Nissan Leaf: Our 9 Month Savings

Back in December 2012 my wife picked up a 2012 Nissan Leaf.  For those unfamiliar this is a fully electric vehicle. No stopping to get gas, no range extender like the Chevrolet Volt.  Here is a copy of a Facebook post recently made.

Being a numbers geek, I decided to run some more “math” on our 2012 Nissan Leaf. Our electric bill YTD for this year versus last; comparing the same 9 months bills from last year to this year. Two major changes happened right at the turn of the new year. First, we started charging using 240v our car (instead of gasoline); second, we replaced many of the bulbs in the house with LEDs. (The real savings of those bulbs will certainly take a long time to realize, but it was fun never the less).

How does this translate into real dollars? Well, our electric bill went from $994.40 YTD 2012 to $1243.41 YTD 2013. That difference of $249.01 translates into a $27.67 increase in electricity costs per month on average. This jives with my original math estimates of around $25-35 per month cost to charge the car. It is probably more like $35, with some savings from the LED bulbs.

However, ignoring the cost of the bulbs for the moment, we have travelled just under 7800 miles on the Nissan Leaf since purchased December 28th. In 5 days the car will be exactly 9 months old. Using current averages of $3.60 per gallon for 91 oct, and the average of 20mpg we got in the city driving my VW CC we had been using last year, we would have spent $1404 in gasoline but instead spent $249.03 saving over $1150 this year alone. That more than covers the cost of the 240v charger (around $1000 installed). That leaves a savings of over $3800 to still be realized during the last 30 months remaining on the lease.

Based on average data from a Prius would get 46mpg typical. Gas would be $3.30 per gallon. So those same 7800 miles would have cost around $560 — still saving over $300 thus far, and around $1350 over the term of the lease (which again would more than cover the cost of the charger + install). And the Prius has oil changes that cost money that the Leaf does not. And the Prius is not ZEV, like the Leaf. Not bashing the Prius, it is a great car and wins in range/practicality too. But for us, to have been able to average almost 900 miles per month shows we have made the Nissan a very viable daily driven car.

EVs are the future, no doubt about it. The BMW i3 will be a fun car to watch for, as well as the e-Golf from VW to hit our shores in the next 12-14 months. Fun stuff … and driving a car with instant torque, even as a gear head, is still so much fun !!!

After the turn of the New Year my wife will assist me in writing a review that encompasses our first year with the EV.  We are still managing to average 900+ miles per month on the car, and love it!  Look for more on this subject in a few months.

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