Published Monday July 15, 2013: Updated 1/24/2015 (added video clip)
Cheryl Gets a Nissan Leaf
For a long time now I have wanted to get my wife an electric vehicle to drive. I was considering converting our minivan over to an all-electric vehicle. In November 2012, I started hearing about Nissan Leaf leases in the $300/month range. While that was a very tempting way to get my wife into an electric vehicle, I could not justify the extra costs each month.
While she drives the van on lots of little small trips, she doesn’t really use that much gas (about $160/month in gas and oil changes). I have also modified the van so it regularly gets about 28-32 mpg on the freeway, further saving us money. But without fail, we end up spending about $1000 each year on some unexpected vehicle repair. Factoring that into an equivalent monthly payment (along with gas and oil changes) works out to about $243/month. That is almost where I can justify the Leaf lease but not quite.
In May 2013, I caught wind of leases of the 2013 Leaf going for as little as $199/month at the Tim Daley dealership in Salt Lake City. With a lease costing less than the cost of operating a gas vehicle, we could not pass it up.
On May 22, 2013, I put down $2000 down and leased my wife a mid-grade 2013 Nissan Leaf with 6.6kW charger for only $215/month.
Perhaps we have been living below our privileges all this time because the Leaf is a very, very,very nice car.
Not only are we saving tons of money on gas and maintenance by leasing/driving the Leaf, it is orders of magnitude nicer than our van.
The Leaf only seats 5. Even so, it covers 99% of my wife's driving needs. Occasionally we have to take our van but that ends up being 1-2 times a month.
Nissan recently announced plans to put fast DC charges at several of its dealerships across the US.
If the Nissan dealership in Logan, UT (on the way to Bear
Lake) got one, in theory we could have taken our vacation in the Leaf instead of the old, gas van.
Drive from Kaysville to Logan --> Fast charge while we stop for lunch next door --> Drive from Logan to Bear Lake.
Trickle charge while we camp and play. At the end of the trip drive back to Logan for a quick charge --> Return home to Kaysville.
Of course seating would have been an issue (we are a family of 6) but still, an all-electric family vacation is quickly becoming more realistic and feasible.
It's almost enough to lease a Leaf on the coolness features alone. Being able to turn on the climate controls remotely from your smart phone while you are in the check-out line at the store is awesome. Walking out into the sweltering summer heat to a preconditioned vehicle is so luxurious. Gas vehicles across the globe are dropping their front bumpers in jealousy.
In the winter time, you can preheat the Leaf's cabin while it is still parked in the garage. No need to pull it outside to warm it up because unlike every gas car on the planet, an EV can't kill you from carbon monoxide poisoning. They don't even have an exhaust pipe.
Cheryl says changing from a gas car over to an electric one is like trading out an old, clunky desktop PC for a sleek new iPad.
I say it's like using an outhouse all your life and then one day switching over to indoor plumbing.
Once you go EV, you will never, ever go back!