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Nissan Leaf – I Haven’t Been to Gas Station for A Year. Missing it? Nah.

Nissan Leaf 2011

I got my Leaf on April 2011. After dealing with range anxiety for about the first 2 months, driving has been fun for me.

I bought my Nissan Leaf from Boardwalk Nissan in Burlingame, CA. The price was pre-negotiated with a five percent discount off MSRP. I got the LS version, loaded with fast charger, cargo net, and eco packs, out the door for about $38k. After the California cash rebate of $5k, and federal tax credit of $7500 for the car and $750 for the charger, my net out-of-pocket was about $26k, price of Honda Civic for a luxury car – LCD console, rear view camera, power windows, world class navigation system, blue tooth phone integration, built-in garage remote, incredible driving experience – sporty acceleration, and extremely quiet and smooth ride at any speed.

My first year maintenance was about $150. Some other owners got similar service for free. My daily commute is about 60 miles round trip. A Civic would have cost me about $180 a month, but my electric bill went up only $60 on PG&E E9A rate – a saving of $120 a month or about $1440 saving a year, or about $14,400 for 10 years!

Like many of EV owners, we bought the car for many reasons – help wean ourselves from petro-based economy, help clean the environment (more than half of Leaf owners have
solar panels in California, and I plan to do the same), fun driving experience, save money, etc. My other reason is appreciating the fact that great engineering is simple engineering – less moving parts (no engine, no spark plugs, no timing belts, no radiator, no muffler, etc).

My friends often ask where I get gas for my car. I said the car does not use gas, instead it runs on electricity. Where do you get the battery charged? My garage, I answer.

Charger in my garage.

When I get home, I pull the charger from the wall, plug it into the car. The timer for the charging system in the car is set to charge during off peak = the lowest rate at 5 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh). The battery pack holds 24 kwh for about 70 miles, I paid about as little as $1.20 for 70 miles or about 233 eMPG!

In my case, I don’t always charge during off peak, the lowest rate, as I sometimes go out after work and need extra charge to make the trip. The average rate I pay for charging my car is about 10 cents per kwh, bu still much cheaper than fueling a gasoline car.

Other benefits from the electric car are I no longer have to smell the gas exhaust from my car, and knowing that I have made a difference. There are more than 30,000 Leaf owners in the world enjoying some of the benefits that I come to enjoy. Join us.

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