Owning an Electric Car – The Missing Manual

4 Responses

  1. Matt Griscom says:

    Nice post, great information! On the cost comparison with owning an ICE car (Internal Combustion Engine) you left out the much greater maintenance costs associated with a gas-powered car, e.g.:

    *Gas engines have been improving for more than a century, but they’re still extremely complex and they need oil and filter changes, gas filter changes, belts etc. on a schedule right from the start, the water pump can fail, any part of the exhaust system can fail e.g. rust out, the oxygen sensor could fail, and huge number of things could go on and show you “the Idiot Light.”

    *Transmission. Because the power band of a gas engine is so narrow (diesel even more so I think) you need many gears, shifting or an extremely complex automatic tranny. Trouble here runs into serious money.

    Electric cars have gears in a transfer box and a differential, but it’s vastly simpler i.e. more reliable than what we’re used to with ICE cars.

    I like your cost analysis. Can you figure in maintenance costs?

    I drive a 2011 Leaf and have more than 24,200 miles on it. By far the most expensive thing I’ve done to it, and I anticipate this will hold for the next 5 years anyway, is to buy a new set of tires.

    Happy zooming!

  2. Turbofroggy says:

    FYI on L2 options: You can send your existing “brick” (EVSE) to be upgraded to 240V 16A charging. The website is http://www.evseupgrade.com, for about $259. Then you will need to have an L6-20 style plug and 20A breaker installed, cost for that for the permit, materials and labor should be around $250 depending on how far from your panel you want the plug. It is possible to get to L2 charging for around $600 this way. If you have an existing 240V plug like a dryer outlet would be just the $259 plus an adapter. Adapters can be had from http://evseadapters.com or make your own.

  3. George-Leaf says:

    great post! It’s nice to see someone take such time to detail their perspective and it’s fun to see a fresh approach to explaining it all! I’ve owned the 2011 and 2012 Leaf and assume you will love this car. we were so impressed with going EV that we put solar on our house and, after great consideration bit the bullet and dug into savings and got a Tesla S as well. hopefully our kids won’t regret our choices when it comes time for them to go to college :~). we are now gas free and 100% solar offset for our driving. I was/am amazed at how little energy it takes to drive electric and how much energy solar can produce even in “sunny Seattle”. anyway, thanks for the write up and hope you enjoy your Leaf!

  4. Dave says:

    At 3 miles per kWh, you’re clearly in a cold climate and using the heater a lot. In Atlanta, we routinely see 4.1-4.5 miles per kWh on our two LEAFs, and that’s with one driving on the highway a lot. Combine that with overnight power rates of a nickel here, and the LEAF costs 1 cent a mile in Atlanta to “make it go.” Love my LEAF (and my other LEAF).

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