Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Jump Freighter Fuel Economy

Disclaimer and Note:
I'm sorry about the use of the pictures instead of tables within this post. I'm not au fait with HTML so didn't know how to add the tables manually as the WYSIWYG editor didn't have a table insertion function

All values and details were gathered from publically available sources via EVEMon, EVE Central and EVE Online Wiki. Additional information from Glevon Goblin and my own calculations.

You Learn Something New

I was reminded by a post at The Abysmal Aussie that most people know that Jump Freighters use different type of isotope as fuel but very few know that the amount of isotopes consumed per jump is not the same across each racial ship.
The actual isotope usage is (from what I can find) is:

This base consumption is per light year travelled, So a 3ly jump would use three times this value and is then modified by your skills in Jump Fuel Conservation and Jump Freighters, which means the higher you have these skills the more fuel you'll be saving which lowers the cost of each jump.

Fuel Usage Example

I've used the ICSC Jump Planner to plot the fuel usage for each Jump Freighter based on pilots with different levels of the modification skills. I wasn't able to find a system that was 1ly from another so I've used a grouping that I am familiar with and provide, what I think, is a good set of data for differing jump lengths to indicate usage:
You cannot have a 0,0 skilled pilot flying a jump freighter but these values are provided as they are the closest to the base consumption value and confirm that value.
This proves is the better your skills the more substantial your savings will be. Jumping 4.22ly with a JFC I/JF I pilot is (roughly) 3.2 times more expensive in fuel than a JFC V/JF V skilled pilot and this appears uniform over each racial jump freighter.
If you do lots of short jumps then you could get away with a JFC III/JF III skilled character as your pilot but really the minimum is a level IV for both skills. Training to Level V is time intensive (at least 2 months/60 days) but if you do a lot of jumps it is something you really need to invest in.

My Situation

I have two characters trained to fly Jump Freighters, with a third finishing Jump Drive Calibration V in about two weeks, and since training JFC V/JF V on one character the other hasn't done a single jump.
The drop in fuel usage has meant that I buy fuel once a week and still have some left over at the end of each week, the result of which is I'm slowly stockpiling through the excess. By lowering my fuel usage I've actually increased the value of what I do move.
I charge 200isk/m3 to move cargo now, when I started I was charging 300isk/m3 and that was spent on fuel with anything left over counted as profit. Now I'm running a consistent profit after fuel costs and this allows me to reinvest in more fuel so I always have enough on hand at my jump locations (not to mention Liquid Ozone for lighting cyno's)

Why Should You Care

You should care because of the price of isotopes and how they can be easily manipulated.
Average price of isotopes in Jita over a one year period (spikes indicate ice interdiction by Goons) - Graph by Glevon Goblin 
As we saw with the Goon Ice Interdictions over the past eighteen months the price of Nitrogen isotopes doubled overnight with a high being almost four times the original price within a couple of days. This made using the Rhea much more expensive and a risky gambit as gankers would and did go after ships carrying Nitrogen isotopes.
Each m3 of the Jump Freighter has a cost, jumping an empty freighter is a waste, all you're doing is burning ISK so it pays to know how much your costs are and EVE doesn't tell you in a simple manner.

Fine, but which should I buy

That's a question only you can answer, it really depends on:
  • your pilot(s) skills and what they are racially specialised in. If you can fly more than one then that opens up your options but most likely you'll be fixed to one type and the earlier.
  • isotope prices
If you have the ability to mine an isotope, or at least buy from a null sec source, then that may affect what you go for.

I have two Ark's because my characters are Amarrian however I also now have access to Hydrogen Isotopes in a couple of systems I jump too. As a result when my new character is trained he will be getting a Nomad. It isn't free to mine but it is certainly, with good mining skills, cheaper than buying in Jita.

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