Seven months with an electric vehicle

We have now owned our 2014 Nissan Leaf all-electric vehicle for about seven months. Here are some stats and reflections.

  • We’ve driven it 3,474 miles.
  • The car has used just slightly over 1,428 kWh. This is missing the few kWhs I put in at the dealership charger and a very few other locations which I did not record. A breakdown of energy delivered by charging level follows:
    • Level 1: 1,071 kWhs (mostly from the 110 volt outlet next to our driveway)
    • Level 2: 334 kWhs (all from Chargepoint public charging locations, which seem to dominate the Twin Cities market)
    • DC fast charging: 24 kWhs (almost all from Greenlots chargers, which are the most common in the Twin Cities)
  • All that energy cost us $183, or about $0.05/mile. A 2014 Nissan Sentra averaging 30 mpg in the city would have used $253 worth of gas at today’s super low gas prices (plus another $20-$50 for one oil change). Judging from used car ads, our purchase price would have been about the same as the used Leaf. So over seven months, we’ve saved about $100 is gas and maintenance.
  • Using Xcel Energy figures, driving the Leaf compared to the Sentra avoided 1,051 lbs of CO². It basically halved the greenhouse gas emissions associated with driving our car, the second largest source of emissions from a typical household.

Our driving habits haven’t changed much, although we take the other car if we’re venturing beyond the 394/494 ring in the winter. If you turn “eco” mode off, acceleration is impressive. Lots of people ask “is that car really just electric?” If Xcel Energy ever approves a sensible metering plan for electric vehicles, we could cut our charging costs over the same time period down to about $100, or almost half of what we paid the last seven months.

2 thoughts on “Seven months with an electric vehicle

  1. Look at Xcel’s time of day meter instead of their EV metering plan. Once you sign up you have 30 days to go back at no cost. We pay $0.03 per kWh from 9 PM until 9 AM, the biggest change for us was to do laundry after 9 PM or just on the weekend. Not a big change for us.

    • Thanks. I ran some numbers on this, and because our total usage is low, the regular off-peak rate wouldn’t pencil for us. Also, we are solar energy producers, and if you go to an off-peak rate for your whole house, you lose net metering. Oddly they don’t pay you peak rate for solar! So, I’ll wait until they figure out how to give you the EV rate without a separate meter – I hear a pilot is starting soon!

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