No more sticker shock

Guest Blog | October 15, 2011 | Clean Transportation

Did you ever think you’d see a car sticker that told you that you could get 99 miles/gallon or better?

Well, it’s here, sort of.

The EPA released its official fuel economy ratings for the Nissan LEAF. Because the Nissan Leaf is all-electric, EPA based its estimates using a formula to determine the equivalent mileage to gallons (or MPGe)–one 33.7 kWh equivalent to one gallon gasoline energy. Based on this formula, the Nissan Leaf gets a combined 99 mpg (equivalent) rating (MPGe), based on 106 city and 92 highway miles. The actual range of the Nissan Leaf is about 73 miles on a single charge when accounting for differences among consumers driving behavior, use of the air conditioner and heat and other electrical devices.


EPA’s label also estimates the annual cost of “fuel” for the vehicle to be $561 annually. In the case of the Nissan Leaf, it uses only electricity, so EPA estimated electricity cost at 12 cents/kWh. The cost will depend on the cost of electricity where you live, work and recharge and what time of day you are charging. The estimated time for charging is also listed at seven hours on 240V.

Also present on the label is the number of gallons of fuel burned to travel 100 miles and charts rating the vehicle’s greenhouse gas and smog emissions from 1 (worst) to 10 (best). The Nissan Leaf gets a “10”.  It is also estimated to use 34 kWh of electricity per 100 miles.  So at $0.12 per kwh, we estimate the Leaf will cost about $0.041 per mile to operate.  Now that’s a great deal!

Further, regardless of whether it’s 92 or 106 MPGe, that’s still very good news for our environment. According to Nissan, the estimates make it the “best in the midsize vehicle class for fuel efficiency and best for the environment”.

EPA’s new labeling is a bit confusing, but the message about the Nissan Leaf is clear, it’s a pretty good deal for your pocketbook in the long term.  For information on other top cars for fuel economy as rated by U.S. EPA and DOE, please visit their site.

SACE is a proud owner of a Nissan Leaf and is a participant in the EV project. We also have two public charging stations available for use at our Knoxville office. Our staff will be sharing stories about our experiences with the vehicle over the coming months, so please continue to check our website and blog to learn more about electric vehicles, our celebrations and lessons.

Also, please support National Plug-In Day this Sunday, October 16, 2011.  Check it out!

Guest Blog
My Profile