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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