Purely from a point of technological fascination, I have occasionally entertained the idea of buying an electric car. While I did not want to spend $30k+ for a new one (nor do I want to lease one), I told myself I might be interested in a used one if the price were right. But that's as far as I ever went with the idea.
For the last thirteen months, I've driven my '97 Metro 1.0L/5-speed as a cheap commuter. While I have seen two tanks which averaged 53 mpg, I usually got about 45 mpg in my typical driving. Back when gas had dropped near $2.00/gallon--the lowest it has been throughout my Metro ownership--a dollar of fuel would take me about 22-23 miles. Now that gasoline has once again topped $3.00/gallon, today that same dollar only takes me 15 miles at best.
Almost a month ago, the idea of EV ownership again came to mind. How much would one of those cost to drive? I pulled out a recent utility bill to check my cost per kWh. From what I saw online, Leaf drivers commonly see 4 miles/kWh during average driving in non-winter months; during the dead of winter, efficiency can drop to around 3 miles/kWh. This means one dollar of electricity from my wall outlet could take me over 45 miles in a Leaf during three seasons of the year, and around 34 miles in the dead of winter (assuming no energy loss from charging). Even if I factor in a gross 15% loss in charging efficiency--which is larger than real-world examples I found--the Leaf is still WAY more efficient than the Metro was even at $2/gallon... and that's not even factoring in the additional ICE maintenance costs for things like oil, etc. Wow. Suddenly, I was seriously considering buying an EV.
After hours and hours of research, I decided a 2013-2016 Nissan Leaf would be ideal for me. Local online ads showed prices starting around $7000, which seemed pretty darn reasonable. With that, the Metro was put up for sale. After it sold a couple weeks later, I went into full-tilt Leaf shopping mode. I was going to dealers and looking at private party ones, getting a feel for what was out there and what I wanted, when fate intervened--last week this red 2013 SV was traded in at my store (I sell cars at a large autoplex):
This was exactly my desired trim level, so it had B-mode and the heat pump for best range. It also had the upgrade package I wanted (ie, LED headlights) for even more efficient operation. Red is definitely not my favorite color, and I wasn't thrilled by the light interior, but beggars can't be choosers (and, besides, the interior was in fantastic shape). The dash gauge showed 11 bars; a LeafSpy scan showed 80% SOH. And finally, I would be able to get it for a very, very good price. I took all this as a sign that it was meant to be... and I bought it.
Thus began my life as an electric vehicle owner.
So far, I've been averaging about 5.0 miles/kWh... which is fantastic. I love this car.