and insurance costs from conventional ICE vehicles despite the clear trend for EVs that are far and away more costly on both fronts. The EV accident repair charges are running quite a bit higher than traditional vehicles and insurance charges reflect that. The Cybertruck's stainless exoskeleton is likely to see this in spades. So in my neighbors analysis he is using the average surcharges for insurance. Twice the insurance cost is not unusual. Depreciation is also nearly double, as another poster mentioned. No reason to suspect this will change in the next few years, however there is a good deal of uncertainty so he used a range for both of these costs. The other big cost when towing is the number of extra intermediate overnights and the campground costs for those. He had 35% more non destination overnight stays in his numbers.

Using expected costs as described based on current experience, the EV as a choice is not a contender costing $27k more than the diesel option. By making some assumptions about changes in insurance and depreciation, they get closer, but the EV experience over the past 10 years does not bode well, so you'll have to throw caution to the wind in choosing an EV until a few more years have transpired.

Makes sense to me. I'd have called someone crazy if they claimed that EVs were cost effective at this moment for towing a large Airstream. They will be, I am sure, but not yet. Though honestly I'd think the depreciation numbers are too hard to estimate given the rapid changes. Heck, Tesla has only been building cars for just over a decade so how do you realistically consider depreciation on a new one? Not enough data. The source of charging will vary hugely as well.

vanster 02-12-2021 11:00 AM

All the big manufactures will have EV trucks on the road in the next few years. Rivian is interesting as well. Our local UPS hub has a few EV delivery trucks. This is happening and the cost of batteries is dropping every year and charging is getting better. If boon docking and using a small Honda generator, I wonder how it would pair with an EV charge?

jcl 02-12-2021 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460274)
In estimating the total cost of ownership for a new generation electric tow vehicle nearly all of the internet analyses use depreciation schedules, and insurance costs from conventional ICE vehicles despite the clear trend for EVs that are far and away more costly on both fronts. The EV accident repair charges are running quite a bit higher than traditional vehicles and insurance charges reflect that. The Cybertruck's stainless exoskeleton is likely to see this in spades. So in my neighbors analysis he is using the average surcharges for insurance. Twice the insurance cost is not unusual. Depreciation is also nearly double, as another poster mentioned. No reason to suspect this will change in the next few years, however there is a good deal of uncertainty so he used a range for both of these costs. The other big cost when towing is the number of extra intermediate overnights and the campground costs for those. He had 35% more non destination overnight stays in his numbers.

Using expected costs as described based on current experience, the EV as a choice is not a contender costing $27k more than the diesel option. By making some assumptions about changes in insurance and depreciation, they get closer, but the EV experience over the past 10 years does not bode well, so you'll have to throw caution to the wind in choosing an EV until a few more years have transpired.

I found it interesting that the analysis including camping fees. Presumably, the goal is to go camping. The two vehicle types don't change the number of camping days. They may change how far afield one travels. If camping fees are an expense to be avoided, wouldn't the ultimate solution be to just stay home?

We need to keep clear the distinction between current EVs and future EVs, which may include EVs capable of towing larger Airstream trailers.

Given that the product hasn't been released yet, by any manufacturer, I think that any analysis of TCO for a BEV tow vehicle is too uncertain today to be of much value. Once there is a product that is commercially available, then the analysis risk will focus more on the repair cost and the resale value, the rest will be much more certain.

But we can learn from the history of EVs that are available, eg the current experience. Keep in mind that the BEVs being reported on are early generation, and not necessarily representative of current offerings, with respect to range, etc. But it is all we have as a cost basis. These comparisons are for a variety of vehicle classes, excluding pickups. Small cars, medium cars, SUVs, etc. And some of us prefer to tow with SUVs or cars, so there is that. Then we can decide to what extent those analysis methods and data trends should be applied to a future BEV truck which is capable of towing a larger Airstream.

One of the better analysis reports that I saw was Consumer Reports. It doesn't concur with many of Brian's statements, in particular, re depreciation, and insurance. The report has lots of details on how they calculated costs. An example of this is that they estimated the % of charging at home, vs % of charging on long trips, and this could be varied for a potential BEV tow vehicle.

Full report here: https://advocacy.consumerreports.org...l-Report-1.pdf

Some key takeaways from that report:

Quote:

While electric vehicles (EVs) typically have higher upfront purchase prices, they can save consumers a lot on operating expenses. This study relies on new data on electric vehicle depreciation rates and maintenance and repair costs, along with real world average vehicle prices, to estimate how much today’s most popular EVs can save consumers when compared with similar ICE vehicles.

Overall, BEVs were estimated to save consumers about 60 percent on fuel costs compared with the average vehicle in their class. Fuel costs were also analyzed by state, with the majority of states falling within 10 percent of the national average.

For all EVs analyzed, the lifetime ownership costs were many thousands of dollars lower than all comparable ICE vehicles’ costs, with most EVs offering savings of between $6,000 and $10,000. While new EVs were found to offer significant cost savings over comparable ICE vehicles, the cost savings of 5- to 7-year-old used EVs was found to be two or three times larger on a percentage savings basis.

Overall, these results show that the latest generation of mainstream EVs typically cost less to own than similar gas-powered vehicles, a new development in the automotive marketplace with serious potential consumer benefits.
I think the sales trends for the currently available BEVs support them having a lower TCO. We just need to wait to see a BEV tow vehicle with more range, and confirm that the savings currently being calculated apply to that type of BEV as well.

Prettygood 02-12-2021 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vanster (Post 2459907)
My VW TDI gets about 17mpg around town (which I don't do much of with it) Towing my 17 ft Caravel I get about 16mpg. Oil changes are about $250 . It just lumbers along. I have about 150k on the clock and when it's time to replace it or rebuild it I will strongly consider an EV. Torque is everything



V10 Tuareg??

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 11:57 AM

I see the Consumer Reports analysis relies on inclusion of tax incentives and proprietary algorithms applied over the ownership period to bring depreciation schedules into line. Real year over year depreciation is a more realistic method. Forcing your neighbor to pay for your vehicle purchase does not change real TCO. The fact that someone else is taking a hit and contributing to TCO does make it a non-cost.

Another clever approach Consumer Reports used to get the results they obtained was in what they decided not to include in their TCO analysis.

"This analysis focuses on model year 2020 and 2021 BEVs and PHEVs. It brings together depreciation, financing, fuel, and repair and maintenance costs, and compares them with similar ICE vehicles. It does not include other vehicle ownership costs, such as sales or property taxes, registration fees, and insurance."

Edit: My neighbor reasoned that while camping, the purpose was the destinations and places of interest. A quick overnight stay as an intermediate imposed on him due to journey fatigue did not fit the goal and should be considered an inconvenience.

jcl 02-12-2021 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460344)
I see the Consumer Reports analysis relies on inclusion of tax incentives and proprietary algorithms applied over the ownership period to bring depreciation schedules into line. Real year over year depreciation is a more realistic method. Forcing your neighbor to pay for your vehicle purchase does not change real TCO. The fact that someone else is taking a hit and contributing to TCO does make it a non-cost.

Another clever approach Consumer Reports used to get the results they obtained was in what they decided not to include in their TCO analysis.

"This analysis focuses on model year 2020 and 2021 BEVs and PHEVs. It brings together depreciation, financing, fuel, and repair and maintenance costs, and compares them with similar ICE vehicles. It does not include other vehicle ownership costs, such as sales or property taxes, registration fees, and insurance."

Edit: My neighbor reasoned that while camping, the purpose was the destinations and places of interest. A quick overnight stay as an intermediate imposed on him due to journey fatigue did not fit the goal and should be considered an inconvenience.

I think various incentives should be included if they in fact exist. Given that more incentives are regularly being announced, including in the US, ignoring them seems somewhat blind. One could always turn a rebate down if it offended one's principles. But to not include them would be like using what one thought should be the price of something, instead of what the price actually was. Unrealistic IMO.

And of course, some of us live in places that don't have those same incentives. I received no incentive on my BEV due to the purchase price cap for the incentives here. I chose not to purchase a lower cost vehicle that would have had a significant incentive applied.

My error on insurance rates. I have multiple TCO analysis reports open. For reference, I didn't see an increase in my insurance rate with a BEV over the previous ICE vehicles I had (same vehicle class) The vehicle value changed, the vehicle safety features (and available insurance premium credits for those features) changed, the net didn't.

If your neighbour doesn't value the stays along the way, that is certainly their prerogative to consider those as an inconvenience. Personally, I travel for the trip, not the destination. I find lots of places of interest along the way. If it was only about the destination, I would be more likely to use a vacation home instead of a travel trailer. YMMV.

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl (Post 2460353)
I think various incentives should be included if they in fact exist. Given that more incentives are regularly being announced, including in the US, ignoring them seems somewhat blind. One could always turn a rebate down if it offended one's principles. But to not include them would be like using what one thought should be the price of something, instead of what the price actually was. Unrealistic IMO.

I don't suggest ignoring subsidies in making decisions. But they don't reduce the total cost of a good or service. They only change who pays that cost. Thus in calculating "Total Cost" it is an error to remove part of the cost. To call them a rebate is also misleading as a rebate is a reduction in the price of a good. A subsidy is a shift in who pays the cost. The actual price is the total cost not the actual price minus the subsidy. It is unrealistic to describe a subsidy as a cost savings, it is a cost shift to your neighbor.

Quote:

If your neighbour doesn't value the stays along the way, that is certainly their prerogative to consider those as an inconvenience. Personally, I travel for the trip, not the destination. I find lots of places of interest along the way. If it was only about the destination, I would be more likely to use a vacation home instead of a travel trailer. YMMV.
The extra stays are a direct result and consequence of the vehicle choice. It is part of the cost of owning and using that vehicle. If you find a non-monetary value to justify the cost, it goes in the derived value column but you don't subtract it from the cost column. Very similar to how subsidies are properly treated. No change in total cost but a bonus for people who don't mind that their neighbors are forced to pay for part of their purchase.

jcl 02-12-2021 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460370)
I don't suggest ignoring subsidies in making decisions. But they don't reduce the total cost of a good or service. They only change who pays that cost. Thus in calculating "Total Cost" it is an error to remove part of the cost. To call them a rebate is also misleading as a rebate is a reduction in the price of a good. A subsidy is a shift in who pays the cost. The actual price is the total cost not the actual price minus the subsidy. It is unrealistic to describe a subsidy as a cost savings, it is a cost shift to your neighbor.

I used the broad term "incentives" IIRC. The programs we are referring to reduce the price to the consumer. The analysis in this thread title is about the tow vehicle cost of ownership, and it seems obvious to me that we are talking about the cost to the owner. Thus any effective price reduction is relevant, however it comes about, if the owner doing the calculation benefits from it.

If I follow your argument, you would prefer that any discussion of vehicle purchase not include any discounts offered by dealers, manufacturers, or whatever, because they don't reduce the original price, just the purchase price. You could go to all those threads asking about discounts from MSRP and point out that they aren't really discounts. The manufacturer or dealer is paying them, so that appears to be a shift of the burden to your neighbour.

If you want to talk about societal costs, not individual costs, then perhaps you should start a new thread. We could include all the externalities that aren't currently priced into many vehicle purchase decisions. I suspect it would get political very quickly.

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 02:26 PM

I began the thread and used the term "Total Cost of Ownership" and I can tell you I meant all of the costs, not just the part of the cost the consumer pays. Again value derived by consumers who enjoy burdening their friends and neighbors with part of their purchase cost goes in the derived value column.

Discounts offered by the dealer go into the final agreed price and is included in the TCO analysis as part of the formula for determining average price paid. So unlike subsidies, they will figure into the total cost of ownership. There is no intrinsic value involved in the discount, nothing of net value changes hands as a result of the discount. With subsidies monetary transfers occur, and that is one way to determine if something truly fits being called a subsidy. The formula is pretty easy and is all covered in Economics 101. I find your mental gymnastics cute how you suggest a discount or sale price is somehow forced on your neighbor like a tax.

I'm not interested in delineating and assigning costs to various parties, I am interested in "Total Cost" as the title indicates.

Edit: I would be happy to include costs of "externalities" if they are real, but be prepared because that is a two way street.

DewTheDew 02-12-2021 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460400)
I began the thread and used the term "Total Cost of Ownership" and I can tell you I meant all of the costs, not just the part of the cost the consumer pays. Again value derived by consumers who enjoy burdening their friends and neighbors with part of their purchase cost goes in the derived value column.

Discounts offered by the dealer go into the final agreed price and is included in the TCO analysis as part of the formula for determining average price paid. So unlike subsidies, they will figure into the total cost of ownership. There is no intrinsic value involved in the discount, nothing of net value changes hands as a result of the discount. With subsidies monetary transfers occur, and that is one way to determine if something truly fits being called a subsidy. The formula is pretty easy and is all covered in Economics 101. I find your mental gymnastics cute how you suggest a discount or sale price is somehow forced on your neighbor like a tax.

I'm not interested in delineating and assigning costs to various parties, I am interested in "Total Cost" as the title indicates.

Edit: I would be happy to include costs of "externalities" if they are real, but be prepared because that is a two way street.

don't forget the cost of global warming and health concerns from pollution for ICE vehicles, of course. And the tax incentives for oil exploration and other fossil fuel incentives. That's why it doesn't make sense to include all of this; because it is so difficult to put a number on. If you drive a more fuel efficient vehicle and few miles than your neighbor, then they are paying for your roads as well. It just seems like an unnecessary rabbit hole because the numbers are so vague.

jcl 02-12-2021 02:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460400)
I began the thread and used the term "Total Cost of Ownership" and I can tell you I meant all of the costs, not just the part of the cost the consumer pays. Again value derived by consumers who enjoy burdening their friends and neighbors with part of their purchase cost goes in the derived value column.

If the cost of ownership you referred to isn't about the cost born by the owner, then I suggest the thread has little value. It appears to be a way to have a political/economic discussion without using the word politics.

Also wondering why, in your original post in this thread, you referred to "his costs" for your neighbour, when you didn't mean just his.

DewTheDew 02-12-2021 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl (Post 2460403)
If the cost of ownership you referred to isn't about the cost born by the owner, then I suggest the thread has little value. It appears to be a way to have a political/economic discussion without using the word politics.

Also wondering why, in your original post in this thread, you referred to "his costs" for your neighbour, when you didn't mean just his.

I agree. Especially if you are adding "inconvenience fees" because you camp at a place that is not your final destination.

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl (Post 2460403)
If the cost of ownership you referred to isn't about the cost born by the owner, then I suggest the thread has little value. It appears to be a way to have a political/economic discussion without using the word politics.

Also wondering why, in your original post in this thread, you referred to "his costs" for your neighbour, when you didn't mean just his.

Total cost is one piece of the puzzle, and so is derived value. Value though is much more subjective and individual so I won't attempt it. I don't begrudge anyone for how they derive their value drivers and they will be in a good spot to compare total cost to derived value for each option. if they are willing to choose an option with a $25k premium because they get $50k more derived value from that option, great! This analysis helped make their decision more objective.

Several posters have commented that the only thing that matters is the value side, and quit worrying about the cost side. I don't subscribe to that idea as I think everything is important.

The value or utility of this thread is also described in the original post which is to address the common perception that diesel vehicles are more costly, to discuss the peer reviewed papers that concluded diesel vehicles have a lower total lifecycle cost, and relate it to towing using my neighbors example. I did not insert any political components in the threads purpose.

I believe I used the term his costs since the example fit his specific analysis which was not intended by him to fit the general case.

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DewTheDew (Post 2460402)
don't forget the cost of global warming and health concerns from pollution for ICE vehicles, of course. And the tax incentives for oil exploration and other fossil fuel incentives. That's why it doesn't make sense to include all of this; because it is so difficult to put a number on. If you drive a more fuel efficient vehicle and few miles than your neighbor, then they are paying for your roads as well. It just seems like an unnecessary rabbit hole because the numbers are so vague.

Fictitious numbers are very hard to derive, but if they are real, then they are less challenging. I'd be happy to include any real numbers that contribute to the total cost. Suggest the item and we can talk about if it is a real cost and what that cost is.

edit: as I suggested to jcl, if you find value in making additional intermediate overnight stays you can figure the value you get for those stays and drop them in your value column.

jcl 02-12-2021 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460421)
I believe I used the term his costs since the example fit his specific analysis which was not intended by him to fit the general case.

Great, so his costs, not John Doe's costs. Got it.

That is where we started in this thread.

You now say you want to include all costs, not just those that your neighbour that you provided the example of, pays. Is that identified in the original post? What does it even mean?

Is this an example of what you have previously termed "moving the goal posts?"

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 04:11 PM

Since the original intent is intact even though one can pretend to not understand, moving the goalpost would not apply. For the literalist, I suppose I should have said "for his specific situation". I guess I owe you some gratitude for helping me with my english lessons, so thanks for that.

Did you have any additional cost items I might suggest he add?

jcl 02-12-2021 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460435)
Did you have any additional cost items I might suggest he add?

No, because given the specific way in which you and he are addressing costs, I see little utility in the calculation for myself, or others. Post #72.

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 05:06 PM

It can be bitter to have to include all costs, including the ones you don't want to include in a "Total Cost" analysis so I can understand your loss of interest.

jcl 02-12-2021 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460454)
It can be bitter to have to include all costs, including the ones you don't want to include in a "Total Cost" analysis so I can understand your loss of interest.

It is not at all bitter, I am not clear why you would conclude that.

My lack of interest in helping you answer your original question re why this analysis didn’t match up to conventional wisdom, is because we can’t comment on the analysis. You won’t show it to us. How many miles per year, things like that, all the base assumptions. We learned things along the way, as you disclosed some details, such as the neighbour ignoring manufacturers oil change intervals to close the maintenance cost gap for the diesel; that overnight stops are a cost when camping and not the purpose of the trip; and that all costs are being considered, not just those borne by the owner directly. Also, apparently some total costs elements are fictitious, but we don’t know which ones those are. We don’t know what other items you and he included that aren't based on generally accepted principles for such analysis.

This all leads to the conclusion that there is little value for the community in proving out this analysis. It is unlikely to be of benefit others.

And that is even before we get to a full cost analysis, including things like particulate emissions and deaths attributed to that. See the latest Harvard study. It reported deaths, so you will have to assign a value to life for your various options.

Prettygood 02-12-2021 05:52 PM

Tri-motor Cybertruck for the win. [emoji3]

wulfraat 02-12-2021 06:31 PM

Tow Vehicle Total Cost of Ownership
 
Holly smokes is this thread about camping and retirement or theoretical macro economics? [emoji4]

I’m not ready to retire yet but BayouBiker I bet your neighbor will really enjoy every minute traveling and enjoying the fruits of their labor in their new airstream.

This weekend I’m thinking about heading out for some backcountry skiing, or maybe take the trailer out for some camping with my daughter. Or maybe both - we’ll see.

What are you guys getting up to? Any camping in the near future?

jcl 02-12-2021 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prettygood (Post 2460469)
Tri-motor Cybertruck for the win. [emoji3]

Probably. For those that want a BEV pickup, there aren’t many alternatives yet. Ford’s battery supply is in question for the F150. Apart from Tesla, others haven’t proven they can ramp production yet. But the CT is pretty polarizing. I can’t deal with the angles, or the width, but I wish them well. My preference would be a Model S Plaid with the new 4680 batteries. It would have sufficient towing range, and could pull a Globetrotter 23 or 27 beautifully. I don’t need the 200 mph or 2 second 0-60, so if they put that battery pack in another vehicle, like a Model Y AWD LR+, even better.

Until they do, Cybertruck FTW!

jcl 02-12-2021 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wulfraat (Post 2460481)

What are you guys getting up to? Any camping in the near future?

No travel or social visits here. Pandemic. A bike ride tomorrow. Despite the -6C before wind chill.

Hopefully travel by July.

wulfraat 02-12-2021 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl;
No travel or social visits here. Pandemic. A bike ride tomorrow. Despite the -6C before wind chill.

Hopefully travel by July.

Grew up in Montreal road cyclist since the age of 8. Booties, mitts and a balaclava for winter rides no doubt!

Coroado is sweet. Ski up in the mountains in the morning, ride on the front range in the afternoon!

Now maybe I will alter my plans and ride instead of ski tomorrow. Just a light covering of snow on the ground should be gone by noon ;)

Stay warm!

BayouBiker 02-12-2021 09:09 PM

Thus far in this thread we've looked at and were not able to invalidate one of the available peer reviewed university studies showing diesel vehicle total cost lower. We reviewed several non peer review studies that contradicted the Michigan paper but invalidated all but one of those. We didn't have access to the detailed methods and data for the remaining one and it only slightly contradicted the Michigan conclusions. Though the introduction and description provided some clues that might explain the differences, still we had to set it aside as it is unusable at present since the results cannot be verified.

So the general cases presented in the peer reviewed paper from Michigan seems to be holding up though jcl alluded to failure to include pollution costs, having made a reference to particulate matter. Modern diesel vehicle engines equipped with particle filters emit 10 times fewer particulate matter than gasoline engines so if we were able to assign a cost to particulate pollution, it would further aid the case for diesel. At this time no other objections have been raised for the general case.

My neighbor attempted to include an evaluation of hybrid and electric vehicles also and in the case of electric vehicles he added a cost for journey delays due to lost time for charging while on the road. jcl suggested government subsidies should constitute a reduction in total cost, however that is incorrect since it is a payment made by the government not a price reduction from the seller so total cost is unchanged, instead the subsidy adds to the value side of the equation for those individuals who like the idea of their neighbors being compelled to contribute to the purchase.

In the original post, I wondered what items might be missing from these studies that would lead to the conclusion that is different than the prevailing opinion here on the forum that diesel vehicles cost more. If pollution costs are missing it would be difficult to show that gasoline engines are cleaner than diesel so it may not be worth the trouble. If someone thinks pollution costs are enough to favor electric vehicles and the costs should be included, we would also have to include the cost of lithium mining pollution and the other real consequences of electricity generation.

So this is where it stands, as of now the prevailing opinion on this forum that diesel vehicles are a costly extravagance appears to be false.

wulfraat 02-12-2021 09:23 PM

Q.E.D.

Nice.

StrangeDaze 02-12-2021 10:52 PM

Man...

I read thru all that.. and I came away with the impression that some folks need some perspective on why they own the airstream, and enjoy the RV lifestyle.

No one does this exactly the same.. some of you will choose diesel.. and save. Some of you will choose gas and save.

Personally, I didn't buy an airstream to "save". I could have bought 3+ RV trailers of similar size, full loaded (but of obviously lesser build quality) for the price of our AS.

Personally, I didn't buy an F250 with a diesel and other options to "save".. but to enjoy.

What is the price you put on your ability to drive from Denver to Grand Junction without having to struggle? Or run your engine at 4500 rpm for the next few hours? Or across Nebraska with the winds pushing you around?

Thats a question that each of you answer differently, and the "cost" or "savings" is based on unique answers to unique questions.

My "time" is worth a lot. My wife's time is worth even more. If we spend an extra 2-3 days on the road per year going slower in a less powerful/capable truck in order to "save" on gas, we lost more on income from those wasted days. Thats our equation.

The cost of diesel is worth it to have the power that diesel gives you. Its not apples an apples. Gas will pull your AS.. true. Diesel will as well. But they are not equal.

In light of the current uncertainty in fuel prices moving forward.. its very possible that those concerned about saving money will find gas prices and diesel prices being a toss up... with premium gas already higher than diesel.

But at the end of the day.. I understand being budget minded. Not being overly wasteful.. sure. But none of us chose AS because we wanted to save money.

So buy the truck you want.. with the engine that suits your abilities and your driving habits... and stop sweating it.

I mean.. hehe... honestly.. most of us could recoup the cost of fuel filters, DEF and an oil change just by passing up a few restaurants on the trip, and eating sandwiches out of a cooler instead. No thanks! I will enjoy the taco's...

OTRA15 02-12-2021 11:17 PM

Welcome to the forum . . . and to some strange daze in deed. [sic]

jcl 02-13-2021 02:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wulfraat (Post 2460521)
Q.E.D.

Nice.

Based on BB's last post, it might appear so. That would probably be a mistake.

Of course, if one wants a certain product, the financial analysis doesn't matter. But if you got this far, read on....

Using more current data than the 2013 study from the U of Michigan TRI, one would come to the opposite conclusion. I used the 2018 report from Vincentric. BB didn't appear to value that one, as it is from a research company and not an academic institution. BB appears to value peer review, but it would be more valuable if we could see the peer review comments. I didn't have them. And I am not entirely comfortable with the UM TRI study being a paid study, funded by Bosch, as part of their Clean Diesel marketing campaign. (note: Bosch was claiming that diesels cleaned the air as they drove, and the study was weighted towards VW and Audi vehicles using Bosch diesel injection equipment. Bosch paid $100m in fines in the ensuing scandals.)

However, leaving Bosch aside, and focusing on the UM TRI report, in the references, note that it was Vincentric they used as their data source for much of their report. One can compare previous year studies by Vincentric with the older UM TRI report to see how they compare.

The Vincentric site lists their methods, and shows gas vs diesel comparisons for TCO. They are using very similar methodology. They also talk about what changed from 2014 to 2018 with diesel vs gas TCO. It was primarily the fuel efficiency of the new gas engines. Readers can decide if they think that is a valid comment or not based on their own experience.

I would note that it isn't a case of invalidating the older study. Models aren't right or wrong, as much as they are useful or not. For BB's primary study, if you are purchasing a new 2013 vehicle, own your pickup for 3 or 5 years, sell it at auction, pay the national average fuel price, and drive the standard average annual mileage, then it is fine. One thing that may be missing from the UM TRI study is opportunity cost, as noted by another poster above. Vincentric lists it as an element of their model.

Externalities such as particulates weren't considered, they were part of a discussion above about BEV vs ICE, not about diesel vs gas. Similarly, there is no point in getting into whether different forms of price discounts matter or not. Personally, I would use the net purchase price I paid. If one wants to use a higher price and stack the analysis because of a philosophical objection to price discounts, go for it.

Newer data will provide more value to the reader, as will data specific to the user (local fuel prices, actual or planned annual mileage, etc)

If one drives more than the average mileage used in the study, then the fuel efficiency of one model over another matters more. This is entirely consistent with the general consensus on the forum that if one is putting a lot of miles on, then a diesel can make financial sense.

For those wanting to review the Vincentric data, or see their calculators, it is here:

https://www.vincentric.com/Default.aspx

Use the About Us/Data tab to see where the data comes from.

Use the Industry Reports (US or Canada) to find interactive calculators on ownership costs, fees, taxes, etc. Also their 2018 Diesel Analysis (Gas vs Diesel by vehicle class, showing TCO)

The above will help you to build your own model with your own use data.

Best Value awards (by vehicle class) shows 2020 winners for TCO.

Note that most of the more recent data requires signing up, but the 2018 diesel data is fairly recent, and accessible.

BayouBiker 02-13-2021 05:55 AM

The Michigan study is peer reviewed. The precise methods and all data is provided so the study can be replicated and validated. The Vincentric Report used proprietary Statistical methods that were undisclosed with no way to validate or repeat. No raw data was offered , no details of their approach was provided. Even then conclusions were not completely opposite, that is an overreach. It was unfortunate that Vincentric did not provide a way to demonstrate their conclusions were valid. I wonder what they did that was different? The vague description of thier approach, methods and data does not provide enough information to repeat the work. Did they compare apples to apples? Did their statistical methods bias the results? Did they tweak the depreciation schedules or use a statistical model to arrive at fuel costs differently? We don't know. There are other peer reviewed studies consistent with the Michigan conclusions. No studies that reveal their methods have been offered that contradict it. It is a curious thing for someone to dismiss a study that can be tested and validated but accept and promote one on faith that cannot.

So we have a study that is testable and not shown to be in error concluding diesel vehicles are more cost effective than the same vehicle with a gasoline engine.

jcl suggested adding social costs of pollution. The diesel is now much cleaner than gasoline so inclusion will further favor diesel. Price discounts offered by the seller of course figure into total costs. Costs paid by a third party (your neighbors in the form of mandated taxes) don't change the selling price or the total product cost it only shifts who is requited to pay those costs. It certainly counts on the individual value side if you are one who enjoys the idea of having authority force others to pay a portion of of your vehicle's cost. Externalities including pollution costs are treated the same, where the cost for pollution is borne by society and nature, not the vehicle owner, and yet jcl sees no inconsistency in suggesting pollution is a cost but the other not. Again the inconsistency or double standard is currious.

Given the terrible consequences of lithium mining and refining to the environment, animals, and humans, it is difficult to see how electric vehicles have a lower pollution cost than modern diesel vehicles. Particularly when we consider the additional consequences of modern electricity generation along with modern petroleum production and refining. But we can test this idea without too much difficulty.

If someone can find where I am being inconsistent or where a peer reviewed, repeatable and verifiable report is inconsistent, I'd like to hear about it. Otherwise, rules of the scientific method demand the conclusion I offer that diesel vehicles are generally more cost effective than the same gasoline version and will likely remain that way in the sort term. More speculative due to large future uncertainties, but very likely true is that EVs in the short term (next 5-7 years) will remain the most costly, particularly for towing.

jcl 02-13-2021 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460562)
The Michigan study is peer reviewed. The precise methods and all data is provided so the study can be replicated and validated. The Vincentric Report used proprietary Statistical methods that were undisclosed with no way to validate or repeat. No raw data was offered , no details of their approach was provided. Even then conclusions were not completely opposite, that is an overreach. It was unfortunate that Vincentric did not provide a way to demonstrate their conclusions were valid. I wonder what they did that was different? The vague description of their approach, methods and data does not provide enough information to repeat the work. Did they compare apples to apples? Did their statistical methods bias the results? Did they tweak the depreciation schedules or use a statistical model to arrive at fuel costs differently? We don't know. There are other peer reviewed studies consistent with the Michigan conclusions. No studies that reveal their methods have been offered that contradict it. It is a curious thing for someone to dismiss a study that can be tested and validated but accept and promote one on faith that cannot.

So we have a study that is testable and not shown to be in error concluding diesel vehicles are more cost effective than the same vehicle with a gasoline engine.

<red herring on pollution costs in a BEV comparison snipped>

<red herring on lithium mining, unrelated to gas vs diesel, snipped>

If someone can find where I am being inconsistent or where a peer reviewed, repeatable and verifiable report is inconsistent, I'd like to hear about it. Otherwise, rules of the scientific method demand the conclusion I offer that diesel vehicles are generally more cost effective than the same gasoline version and will likely remain that way in the sort term.

The two Michigan studies appear to have been removed from the UM TRI website. They show up in a search of that site, but are no longer available. They don't explain why that is. The study was in support of a product claim that was determined to be false, and was paid for by a sponsor that was found guilty of fraud related to that claim (clean diesel). The study lead author is no longer with the university, but is running a private economic analysis firm. The other appears to be listed as a biostatistician. Certainly the 2013 study is available on internet archive sites, where I found it.

I wondered if the report had been pulled at the request of the sponsor, perhaps as part of a settlement agreement, or maybe just because the sponsor announced their exit from that line of business. They are now focusing on hybrid and BEV drives, per news reports. An old study on how "clean" diesel was going to take over the North American market for passenger vehicles may have been inconvenient.

Peer review can matter. A review of the peers can help determine if it was a solid peer review or a pay for review. Please forward a list of the reviewers if you have it. Otherwise, the phrase "peer reviewed" means little.

If we are looking at peer review details, we should also look at citations for the original paper. I saw only 7, and none of them referenced the report in further research on TCO, or economic data of gas vs diesel. If we are to put all our faith in this one paper, then it would be good to know if other researchers did as well.

The Michigan report relied on Vincentric data. If you want to call it "tortured statistics" well, OK then, but that applies to the Michigan report as well.

The contrary conclusion was whether a diesel pickup had a lower TCO over a five year term compared to a gas powered pickup. It is either yes, or no. Seems very possible to call it opposite. In fact, the Vincentric study wasn't even close, for pickups. They looked at 324 models avaialable in gas and diesel. It wasn't a split. It was 324 to 0.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vincentric 2018 Diesel Analysis
The 419 available diesel vehicles were categorized into four types: Passenger Cars (23 diesels), SUV/Crossovers (22 diesels), Trucks (324 diesels), and Vans (50 diesels). While virtually all diesel vans were cost-effective, none of the diesel trucks could make that claim.

It isn't at all curious to dismiss a study, if a study wasn't in fact dismissed. You are fishing here. If an individual has the same input conditions as the study, as I listed them, then the study would be fine. That isn't a dismissal. Dismissal sounds like your other word, refute.

Again, models aren't so much right or wrong, as they are useful or not.

I suggested that if one is going out now and purchasing a 2013 vehicle, new, and selling it at auction, and purchasing fuel at 2013 prices (there are more conditions, but you get the drift) then the study would be more useful as a decision support tool, but if one is considering a vehicle purchase now, the MR TRI study isn't as useful as an analysis that uses current data. Especially when both models use the same source data for other than fuel price and vehicle purchase/disposal costs, and the interested observer is able to input their own values there instead of relying on the averages used in the models.

You are doing the opposite, putting all your eggs in the 2013 analysis basket, and to use your phrase, tossing the other studies in the bin.

You asked about other weaknesses in the study, and I would point to the UM TRI study's lack of consideration of the opportunity cost, the lack of inclusion of financing cost, and the study's method of determining purchase price. Again, those weaknesses don't make the study wrong. If a purchaser has unlimited capital, no alternative investment opportunity, and purchases vehicles at the prices used in the report, then the report will probably serve them well, or at least better than someone who is not in that situation.

I don't know why the UM TRI study used those assumptions, and whether it was the author's decision or that of their funding sponsor. They don't seem like real world assumptions.

Your second to last sentence just needs the addition of some qualifiers: In 2013, some diesel vehicles were found to have a lower TCO than their gasoline equivalents, given a particular set of assumptions, and this has not been demonstrated to have changed, and likely won't be shown to have changed, as the commercial entity promoting this position has exited the business segment.

jcl 02-13-2021 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460562)
jcl suggested adding social costs of pollution.

No, that is incorrect. We are discussion gas vs diesel now, or at least I thought we were. My suggestion of particulate emissions was to explore what you meant, in response to your request to include all costs, not just the ones borne directly by the owner, after you disclosed the inclusion of what another poster elegantly labelled "inconvenience fees" for your inclusion of costs if one had to camp on the way to the final destination, camping on the journey being a negative impact on a camping trip if one is solely focused on the destination. The layover was prompted by the range of the BEV tow vehicle.

We could get into the health impacts of diesel vs gas emissions if you like, but that will make this thread much longer. You were the OP, so your call.

jcl 02-13-2021 02:18 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460562)

Given the terrible consequences of lithium mining and refining to the environment, animals, and humans, it is difficult to see how electric vehicles have a lower pollution cost than modern diesel vehicles. Particularly when we consider the additional consequences of modern electricity generation along with modern petroleum production and refining.

Well, we are all over the place in a TCO discussion about diesel vs gas, but it is your thread, so let's go with it.

Have you been to a lithium mine? Do you distinguish between mining on the salar, or salt flats vs hard rock mining? What is your assessment of brine methods? What is your assessment of the consequences of fossil fuel mining and refining (and let's add fossil fuel storage, transport, and burning while we are at it) to the environment, animals, and humans? Lots of studies available. Peer reviewed ones as well.

The fundamental difference is that lithium is used, and not consumed. Lithium can be a component of a BEV battery pack and function for many years. Then it can be recycled. You should focus on cobalt, at least until new battery chemistries eliminate it.

Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are consumed. And not cleanly.

Photo of a lithium mine, one of my customers. That is my Expedition.

Your suggestion that BEVs have a higher pollution cost than modern diesel vehicles is patently absurd.

BayouBiker 02-13-2021 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl (Post 2460736)
The two Michigan studies appear to have been removed from the UM TRI website. They show up in a search of that site, but are no longer available. They don't explain why that is. The study was in support of a product claim that was determined to be false, and was paid for by a sponsor that was found guilty of fraud related to that claim (clean diesel). The study lead author is no longer with the university, but is running a private economic analysis firm. The other appears to be listed as a biostatistician. Certainly the 2013 study is available on internet archive sites, where I found it.

I wondered if the report had been pulled at the request of the sponsor, perhaps as part of a settlement agreement, or maybe just because the sponsor announced their exit from that line of business. They are now focusing on hybrid and BEV drives, per news reports. An old study on how "clean" diesel was going to take over the North American market for passenger vehicles may have been inconvenient.

I find it disappointing that you would misrepresent the drivers for Bosch's roll in the VW dieselgate affair. That you would falsely associate it to a completely different claim and then tarnish University of Michigan using the logical fallacy of guilt by association. This is what you did to me previously with a link I provided and this is why I did not provide links to my sources this time. At least you're consistent and I am justified for being cautious. Let me remind people I did not suggest this source, you offered it and I accepted it because the paper and the conclusions are valid and remain valid despite the "guilt by association" fallacy. When you can't address the substance, attack the source, very nice....

Bosch was not found to have committed fraud for making claims of low NOx technology. The UM study had nothing to do with promoting low NOx technology Bosch was fined because it was learned that they knew of VWs plans to cheat emission laws and did not disclose that knowledge, that's it.

Quote:

The Michigan report relied on Vincentric data. If you want to call it "tortured statistics" well, OK then, but that applies to the Michigan report as well.
Data is data. Tortured statistics speaks to the methods and manipulation of that data. The Vincentric report cannot be falsified and cannot be verified so it's pointless to defend it.

Quote:

You are doing the opposite, putting all your eggs in the 2013 analysis basket, and to use your phrase, tossing the other studies in the bin.
No, I have two other peer reviewed studies coming to the same conclusion, so I have several baskets. The faulty studies like Consumer Reports and the non-falsifiable studies like Vincentric get tossed.

Quote:

You asked about other weaknesses in the study, and I would point to the UM TRI study's lack of consideration of the opportunity cost, the lack of inclusion of financing cost, and the study's method of determining purchase price. Again, those weaknesses don't make the study wrong. If a purchaser has unlimited capital, no alternative investment opportunity, and purchases vehicles at the prices used in the report, then the report will probably serve them well, or at least better than someone who is not in that situation.

I don't know why the UM TRI study used those assumptions, and whether it was the author's decision or that of their funding sponsor. They don't seem like real world assumptions.
Inclusion of finance costs or opportunity cost would be a double dip. Finance costs is not a component of the vehicle cost, it is the premium for early availability of a future cash flow. No error was made, including it would be an error. Adjusting the result to dollars of the day does involve adding interest otherwise it not done. The analysis used inflation schedules to put everything into the same basis so addition of opportunity cost is a double dip. It is a clever trick though.

Edit: I don't see any reason to estimate pollution costs as they will just improve the margin for diesel. Since you also are not suggesting it, I'm okay to let it go.

jcl 02-13-2021 04:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460781)
Bosch was not found to have committed fraud for making claims of low NOx technology. The UM study had nothing to do with promoting low NOx technology Bosch was fined because it was learned that they knew of VWs plans to cheat emission laws and did not disclose that knowledge, that's it.

And they delivered to VW software and controllers that contained the defeat devices that are at the root of the whole fiasco.

Bosch Clean Diesel was a marketing campaign from 2013. It was designed to convince North American vehicle buyers that the new diesels being offered were clean. The study under discussion was a promotion of that Clean Diesel campaign. The phrase clean diesel was used 26 times in the report. Even if nobody followed the results, they got to hear the phrase clean diesel over and over.

But clean diesel turned out to be a false promise. The residual effect of the campaign is that there are some around who believe that modern diesels are in fact a clean technology. The manufacturers gave it up. They knew a lost cause when they saw one.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460781)
No, I have two other peer reviewed studies coming to the same conclusion, so I have several baskets. The faulty studies like Consumer Reports and the non-falsifiable studies like Vincentric get tossed.

More mystery studies. No links. No clues as to what they contain. Yet you proudly proclaim conclusions based on them.

You apparently didn't like the accusations of cherry picking last time. What you are doing here is arbitrarily selecting studies that confirm your position. That is the definition of cherry picking. Your defence appears to be "I didn't name the studies I used, so you can't accuse me of cherry picking"

It is an interesting approach. I don't think it leaves you looking very good, but take a run at it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460781)
Inclusion of finance costs or opportunity cost would be a double dip. Finance costs is not a component of the vehicle cost, it is the premium for early availability of a future cash flow. No error was made, including it would be an error. Adjusting the result to dollars of the day does involve adding interest otherwise it not done. The analysis used inflation schedules to put everything into the same basis so addition of opportunity cost is a double dip.

Your explanation isn't clear.

It is a pretty simple concept in a TCO analysis. If you take the purchase price, the disposal price, and the regular outlays for maintenance, fuel, etc, and they all occur at the same time, then you don't need to consider it. But if they occur at different times (at the front end, at the back end, or throughout the term) and those times differ between vehicles being compared, then you need to account for the time value of money.

An economist would do that.

BayouBiker 02-13-2021 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcl (Post 2460800)
And they delivered to VW software and controllers that contained the defeat devices that are at the root of the whole fiasco.

Bosch Clean Diesel was a marketing campaign from 2013. It was designed to convince North American vehicle buyers that the new diesels being offered were clean. The study under discussion was a promotion of that Clean Diesel campaign. The phrase clean diesel was used 26 times in the report. Even if nobody followed the results, they got to hear the phrase clean diesel over and over.

But clean diesel turned out to be a false promise. The residual effect of the campaign is that there are some around who believe that modern diesels are in fact a clean technology. The manufacturers gave it up. They knew a lost cause when they saw one.

Again none of this has any relevance to the conclusion. With the inclusion of particle filters and DEF, Clean Diesel is an appropriate descriptor. Again no fraud involved in Bosch's slogans from 2013 so your deception falls flat. As a point of order, their claim of very low NOx technology was not made in 2012-2013, it was introduced in 2018. Clean Diesel is a term still in use. The study remains valid.


Quote:

More mystery studies. No links. No clues as to what they contain. Yet you proudly proclaim conclusions based on them.
Nope the conclusions of this thread rest on the evidence from study you offered. My own claim is that I don't put all my eggs in one basket. Attempts to discredit UM by creating a false narrative about Bosch and assigning guilt by association validates my caution to not also be discredited as I was the last link I provided where I was falsely accused of subscribing to conspiracy theories due to a cross link. Fool me once....

Quote:

You apparently didn't like the accusations of cherry picking last time. What you are doing here is arbitrarily selecting studies that confirm your position. That is the definition of cherry picking. Your defence appears to be "I didn't name the studies I used, so you can't accuse me of cherry picking"

It is an interesting approach. I don't think it leaves you looking very good, but take a run at it.
I'm happy to use any study that can be replicated, tested and checked for accuracy. I will address the content and substance if the author provides the means to do so. I won't shoot the messenger, use deception, or assign guilt by association. I think that's a good look

Quote:

Your explanation isn't clear.

It is a pretty simple concept in a TCO analysis. If you take the purchase price, the disposal price, and the regular outlays for maintenance, fuel, etc, and they all occur at the same time, then you don't need to consider it. But if they occur at different times (at the front end, at the back end, or throughout the term) and those times differ between vehicles being compared, then you need to account for the time value of money.

An economist would do that.
The economists at UM and peer reviewers must have given the authors good advice in that regard. Since they did there is no reason to double dip by adding finance charges or "opportunity costs" as you had suggested. But it is a clever deception.

So, I have no knowledge of any falsifiable studies that contradicts this one and since I don't, I'm happy to stop here. If someone has a study that can be checked for accuracy I would love to hear about it.

jcl 02-13-2021 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460809)
Again none of this has any relevance to the conclusion. With the inclusion of particle filters and DEF, Clean Diesel is an appropriate descriptor. Again no fraud involved in Bosch's slogans from 2013 so your deception falls flat. As a point of order, their claim of very low NOx technology was not made in 2012-2013, it was introduced in 2018. Clean Diesel is a term still in use. The study remains valid.

You are demonstrating that you may have drank the koolaid.

The term “clean diesel” was applied to engine technology. The current use tends to describe the fuel. The engine manufacturers moved on. The fuel providers are selling to an installed base. They have years to run yet.

It occurs to me that you may not have been aware that “clean diesel” was an engine marketing campaign at the time the study was done. You appear to be interpreting it literally

You are completely free to do so. It is just unfortunate that you are actively working to serve the koolaid to others.

jcl 02-13-2021 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouBiker (Post 2460809)
....no fraud involved in Bosch's slogans from 2013 so your deception falls flat.

My deception?

The following link isn’t a scientific article. It is posted to provide historical context. Essentially, the world recognized years ago that “clean diesel” was an oxymoron. Well, most of the world, certainly the automakers, and their Tier 1 suppliers.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/o...an-diesel.html

kscherzi 02-13-2021 07:04 PM

If the government could collect a dime for every post JCL and Bayoubiker make debating the merits of diesel trucks, the federal debt could be paid off! :lol::)

I would calculate total cost of ownership by comparing price of Airstream less resale divided by nights camped. Of course resale is an estimate until its actually sold. With over 450 nights camped in my trailer purchased new in 2013, I'm at about $25 per night. Add in another $25 average paid for campsites and its about $50/night. Cheaper than a motel, and in many nicer places. Truck is what it is, it fits in my garage, a F150 ecoboost. Averaged 13.7 mpg on a 2,700 round trip to Arizona and back, I'm okay with that.

It was sunny with a high of 62 degrees today, think I'll drive up the hill to the snow near Tahoe and let the dog for a run while I'm in snowshoes tomorrow. Just got another foot of fresh snow. Taking the trailer to the local Indian Casino RV park in a couple weeks.


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