Chuck's Cool Reviews and Info

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Lets do some maths because I am curious why anyone would think driving a Leaf is a good idea. It is like driving a normal car with 2 gallons of gas in the tank all of the time. This is stupid right? Well, as a second car, and for most people, this is perfect. A guy at work bought a Leaf, and I bought a Leaf. He has taken 1 road trip in his current Civic, otherwise it is a get to work and get home and run some in town errands car that he is ok with only charging at home via a normal 110 volt power outlet. He could buy a 220 volt charger and have the 220 volt outlet installed at his house. This would charge 2 to 3 times as fast as 110 volt and cost him about 800 bucks installed. He can get by fine with the 110 charging overnight for the forseeable future however, so this cost is optional and has not been factored below.

Wayne got his certified preowned 2013 Leaf for $13,700 out the door. (Not sure if that includes the extended warranty he got. Let's assume it does not.)

A comparable 2013 Civic LX with 30k miles certified preowned NADA's for $18,750 plus tax, tag and title. Lets add $1500 for tax, tag and title.

Let's assume that the Civic calls for timing belt replacement at 75k miles at $650 bucks and there are oil changes every 5k miles at Jiffy Lube for a cost of $40 each. Tires, wiper blades and other comparable items cancel each other out for these cars.

Lets assume that each car is owned for 100k miles, but also calculate for 200k miles.

Leaf Costs:
13,700 out the door.
Electricity costs $.12 per kilowatt hour. This will go up, but probably so will gas, so let's call the fuel increase equal for both cars. Civic Costs: 20250 out the door.
Gas costs 2.50 per gallon. This car will average 32 MPG.

Here is a calculator to figure out the savings. Yes it is a Nissan calculator. Feel free to figure this out on your own if you want. If calculated that Wayne will drive 32 miles a day (12,000 per year) he will save $491 per year over the Civic in fuel. 100k totals:

Civic = $20,250 20 oil changes per 100k miles = 800

1 timing belt = $650

CPO, so no risk of blowing an engine or tranny.

3,125 gallons of gas = $7812

Other dealer maintenance, repairs and inspections = $500

Total cost for 100k miles = 30012

Leaf = $13,700

Electricity = 8.8 years to get to 100k miles, so savings of $491 per year x 8.8 = 4320.
Subtract this from 7812 = $3492.

Other dealer maintenance, repairs and inspections = $500

Total cost for 100k miles = 17692.

Let's say his battery capacity degrades to a worst case scenario, which is doubtful but why not. It is warranted against failure 100k miles, but it will reduce in capacity over time just like a laptop battery and he wants 'like new range' at the 90k mile mark. Replacement battery retail cost = $5500

Leaf at 100k miles total with new battery replacement = $23192

200k totals= Hypothetically, the Civic will have had 2 catastrophic failures to the tune of a $4500 repair bill. This is generous. It will undoubtedly be falling apart otherwise at the same rate as the Nissan, so let's say other repairs are a wash, although electric with fewer parts ought to be ahead in reality. Civic @ 200k miles= $14262 (oil changes, timing belt, fuel and repairs) Leaf cost @ 200k miles without another new battery = 3992. Maybe add a battery in there, maybe not. The car is getting old and reaching the end of its useful life. Also, there are probably people rebuilding the battery packs for significant savings. Lets assume the battery still works, but at reduced capacity. Wayne lives with it because he is ready for a new car. He will be around 55 year old at this point, maybe a nice new caddy or something.