Chloé, Nissan Leaf

Latest Update on Our Nissan Leaf

Chloé, Nissan LeafChloé now has been driven over 5,000 miles without a drop of gas! Lovin’ it!

Since our solar panels have now gone live, I thought I should provide a cost assessment of using our electric car through the end of September, 2012. The solar panels went into effect about a week ago, near the beginning of October. So, for all practical purposes, from this point on driving the car costs us nothing. I find it hard to get my head around that fact!

At the end of September, we had driven our Nissan Leaf a total of 4,922.9 miles, consuming 1,287kWh of electricity at a total cost of $352.81. This means we spent 7 cents per mile. Since our electricity is almost 3 times the national average, this means the average American would probably only spend about 3 cents per mile. Additionally, we live in an area with extremely steep hills which adversely impacts our cost of driving. Most Americans don’t have to deal with these hills; therefore, I suspect the average American cost per mile would be less than 3 cents.

Since the average American car gets between 20 and 25 miles per gallon, we are in effect spending between $1.50 and $1.75 per gallon of gas. However, the actual cost of a gallon of gasoline here in California right now is $4.69!

No wonder the oil companies don’t want you to drive an electric car!

When I owned my Toyota Prius (which I loved), I averaged 48 miles per gallon. Compared to the Prius, which is a vastly more efficient car than the typical American car, at a real cost of seven cents per mile I would be spending approximately $3.50 per gallon of gas. So, driving a Leaf is still significantly less expensive than driving a Toyota Prius.

With Nissan‘s new incentive programs, you can actually buy a Leaf for what you would be spending on gasoline in this state!

Again I say, no wonder the oil companies don’t want you to drive an electric car!

I drive Chloé almost every day, and I drive it all over the place: into San Francisco, around the headlands, up to San Rafael. I absolutely love this car and highly recommend it. Since you can’t really take trips in the car (until the charging infrastructure is built out), you need another vehicle as well. But for most two-car families, I suspect the Leaf is a very reasonable, affordable option.