I surpassed the 60,000 mile mark in the LEAF this week. I have had the vehicle for 3 1/2 years so I have averaged about 17,000 miles per year.
Electric Car Drivers drive 50% further than Gas car drivers.
I drive more than the average gas car driver which is 13,476 miles per year despite the LEAF’s “Limited Range”. My commute has doubled since I first got the LEAF so my current annual mileage is 20,000 miles/yr which is 50% further than the national average. (Last January I had 40,000 miles on the clock).
A recent web post by CleanTechnica reported that in Europe LEAF drivers drive about 50% further than the average gas car driver. So the pattern of driving 50% further is true across the pond as it is here in the USA.
At first this may seem counter-intuitive that a car with a range of less than 100 miles is driven 50% further each year when compared to a gas car which can get between 300 and 600 miles range per fillup *and* as gas car drivers like to remind EV drivers constantly, can be refueled in 5 minutes versus hours to refuel an EV. The reason comes down to economics. The people who drive longer than average commutes, stand to save much more money by driving electric.
Electric Cars are considerably cheaper to drive
I estimated before buying the LEAF I would save $10,000 in fuel alone in the first 100,000 miles of driving the LEAF. The reality is that I have saved $7,500 already, which means I’m on track to save over $13,000 over the first 100,000 miles. Not only do EV drivers save hard cash, budgeting for electricity is much more predictable than gas. Back in July 2011 I was paying 9.8c per kWh for my electricity. Today I am paying 9.8c per kWh. The price of electricity has varied by no more than 1c per kWh over the last 3 1/2 years. Gas prices are much more volatile Right now gas is cheap compared to 2011, but it was considerably more expensive just 6 months ago.
Hybrid cars sales are down 15% this year, largely because of lower gas prices, however EV sales have remained strong and have grown over 40% in the last year. Clearly EV sales do not depend upon gas prices, mainly because they do don’t use gas, the price of gas is much less important.
Electric Cars visit the dealer much less often
In addition to costing less to maintain, electric cars are simply more convenient. The LEAF maintenance schedule is to get the LEAF serviced each 7,500 miles, twice the average interval compared to a gas car. Half of the visits are simply inspections and tire rotations only. A LEAF driver could get tires rotated anywhere, no need to make an appointment with a dealer for those. The more costly maintenance visits ($140) come once every 15,000 miles.
EV’s are very reliable, so unscheduled visits to the dealer are less frequent as well.
Since EV drivers don’t have to make special stops to refuel (recharging occurs at home 80% of the time) the EV is clearly much more convenient to drive than gasoline requiring less time out of your life devoted to keeping your car on the road.
Would I go back to a gasoline car?