The new Blink charger is charging Chloé (our Nissan all-electric Leaf) drastically faster than the trickle charger we have been using in a regular 120 outlet ever since we purchased the car. But the million dollar question has been, how much does it cost to actually drive the car on electricity. Well, the Leaf’s Carwings and the Blink charger both provide that information–sort of.
The problem is figuring out how much you pay for electricity at what hour of the day! When I set out to figure this out, I became stunned at how insanely complex the power bill is. Even the power company can not tell you when your per kWh (kilowatt hour) of electricity is the cheapest. And here in Sausalito, we have to pay for the generation of the electricity as well as the delivery of the electricity. Two separate companies do each task. San Francisco already pays significantly higher than the national average per kWh of electricity, and Sausalito pays a whale of a lot more than that! The US average is $.127 per kWh hour. San Francisco pays $.203 per kWh hour (almost twice the national average), and Sausalito pays a whopping $.301 per kWh–nearly 3 times more than the national average! I wanted to be sure we were charging Chloé when the rates were the lowest possible. Easier said than done. Just insane!
So here is a graphic summarizing the data for driving the Leaf in the LA area and here in the headlands. This data is skewed by the fact that Chloé was in storage for 6 weeks. This means that one entire charging cycle, after 6 weeks in storage, did not produce any miles driven on the road.
Basically, we saved at least $67.38 over 6 months–probably a good bit more than that. The average American, not living where electricity is 3x the national average, would have saved at least $137.71 over the same period. Additionally, we would have saved even more had we driven the car the 6 weeks it was in storage. Plus: can’t forget the $10,000 in tax rebates. So, in some sense, it will probably never cost us anything to drive the car.