Monthly electricity charge to drive a LEAF
As many of our loyal readers know by now, we have had our LEAF for over a year. We picked it up on March 25 of last year and to date have accumulated the grand total of 7,577 miles – or about half of what many Southern California commuters accumulate in only 12 months. One of the most often asked questions is “How much did your electric bill go up?” The short answer is – Not much. Here is the longer answer.
San Diego Gas & Electric installed a second meter in our home to accurately measure the electric uptake of the LEAF. The only equipment downstream of this second meter is the Blink electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), which most refer to inaccurately as a charger, but which is really just a charging dock for the car. It provides the right connector through which to pour the electrons with appropriate safety measures in place. Below is a table in which the monthly electricity charge is tracked for the last twelve months billing cycle:
|Monthly electricity cost to drive our LEAF|
The $26 month was over the holidays, as we did a lot more shuttling around to see family members and friends (and get all of that Christmas shopping in). If you drive twice the amount that we do these figures should be doubled. Also, we are participants in an EV experiment being conducted by SDG&E. EV owners that chose to participate were provided one of three experimental rate structures offered by the utility. Vehicle owners had no say in which rate structure they were placed. We were fortunate to receive the lowest rate, which is roughly $0.08 per kilowatt hour from midnight to 5:00AM, which is when we have our LEAF timed to charge. Your local utility may offer similar EV rate structures with time of use (TOU) rate plans to optimize power generation equipment usage.
As we wrote in April, our first year maintenance cost was zero. In the comments of the linked article is more information on the maintenance schedule provided by Nissan. There are two maintenance schedules provided – Schedule 1 (More Severe) and Schedule 2 (Less Severe). Unless you live in Yuma, Death Valley, or locales that salt the road in winter, Schedule 2 will do just fine. Service writers will (almost) always recommend the more severe schedule. Some may offer a Premium plan as well. They also recommend changing oil every ninety days in a gasoline powered vehicle which is both unnecessary and wasteful. With new car margins shrinking due to more informed consumers, dealerships from all manufacturers are looking to maintain profitability in any way they can. Unless you feel that there is a specific need to change the brake fluid (a Schedule 1 item), it likely does not need to be changed on an annual basis.
If you have had your LEAF for awhile now, and are comfortable sharing your average monthly fuel cost (with perhaps a comment on how much your gasoline fueled vehicle cost to drive the same distance), please feel free to leave a comment below, as many will be looking to this article as a resource in helping them to make a purchase decision.
We don’t believe that cost of ownership is the primary factor in your decision to acquire your LEAF. But it is a factor that you will consider when making your decision. Our hope is that this article will help bring some clarity to this decision point.
Other articles that you may find of interest:
Cost to drive a Nissan LEAF compared to a gas powered car (found here)
Department of Energy chimes in on cost of driving an EV (found here).