Hello! My name is kristopher miller.
I am a graphic designer/web designer/property manager/husband/father.
This site is a place where I post my work and write about various subjects. Enjoy.

First Month With Our Nissan Leaf

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I have owned about five cars since I was 16 (I’m now 35). These included a 1990 Ford Aerostar (my first car), 2 Ford Ranger trucks, a Suzuki Esteem and a 2009 Ford Escape. While my favorites were the Aerostar and the Rangers, nothing compares to the Leaf. It is without a doubt the nicest car I have ever driven. It’s quiet, smooth to drive and the technology inside is top notch.

We have driven our 2015 Nissan Leaf for a little over a month now. I did about 3 months worth of research on EV cars and decided the Leaf was the best fit for our family.

Here are the top 3 reasons I bought an EV car.

  1. ford-escapeMONEY: My wife and I have shared our 2009 Ford Escape for the last five years and have put about 105,000 miles on it. Since I started tracking all our expenses with QuickBooks in 2009, I know exactly how much we have spent on gas. The number blew me away. We spent a little over $17,000 on gas. I usually budget around $275 a month for gas. Saving money was the driving force behind me getting an EV car. An EV car is much much cheaper to fuel than a gas powered car.

  2. CONVENIENCE:  We needed a second car now that we have 2 kids. Sharing one car worked for us when we just had our daughter, but now that we have our son, we really need another one. We probably could have still had one car, but it would have been really difficult. If I was going to buy a second car, I didn’t want the extra cost of fueling it.

  3. ENVIRONMENT: This is usually at the top of everyone’s list, which it should be. While the main driver of me purchasing an EV car was the money I would save, I wouldn’t have bought a coal burning car if it was cheaper. While this car is definitely better for the environment than a combustion engine, it still needs electricity. Our electrical grid still gets 39% of it’s total output from coal as of 2013. I have been doing some research on solar panels as another way to save money and then this car would be 100% zero emissions.

So now that you know why I bought the car, let me get into the stats that show you how it saves money.

The Nissan Leaf can keep great stats with its CarWings software. Here are some screenshots from September 8th – October 7th, 2014.

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The breakdown:

  • We used 242 kWh to power the car.
  • We averaged about 4 miles per kWh.
  • We pay around 0.12 cents per kWh

So that would be about $30 for the 996 miles we drove this past month.  If I drove my Escape which costs around 0.17 to 0.18 cents a mile, it would have been about $170. The Leaf costs about .03 cents a mile.

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Since I did charge the car for FREE at local charging stations, I can take 61 kWh off of my total in CarWings. I really only paid for 181 kWh for the car. That’s around $22. I saved $148 in gas since we purchased the Leaf. I still need to drive the Escape, so I spent about $110 on gas since we got the Leaf.

While an EV car is not for everyone, it works for us and we love it. My wife loves driving the car and says it’s like driving a video game with the technology in the car. Making Eco Trees is her favorite.

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The Leaf definitely wouldn’t work for us if it was the only car we had. I still have to drive our Escape a few times a week for our rentals (which sometimes involves a trailer) and longer distance trips would be tough. But the Leaf is always our first choice when we go anywhere.

So far I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

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1st time at a Level 2 Charger

First time using a Level 2 (240v) charger. These thing are super easy to use. Swiped my ChargePoint card, plugged it in and walked away. I was able to use the CarWings app to see the charging status, you can also use the ChargePoint app to check the status. The charger is FREE for 3 hours. When I plugged it in around 3:20pm, I was at 36 miles. I unplugged the charger around 4:50pm and was up to 77 miles. So I got around 41 miles for FREE. Later that night I charged the car to 91% (90 miles) with the trickle charger (120v).

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At the University at Buffalo I was able to get a ChargePoint card at the parking booth. I just walked over to the parking booth and got one without a problem. I was able to register the ChargePoint card on the website in about 3 minutes.

UB has a nice website showing how they support EV’s. I am hoping one day they will have a QuickCharge station, but what they have now is great.

charge-point

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Your Digital Footprint Poster

Poster design for the first in a series of three events sponsored by the UB Libraries and UBIT. I went with an infographic feel on this one. Clean lines and simple imagery to illustrate how people leave behind a trail on the platforms and devices they use.

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Going 100% Electric with the 2015 Leaf

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So after many months of research we made the plunge and bought the Nissan Leaf. The car is 100% electric. No gas, no oil, no heavy maintenance! We picked it up last night from Autoplace Nissan in Buffalo, NY. I couldn’t be happier with the way the transaction went, I feel we got a good deal. It’s a 4 year lease . I wanted a 3 year, but I had to compromise for the monthly price I wanted.

We were able to get the color (Gun Metallic) and the model (SV) we wanted. It did have the the add on LED Headlights, QuickCharge port, Fog Lights and the Splash Guards. Things I really didn’t need, but were already on the car. This was the first 2015 model they got at the dealership. Getting everything you want in a Nissan Leaf is not easy in our area (not a lot of demand.) You can order it, but then the price isn’t guaranteed when it arrives. At least that is what I was told.

At the time of this post we have driven the car about 50 miles. It only had 23 when we left the lot. The interior electronics we are still playing with, but so far, the Bluetooth, Navigation, shifter and the CarWings app are pretty cool. The car is obviously quiet and it drives super smooth.

I plan to install my Bosch Level 2 charger this weekend. More to come.

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Vidler’s and Elm Street Bakery (Bucket List)

We made our way to Vidler’s 5 and 10 this afternoon. Place was filled with all kinds of toys, crafts, decorations, etc. Abigal was pretty excited by all the toys. Bridget and I also saw some things that made us say “oh I remember these!” haha.

After Vidler’s we headed over to the Elm Street Bakery for some lunch and tasty baked goods. While Elm Street Bakery wasn’t on our Bucket List, it probably should have been. Very tasty.

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Riley’s coonskin cap.

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Does anyone else remember these? I almost bought one.

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Abigal checking out all the bath toys.

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Elm Street Bakery

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Riley @ Elm Street Bakery

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Abigal @ Elm Street Bakery enjoying her PB&J.

See our progress on the Buffalo Bucket List (Kids Edition)

 

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Parkside Candy and Lake Effect Diner (Bucket List)

As part of our family bucket list we visited Parkside Candy and ate at the Lake Effect Diner. Parkside Candy was really cool inside. We bought about $35 worth of candy, so Abigal was pretty excited.

The Lake Effect diner had awesome food and great service. The kids really enjoyed the Mickey Mouse pancakes.

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Parkside Candy when you walk in

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Abigal checking out the lollipop selection

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Mickey Mouse pancakes at Lake Effect Diner

See our progress on the Buffalo Bucket List (Kids Edition)

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H.H. Richardson Complex Print

I finally got my letterpress print of the H. H. Richardson Complex matted and framed. Really like the way it turned out. Well worth the money for the print. Bridget and I have been looking for a nice print of this building for awhile. This one is perfect.

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Gustave Doré illustrations of Purgatory and Paradise

I’ve added 60 plates from Dante Alighieri’s Purgatory and Paradise to the Gustave Doré Illustrations Collection. Gustave Doré (1832-1883) was a French artist from the 19th-century.

View the digital collection

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Delivery+ Stickers

We have a service here in the UB Libraries called Delivery+ that delivers books and other materials to the departments of faculty, staff and students (students can pick up their materials at the circulation desk).  From a communication perspective I really wanted to make the patron aware that the UB Libraries got this material for them. I thought a sticker on the brown wrapped paper would do great for letting the patron know “We got this material for you”. The tagline was thought up by the Libraries Communication Officer, Kathleen Quinlivan. I really think these work. We ordered the stickers from Jakprints.com.

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Empire Shared Collection Logo & Website

I recently finished a website for a project called the Empire Shared Collection. Libraries from multiple library sectors in Western New York have worked together to develop a regional collaborative “last copy” print repository – the Empire Shared Collection Repository (ESCR) – that provides continuing access to a shared collection of seldom-used serial-type materials. The design is a simple one page layout that is responsive. A logo was also done for this project.

The site is not currently live but can be viewed on the staging server.

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