After 5 1/2 years of owning my LEAF I have hit the 100,000 gas free milestone. Yoohoo!
The EV Experience.
I look forward to the next 100,000 electric miles. The car drives as well as it did when it was new. Smooth, fast and quiet. Once you’ve driven electric, you never want to go back, it’s like going from dial-up to broadband. The biggest problem I experienced was the original battery wore out prematurely requiring a major expense to replace.
In those 100,000 miles I plugged the car in 6,062 times, 762 of which were rapid charge sessions. 64% of the electricity I used came from my home, 36% from public locations. In this time I have used 31.8 Megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 20,000 homes! Sounds expensive? Not really, total cost was $2,682. Still sound expensive? Had I driven my previous car for 100,000 miles the gasoline would have cost me over $14,000. So I saved $11,598.96 over driving a gas vehicle. All things being equal I should be on target to save another $11,500 over the next 100,000 miles. This estimate of savings is as accurate as I could make it. Each month I noted the miles I drove, the amount of electricity I used to charge the LEAF, the cost of gasoline and cost of electricity. I then calculated the difference between driving the LEAF and my previous car a Chevy Classic which got 25 mpg, close to the national average fuel economy. These calculations are in a spreadsheet I created.
Have you ever been offered 51 free tanks of gas by a car dealer?
One interesting statistic is that the value of free charging I received at Nissan facilities is worth $680 in electricity enough to drive 21,831 miles. This free charging is the equivalent of getting over 51 free tanks of gasoline worth $2,772.58. When was the last time a new car dealer offered you 51 free tanks of gas with the purchase of a new car? Just visit any Nissan dealer and top off your ‘tank’ whenever you feel like it. That’s a deal!
Did I break Even?
The LEAF was more expensive to buy than an equivalent gasoline car (Nissan Versa), so did I break even? The car cost $33,160 and thanks to the Federal Government and the State of Tennessee, my cost after incentives was $23,160. My fuel savings over 100,000 miles reduce my effective cost to $11,561.04. The residual value of the two vehicles is about the same leaving me $7,000 richer. But I have to include the cost of a new battery for the LEAF. So I figure I actually saved about $1,000 over buying a smaller, noisier, slower, jerkier and smellier car. The new battery should be good for another 100,000 miles so I will come out well ahead of a gasoline car when the car reaches end of life. Even without the $10,000 in incentives, it is possible to save money over the life of the car.
Would I do it again?
Of course! I plan to get the Tesla Model 3 when it becomes available in 2017 which will cost about the same as the original LEAF. The Model 3 will provide the ability for coast to coast travel, not just regional travel and will come with a whole host of advanced features. The EV marketplace has come a long way in the last 6 years.