The hippie conversion is nearly complete: I am now the proud owner of a Nissan LEAF!
We can’t call ourselves members of the Hippie Club just yet considering we still own 3 cars: 2 commuter vehicles for my husband and I and a third vehicle for our nanny to drive our kids around during the day.
It’s important to note that while we are up to 3 cars now, we’ve made steady improvement on our vehicle economy both in price and emissions. Just 4 months ago we had both a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 2010 Mercedes E63 AMG. We traded in the E63 and leased both an Acura RDX and ILX to commute in, leaving the Tahoe for our nanny to drive.
As a family of 4 with no towing needs, there was no compelling reason to keep our Tahoe. It only gets 13-15 MPG, is difficult to park and we averaged only 7,000 miles per year including all family trips.
Purchase Price: The LEAF we purchased is a pre-owned 2013 model and we walked out the door paying less than $10,500 cash. We were able to trade in our Tahoe for what we owed on it, a higher value than I expected. The difference in payoff left on the Tahoe and purchase price of the LEAF saved us $15,000.
Fuel Savings: The Nissan LEAF will cost about 3.5 cents per mile to drive. At current gas prices of $2.50/gallon, our RDX and ILX cost about 8-10 cents per mile and our Tahoe would have cost about 17 cents per mile. By trading in the Tahoe for the LEAF, we expect to save at least $65/month on fuel, a savings that will increase if gas prices continue to climb.
Maintenance Savings: No oil changes! No fuel filters!
I recently read a post over on Wait But Why that explains in depth the history of energy, cars and the current electric vehicle revolution. Fair warning, it’s a very long read and centers mostly on Tesla and Elon Musk but it has an abundance of relevant information.