tcherniaev
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:03 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Jan 2012
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:36 pm

So I was looking at some statistics today, and I noticed that average sales price of new vehicles in the United States was $30,750. Considering all available discounts and tax credits, most LEAFs sell for LESS THAN AVERAGE. Add fuel savings of around $150-200 per month on top of that, and LEAF becomes very inexpensive car to own.

So based on these affordability numbers we should call LEAF a people's car, a car that an 'average Joe' can easily afford. So why all this talk in the media about LEAF being an expensive vehicle that most can't afford? Statistically, most CAN afford to buy LEAF!

Even Tesla model S (at least in base configuration) falls inside 75% on the curve.

cwerdna
Posts: 11700
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:47 pm

tcherniaev wrote:So I was looking at some statistics today, and I noticed that average sales price of new vehicles in the United States was $30,750. Considering all available discounts and tax credits, most LEAFs sell for LESS THAN AVERAGE. Add fuel savings of around $150-200 per month on top of that, and LEAF becomes very inexpensive car to own.

So based on these affordability numbers we should call LEAF a people's car, a car that an 'average Joe' can easily afford. So why all this talk in the media about LEAF being an expensive vehicle that most can't afford? Statistically, most CAN afford to buy LEAF!
The upfront price is high. You don't get the tax credit until much later, assuming you qualify. You have to wait for any state incentive. You have to pay sales tax on the full amount. People frequently (unfairly) compare the Leaf to econoboxes like the Versa.

As for fuel savings, it depends on how inefficient your current vehicle is and your electricity rates. People who live in areas of cheap electricity (e.g. Pacific Northwest), have free workplace charging and have an inefficient gasser of course can save a lot of $ on gas. I already drive a Prius, don't have cheap electricity and don't even spend $150/month on gas.

For those w/ripoff utilities and are already in their higher tiers (not me, but adding an EV will definitely push me past my baseline or force me to complicate things by switching to TOU based billing, to help keep costs down w/an EV), "fueling" an EV could be equal to or more expensive than a Prius.

It can be difficult to only have a Leaf or BEV w/the range similar to a Leaf as your only car, so getting a Leaf means paying more for insurance on a 2nd car and now having two cars that depreciate and need maintenance.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium (lease over)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

tcherniaev
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:03 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Jan 2012
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:14 pm

cwerdna wrote:
tcherniaev wrote:So I was looking at some statistics today, and I noticed that average sales price of new vehicles in the United States was $30,750. Considering all available discounts and tax credits, most LEAFs sell for LESS THAN AVERAGE. Add fuel savings of around $150-200 per month on top of that, and LEAF becomes very inexpensive car to own.

So based on these affordability numbers we should call LEAF a people's car, a car that an 'average Joe' can easily afford. So why all this talk in the media about LEAF being an expensive vehicle that most can't afford? Statistically, most CAN afford to buy LEAF!
The upfront price is high. You don't get the tax credit until much later, assuming you qualify. You have to wait for any state incentive. You have to pay sales tax on the full amount. People frequently (unfairly) compare the Leaf to econoboxes like the Versa.

As for fuel savings, it depends on how inefficient your current vehicle is and your electricity rates. People who live in areas of cheap electricity (e.g. Pacific Northwest), have free workplace charging and have an inefficient gasser of course can save a lot of $ on gas. I already drive a Prius, don't have cheap electricity and don't even spend $150/month on gas.

For those w/ripoff utilities and are already in their higher tiers (not me, but adding an EV will definitely push me past my baseline or force me to complicate things by switching to TOU based billing, to help keep costs down w/an EV), "fueling" an EV could be equal to or more expensive than a Prius.

It can be difficult to only have a Leaf or BEV w/the range similar to a Leaf as your only car, so getting a Leaf means paying more for insurance on a 2nd car and now having two cars that depreciate and need maintenance.
These are all good points. However, in the United States AVERAGE residential electric rate is 11.8 cents per kwh. I don't have numbers for average fuel economy for light cars (and I don't want to mix large SUVs into this equation), but 28 mpg sounds about right. So, based on 1,200 miles per month (statistical average for the US) and $3.78 per gallon (today's average) total savings of around $100 per month is about right. My earlier statement was based more on my personal case. Still, $100 per month is $6,000 over 5 years.

As for rebates, leasing seems to best way to take advantage of these. I know that not everyone likes leasing, but it makes LEAF even more affordable. With current lease deals it is cheaper to lease LEAF than basic Honda Civic.

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 15449
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Nov 2019
Leaf Number: 319862
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:25 pm

electrical rates will be a huge determining factor in how much you save in transportation costs but what is true is you will either save a decent amount of money or you will save a lot of money. you really cant lose. high electrical rates wont raise your maintenance costs will be small in comparison to any gas car.

and you have the potential to get lower rates. whether you have TOU available or if solar is an option for you, its very doable. with prices dropping fast and incentives still available, solar's payback time is dropping fast
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 16,686 mi, 91.51% SOH
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

tcherniaev
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:03 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Jan 2012
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:36 pm

DaveinOlyWA wrote:electrical rates will be a huge determining factor in how much you save in transportation costs but what is true is you will either save a decent amount of money or you will save a lot of money. you really cant lose. high electrical rates wont raise your maintenance costs will be small in comparison to any gas car.

and you have the potential to get lower rates. whether you have TOU available or if solar is an option for you, its very doable. with prices dropping fast and incentives still available, solar's payback time is dropping fast
Electrical rates only matter that much in a few areas of the country. I pay 9.8 cents per KWH, and used around 300 KWH to charge my LEAF last month costing me less than $30 -- basically a rounding error as far as car operating costs are concerned.
Also, places with high electric rates also tend to have higher gas prices.

DaveinOlyWA
Posts: 15449
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Nov 2019
Leaf Number: 319862
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:45 pm

tcherniaev wrote:
DaveinOlyWA wrote:electrical rates will be a huge determining factor in how much you save in transportation costs but what is true is you will either save a decent amount of money or you will save a lot of money. you really cant lose. high electrical rates wont raise your maintenance costs will be small in comparison to any gas car.

and you have the potential to get lower rates. whether you have TOU available or if solar is an option for you, its very doable. with prices dropping fast and incentives still available, solar's payback time is dropping fast
Electrical rates only matter that much in a few areas of the country. I pay 9.8 cents per KWH, and used around 300 KWH to charge my LEAF last month costing me less than $30 -- basically a rounding error as far as car operating costs are concerned.
Also, places with high electric rates also tend to have higher gas prices.
yep i average around $30 a month for electricity on my LEAF as well. my rates are slightly higher than yours but i chose green power program here which added 1.25 cents /kwh to my rates.

the average nationwide is only 12 cents so other than a few select areas (mostly in CA or NE) its pretty cheap to drive electric
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 16,686 mi, 91.51% SOH
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

gaswalla
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:07 pm
Delivery Date: 24 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 5012
Location: Coastal San Diego

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:55 pm

It's not really this simple. One needs to know the battery life and the replacement cost to make a rational decision. Unlike modern ICE cars that have the obvious upfront cost, maintenance, and gas expenses with a lifespan or 100-200k miles, the LEAF appears to have a finite battery life: the time at which the battery needs to be replaced will depend on the individual's needs. Thus, there is the upfront cost, minimal costs from electricity, near zero maintenance, AND the battery cost:

Based on most of the extrapolated data from Nissan and this forum: most will agree that the battery will, on average (depending on ambient temperatures), have about 60-70% capacity at 50k miles: this is a range of 47 miles for a full charge to turtle (.65 x 73).. For some, this may actually be ok... for most, this represents a usable range of around 30 miles, and thus the battery would need to be replaced.

If the battery costs 12,000 (based on EV literature): it cost 24 cents per mile in addition to electricity costs for the past 50k miles
If the battery costs $5,000 (based on anecdotal reports for a refurb battery with exchange): it costs 10 cents per mile in addition to the electricity.

Since no one really knows the battery costs, it's sort of a guess: but one should be fully aware of the unique costs associated with a BEV.

On the other hand, if you lease, and don't drive too many miles, the above does not apply.

tcherniaev
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:03 pm
Delivery Date: 23 Jan 2012
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:13 pm

gaswalla wrote:It's not really this simple. One needs to know the battery life and the replacement cost to make a rational decision. Unlike modern ICE cars that have the obvious upfront cost, maintenance, and gas expenses with a lifespan or 100-200k miles, the LEAF appears to have a finite battery life: the time at which the battery needs to be replaced will depend on the individual's needs. Thus, there is the upfront cost, minimal costs from electricity, near zero maintenance, AND the battery cost:

Based on most of the extrapolated data from Nissan and this forum: most will agree that the battery will, on average (depending on ambient temperatures), have about 60-70% capacity at 50k miles: this is a range of 47 miles for a full charge to turtle (.65 x 73).. For some, this may actually be ok... for most, this represents a usable range of around 30 miles, and thus the battery would need to be replaced.

If the battery costs 12,000 (based on EV literature): it cost 24 cents per mile in addition to electricity costs for the past 50k miles
If the battery costs $5,000 (based on anecdotal reports for a refurb battery with exchange): it costs 10 cents per mile in addition to the electricity.

Since no one really knows the battery costs, it's sort of a guess: but one should be fully aware of the unique costs associated with a BEV.

On the other hand, if you lease, and don't drive too many miles, the above does not apply.
Very good point. Lease is about the only way to go. One can do 36 month lease with 15k miles per year for less than $300 per month with nothing down. That is a pure steal.

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TomT
Posts: 10650
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Leaf Number: 000360
Location: California, now Georgia
Contact: Website

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:27 pm

Yep, many will get little or nothing from the federal tax credit unless they lease...
cwerdna wrote:The upfront price is high. You don't get the tax credit until much later, assuming you qualify.
Leaf SL 2011 to 2016, Volt Premier 2016 to 2019, and now:
2019 Tesla Model 3; LR, RWD, FSD, 19" Sport Wheels, silver/black; built 3/17/19, delivered 3/29/19.

cwerdna
Posts: 11700
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: LEAF is an inexpensive car to buy

Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:30 pm

tcherniaev wrote:
DaveinOlyWA wrote:electrical rates will be a huge determining factor in how much you save in transportation costs but what is true is you will either save a decent amount of money or you will save a lot of money. you really cant lose. high electrical rates wont raise your maintenance costs will be small in comparison to any gas car.

and you have the potential to get lower rates. whether you have TOU available or if solar is an option for you, its very doable. with prices dropping fast and incentives still available, solar's payback time is dropping fast
Electrical rates only matter that much in a few areas of the country. I pay 9.8 cents per KWH, and used around 300 KWH to charge my LEAF last month costing me less than $30 -- basically a rounding error as far as car operating costs are concerned.
Also, places with high electric rates also tend to have higher gas prices.
Solar isn't free. TOU has the tradeoff the the rates outside the off-peak period are way more expensive.

See http://www.pge.com/tariffs/electric.shtml#RESELEC" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and http://www.pge.com/tariffs/electric.shtml#RESELEC_TOU" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; for more info. From http://www.pge.com/about/rates/rateinfo/rateoptions/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, E-1 (non-TOU) and E-6 (TOU) are options as well as possibly E-9. E-6 and E-9 make peak rates at tier 1 (baseline) as high as $0.30/kwh and can reach 0.54/kwh if you're at tier 5.

For my most recent electric bill, I used 253 kwh (I'm home all the time, since I'm not working) which was within my baseline (of 319 kwh for those 29 days) but with taxes and crap it came out to $34.30 or ~$0.1355/kwh. I'm currently on E-1 which is non-TOU.

I had some discussion about rates in my area w/someone else and http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 19#p155519" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; was a post about what might happen to my rates.

OP or those w/cheap electricity ought to try plugging your total usage to http://www.pge.com/yourtiers/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. Put in 95136 zip code, select the appropriate answer for #3 and answer no for #4. You'll see how much of a rip PG&E is.

The above estimator is reasonably close for me ($32.89 for 253 kwh, so they seem to be excluding taxes and fees). If I add 300 kwh to make it 553 kwh, my estimated bill is $94.50 (I'm guessing this is w/o tax and fees), a delta of $56.11.

'19 Bolt Premier
'13 Leaf SV w/premium (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium (lease over)

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

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