Will the Nissan Leaf Save Me Money?

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Chances are that gas prices are going to go through the roof soon, so would it be wise to invest in one of those new electric cars? This is the question that I’m beginning to ask myself, so I decided to do the research.

Nissan Leaf Purchase Price

The Nissan Leaf has a current sticker price of $32,780, so it’s by no means cheap from the get-go. However, there is quite a favorable tax credit as an incentive for your Eco-friendliness. This will take $7,500 off that initial purchase price. So, the actual cost of this new electric car is approximately $25,000. That’s actually not too bad for a new car!

Can the Leaf Go Faster Than 30mph?

When I think of an electric car, I think of a moped with 4 wheels and only slightly more room. I know this is silly, but I do not ever consider electric cars to be speedy. As it turns out though, the Leaf can go 0-60mph in 8 seconds. That’s actually not too bad.

So How Does the Charge Work?

The Nissan Leaf obvioulsy uses no fuel whatsoever; it is fully powered by a 24kWh lithium battery pack. Each Leaf will be supplied with a “Level 2” charging station that is included with the purchase price, and will be the most common way to charge the car. Since this electric car is only capable of going 100 miles on a single charge, you’ll most likely be plugging in your car every evening. For every hour of charging, your car will be able to go 14 additional miles. If you begin charging from an empty tank, it will take approximately 8 hours to charge up completely.

How Much Does It Cost to Charge the Nissan Leaf?

The national average electricity cost is $0.1147/kWh. That means the average cost to charge the car would be $2.75 from Empty to Full. Not too bad. As a comparison, the Toyota Prius averages about 55 miles per gallon of gas (which is over $3 right now), so by charging our car with electricity, we’re spending half the money of that Prius driver!

Will The Nissan Leaf Save Me Money?

My wife and I currently drive a Jeep (don’t shoot us, this is our only vehicle! We go everywhere together) that averages about 16 miles per gallon. We spend about $200 a month on gas for our trips to work and a few grocery outings. If we owned the leaf, our “fuel” bill would be about $25. That would give us a savings of $175 a month, or $2,100 a year! That is pretty amazing, and it seems this car will soon pay for itself.

Do I Think It’s Worth It?

Before researching this topic, I figured it would be slightly beneficial to own an electric car, but I am really becoming a believer in this alternative fuel source for cars! The Leaf looks pretty sleek, the interior is futuristic, and the gas savings prove to be well worth the initial expense!

When we are in the market for a second vehicle, I’m going to be looking into the Nissan Leaf.

What is your take on the new electric cars? Have you looked into the Nissan Leaf, or do you intend to in the future? Are you bothered by the lack of distance per charge?

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26 comments to Will the Nissan Leaf Save Me Money?

  • This will be an interesting experiment. I can’t imagine plugging my car in every night like my cell phone. It sounds kinda cool, except, I guess yo won’t be taking any long trips. How would you work that out for a road trip? Guess you’d have to take the Jeep anywhere over 75 or so miles away.
    James Fowlkes recently posted..Put Your Investing on Autopilot

  • Jason

    You could even hold out a little longer and buy a slightly used one, therefore increasing your savings anywhere from 5-50 percent! Maybe 50 percent is a bit optimistic, but who knows, good deals can always be found.

  • Very nice post Derek! The fuel savings certainly are attractive! Good to see these cars are becoming popular. I would like the sticker price to be a little lower though!
    MoneyCone recently posted..Happiness Is Never Having To Pay An ATM Fee!

    • Yeah, I think the prices will come down pretty soon. Give it 2 or 3 years. I was just saying to my wife how awesome it’s going to be when electric cars are mainstream and can get 1000 miles on a charge instead of 100. It’s coming.

  • Anything looks good compared to my old beaten down chevy, but I am really excited about increased affordability/productivity of such cars. I am never an early adaptor but I will be waiting to see how it plays out.

  • I’m all for alternative fuel sources and I think electric cars will eventually make a big impact.

    However, in some cases (like mine) it doesn’t make sense. I work from home and drive my car very little. As a result, I would probably end up paying more having to charge my car every night than a tank of gas which lasts me several weeks. And I also think it would be a pain in the butt to have to remember to charge every night 🙂
    Car Negotiation Coach recently posted..4-000 in savings is pretty sweet for a few hours of effort

    • 🙂 Yes, if you do not use the car regularly, I can understand how it would be tough to remember. You’d be ready to go somewhere and, oops, forgot to charge the car, guess you’ll have to wait 8 hours before you go anywhere! 🙂

      I’m sure the technology is going to improve quite rapidly though. I’m excited to witness it!

  • Dar

    This really makes me want the Leaf, I’ll even take the Volt for that matter.

    How do you think the government will make up for lost tax dollars on fuel? Does anyone know how much that deficit could potentially be, or the dollar amount currently collected on gas?

  • I’m pretty interested in these all-electric vehicles too. definitely considering one in the next few years depending on how the ‘real life experience” of others works out.

    I do wonder though, if many people make the shift to electric what the larger macro impacts will be – – increased electricity prices and reduced gas prices due t shifting demand? I realize we’re years away from things, but if the main benefit is the econonics to the consumer, then that benefit won’t last forever as the scales tip. From the green perspective, one still needs to consider the source of their electricity and unfortunately, N. America is quite a ways behind there.
    Jaymus (RealizedReturns) recently posted..Financial Lessons from “The Company Men”

  • You can just rent a car for longer trips.
    I would love a leaf, but we don’t have a place to plug it in.
    We live in a high rise and park in the parking garage.
    If I live in a house, I would definitely get one. I would be great to reduce gas consumption.
    retirebyforty recently posted..Investment Fundamental 1 – Your Partner

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  • rafael estrada

    You actually can get Nissan without living in a home. if you go to the website, somewhere there they ask the most asked question, you can use the Nissan Leaf electric stations as your main source for charging ^-^ if you guys wanted to know if any one lived in an apartment.

  • Somite

    Just wanted to point out that the savings will be even higher if you charge your car in off peak hours. Where I live these are the rates:

    Electric Rates for RG-2 (Residential Time of Day Service).
    Customer Charge: $7.50 per month.
    Energy Charges:On-Peak Energy Charge: $0.1843 per kWh.
    Off-Peak Energy Charge: $0.0494 per kWh.

    It seems your off-peak cost would be about $5.00 a month!

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  • I think that electric vehicles are excellent and I would consider purchasing one if the range was large. Even so I would still save a large sum of money on fuel costs.

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