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Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
8/16/13 9:52 a.m.

No more mpg for me...I'm now all about miles/kwh. I've gone electric.

Long story short, it fit all my needs and the price was right. My priority list: fuel efficient, reliable, fun and unique (don't want to see 20 of the same car every time I drive to work). Non-turbo MINI Cooper was originally tops on my list. But a few months back I read an article about the Honda Fit EV, but it's not offered in PA. A few weeks later, I happened to follow a Leaf home from work. I started poking around and went to test drive one. Put out some feelers to several dealerships. Since it was the end of the month, I had several dealers pushing hard for a deal. Got them down to a price that I couldn't walk away from. I got the highest trim model on a 2 year lease with 15k miles per year.

I've had it for about 2 weeks now and am really enjoying it. First new car I've gotten just for me since '97. It fits all my requirements. It's ultra efficient, reliable (a new car with a warranty is a nice feeling), and it's fun in it's own way. The torque is really cool. It's not fast by any measure, but it has instant pull at any speed. My daily commute is 50 miles round trip, and it covers that with ease. That trip used to cost me $7.25 in fuel. It now costs me $0.30 in electricity. The car is a techno geeks dream...which is funny considering I'm stone age with techno stuff. I don't even own a smartphone. Guess it's time for me to see the light of technology.

It drives very much like most other small hatchbacks. Steering feel is light, but still accurate. It's fun to try to hypermill the car and drive it with just the gas pedal...no brakes needed if you do it right.

Only thing left to do on the car is install the huge side graphics that say "Zero Emission". It's a factory option from Nissan, but the dealer didn't have any in stock, so they mailed me one.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
8/16/13 10:03 a.m.

But can it roll coal?

DrBoost
DrBoost PowerDork
8/16/13 10:11 a.m.

I think that's the ugliest car I ever wanted Good for you man! If you don't mind getting all personal, what did it cost you to get it? How much down and how much per month? I'm curious to see how it balances against the $125 or so you're saving each month.

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
8/16/13 10:11 a.m.
1988RedT2 wrote: But can it roll coal?

Only from the power plant producing the electricity....

Cotton
Cotton SuperDork
8/16/13 10:12 a.m.

You're really going to install those big ass stickers? It just seems like overkill to me, but if you like them go for it.

JoeyM
JoeyM Mod Squad
8/16/13 10:15 a.m.

I like it.....a lot, actually. Oh, and they can actually be made to look feirce

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH UltimaDork
8/16/13 10:23 a.m.

Don't put those stickers on, too "eco-smug." And it's cooler to have an electric car that doesn't stand out rather than looking like a geeky tech demonstrator. THAT feels like the future.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
8/16/13 10:30 a.m.

1, Gas is going back down now and I can get by with the 34 mixed out of my DD

2, Nice score. I would definitely go electric if it is an option next time.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
8/16/13 10:34 a.m.

I have no opinion on this topic. If you are happy, then that is all that matter. For the record, I am happy that you are happy!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/16/13 10:38 a.m.

We are looking so closely at getting one of these for the same reasons you did. Nice lease! Did your state have any rebates or extras? Up here we get no sales tax (so that saves 9.8%) and free plates/registration, but no actual cash money. Keep us updated!

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
8/16/13 10:50 a.m.

The car doesn't 100% "pay for itself", as a lot of people want to believe it can, but it's darn close. I put down $1999 and my lease is $249/month, including all taxes, etc... Keep in mind that's for a loaded SL model with its' goodies and 15k miles/yr instead of 12k. I could have gotten a base model for about $169-$179/month. I've heard of people out on the west coast, specifically Oregon, getting leases for $2000 down and $129/month for a base car, as they have no sales taxes. In PA, it's 9% for a lease.

Not only will I be driving it the 50 miles too/from work, I'm also going to use it for errands...I'll use every last one of those 15k miles/year. At $3.59/gallon, that's $2150-$2250/year in gas. Plus no maintenance. Just one check of the battery, which is free at the dealer. In the end, I'm still spending more than driving my beater, but not by a lot. Something like $60-$70/month more, including all costs. For me that's a small price to pay for a brand new car with a warranty, working a/c, etc... If I got a base model, it probably would have paid for itself. But I said "Berkley it, I'd love the loaded model" and they deal they offered me was awesome.

As for the sticker, yeah I know it's flashy, over the top, kind of crazy. I don't want to put it on to advertise being a tech geek. For whatever reason, I like it. I haven't put it on yet, I'm going to drive around a few more weeks and then decide.

Cotton
Cotton SuperDork
8/16/13 10:55 a.m.

In reply to Klayfish:

Is that 50 miles each way? Can you charge at work? Just curious as my commute is 36 miles each way and I was always concerned with range if I got stuck in traffic for extended lengths of time etc, but to be honest I haven't looked deeply into it, so could be completely wrong about that. I'm just thinking if we decided to do something fully electric down the road could we with our commute. The last thing I need is to develop "range anxiety" lol. That's one of the reasons I think a plug in hybrid would work much better for us.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
8/16/13 10:56 a.m.
Cotton wrote: Just curious as my commute is 36 miles each way and I was always concerned with range if I got stuck in traffic for extended lengths of time etc,

Getting stuck in traffic doesn't hurt your range at all.

Cotton
Cotton SuperDork
8/16/13 11:00 a.m.
Javelin wrote:
Cotton wrote: Just curious as my commute is 36 miles each way and I was always concerned with range if I got stuck in traffic for extended lengths of time etc,
Getting stuck in traffic doesn't hurt your range at all.

I thought if you had the radio, hvac, etc on it would? I'm an electric car dummy.

Klayfish
Klayfish SuperDork
8/16/13 11:06 a.m.

The car actually does much better in non-highway use situations than it does on the interstate. If you run 70mph down the highway, you'll probably only get 60 miles out of a charge, maybe 70. My commute is 25 miles each way. If I have the battery fully charged before I leave, I come home with about 45-48% battery life left after 50 miles. So I'm not even close to it's limits. Sure, every time you accelerate you use battery, but you also get some regen when you slow down. Drive properly and you can completely regen to a stop, don't even touch the brakes. When it's sitting still in traffic, it's not using any power, so that's not an issue. Highway driving uses more battery, because of wind resistance. The heater definitely drains power, so my range will decrease some in the winter. But the car comes with heated seats and a heated steering wheel, so I'll keep the blower lower. The radio uses almost no power, nor do my headlights/tailights...both are LED. The center computer on the dash can display energy use, and it's amazing how little the accessories use. A/C uses some, but nowhere as much as you'd think. It may shorten my range by 7-10 miles if I have it blasting on a hot day, but I haven't tried. I've used it when it was 85 degrees, and per the computer, it shortened by range by 4 miles overall. One nice touch is that I can program the heat or a/c to turn on while I'm still plugged into an outlet, so I use the grid to heat/cool initially instead of the battery.

I can charge with 110V at home. If I come home with 45% battery, I fully recharge in about 10-11 hours. I just had a 220V line run to the garage yesterday. That'll let me recharge fully in 2.5 hours. There's also a Chevy dealer 3 miles from me that has a 220V quick charge station I can use for free.

nderwater
nderwater UberDork
8/16/13 11:07 a.m.

These days my daily driver needs are increasingly divergent from my enthusiast leanings, and I'm actually finding this ugly duckling appealing.

I wear a suit every day and commute 1.5-2 hours a day in hot and frustrating Atlanta traffic. A low-cost electric car would let me travel the HOV lanes in air-conditioned comfort, leaving me more money to burn on gasoline and tires with one of my fun cars in the evenings and on weekends.

Please continue to report back with your ownership experiences - I really do want to know.

kb58
kb58 HalfDork
8/16/13 11:23 a.m.

FWIW, if you work for a defense contractor you cannot charge it at work due to the money ultimately coming from taxpayers.

Which isn't much different than the "free" charging stations at malls. Guess who's paying electric car owners to charge their cars? Me, you, and everyone else... Just sayin'

I'm waiting for the day when CA's already-stretched electric grid goes down because everyone's charging their cars at work. Not only does it put everyone out of work, but the electric cars may not be able to get home... the irony.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
8/16/13 11:33 a.m.

We recently started leasing an electric Smart. $200 a month. Pays for itself and then some on the wife's commute to work.

Definitely gets better 'mileage' in stop/go traffic due to regen. Seems to regen about 30-40% from a mileage perspective. Driving it with A/C really affects charge. So if you are in a sitation like nderwater, it may not be the right car. The pure electric cars are a great point A to point B car. Maybe add in a point C but it's not a car I expect to be able to drive all day long running different errands. Volt probably works better for that since it has the gas-fired engine to recharge the battery.

Volt leases are competitive as well. Check them out.

amg_rx7
amg_rx7 Dork
8/16/13 11:35 a.m.
kb58 wrote: Which isn't much different than the "free" charging stations at malls. Guess who's paying electric car owners to charge their cars? Me, you, and everyone else... Just sayin' I'm waiting for the day when CA's already-stretched electric grid goes down because everyone's charging their cars at work. Not only does it put *everyone* out of work, but the electric cars may not be able to get home... the irony.

Umm.... no. You're stretching reality a bit. Free charging stations at the malls means the company that runs the mall is paying for the electricity. Not the gov't and therefore not us taxpayers.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory HalfDork
8/16/13 11:35 a.m.
Ranger50 wrote:
1988RedT2 wrote: But can it roll coal?
Only from the power plant producing the electricity....

You stole that from my brain!

tuna55
tuna55 PowerDork
8/16/13 11:36 a.m.

Glad to hear you got one - I still cannot come to terms with the monthly costs yet - although we're working on it. Keep us posted.

pushrod36
pushrod36 New Reader
8/16/13 11:45 a.m.

please put a loud pipes saves lives sticker on this.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin SuperDork
8/16/13 11:48 a.m.

What's the insurance like on one of these?

I'v done the math several times, and they are close, but still more expensive than the cars I own. The "hassle free" factor is really starting to look appealing.

ransom
ransom UltraDork
8/16/13 11:58 a.m.
amg_rx7 wrote:
kb58 wrote: Which isn't much different than the "free" charging stations at malls. Guess who's paying electric car owners to charge their cars? Me, you, and everyone else... Just sayin' I'm waiting for the day when CA's already-stretched electric grid goes down because everyone's charging their cars at work. Not only does it put *everyone* out of work, but the electric cars may not be able to get home... the irony.
Umm.... no. You're stretching reality a bit. Free charging stations at the malls means the company that runs the mall is paying for the electricity. Not the gov't and therefore not us taxpayers.

I think his point was that the cost of the juice at the mall will be passed on to the stores at the mall and to you via the bump in the cost of your Orange Julius.

That said, malls do all sorts of things to sell themselves, and the cost is always passed on to the consumers. This one is a come-on to people with electric cars (and casts them in a positive light with people who like the idea of electric cars even if they don't own one) and the cost is spread out across all shoppers. But there are other promotions whose costs are also spread out and whose benefits only apply to some. Big deal. They spend a bunch on decor at the mall which I hate and the cost is applied to my purchases, but I think it's not something to get wound up about.

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
8/16/13 12:28 p.m.

This is a great thread! I've arranged to meet up with a guy from another forum to check out his Leaf next week (i would prefer not to deal with hovering salespersons until im ready to deal), and i'm really looking forward to it!!

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