I’ve been driving my 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle for a couple of years now, and it is truly a remarkable car. So far, I have spent absolutely nothing on maintenance, and have saved a lot on fuel cost. It bears mentioning that with an EV, the owner often has more choices of where and how to “refuel.” You can charge at home, and some charging stations are free. I have a solar-electric system installed on my home, which makes my electricity clean and very inexpensive.
When I ordered my Leaf in late 2010, it was really the only mass-production EV available. Fortunately, after a test drive, I was sold and pretty excited to own one. The range was advertised as 100 miles, but I knew this is only realistic under perfect conditions. A more realistic average range is more like 80 miles. The Leaf meets my needs just fine, since my typical daily commute is less than 40 miles. I own no other vehicle.
However, for anyone considering buying an EV, you need to realize that the car’s battery pack is not just another “fuel” tank that just needs refilling. It is a sensitive, expensive, and critical component of an EV, and needs to be treated with care to get the most out of it. Some Leaf drivers I know are finding out that one of the consequences of not following Nissan’s recommendations is sooner-than-expected reduced battery capacity. I really look forward to breakthroughs in battery electric vehicle technology.
The lineup of available EVs is growing. For me, there was never any question that I wanted a pure electric vehicle, and I was willing to adjust to living without the gas pump.
Marc Fontana • via homepower.com