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Canada: Owners of electric vehicle charged up about environment, lower operating costs

Bill Clendinning, with wife Nicole and daughter Tara, proudly stands with his Nissan Leaf, the first one purchased in British Columbia.

Photograph by: NICK PROCAYLO, PNG

It wasn’t just the environmental benefits that motivated Coquitlam’s Bill and Nicole Clendinning to buy the first all-electric Nissan Leaf in B.C. back in October; saving money also played a role.

“We figure based on our driving experience, that we are saving about three-and-a-half tonnes a year of CO2 emissions,” said Bill Clendinning. “In the three-and-a-half months that we’ve had it, I figure that we’ve saved $430 just in fuel, compared to [our other car, which is a hybrid Toyota Prius].”

The couple decided on a four-year lease for the red hatchback car that seats five people and has plenty of room for their four-year-old daughter, Tara. The lease payments are not cheap: after a $5,000 Clean Energy Vehicle rebate, they’re still paying $820 a month for the $44,020 vehicle.

“The basic equation is: although you’re paying more upfront for the vehicle, your lifetime savings is quite significant,” Clendinning said.

For one thing, because the car is electric, they’re not shelling out for gas, or oil changes, or tune-ups, which also add up.
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