EV Street - Electric Vehicles for Dinosaurs

Electric Vehicles have come of age. But, it's going to take a revolution to make it happen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Living with the Nissan Leaf Part V- more digs and gasoline vs. electric numbers

"True love hurts the most" - me.   Good thing I can't truly love an automobile because I'd be polyamorous.  For me there is no perfect car, the leaf is no different.  The most aggravating thing I've encountered since we've had it is the user interface on the dash panel.  It has some really unintuitive areas.

I remember challenging a very computer savvy young friend of mine into attempting to set a destination on the in-dash GPS.  After 10 minutes of listening to him mash on the display and make groans, he finally looked at me and said, "WTF???"  I said, "I know right?"

But, it's not all bad.  The whole design with the phone is aggravating as well.  It handles call just fine, but, well, I could go into more details if I cared.  If a Nissan SE ever calls me up for those details, I'll take the time to be more specific, but suffice it to say, there are some things that are unintuitive and frustrating.   

I haven't published much on the financial savings because things have been pretty consistent with my last posting in this regard.  But in the last month or so, gas prices have come up a bit.  We dropped all the way down to $3.20/ gallon and have risen now $3.85.  We now have put 2,800 miles on the car in about 109 days (about 3.6 months).    At about 25 MPG, which is our average MPG based on the gasoline cars we would have driven, we would have purchased about 112 gallons.  Thus paying between $358 and $431 for it. Let's just settle for a conservative $370.  Take out of the additional cost of electricity I've paid so far, (3.6 mos X $35) $126 and the net energy cost savings are about $244.  With a lease payment of $300/month (12K/yr, 39 months), at this point, the car would have cost about $232/month.  However, if you're changing your motor oil every three months, you'd have spent an additional $50 for that.  The net cost on the car under these circumstances thus far would have been about $218 per month.

As a comparison, let's take a newly leased ($30,000) gas car under the same terms - $300/month.  Let's assume it accomplished a respectable 30 MPG.  About 93 gallons would have been consumed, assuming $3.30 per gallon, about $307 would have been spent on gas.  Add the $50 oil change, $(3.6 X $300  + $307 + $50 = $1,437 over a 3 month period, is about $400 a month.  Thus the difference is about $182 dollars per month in gas and oil alone, saving about $650 over this period.  

One other detail, with a 225 mile range before fill up on the gas car, this mileage would have also resulted in about 12 trips to the gas station.  It takes me about 10 minutes to stop and fill up.  The Leaf could have saved me two hours of time just stopping and slopping gas into the tank.  Granted this is not an advantage specifically of an electric car, it's the advantage of being able to add power to your car once you pull it the garage and plug it in which takes about 30 seconds.  So, I've spent about .9 hours over this period plugging in  and unplugging the car.  Thus my real time savings are about an hour.   It may not seem like much but look at how much we all appreciate gaining that extra hour in the fall (once a year) for daylight savings time and hate losing it in the spring.  :)  


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