mrp10000 wrote:Currently, I'm driving 35 miles round trip daily, and don't see this changing any time soon. Given my current driving needs, I see the car meeting my needs well into the future.
Our MY2011 was a demo car which was six months old when we purchased it in March 2012. We will have had it for six years next month. It has 51,000 miles on the odometer and has lost three capacity bars, but my wife still commutes 50 miles each day, crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains in both directions in between. This winter she has parked the LEAF on days when it is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or very windy. This is mostly because of the loss of regen in the LEAF, but it is partly because we bought new Ecopias in December, which lowered the efficiency slightly. On those colder days, she drives our 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid, which turns 16 years old in April. It has MUCH more regen than the LEAF in cold weather even though the batteries are 10 years older and have 70,000 more miles on them. We've had some pretty cold weather this winter, so she has taken the Honda 10 or 15 times so far.
That doesn't add much to her commuting costs since we have already used up our stored (net-metered) solar electricity this winter due to a hot summer last year, low solar production in 2017, and a cold winter. So taking the Honda uses about one gallon of gasoline and costs about $3.00 per commute for fuel versus the LEAF which uses about 15 kWh of electricity (including preheating) and costs about $1.50 per commute, so the 2003 Honda costs about $1.50 more for fuel for her commute.
Interestingly, tires for the Honda have been much less expensive. The Honda has about 75,000 miles on tires which cost about $300.00 in 2008 and it should easily get 30,000 MORE miles out of them, versus the LEAF which only got about 50,000 miles out its Ecopia tires which cost over $400.00 to replace. So tires on the Honda only cost about $0.14 per commute versus $0.40 per commute for the LEAF. That difference is mostly offset by the cost of oil changes, which run about $0.15 per commute.Fuel and maintenance charges per commute:
2011 Nissan LEAF: $1.90/commute
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid: $3.29/commute
But it was also cheaper to purchase the Honda (about $20,000 after the tax rebate versus $29,000 for the LEAF after the rebate). If you include purchase price in the commute, then the results are completely different:Purchase price per commute including taxes and without rebate:
2011 Nissan LEAF: $14.50/commute
2003 Honda Civic Hybrid: $5.00/commute
The difference above is largely due to the total number of miles I used for each: 200,000 miles for the Honda Civic Hybrid and 100,000 miles for the Nissan LEAF. While it is likely the Honda could last longer than 200,000 miles, it will be VERY old when it gets to that point, so I'm not sure. The LEAF likely will not get past 100,000 miles on the existing battery, and probably not even that.
But since the vehicles are already paid for, the LEAF gets the nod for the commute when it can be made to work. For most of the year we have already prepaid for the LEAF's fuel in the form of photovoltaics, so it normally only costs about an additional $0.40/commute each time it is used. At some point it might make sense to replace the battery in the LEAF to allow us to use all of the PV-provided electricity which we have already purchased instead of purchasing gasoline for the Honda. We haven't decided whether we actually will replace the battery or instead purchase a different EV. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, which SHOULD be after summer 2019. For now, it is still working for her commute the vast majority of the time.
If her commute were only 35 miles, I think she would be able to use it into 2020 or beyond.