1,000 miles on zero gallons of gas

Guest Blog | August 29, 2014 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles

This guest post written by Mary Landers was originally posted on the Savannah Morning News website on August 21, 2014. We love to share real stories of new EV drivers with our readers and the experience of switching from gasoline to electric. As she highlights, since Georgia and the Southeast remain highly dependent on coal and natural gas, the greenhouse gas equivalent emissions are similar to that of a Toyota Prius, based on 2010 data, but EVs are also much cleaner than most gasoline vehicles on the road today. However, as the grid become cleaner with many new solar and wind projects in our region coming online, so will EVs, and we expect that to improve annually. Union of Concerned Scientists is also currently updating their State of Charge report and will be releasing updated data for each state in 2015. Stay tuned.

Evee waits patiently to take me home from the Savannah Morning News. Photo credit: Mary Landers

Last month I took the plunge and leased a Nissan Leaf. We needed to replace my husband’s car and I was interested in electric vehicles from both a cost and emissions standpoint.

So far, so good. We leased the car from Grainger for two years at $239 a month and $1,750 down, taxes, tags and first month included. Georgia offers a $5,000 tax credit on electric vehicles even if you lease rather than buy, which made the two-year lease extra tempting.

With that rebate figured in, the car will cost about $90 a month. It doesn’t require any maintenance beyond rotating the tires. (One salesman jokingly offered  to throw in lifetime oil changes for free — there’s no oil to change. No air filter or spark plugs either, and no check engine light on the dash. Good riddance to that!)

We were going to buy a home-charging station for about $1,000 installed, but so far we haven’t needed it. Instead we plug Evee, as the kids dubbed the electric blue Leaf, into an outlet in the living room. We park in the driveway and thread the cord through the window.

But what about your electric bill, I hear you asking. I know, I was a little worried, too. I signed up for Georgia Power’s time-of-use plan, which for a flat monthly fee lowers the overnight rate to about a cent a Kwh while raising the peak rate, from 2-7 p.m., to about 20 cents per Kwh. There’s a shoulder rate that’s in between. I haven’t gotten my first bill yet, but I did get Georgia Power to teach me how to read the smart meter myself. It turns out we spent less than $7 charging up Evee for its first 1,000 miles.

So the cost of leasing and driving the Leaf 1000 miles a month is less than $100 a month, fuel and maintenance included. We were previously paying about $130 in gas alone to drive 1,000 miles.

To read more of her blog, visit the original post here.

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