EV+PV: My Leaf Hits 30,000 Miles

The odometer on my 2013 Nissan Leaf rolled past 30,000 miles this morning in-transit to our shop. Over the past 26 months, my affinity for the Leaf has wavered: Fun to drive, great for the environment, and (beyond) cheap to operate; major range and charging anxiety, less-than-cool design, safe as an aluminum can. For $200 a month (thanks to Hanlee's lease) with minimal operating costs, I can't complain.

We've opined about the PB&J beauty of EVs + PV: The ecological and economic benefits can't be beat. At 25 miles/gallon for a gas-fueled car, I have avoided purchasing 1,200 gallons of gasoline.

First, here are the GHG equivalents of 30,000 miles of electric driving (click here for a super-cool EPA GHG calculator):

- 10.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide

- 267 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

- 3.4 tons of waste sent to a landfill

A dent, but certainly meaningful (at least to me). Enter the economic side of the equation and the Leaf truly sparkles:

- Of the 30,000 miles, approximately half were charged for free (primarily at downtown Davis charging stations) and half at home.

- My cost of solar-generated electricity (produced on my roof) is ~ 7 cents per kWh.

- Every kWh of electricity fuels (hah!) four miles of electric vehicle transport.

- 15,000 charge-at-home miles divided by 4 = 3,750 kWh

- 3,750 kWh @ $0.07/kWh = $262.50

Pretty cool and, importantly, not unique to my situation: Two-plus years of heavy driving at a cost (sans the lease payments) of $262.50 with nary a naughty emission. Electric vehicles powered by solar-generated electricity can't be beat.