By Mark and Sara Schiller
Like most families we had two gas powered cars – a 2003 truck and a 1994 Mercedes Benz station wagon. When we decided to get a new car we did a lot of research and eventually decided on the Nissan Leaf.
We bought a Leaf for really three reasons – we wanted to buy a car from a manufacturer that had a high likelihood of being in business five years from now; second, because we wanted to buy a car from a manufacturer that was really promoting and supportive of electric vehicles, and finally price. Our kids attend a local school and we both work downtown (6.5 miles from our home) so our required daily range is not extensive.
We waited until the 2013 model became available and were one of the first to buy that model in March 2013. Since that time, we absolutely love our Leaf. We took a picture of the price of gasoline the night we drove it home which was $3.93 per gallon. We use the Leaf for virtually all driving we do. The only times we have not used it have been on trips that were 100 miles or more away, and in those cases we drive our fairly low MPG truck.
We typically drive the Leaf about 25 miles a day during the work week. We generally plug the Leaf in at around 7pm every other night and leave it plugged in until about 7am the next morning. With that we get about a 60% charge which can power us for three days comfortably.
We decided not to install a Level II charger although we may in the future; at this point it does not seem necessary. So far we have never needed to charge the Leaf outside our house – we’ve always used a standard 110V outlet in our garage. Prior to our Leaf purchase, we typically spent about $200/month in gas at $3.50 – 4.00/gallon. Since we purchased the Leaf we have spent very little on gas.