Another lightbulb moment

I know electric cars don’t use fuel. Everyone knows that, right? Not unleaded, not diesel. It’s kind of obvious. Perhaps too obvious?

When we got use of a demo electric car – a Nissan Leaf, apart from setting off, it was no different to normal driving. Setting off is seriously weird though! There is literally no noise, apart from a slight whine which apparently they have had to add to warn pedestrians… You just press your foot on the acelerator, the car begins to move and inside the car you can’t even hear that whine. It feels surreal. Once you pick up speed, the sound of the tyres on the road and cars passing makes it feel more normal.

Anyway… The Nissan Leaf doesn’t use fuel. Though it does need charging…

I forgot to take a record of the mileage before we left the dealership, so did so once we got home. I charged the Leaf using a normal three pin UK socket for a few hours in the evening and again for a couple of hours the next morning.

As well as a kind of “battery life remaining” dial that looks a bit like a fuel gauge, the Leaf shows estimated miles you can travel. By the time I unplugged our Tekna model, the charge was up to 107 miles. You can see this on the right of the image below:

We drove pretty much as normal the next morning – Saturday – with a mix of city and motorway driving. As you can see from the next image, we drove a total of 49 miles and took our remaining miles down by 55 miles to 52:

The Leaf is an electric car… So, we had used the fans and the radio and the heater and played around with the gadgets available. You use electricity in an electric car and it does impact the distance you will be able to travel. But not by much…

I still wasn’t convinced. We were looking at just under £280 a month for three years plus £1,000 deposit on a PCP deal for a second hand car. £11,080 in total, £3694 a year. Far more than we’d ever paid for a car.

Except, the Leaf was really nice. We’ve wanted an electric car for years. Still tempting.

That’s when I had my next lightbulb moment…

You already know this right, so feel free to have a laugh. The Leaf is an electric car. It doesn’t use fuel. Fuel costs money. Money we wouldn’t have to pay each month…

I did a rough calculation of how much we spend on petrol each month (we actually have two cars just now so this is just for the car we’d be replacing.) £108 a month we’d save on petrol.

I travel roughly 170 miles a week on that £108. Per month that would be 736 (170 X 4.33) Nissan estimates it costs £0.02 a mile to charge if you charge using a low rate. Even if you double that, that would cost £29.45 a month, saving £78.55 a month.

Which would bring the monthly total cost of the Leaf (including the deposit) down to £230. (£3694 a year divided by 12 = £307.83 less £78.55)

£230 a month. It’s starting to seem affordable…

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