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This diary has been waiting around as a draft for a couple of weeks... and it has turned out for the better! Today is National Plug-In Day, celebrating and showcasing electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid cars (PHEVs).

To prove the point that EVs have become a viable family alternative to gas cars, we going to drive all the way to the event at Snoqualmie Falls, 35 miles each way, without charging. Using this fully-electric car:

Our 2012 Nissan Leaf, near our home in Seattle, the morning after we bought it. Isn't it beautiful?
Our beautiful new Nissan Leaf, bought August 26 in Everett, Washington.

The diary title says it's affordable. How much did it cost us, you might ask?

$5600 down.
$99/month for 24 months. (we added another $30+tax/month, to pay in advance for all half-yearly service visits over the next 2 years). We can do up to 12k miles/year without penalty (we expect to do only 5-6k/year).

After 2 years, we can either return it and walk away - we won't be bound to our Leaf, or to Nissan, in any way - or buy it outright for $21.4k.

Oh, and the cherry on top: Nissan is giving us a $1k rebate!

The four weeks we've had the Leaf have been like a dream. Driving is extremely pleasurable, doubly so knowing that each mile's CO2 emissions is 1/100th to 1/50th of the emissions from our aging gas SUV - because we live in Seattle where 90% of the electricity is renewable. And people stop us at least once a day (or stop by our home) with excited questions.

I feel like an EV ambassador, and this is my message:

If you can afford it, and if it can accommodate your driving needs, go and lease yourself an EV or PHEV now!

Furthermore, shop around and bargain hard for a deal. You might need to be patient and persistent with your local dealers - many of them have a hard time understanding the role of EVs and PHEVs in their fleet. And many are slow to learn that despite the high introductory prices of these cars, it is a buyer's market now - and it will probably remain a buyer's market for a long time.

Why am I saying that? See below the squiggle for the answer, and for more tips regarding EV/PHEV decisions...

-------------------------  MONDAY 7:30 AM PDT UPDATE: ---------------------------

Thanks for the Rescue, and for the continued interesting questions and comments. I have to say that we've almost never in our life been early tech adopters. But this one felt so right, that we just went for it - and we're not sorry!

Regarding the "buyer's market" perspective, I've had the following epiphany last night (sorry for the boldface, but I'm excited about this one):

Even if an EV/PHEV is not for you personally right now, please do lobby your local government, or any organization you know with a fleet and with urban, stop-and-go driving needs - to make their next fleet purchase a "last year's model" EV/PHEV. And to use their increased bargaining power to drive the price even further down!

An EV/PHEV Version of Moore's Law

The EV/PHEV market seems to be progressing through a version of Moore's Law - the exponential increase in computer capabilities, that in a single generation has turned computers from behemoths that only governments and corporations can afford, into inexpensive, tiny multi-tasking entertainment gadgets stuck in everyone's back pocket. A present-day smartphone probably has more capacity than a 1970's "super-computer". More crucially to our case - with computers and electronics it has become totally normal to expect that the brand-new model just out to store shelves will be sold at half the price before the year is up. Maybe even less.

The rate of EV/PHEV technological improvement will probably not be as fast as in electronics (where capacity doubles roughly every 2 years). But in most years, the improvement will be substantial enough to render last year's model obsolete - leading to amazing deals on that model as the new model rolls out. This could be the case once the 2013 Nissan Leaf, whose abilities are kept under a heavy cloak of secrecy, is finally in the market.

Even more importantly, the technology's rapid advance means more players in the market. The Ford Focus electric, available at major cities since this summer, recharges its battery twice as fast as the Leaf, which is hugely important for the more heavy-duty commuters (it is also more expensive, of course) The Coda made by a new American company, is a family sedan sold all across California (and scheduled to expand nationally next year), with an advertised range 25% longer than the Leaf's. And the 800-pound gorilla of hybrids, the Prius, is now offered with a plug-in option. The EPA rated its range as 11 miles - too short to qualify for the $7.5k rebate - but trust Toyota to increase it within a year or two and thus break the market wide open.

The dealer community seems to be the slowest learner in this game, and therefore inventory has been accumulating, and the companies themselves find themselves needing to prod dealers into better deals for customers. The Leaf in particular, has gone from 9-month waiting lists and customer hysteria upon its launch in 2011, to about 100 Leafs currently sitting on dealer lots, just here in Puget Sound!. This makes no sense. It's an amazing car, there's no shortage of environmentally conscious would-be Leaf owners here - and once the 2013 is out they'll be forced to either sell it back to Nissan (if that is possible), or to sell it below cost.

We were fortunate that one of the major Puget Sound dealerships has figured out the EV game, and offers various deals at different times to move inventory out, such as this $99/month lease. Several other dealers were willing to meet or beat that deal, and we chose one. I did not play dirty with them: just called each dealership once (there are about 7 around the Sound), told them about the advertised deal (of which they were aware, of course), and asked what they can offer. There was one other big dealership that tried to play dirty with me, though: they disputed the ad, saying that the real down payment must be at least $10k - then called me again 3 more times during the day to diss the other dealership's credibility. Long story short - as the intro says - the dissers were lying, the deal was real :)

Anyway, once most dealers catch on - and hopefully this will take no more than one more model-year cycle - the EV/PHEV market will become a win-win-win-win: one for them, one for the manufacturer, one for the buyers and - last but most important - one for Planet Earth. Those who can afford the new models will pay a premium for being first, while consumers on a budget can wait 6-12 months and get EVs and PHEVs for prices similar to, or slightly higher than, comparable gas cars.

And of course, with this type of technological turnover, the buying option that makes most sense is the lease. Besides enabling you to hedge in favor of tech improvements, the lease also indirectly awards you the $7.5 Federal tax credit right away, instead of having to file for it next year.

The leading EV (Leaf) and the leading PHEV (Volt) are both offered in leases that don't pay out the full car's cost. Rather, after 2-3 years you arrive at a decision point, when you can
1. Return the car and hop onto a newer model,
2. Buy it outright and sell it at a profit if the price is right, or
3. (and probably the less common option) Buy it outright to keep it.

Can You Make a Zero-Net-Cost Transition Now?

Assuming there is an EV/PHEV out there that meets your needs (see below), if you do the math right you might discover that leasing one now, is cost-neutral on a month-to-month basis. Here's why.

We don't drive a lot (see below, "footprint"). We do about 400 miles a month in-city. We now transferred these miles from our 2001 Santa Fe, which does <15 MPG in-city, to the Leaf. The Santa Fe's monthly in-city gas cost was $110-120. The Leaf's electricity cost per month? Maybe $10-15. So we saved $100/month - exactly the price of our lease.

Right now, the regular national lease rates for both the Leaf and the Volt, as far as I know, are about $250/month for 39 months. If you do >1000 miles/month in-city or commuting with a gas-guzzler like our Santa Fe, you will save $250 a month just on the gas by going EV/PHEV. There are smaller EVs out there (the Mitsubishi i?) that might be even cheaper and meet your needs. And if you can get rid of your old car - well, here are the few thousand dollars needed for the down payment and the charging station.

But of course, we are not in it for saving money. We are in it because it's the right thing to do - so we are willing to pay a premium to move the planet to the right direction, if we can afford it. Is buying an EV/PHEV the right thing to do?

A Little Footprint Analysis

I am great believer in the Wedge approach to mitigate global warming. I am not an expert on the details, but the principle makes perfect sense: there is no one magic bullet out there. To solve this humongous problem we have created - a combination of solutions are needed. The approach is also highly educational, because instead of waiting passively for that magic bullet to appear, and instead of feeling hopelessness and despair - everyone can take steps right here, right now, to reduce emissions. I was especially delighted to learn a month ago, right here on Daily Kos, that the ages-old practice of recycling and composting, and using that compost to replenish depleted agricultural soil - actually has a huge emission-mitigating footprint.

On a personal level, my wife and I have been very glad to learn that our natural tendency to be cheapskates and a bit old-fashioned - buy most furniture on garage sales (and now Craigslist), use electronics until it breaks and not until the next great things comes along, etc. etc. - is actually a net CO2-footprint asset. Moreover, we commute to work by transit (and have chosen to buy a house in a place where such commute would be feasible), and - something I am really proud of - have trained our two teenage boys to use buses and walking whenever safe and feasible, rather than be driven everywhere. So we drive only 7k miles a year on average, about 5-5.5k of them in-city.

By all means, if your choice is between commuting by transit/cycling (and such a commute is feasible) and commuting via EV/PHEV - then transit/cycling is IMHO the right environmental choice. Cities cannot sustainably accommodate everyone commuting into them in boxes 50 times their size every day. And as long as the majority of cars in the traffic jam are gas-powered, an EV/PHEV in that jam contributes to the overall emissions by increasing the jam.

This sermon aside, I trust your judgment on what's good for you. And you might find that buying an EV/PHEV might help convert a lengthy gas commute into a less-costly EV/PHEV park-and-ride commute into a midway transit hub.

Back to us: we finally could afford some sort of emission-mitigating purchase this summer. Just at that time, there was a big organized push to install rooftop solar panels in our part of Seattle. That might sound funny, but actually Seattle has 15% more solar radiation than south Germany - and we all know by now how far solar PVs have gone in Germany. Moreover, there are great state incentives, turning solar into an investment that pays for itself in 8-9 years in Seattle; while cars are always an expense, never an investment. So we seriously toyed with the idea, but then we realized that Seattle gets 90% of its electricity from renewables (87% hydro, 3% wind) - and that the amount of solar will not really affect the city's power-purchase deals in the foreseeable future (we got an email saying so from the city planner). So while we respect those who did put panels up on their Seattle roofs, we felt that for us it would be more of a "vanity piece" than true mitigation.

The flip, positive side of that coin is that going fully electric on our in-city miles in Seattle reduces their footprint to practically nothing. On the other hand: if you live, say, in California, then buying or leasing a solar PV system on your roof might provide the biggest CO2-mitigation bang for your personal buck.

That being said, buying an EV/PHEV is a good environmental choice regardless (although it might be second-best to rooftop solar, depending on location). This is because the energy efficiency of these vehicles is equivalent to 90-100 MPG, and as renewable electricity continues to increase the net CO2 footprint of your EV/PHEV miles will drop even further.

Is EV/PHEV Right for You? And which one?

The Leaf's advertised range is 100 miles, but the EPA pegs it at 73 miles. A "trickle" charging from a regular 15-Amp socket (using a cable that comes with the car) replenishes about 5% of the battery per hour. A "Level 2" charger does it 3 times faster - so no matter how empty your battery is at the end of the day, an overnight L2 charge will refill it completely. Be aware though, that Nissan (and probably other EV manufacturers as well) recommends charging only to 80% on a regular basis, and leaving the 100% charge for "special missions".

Speaking of "special missions", there is also the DC fast-charge option (which our car does have). It refills to 80% in half an hour. Of course, you cannot install one at home - but quite a few are popping up in cities and along highways. Fast-charge should not be the default daily charging option; it is said to degrade the battery. Rather, more appropriate for the adventurous road-trip, of during an unusually heavy driving day.

A L2 charger might cost you between zero and upwards of $2k, depending on the local incentives you get.


- If you only "sub-commute", like us, you really don't need a home L2 charger and the Leaf can meet your in-city needs with simple "trickle charge" whenever you need it (we do it about 3-4 times a week).
- The same is true if you commute up to 20 miles each way, except you'll need to charge every night.
- Now, if your workplace allows you to plug in and "trickle-charge" during the day (it only costs them about 15 cents/hour), then you can commute even 30 miles each way and still not need an L2 charger.
- An L2 charger but no at-work charging should be enough for a 25-30 miles commute each way.
- If you L2 at home and trickle at work, you can do 40 miles each way, and if you can L2 at both ends - make it 50-55 miles!

All the commute calculations still allow for the occasional (say) 20-mile after-work drive.

This is for the 2012 Leaf. The Ford Focus, as I said, charges twice as fast, so it can accommodate longer commutes and evening drives, especially if you can charge at work. And the Coda has longer range to begin with. Of course, with PHEV there is no "range anxiety"... but longer commutes do have a larger CO2 footprint than with pure EVs.

We did keep our Santa Fe. It is almost worthless for resale now, and it allows us to go on road trips without renting. Its highway mileage is about 25 MPG, so not the end of the world. We expect to use up to about 80 gallons of gas per year - perhaps a footprint similar to the one we'd had with owning only a Volt. But as a family of 5 with a dog, we would never fit into the 4-seater Volt (the Leaf is a solid 5-seater).

Ok. that's my limited acquired wisdom for Plug-In Day. Wish us luck in our 70-mile adventure, and do find the event near you!

7 PM PDT UPDATE:  We're back! Ok, we did need a bit of a recharge before heading back... we used an L2 charger at Snoqualmie town for one hour, while discharging kid energy at a nice playground... As I learned from people at the event (and as our owner's guide says), EVs actually perform best at around 40mph, and at highway speeds of 55-60+ the range diminishes. Still, we planned to do something fun after the meet anyway, so the charging did not disrupt anything...

There were about 50 EVs/PHEVs there, about half of them Leafs - but a few Tesla Roadsters, and a smattering of homemade wonders. Here's a partial view:

National Plug-In Day, September 23, 2012
Our Leaf is the blue one in the background.

Thanks to the Rescue Rangers for Rescuing this diary and increasing its... well, footprint ;)

I think the majority of comments are supportive, but it seems that those who are not, are unexpectedly hostile. At this point, the comment thread suffers from a moderate case of Attack of the Purity Trolls.

So for whatever it's worth, here are my two cents.

First, it is almost exactly a year since Kos had reminded members of the self-evident rules of participating in someone else's diary.  Here's a snippet, for those whose memories are weak:

Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly. That doesn't mean you can't disagree. It just means you have to be civil and courteous and limit your arguments to substance.
I think at least a handful of commenters went far beyond "civil disagreement." In particular, if you put down 1000 words in a hostile comment and call the diarist "disingenuous", you better have your own facts straight. For example, one hostile commenter used statewide Washington numbers, with a far larger share of fossil emssions than I quoted, to fault my footprint analysis. But I live in Seattle, and so nearly all of our Leaf's electricity will come from Seattle City Light. Here's their official 2010 "fuel mix". Rather than 87% hydro and 3% wind, as I wrote above, the current mix is 92% hydro and 4% wind. Even better than what I wrote.

Now, we can argue about hydro all day. Besides the fact that no two hydros are alike, any renewable resource can be faulted: solar panels are made in China using coal emissions; wind turbines destroy open space and create noise pollution; and so forth.

As long as you mindlessly promote these talking points, you are playing into the hands of the denialists and the fossil-fuel industry. Every renewable technology needs to be improved and applied conscientiously, but fact of the matter is that any of the viable ones has a far smaller footprint than fossil, and is far safer than nukes. Don't black-and-white what is rather light shades of gray. And if you have a pet peeve against hydro, go write a diary about it - and I will not be surprised if it is black-and-white in its presentation and misleading or inaccurate in its facts. But don't go crapping poorly-researched hostility about hydro, in a diary about electric vehicles.

We can all purity-troll ourselves to death. The Leaf is not American-made (the 2013 model will be); it is not union-made (I'm pretty sure the Leaf-producing workers are treated far better than the ones building your smartphone - or for that matter, the workers who made the computer upon which you typed up that derailing comment). I showed a bias against American companies (bullshit, read the diary again), or called upon people to run and buy an EV/PHEV right now regardless of their needs (again - read the diary!). And or course, the Leaf is still nothing but a toy (even though I spelled out exactly what kind of usage habits it can and cannot support - and the "yes" side probably covers the majority of urban/suburban households) - or "only a second car" (and how many married couples in the US do have more than one car? And how often do they replace at least one of their cars?). In short, since no step is perfect, some commenters seem to think that we should do nothing except fault someone who did something and wanted to share his experiences in an enthusiastic yet nuanced manner (yes, nuanced; read the diary again).

Again, the majority of commenters seem supportive and/or civil - but there is a shrill minority that leaves a stale taste. I am not offended by any of this. Only disappointed.

To end on a more positive note: I did meet at the event the guy with whom I first discussed the $99/month Leaf lease deal. And I was pleasantly surprised to hear it is still on! I will now spell out the name of the agency - Eastside Nissan. They are "the good guys" who get it, while Campbell-Nelson just north of Seattle are "the bad guys" who claim such deals don't exist. Eastside still has 67 Leafs in its lots, waiting for would-be buyers to exchange their gas miles for electric ones. If you live elsewhere, use this deal as an axe to grind your local dealer. If you want a Volt or a Focus or whatever, you can still use this deal as an axe to grind your own dealer.

I think I know why many dealers are slow to understand the dynamics. They see the $40k price tag, and the flashy electronic interface, and their mind goes: niche luxury car, vanity consumers. Wrong and Wrong. It is a next-generation car, and its buyers are early adopters and should be viewed as partners rather than as rich suckers. And being next-generation, prices erode quickly once the new version is out. Again, be patient with your dealers, but be persistent and hammer the point home. The Leaf is a great car - 2011 World Car of the Year, for goodness sake - but it now languishes in dealer lots. The Volt is just as great - but production keeps halting and re-starting to clear inventory. Dealers need to wake up and smell the coffee, bitter as it is. Please help them, for the planet's sake if nothing else.

Thank you. Good night.

Originally posted to Climate Change SOS on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 06:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Kosowatt, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Out here on the peninsula, (15+ / 0-)

    the range would be an issue.  I have been driving a Prius for 6 years with zero down time and it has been a very reasonable compromise for our needs.  I know someone who would love the Leaf lease deal, but he really needs a business trip vehicle that could take him all over the NW.

    Does sound like you found an excellent deal for your situation!

    •  Same . . . (5+ / 0-)

      When I lived in the San Juans it would have been great as an "island car" . . . but what do you do when you want to go to Seattle, or even Bellingham, for that matter?  A Prius or C-Max or Volt lets you do both with one car . . . the Leaf costs you tens of thousands of dollars for a "second car" to save a few hundred gallons of gas.

      Guess it would be fine in Seattle if you never went further than Lynwood or Fife, but forget about Everett or Tacoma (well, that's not all that hard) . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 12:51:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's the problem with Everett or Tacoma? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayBat, KenBee

        Assuming you're not just driving there to touch City Hall and head right back, you will spend a couple of hours there. You car can be recharging during that time.

        A couple of hours of trickle, or an hour of L2 (like we did today), should be enough to tide you over for the return trip to Seattle.

        The urban-siteseeing day trips are only a bit of a planning challenge (i.e., to know where your chargers are), but are easily doable with an EV.
        It's the longer road-trips and the camping/hiking/skiing trips to the mountains that are a tad too far.

  •  It is time to stop buying products made (12+ / 0-)

    without union labor! The Ford Focus Electric is built in Michigan by UAW workers.  That is the car you should have gotten.

  •  My next car will be an electric vehicle. The only (16+ / 0-)

    issue would be whether or not charging capacity is improved by that time.  I'll be driving my current car for at least 3 more years, maybe 4.  I'm counting on charging not being as big of a problem, or taking as long, by that time.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:36:05 AM PDT

    •  I was at NPID-SF yesterday, and an EE we (0+ / 0-)

      know, who had built several add-on improvements to the Nissan Leaf, was showing his latest project.  He built a SECOND 3.5 kW charger into the charging system of the Leaf.  Result: the car could now charge twice as fast on 220V as it did before.  So instead of 12 miles of range per hour, it would get 25.  

      So even our original Leafs could be upgraded once he starts selling this.  Assaf, if you haven't already purchased his EVSE Upgrade, you should.  It upgrades your 110V charging equipment into a 220V charger.  There's your 3X charging, for $360.  Just about everyone at our Leaf club has gotten this done.

      Feel free to Kosmail me if you want more details, or simply hang out on the mynissanleaf forum where you will also find many satisfied Leafers using it.

      I look forward to see how this second charger project continues and how pricing plays out.  He's looking for a quantity deal as the chargers themselves are very expensive.

      I too am looking forward to extended range as well as faster charge times.

      In capitalist America, bank robs you!

      by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:08:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for a great diary! (15+ / 0-)

    Congrats on the Leaf; and enjoy your drive today!

    Love one another

    by davehouck on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:43:02 AM PDT

  •  Nice. I have a 2000 VW Golf TDI which burns (11+ / 0-)

    100% biodiesel.

    Sustainable biodiesel mostly from recycled cooking oils, etc.

    Just a note, the newer 'cleaner' diesel offerings from VW, Mercedes, BMW use very high tech fuel injection systems to keep particulate emissions down but aren't safe to run with renewables (biodiesel).

    Older Mercedes and VWs make good candidates.

    •  What do you do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Powell, lastman, ladybug53

      to "keep particulate emissions down"?

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 01:32:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Run B100 pure biodiesel. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As you can see all emissions are reduced save for NOx (black line on top).

        •  does that get particulate (0+ / 0-)

          from an old "smoker" down as low as the "newer 'cleaner' diesel offerings" or just somewhat better than the old smoker on "regular" diesel?

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 05:56:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a former B100 driver (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, Odysseus, JayBat, KenBee

          I love biodiesel, especially the aspect of using a fuel not made by an oil company, but CO2 emissions are not lower. You're still burning fuel and sending CO2 into the atmosphere.

          The other tricky part of biodiesel and making sure that you're using fuel made from recycled oil. In SF, we're lucky enough to have fuel pumps that are recycled fuel only, but when I drove down to San Diego, all the fuel came from virgin soybean oil. Which is of course problematic for many reasons, and by some calculations, are worse than fossil fuel diesel once you consider the entire lifecycle of growing enough seed.

          As I mentioned downthread, I'm using a mix of car share, bicycle, and public transit. Really anyone who is trying anything different (including B100) is doing their part to unwind civilization from its fossil fuels addiction.

  •  I'm loving my Volt (20+ / 0-)

    which I've also had for about a month.  My commute is 100 miles a day, so I need the gas backup, but because my work has two 110 volt charging stations I can charge all day at work.  I get 45-55 miles on a full ten-hour charge, and 30-40 on the eight hours at the charging station at work, so I wind up using less than a half gallon of gas a day.  That's down from about two and a half gallons in the Civic I used to drive.

    Because I drive so many miles, leasing wasn't a good option for me, and I only had $2000 to put down on the loan.  My payments are a bit high -- $550 or so -- but not much higher than the sum of my old payments on the Civic plus the amount I used to spend on gas.  I know my electric bill is going to go up, but probably only about $40-50 a month.

    The $7500 tax credit will go towards paying down principal, or maybe refinancing to a shorter term loan, when I get it next spring.

    The one thing it looks like I can't do is put solar panels on the roof.  Partly mrs. litho doesn't want to part with some decorative trees out front, but also the financing where I am doesn't work for people under water on their homes...

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:55:45 AM PDT

  •  What a great diary! (12+ / 0-)

    So useful. Thanks for writing it.

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:43:06 AM PDT

  •  Just a few reality based comments. (5+ / 0-)

    We all want to believe that climate change is easily solved by buying "all new stuff."

    It isn't.

    Your statement that

    we live in Seattle where 90% of the electricity is renewable
    is at best disingenuous.

    Washington's electricity is cleaner than almost every other state because it has a very large proportion obtained via hydroelectricity.    Actually the share of electricity obtained in this way in percentage terms is actually falling not rising.

    An aside: I hope I am not being oxymoronic when I state that 90% of the time when a person discussing so called "renewable" energy uses the word "percent" they are attempting to obscure, and not obviate reality.

    The figures for Washington State's electricity profile is here in the EIA data page:   Click on Table 5.

    In 2000, hydroelectricity provided 72% of Washington's electricity.   In 2010, it provided 66%.

    The average value for that decade was 71.3%.   The standard deviation was 3.4%.

    In 2010, the portion of energy provided by so called "renewable" energy in Washington state was 6.1%, with all of the production for the entire state not equaling the production of the single nuclear plant in the State.

    Suppose everyone - even poor people - in Washington State went out and bought an "affordable" Nissan Leaf tomorrow.

    How many rivers are left to dam in Washington to provide the added electricity?   What is the true state of the Washington grid?

    A word on so called "renewable" energy:

    Only 17% of the planet's rivers are now considered to be "free" rivers, and we can be sure that within a few years, the percentage will fall to zero.

    This "renewable" energy has a huge environmental cost, not just in species diversity, but in more subtle terms that no one but scientists give a rat's ass about:

    Things like land salinity, the structure of beaches when deprived of silt, and - not that anyone gives a rat's ass - aesthetic considerations such as the destruction of Glen Canyon and the Hetch Hetchy Valley.

    In any case, reliance on hydroelectricity is more dependent than anyone cares to admit on climate stability.    Guess what?   The climate is an extremely unstable state.   I recently attended a lecture where a graphic movie was shown in which the evolution of the means and standard deviations for temperature and rainfall were displayed.

    If you think that hydroelectricity is forever, think again.   The glaciers on which this form of energy has depended for a century are dying.

    I do not have data on how much of the "renewable" energy in Washington State comes from the combustion of biomass, but I do note in passing that of the 3.3 million people who die each year from air pollution, a large number of the deaths are clearly and unambiguously connected to biomass combustion.

    There are many life cycle analyses of electric cars available in the primary scientific literature.    They suggest that this bit is something of a climate shell game.

    If we think that a very, very, narrow specific case says something about the macroscopic issue we are lying to ourselves.

    And let's be clear.   The environmental tragedy that is now clearly and unambiguously underway is, in my view, largely a function of people hearing and believing only what they want to hear and believe, and not what they need to hear and more importantly, know.

    •  What about the off-peak factor? (7+ / 0-)

      One of the benefits promoted for electric vehicles is that most of the charging will be done during off-peak hours when the grid is underused and the most efficient source of power can be used. I don't know the numbers for Washington State but hopefully overnight charging would mostly utilize hydroelectric power which would otherwise be unused. For those of us in coal-burning areas I'm not sure that argument helps much though.

      •  This reminds me of the t-shirt I just bought... (4+ / 0-)

        ...for my son:

        Get real.   Be rational.

        Except for the indolent rich who don't have to work, the majority of people drive to work do so during the day.

        They're going to park in garages or other places with electric charging stations.   They're going to plug in those cars at the same time that they are working, using computers, telephones, elevators, factory machines, lights, etc, etc.

        Hydroelectricity depends on water flows and it makes no difference to how much can be produced whether it runs at night or day.     To repeat:   Hydroelectricity is tapped out.  Not much more of it can be found, and the reliability of what there is is very much in doubt long term.   There is very little left on this planet to expand.   It is not a scalable form of energy anymore.  

        You replace gasoline with electricity and it will require more electricity and electrical fuels, no matter when it's consumed, day, night, weekends, Christmas Day or the Fourth of July.

         In this country, gas is burned when hydroelectricity is not available for immediate dispatch.

        When people claim that "gas is clean," they are lying either to themselves or to other people, it matters not a whit about either.

      •  In Washington State (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Hydroelectric power is 100% allocated . . . there is no "surplus". Any "new" load (like charging EVs)  is serviced from new sources, few of which are significantly "renewable" or "emissions free".  There are some potential wind sites on the East side, but I've been there when it was dead calm for days on end, too . . . so every kilowatt of wind capacity must be "backed up" with gas turbines or something else reliable, which adds considerably to the cost.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 03:47:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What about PV? (5+ / 0-)

          Washington has excellent incentives for the homeowner (a $.55 a kwh feed in tariff) and PV is renewable. The Leaf would still require some daytime recharging but unless or until Americans can live within 30 miles of the workplace and don't have access to a dependable public transit system, EV's are a great step.

          PV has great promise. The cost has reduced almost 50% YOY because we have incentives for it. There is now significant improvements in technology for electrical storage of PV and Wind.

          I often see people poo poo efforts by others to offset their carbon footprint. I guess we could all take a bike to work if we have the safe routes, time and physical ability, but our shrinking economy isn't offering a buffet of choices for job selection to most of us.

          -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

          by Blueslide on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 04:09:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do the sums (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deward Hastings

            55 cents/kWhr means it costs about 22 bucks to charge a 40kWh battery pack via solar-generated electricity. That 40kWhr will give an electric car a range of maybe 100-120 miles depending on weather, stop-start traffic, hills etc. A moderately-economical gas-powered car of similar size and passenger capacity will use three gallons of gas, maybe four to cover the same distance for about $3.50 per US gallon. That's between $13.50 and $17 as opposed to $22 to cover the cost of the solar electricity for the same utility.

             In reality the electric car owner will be paying about 10, maybe 15 cents/kWhr at the wall depending on location, season etc. They'd be paying a bit less but the electricity supply company has to cover the 55 cent feedin tariff paid to well-off folks who can afford the capital investment to install home PV so the ticket price for everyone else goes up. Luckily burning carbon (coal or fracked NG) to generate electricity is cheap so the consumers don't have to pay the solar price for all the electricity they use.

            •  Sad, but true. (0+ / 0-)

              PV is a scam through and through . . . as Blueside describes it  it is "cost effective" only to the extent that you can force someone else to pick up the tab.  And it has the same problem as wind . . . Seattle has its share of cloudy days, so there has to be backup capacity installed to cover for nights (when many EVs will be charging) and for the (many) days when it is producing next to nothing at all.  Who pays for that backup capacity?  Someone else, of course . . .

              And in many places (most of California, for example) there is tiered pricing (which actually does get up to 55 cents per KWH) . . . so unless the EV owner gets a "special exemption" (ie another "subsidy") that is, in fact, what they will be paying to charge their car, and a 50mpg C-Max is far cheaper to "fuel".  Someday this may all change (and certainly gas taxes should be higher), but at the moment it is just another case of the poor being forced to pay for someone elses toys.

              Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

              by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 05:50:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not true (10+ / 0-)

                7000 Watt name plate PV system
                x .85 wire and inverter efficiency loss
                x 4 average sun hours per day in Seattle
                23.8 kwh per day production

                x 365 days / yr
                x 25 years life of system
                217,175 kwh production for system life.

                You should be able to get a 7 KW system installed in WA for $35,000 today making the PV power generated cost $.16 kwh. This is back of the napkin stuff. You may need to replace the inverter a couple times, a cost not included here. However, the PV electricity is a fixed cost and not subject to inflation unlike utility rates.

                I agree the current incentives favor the rich, what doesn't in our country?...but that's another diary? I will take PV generated power over fossil fuel or nuke power any day. And if we figure out the power storage component, it will really improve our lot.

                I applaud the diarist for taking initiative and trying to help provide and contribute to an answer. Burning gas and coal (aka doing nothing) will kill us all.

                -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                by Blueslide on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 06:54:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "back of the napkin stuff" (0+ / 0-)

                  It looks a lot more like "wishfull thinking stuff" from where I sit.  Compare your "speculation" to some measured reality


                  in a considerably more favorable location.

                  Just for a start I'd probably divide that "7000 Watt name plate" in half . . . and I wouldn't believe any of those numbers until I'd seen one actually in operation in Greenlake or Renton for at least a full year.  25 years?  Better put a new 40 year roof under it, then, (added expense) so you don't have to tear the whole thing down in 15 or 20 to fix the roof.  And get that pro-rated 25 year waranty from a major insurance company, not from an installer who almost certainly won't be anywhere to be found in 20 years . . .

                  Would that the world were actually as peachy as our imagination . . .

                  Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                  by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:38:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I checked your link (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I stopped reading as soon as the author said he was analyzing an "Off grid" system. Comparing a grid tied PV system production to a battery based system is apples and oranges.

                    What is the added expense of refitting an existing PV system? Do you know? I would be happy to add it to the calculation but if the roof needs replacing that has nothing to do with the cost of PV.

                    Most solar modules come with a 25 year warranty from the manufacturer. The inverters come with a 5 or 10 year manufacturer warranty. Never buy a PV system from someone giving their installer company guarantee only for the product they sell. Also, select a certified installer (i.e. IBEW or NABCEP certified) to insure your roof is up to the task.

                    Specifically which of my calculations do you want to take to task ? - or are you simply not interested in the potential efficacy of PV for personal reasons ?

                    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                    by Blueslide on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 06:02:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You "stopped reading" . . . (0+ / 0-)

                      Well, as they say, ignorance is bliss . . . but the article directly addresses the differences between "grid tied" and "battery based" systems.  And it's based on real measurement, over time, of a real system . . . not on fantastical promotional materials.

                      "Manufacturers warranty"?  Do you even know who the (probably Chinese) "manufacturer" is?  Have you ever in your life tried to collect on the "warranty" on an even 10 year old product?  How'd that work out for you?

                      As for your "calculations" . . . the "calculations" may be correct, but the "assumptions" are all wrong.  That makes the "answers" meaningless . . .

                      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                      by Deward Hastings on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 07:27:49 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I did some research (not easy to find reliable #s) (7+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  javan, Lawrence, ozsea1, Sharoney, poco, JayBat, KenBee

                  Here's a link to a scientific article on the matter.

                  Assuming 30-year operational PV life, and southern-France latitudes (roughly southern Oregon), they come up with about 40-50 gCO2/KWh, compared with ~600 for fossil.

                  In other words, a present-day PV in those latitudes would pay for its footprint during the first 2 years of its operation, and be virtually carbon-free afterwards.

                  Go to say California or New Mexico - and it's perhaps 1.5 years or less. To Seattle - maybe 3 years.

                  Still better than fossil. But Eastern Washington, which has the same state incentives, will give you 60% more solar power every year.

                •  Right angles (0+ / 0-)

                  Some technicalities to discuss here, fair warning...

                   Looking at the concept of a Seattle PV installation, to start with the installation rated at 7000W would be about 35 square metres of panels at about 20% efficiency from new. I assume this array of panels would be installed flat on a sloping roof on a well-to-do single-family dwelling as is the norm for domestic PV installation.

                   That 7kW output you mentioned is like the maximum horsepower of your car or motorbike, it's not something you actually achieve 99.9% of the time but it does make a good selling point on the sales sticker. To achieve that 7kW output the panels would need to be oriented directly at the sun, square on, at or close to mid-day with absolutely no clouds or haze in the sky and when the Sun is directly overhead. This is Seattle which is famous for its high latitude, low Sun angles and cloudy days, of course...

                   Mounted flat on a house roof set at an arbitrary angle it is possible that at no time of the year do the panels actually meet that square-on requirement for maximum power output. During early morning and late evening the long airpath of light from the sun cuts even deeper into the rated output of the panels as the important blue light is attenuated by atmosphere, high-altitude dust and moisture etc. so even if the sun is shining the panels don't generate much power. In addition the light is hitting the panels at a flat angle and the amount of energy is spread over a larger area further cutting down the output. In winter the low Sun angle makes things even worse -- at mid-winter mid-day in Seatle the Sun is only 19 degrees above the horizon meaning a long energy-absorbing airpath to the solar cells which are of course not optimally aligned anyway. At this point in the year the Sun is only above the horizon for about 8 hours a day which also doesn't help.

                   Where cost is no object X-Y tracking mounts can be used to point cell panels square on to the Sun to maximise their output. These mounts are expensive, require power to operate and maintenance to keep them working. They also expose the panels to wind making them prone to damage from windstorms and sudden gusts which makes them not suitable for domestic roof installation absent a lot of upgrading of the roof structure to take the expected maximum wind shear loads.

                   The good news is that even on a cloudy day solar cells will produce some power -- that 7kW array could produce a couple of hundred watts on a cloudy day in mid-summer, maybe a few dozen watts in a cloudy winter. Indeed it's possible that a cloudy summer day could produce more electricity from the panels than a sunny winter's day could.

                   As for the 16 cents per kWh cost for home PV you worked out, it's worth noting that baseload coal, NG and nuclear electricity generating costs are down around 3 to 5 cents per kWh deliverable 24/7/365. Large-scale implementation of renewables including domestic PV tariff buy-ins is one reason Germany's consumers pay twice as much for their electricity as mostly-nuclear France does while emitting 50% more carbon per person than the French do.

                  •  Thank You nojay (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    javan, JayBat

                    And yes I checked my irradiation charts and calculated this system using NREL which gives accurate irradiation data. Seattle only has 3.7 sun hours at azimuth. That figure accounts for all weather conditions impact on irradiation. That bumps the lifetime kwh to a $.22 lifetime price.

                    If you want to argue that nukes, gas or clean coal are better forms of energy (they are not), then feel free. That requires climate denial and I don't want to hijack this diary.

                    Again I applaud the authors desire in helping the environment and willing to put their economic self interest behind their convictions. Germany should be applauded for doing the same. As a result of their convictions, they have substantially reduced their carbon foot print demonstrating a good faith effort in keeping with the treaties they have signed.

                    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                    by Blueslide on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 06:48:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Germany (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Germany's carbon footprint is about 10 tonnes per person per year, down from 11 tonnes a year about ten years ago when a lot of older coal-fired generating capacity (much of it in the old GDR) started to be replaced with newer, more efficient coal plants, the major reason for the slight fall in their total carbon footprint. They still generate about 40% of their electricity from anthracite (mostly imported from Poland), brown coal and lignite and that isn't going down by much even as hundreds of billions of euros of renewable generation backed by cheap Russian NG has come on stream. Domestic electricity in Germany costs about 27 Euro cents/kWhr.

                       France's carbon footprint has been about 6 to 7 tonnes per year ever since most of their nuclear power came on stream in the 1980s when they stopped burning coal pretty much completely. Domestic electricity in France costs about 13 Euro cents/kWhr.

                      •  10 years of economic growth and one tonne (0+ / 0-)

                        reduction is an excellent start. Germany should be commended and their lead should be followed by the USA.

                        France is facing an awful lot of decommissioning, assuming they disarm those ticking time bombs at all. Imagine how pissed downwind Germany will be when France has a Fukushima's not if but when.

                        -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

                        by Blueslide on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 12:55:28 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  did you say subsidies...?... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

                by ozsea1 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 02:12:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Crazy, isn't it. (0+ / 0-)

                  Makes it somewhere between difficult and impossible to make a sensible economic argument about any energy "policy", since true "market" costs are hidden.  If they are even knowable . . . how does one "price in" pollution externalities, the "value" of a flodded valley, or the overall social benefits of easy transport of goods and people?  And what does one say about the perverse system of electric pricing that varies with use?

                  That said, I don't like paying the electric bill, or at the gas pump, any more than anyone else does, and I review the options pretty much every year (and have for decades).  And I haven't seen a system yet, either for home use or personal transportation, that came even close to its original promise of "pays for itself in xx years".  I've seen systems that work, and provide power (at considerable expense) where power wasn't otherwise available.  They may "make sense" despite their end-user cost.  But an EV+PV charging system that "saves money" ? ? ?  No.  Just no.

                  Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                  by Deward Hastings on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 05:54:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Oh I thought the idea (8+ / 0-)

              was to stop contributing to green house gases. Now you want PV and Wind to compete with fossil fuels which have had trillions of dollars in subsidies? It's also easy to socialize the global warming costs with your "cheaper" coal and gas.

              Using subsidized gas and oil is destroying the eco system. The math on that deal really sucks.

              -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

              by Blueslide on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 06:33:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  By allocated you mean presold to other states? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Much of Washington States hydro capacity is pre-sold to California and other states in the summer time.  Our generated capacity is still currently far and above local demand requirements.

          However, our state's population has grown significantly and will continue to grow so we do need additional local capacity.  We are fortunate that we have a variety of options for renewables here, even Solar is viable especially in eastern Washington.

          And Washington state has long been at the forefront of nuclear innovation and is in the vanguard for new research including Bill Gates funded research into the "Traveling Wave Reactor" which if it bears fruit, would make him a fortune that would make his Microsoft empire seem puny.

          --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

          by chipoliwog on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 04:00:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, NNadir still peddling the b.s. about energy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, KenBee

      from biomass in industrialized being connected to pollution deaths, I see.

      You know damn well that deaths from biomass combustion are from people using biomass for indoor cooking and/or heating in developing and third world nations, yet you keep trying to attribute it to other factors.

      It's really bizarre how your fanatical view of nukes being the solution to all our problems has caused you to lead your own, personal crusade against renewables.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 02:03:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, um, um... (0+ / 0-)

        We'll just chalk this glib denialist horseshit up to another case of an anti-nuke who has never opened a fucking scientific paper in his life, like say this one from the Nature journal:

        Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2012) 22, 339–343

        It's pretty fucking obvious that you don't know what I know.

        But that's pretty typical for an anti-nuke.    I have never met one, not fucking one, who is afraid to hold forth on subjects they know nothing about, including "what I know."

        For you to know what I know, you would have had to open a science book, something with which you are blissfully unfamiliar with doing.

        Heckuva job anti-nuke.    You must be very, very, very, very, very proud.


        Have a nice day tomorrow.

        •  Twisting hard to try and excuse your (0+ / 0-)

          scaremongering, I see.

          That paper says nothing about millons of deaths and... duh... indoor wood burning stoves and chimneys cause pollution...  what else is new?

          So do fossil fuels, btw.

          I'm not anti-nuke, btw.  I think nukes are probably the right thing for deep space travel atm.  ;)

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:47:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          • (0+ / 0-)

            ...are you trying to demonstrate exactly how clueless you are or is simply a function of the cluelessness itself?  The planet is fucking dying and you fucking want to read to
            me from a poor 3rd grade sci go fantasy.  

            Don't pretend you can read by the way.  You obviously can't.

  •  Keep us posted this winter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powell, ladybug53, Mr Robert, cosette

    I am curious to see how it will do in the snow.

    •  It doesn't snow much in Seattle... (8+ / 0-) you're not going to get a lot of information about handling in snow.  But I would expect that it's performance in snow would be similar to any other small front wheel drive car.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 01:54:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We have the occasional Snowpacolypse (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTom, KenBee

        or Snowmegeddon but for the most part, Seattle is a very temperate climate.  

        By Snowpacolypse, I mean where it snows about 6 inches and people freak out and abandon their cars on I-5, or start sliding down Seattle's numerous hills and crashing into other cars.  You'll notice there's less than 2" on the ground in this video.

        --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

        by chipoliwog on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:47:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bike farther in a day than than the Leaf can... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powell, ladybug53

    73 mile range, then 20 hours to recharge... That's a real world range of maybe 50 miles a day. Most of us can beat that on a bicycle!

  •  We drive an EV Mazda pick-up (17+ / 0-)

    "PLUG-N-GO" that my husband converted from gas to electric 10 years ago for commuting and local errands.  It now has 50,000 electric miles, all in Thurston County, WA.  We show it off each Spring at the local alternative energy fair.  My husband also fought for and won the right for WA State employees to plug in their EVs at work for free, under the "De Minimis Use" ethics rules.

    Our other car since 2001 is a Prius.  Our adult kids in Seattle bike or bus to work.  I'm glad to be seeing fewer Hummers but there are still WAY too many gas-guzzlers on the road.

    Enjoy your new Leaf!

    We're ALL better off when we're ALL better off!

    by susanWAstate on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 12:50:35 PM PDT

  •  Wish I could (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powell, ladybug53, Mr Robert

    but a 35k price tag is a bit more than I can consider. It looks like a great car!

    "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

    by valadon on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 12:56:46 PM PDT

    •  Lease it (0+ / 0-)

      Assaf explained that monthly out of pocket is the same... or even less.  It doesn't cost anymore once you add up all the gas saved, all that maintenance you won't need, etc etc etc.

      I have to admit buying it ended up with a lot of up-front outlays.  We got a free 220V charging station from the EV Project (funded by DOE) but we had an old (and full) 100A electrical panel and had to pay to upgrade it to 200A.  That is not cheap, but we wanted to do it anyway.

      Also the Leaf is a gateway drug to energy consciousness!  After we got the Leaf we decided to get solar panels!

      In capitalist America, bank robs you!

      by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:48:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That car would look much better if... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powell, Mr Robert had a stylish porpoise fin on top.  Nothing too big. But definitely some sort of fin.

    Do it! Do it NAO!

  •  Thanks for your report -- and enjoy the Leaf. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, Mr Robert, Assaf, davehouck, JayBat

    I do want to say there are probably some variables not accounted for in your analysis, though.

    Your numbers don't factor in the cost of insuring an additional vehicle (and a relatively valuable new vehicle, at that).

    As well, there are probably significant monetary and environmental costs to be counted against any new car, as well as concerns about future battery maintenance, replacement, and disposal.

    Nevertheless, electric and hybrid electric cars certainly offer a lot of promise for the future, and I'll be looking at the available options carefully when it comes time to replace my 5-year old car.

    The thing is, despite my car's bad mileage (Honda Pilot, about 16 mpg in urban Seattle commuting), at 95K miles it is only half-way (or less!) through its useful life. It is paid for, it is relatively inexpensive to maintain, it can transport up to 8 people when necessary, it has 4X4 drive, and its original purchase price was very reasonable.

    No matter how I pencil out the numbers, I can't make a case for replacing my mid-life car -- not at current new-car prices. And, as far as sustainability goes, my instinct is that it's probably better to wring every last mile out of the existing vehicle.

    But it does sound like you got a good deal, and that the Leaf will serve your needs well. Enjoy it!

    “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,” says Neil Newhouse, a Romney pollster. [We can edit, too, you know.]

    by Powell on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 02:57:03 PM PDT

  •  How much does a Leaf cost outright? n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powell, Assaf, Odysseus

    "I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong." Richard Feynman

    by leema on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 03:07:59 PM PDT

    •  mine with extended warranty and taxes was 40k (0+ / 0-)

      but then it was a $7,500 federal tax credit and a $5k check from CA so it was in the mid-twenties.

      •  The $5K checks are gone, it's $2500 now (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They ran out of the $5K fund in June of 2011 and when they replenished it they cut the rebate in half.

        Don't just look at the outlay, remember total cost of ownership is way cheaper than a comparable gas vehicle.  And the comparable vehicle is NOT repeat NOT the Versa.  Driving an EV is like nothing else.  It's quiet, it's fun, and you would not believe how much torque that sucka has.

        In capitalist America, bank robs you!

        by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:10:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Chevy Volt missing? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Do you have a bias against American manufacturers? Is the Leaf made in the US? If not what is the carbon footprint in its nation of manufacture and the carbon expended to transport it to the US?

    What's that sound you hear when Mitt Romney walks? Oh, yeah. Flip-flop flip-flop.

    by edg on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 03:17:23 PM PDT

    •  Not much bigger than bicycles (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      Unless you can spend 4 figures on a Boutique Bike, you are buying a bike that was brought here on a container ship from a country that doesn't have much in the way of pollution controls.

    •  Reading comprehension? (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BYw, adrianrf, JD SoOR, ozsea1, poco, JayBat, madhaus

      I mentioned the Volt favorably, as well as the Focus electric and the Coda - most readers have never heard of which till this diary...

      Why is it that some readers are so obsessed with finding faults, that they cannot stop to read the diary before bloviating their hostile comments?

      Why is it that those readers do not follow the site guidelines for commenting in someone else's diary?

      To your specific question: the Volt is a 4-seater and we are a family of five. Capisci?

      •  Hostile and condescending much? (0+ / 0-)

        It must feel really good to denigrate your readers. How big of you. Asshole.

        That being said, I did re-read your very lengthy diary again (which makes 3 times through it) and at last found the references to the Chevy Volt. As I am a computer nerd and was born in Detroit and know a thing or two about automobiles, I must admit that I skimmed much of the diary as it was repetitive information I already knew.

        I consider it to be "burying the lede" for the comment about WHY you chose the Leaf (a family of 5 with a dog) down 20 paragraphs or so from the top in the middle of a very lengthy diary. Instead of wasting space about how long the diary has been a draft, you could have put that information in the opening paragraph. And also, a short list of the alternatives (Coda, Volt, Focus) nearer the top would have been delightful.

        What's that sound you hear when Mitt Romney walks? Oh, yeah. Flip-flop flip-flop.

        by edg on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:11:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Attack much? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          This diary is fine.
          The diarist's reply above was not hostile.  You, however, could use a few pointers in diplomacy.

          Now have a great day.

          In capitalist America, bank robs you!

          by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:12:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Idiot much? (0+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:

            Not that it's any of your fracking business, but "reading comprehension?" and "bloviating" ARE hostile, and those terms were used by the diarist to reply to my simple question. All I asked is what happened to the Volt and what is the carbon footprint of the Leaf.

            You, madhaus, are wrong in your comment and silly for joining in on something you failed to understand. You have a great day.

            What's that sound you hear when Mitt Romney walks? Oh, yeah. Flip-flop flip-flop.

            by edg on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 04:05:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I read all the comments (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And I don't see it the way you do.  Sorry. You marched in with fists swinging.

              Carbon footprint of the Leaf?  Like any vehicle, it used resources when it was built.  Are you asking about the power it uses (which would depend on the power sources, which is local to the owner), or the power it used in coming to be?

              What happened to the Volt?  It was there.  Yes, it's a long diary, but it's about the Leaf, as diarist is a Leaf owner.  Besides, we EV owners can be purists on wanting to use NO GASOLINE AT ALL.

              In capitalist America, bank robs you!

              by madhaus on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 02:36:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  HR'ed for gratuituous name-calling. (0+ / 0-)

              I could not HR comments in which you called me names, but I can - and will - HR comments in which you do this to others for no apparent reason other than they disagree with you.

              And I suggest that you brush up on the "participating in someone else's diary" rules. You are, like, over an EV's driving range beyond the most lenient interpretation of these rules. You must have been fortunate to practice this behavior away from the limelight thus far, but if a limelight happens to shine on stuff like you did in this thread - believe me, you'll be out on an autoban.

              For your convenience, these rules are linked to in the lengthy update to my lengthy diary.

              The quick-and-dirty version, relevant to your case: if you want to make a comment disagreeing with the diarist, then 1. Read again carefully to make sure you got the facts right ,and 2. Voice your disagreement in a civil and respectful way (hint: suggesting that the diarist has an "anti-American bias" is probably not a good idea, doubly so if the accusation is false to begin with).

              •  You never answered all of my questions. (0+ / 0-)

                1. Chvey Volt missing. No, as you pointed out and I discovered when I re-read the diary again.

                2. Do you have a bias against American auto manufacturers? Not answered. A simple yes or no would suffice.

                3. Is the Nissan Leaf manufactured in the United States? Not answered. A simple yes or no would suffice.

                4. If 'No' to 3, does the carbon footprint of foreign manufacture and shipping exceed the benefit of being electric? If you don't know, just say so.

                You are abusing your Trusted User status by HR-ing my comment. Perhaps you should read the site rules again.

                What's that sound you hear when Mitt Romney walks? Oh, yeah. Flip-flop flip-flop.

                by edg on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 05:55:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I'd never heard of Coda until this article (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powell, Assaf, BYw, adrianrf, jdld, cosette, davehouck

    thank you!

  •  Our National Plug-In Days events went off (15+ / 0-)

    well today in my town. We had a gathering of folks with electric vehicles at the local Sunday market at noon, then they took off in an informal parade, the "Flash Drive," across town to the "Electric Tailgate Party" under the solar EV charging station built at the Whole Foods grocery store, where vendors and owners carried on Q & A with the public until 4 pm.  We had a variety of electric transportation - electric bikes as well as cars, and our city showed off one of it's resonant magnetic induction buses buses, now in their 20th year of operation.

    Plus music and food from Whole Foods. Great time was had by all, with people taking test drives and plenty of time for questions and answers. Fun and informative. Hope your day went as well!

  •  How many miles per year on the lease? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Powell, Assaf, cosette
  •  I'm retired and while I'll probably never (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, Assaf, JayBat

    be able to afford another car I can still dream. So I found this pretty interesting.

    The one thing I'd like to understand better is what it would cost me to keep this baby charged.

    I'm a PG&E customer living in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento and my rate varies with my usage. The rate starts out at 0.09 cents per hour and goes as high as 0.13 cents depending on my usage.

    So during the summer months I end up paying the lowest rate (Tier 1) for the first twenty or so days, then it goes up to middle rate (Tier 2), and finally tops out at the highest rate (Tier 3) for the last few days.

    This is on what they call their CARE/Standard rate plan for low income customers, but I also have the option of another plan that gives me a break for power consumed during off-peak hours that they call their CARE/Time-of-Use rate plan.

    So if I had an electric vehicle I guess that I would want to pay based on time of use, but according to their web site that would end up costing me about $140 more per year as compared to the CARE/Standard plan that I'm on.

    So how would all of this factor into a costing? Would it make sense to go with the Time-of-Use plan? How would I compute the number of kWhours for the Leaf assuming I drove about 10 miles per day?

    FYI, my last bill showed that I used just under 36 kWh for the month of August.

    My Jeep Cherokee is 14 years old and only has about 130k miles on it, but I may eventually have to replace it. And, if I could lease one for $100 per month it just might make sense. Of course, I've never leased a car and I do wonder about getting stuck with having to pay a penalty for some unexpected reason when the lease expires.

    Do you think this might make sense for me at some point especially considering that I'm retired and relying primarily on my Social Security?

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 04:28:57 PM PDT

    •  Count your blessings . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Assaf, Mr Robert, JayBat

      both for where you live, and for your CARE rate eligibility.

      Down in the Bay Area Tier three is 29.3 cents/KWH and Tier four is 33.3.  There are, of course, "off peak" rates and special EV rates, either available or "in the works", but the people (majority) who are forced to cover the subsidy are starting to complain . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 06:06:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If your car is paid for ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert

      It makes no sense to go out and buy a new one on Social security , regardless of the magical savings of a variable cost that has different meanings for every lifestyle , yet few people can afford $5600 down. The 7.5 tax credit is only worthwhile if one is paying 7.5 K in taxes., That usually means someone making 60K+ with few deductions. That also means having a job.

       The electric car right now is more of vanity  car that is high priced and has limited use , but it lets other people know that the driver is environmentally conscious which may or may not fit well with the people you have in your lives.

      I've seen diaries here before on electric cars   during this elongated  depression. I find them incredibly insensitive to the majority of people that might come to a progressive site to see if the answers to the problems they are having are being addressed  properly. The electric car is still in "early adapter " phase. Buying any car for 25K plus is a luxury that is afforded to just a small percentage of Americans right now. That's why I find these diaries incredibly depressing.

      As for facts: Most people are keeping cars 10-15 years now. The old days of trading them in every few years are over and that's good. People shouldn't be wasting money on a asset that depreciates with time. At 150K , Your Jeep is still young by today's standards. Even if you have a 2-3K major maintenance expense, you can easily budget for it and pay for it on time if cash is not available and not be stuck with the tail-end risk of a large payment or new loan on a leased car that may be obsolete in two years.

      Finally, thanks to the Cash for Clunkers policy of destroying used cars, used cars are in short supply still. I sold my 17 Year old Toyota Corolla for $2,200 in Cash to a painter who needed inexpensive transportation that worked for his wife who got a full time job just to pay for their Health Insurance.

      He was happy I took a discount for the car for him, because it was pitted. He was so happy , his hands were shaking when he gave me the money. His wife was almost crying. They had been looking for awhile: They didn't have the credit or even the cash to get a used car at any price , even if they could find one , unless they were willing to pay 17% interest on a piece of crap. . They borrowed their money from his employer.

      That's the real world right now. Electric cars were mildly interesting before the depression. There is a reason they are piling up at dealers lots.  Car Sales people don't make enough money to have an elongated discussion about why your carbon foot print is important especially to people who are looking for a car payment in the $200-$300 range on any car that runs with as little down as possible. Car dealers are also getting Channeled Stuffed by manufacturers who count count cars as sold even if they have a 90 day inventory on floor plan on dealer lots.

      In short, There is no demand for them anymore. There is no money to pay for them anymore. The diarist is lucky they have the money to be thrifty and income to take advantage of a 7.5 Tax credit. The majority of Americans are no where near as lucky and even if they do have cash saved, they are smart not to waste it on a car if they have health  insurance that carries a large deductible like most do these days. Most Americans can't afford to cover the cost of any emergency right now.

      A Interesting trend if you do find some extra cash : Many people are finding mechanics that offer a complete refurbishing of your current vehicle for 5-7K with financing that includes either a new or refurbished engine (sometimes new), brakes, lines, suspension and some body work.

      That is probably the most sensible thing I've heard about in years and shows some good old American Ingenuity when addressing a used car market that has no affordable cars that is full of  predator car sellers.

      Finally, even wealthy people are buying crap outside and gold inside as they don't want to be noticed anymore. What does that tell you? They buy a 15 year old car and the mechanic offers a 15-45K total interior replacement with a coat of paint that looks like primer on the outside.

      •  Seems like you came with a ready-made diatribe.... (10+ / 0-)

        ...and did not care to read the diary.

        My point was that EVs/PHEVs are becoming more affordable.

        The lease means that you do not have to worry about whether you have $7.5k in taxes to worry about offsetting, b/c the dealer offsets that for you already. You walk away with the $7.5k essentially in your pocket.

        That is written in the diary, btw.

        Besides, beyond the $$$ cost/effect, there is a carbon cost/effect to be cognizant of, and an oil economy/politics cost (Iraq war anyone?).

        Just like people are easily willing to pay 20%-50% more for organic produce. Even people who are not rich - people might and should be willing to pay more for oil-free locomotion.

        You might laugh at that. I don't. As someone recently said, Global Warming is neither a hoax nor a joke. Same for entire regions of the world destroyed by oil politics, including the Middle East where I come from.

        My diary was rather sensitive to people of limited means. You, on the other hand, seem extremely insensitive - on a progressive site - to these two very real and very pressing problems.

        Overall, we are far from being financially secure. We are not poor by any means, but if we can afford this - then a large chunk of America can too.

        I'm pretty sure there are still tons of people out there who can afford this now, but are not just aware of how accessible this has become.

        This is the gist of my diary. Sorry that it grates against so many people's ready-made and reality-immune ideological package.

        •  When my mom talks with folks about her Leaf (7+ / 0-)

          they always ask how much it costs to charge overnight. Mom estimates something like twelve cents.

          It's probably a bit more than that, but it's a fraction of any gas pump price. And impoverished Americans understand that.

          •  Yeah, more like a dollar. Still highly worth it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean, JayBat
          •  Charging my Leaf on sunshine (0+ / 0-)

            Well, technically I don't, but we did put in solar panels, and sell power back to the utility during the day.  Since we're now on Time of Use, summer energy is 26 cents a kWh from 2-7 pm, most of which I'm running positively.  When we switch to winter hours, the higher use rate goes down a lot anyway.

            Meanwhile I charge the Leaf at midnight.  At 9 cents a kWh.  Since a charge usually takes me about 4-5 hours (depending on how much I ran the juice down), that's, um.... about a buck twenty five.

            We don't have the huge percentage of hydropower they have in the Pacific Northwest, but there's very little coal burned by PG&E in the SF Bay Area (I'm pre-empting the paid oil company shills up front here).

            In capitalist America, bank robs you!

            by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:16:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You are completely out of touch (0+ / 0-)

          I read your diary. I'll get to the main point:  $5600 for a down-payment on a car is beyond the majority of American's reach . Period. If you don't believe me, check the stats on savings in the USA.

          What does electric  cars piling up on a lot tell you?

          You have multiple companies with multiple ad budgets and they all have cars piling up. Since when is a $25,000 car affordable? In fly-over country that is 1/2 to 1/3 the price of a house in a safe neighborhood.  

          Just saying that a $25,000 car is affordable shows that you are living in a world that is out of touch.

          People who are barely making it,  need to fund their cash flow needs on a weekly to a daily basis. Pay Day lenders  and Pawn shops have never had it so good.  If they find a car that costs $2200 that gets 27MPH? They are overjoyed. I wish I still had it. But I know the painter and I knew he needed it more than I did.

          Climate change is last on a person's list who goes to bed hungry, who doesn't have health insurance, who is one accident away from complete financial, physical and psychological  devastation.  The discussion of a $25,000 car as "cheap" in the context of a real depression is as insensitive as it gets.  

          $5600 represents 56 Months of food stamps for  one person.  You are not a urban progressive. Not even close.

          •  You set up a strawman, then attack it. (0+ / 0-)

            The Leaf is clearly not affordable for people who cannot afford cars. Which is what you describe here - the poor and the poorer, who can perhaps buy a clunker but nothing else, including lacking the ability to properly fix or insure it.

            However, for the middle class the Leaf (and hopefully the Volt as well, and also the Mitsubishi EV and others) is becoming affordable, esp. given the trend I've reported on. Namely, accelerated de-facto price erosion towards the end of the model year: 30-50% price erosion compared with maybe 10-20% for gas cars.

            Since the $99 monthly payment is so low as to be offset - or even exceeded - by the gas savings, if someone doesn't have the $5600 up front they can easily can take out a separate loan to finance the down payment and sign their name on a 2-year Leaf leaseback deal of the type offered here in the Puget Sound. And they never have to pay the $25k anyway.

            I think that the group of [people who can put down $5600] + [people who can take out a loan for $5600] covers well over half of American families.

            Regarding spreading the blame for Leafs+Volts languishing in lots, I did put a lot of blame upon dealers' misconceptions and inflexibilities.

            I don't think the introductory prices are wrong - this is still some awesome next-gen technology we're talking about and it costs - but the late-year deals should move in faster, deeper and more broadly across the country.

            These are great cars that help solve two huge societal problems, millions of people would be willing to pay say a 20% premium for them - and some of these people might actually wind up saving money.

            But dealers are not the only ones to blame. Just scan the comment thread - including your very own comment - and note how so many people act out a hostility far beyond what is warranted by their disagreement. EVs and PHEVs, and their economics, are still unpopular and misunderstood, even in a progressive community like ours.

            Finally, re out of touch: 1. Yes, EVs don't make much sense in flyover country (PHEV perhaps more so). But the vast majority of Americans do not live there - otherwise, Obama would be hopelessly behind in the polls :)
            2. We spent over $2k this year on fixing our 2001 Santa Fe, and now it's leaking engine oil as well.  I'm sure we're not alone among clunker owners. And I'm also pretty sure that, poor or not, most people eventually do find a way to pony up the cash to keep their clunkers running.

            Well, what can one do?
            Maybe pony up the very same cash spilled down the drain with your clunker's thick black burnt engine oil, for a down payment on an EV/PHEV.


            •  Here's the data I'm looking at (0+ / 0-)

              I have no idea what your looking at...Ponies and Unicorns?

              ...what we do know is that half all of those people whose sentiment defined the market tone today, and who may be quite instrumental in the outcome of the upcoming election (per Mitt Romney), have less than $100 in cash savings. Other findings: both males and females reported similar savings patterns, however, 55 percent of Americans with children under the age of 18 reported having less than $800 in emergency savings compared to 42 percent of those without. Findings also reflect disparities across geographic regions, with 60 percent of individuals living in both the Northeast and the West having $800 or more in savings, yet 31 percent of those living in the North Central region reported that they had less than $100. Most importantly, 23% of all Americans have less than $100 in savings to cover any emergency expenses, and 46% have less than $800. One can see why when it comes to the discussion of whether or not financial assets should be taxes, soon 46% may be the new 47%.
              •  Define the Middle Class. Go on, I can wait... (0+ / 0-)

                You know, the class of people that keeps shrinking year after year after year . Not because of greater wealth, but as a result of sinking into Poverty.

                Lets also remember that few if any of those have the credit much less the cash to qualify for that super dooper $99 a month payment even if they do take out a loan for 25% interest to make the down payment.

                It's unfortunate that people on this site really can't define the middle class in real world terms anymore and are confined to a nebeleous statement "But the vast majority of Americans do not live there - " when defining  the population and composition of 40+ states or so.

                 That kind of nose in the air arrogance  is what loses elections. Even when elections are won , it's that kind of thinking that leads to the toxic policies that have seen the once great middle class get thrown under a Semi.

                "Hey, lets ask someone how it's going where there are some jobs, and hey, lets keep to people making 100G plus on the West and East cost since 100G there is like 44G in fly-over country. "use got it? Alright, go get me some BS statistics we can throw around that says the economy is improving.

                It's unfortunate that so many Dems didn't learn their lesson in the last election and keep their noses in the air. You sound like an advertisement for Romney because tossing away 30-40 states is always a winning strategy in getting one's BS points across plus we all know financial security can always be found in a high cost of living area.

                By the way a $2,000 repair is significantly different than signing a obligation for $8,000  for a $25,000 car.

                •  2 things, then I'm checking out of this one. (0+ / 0-)

                  You know, there's a difference between disagreeing with the diarist, and saying the diarist is a bad/stupid person. You've crossed that line long ago.

                  However I will be patient with you one last time with these 2 small corrections. You have a tendency to exaggerate things and make them black-and-white. That is not helpful.

                  Even less helpful is the hostility. We are on the same side here. Here goes:

                  1. The Big Three are doing fine nowadays. Isn't this one of Obama's strongest re-election messages?

                  Why are the Big 3 doing well? Oh, wait, people are buying new cars. Many of them. That includes the middle class for sure, but also some of the lower-middle class and for sure many people in "flyover country" however you define that (and you do seem to expand that definition way beyond its common usage).

                  So contrary to your doomsday descriptions, there's a lot of car-buying action in America right now, and the question is only how much of that action EVs/PHEVs can get into.

                  2. It is not an 8k obligations. The 99/month are fully paid for if you are replacing 5k miles/year of a clunker like ours, or even 8k miles/year of a more decent MPG car. Most people who are out there looking for a car, easily meet that. So it's just the down payment.

                  Speaking of which, the 2k for repair is just more good money down the drain with zero assurance your clunker won't break down next week needing another 2k.

                  So you are right, it is way differnt from putting down a couple grand more and sign up for some the best driving experience around, and worry-free maintenance.

                  Oh, yes: and helping the environment. Contrary to your patronizing view of poor people, they too care about the big questions facing our society. For example, our friends who immigrated from Nepal decided to go all-organic years ago (we still haven't made this commitment), and have been members of the Mountaineers club the entire time. The husband works as a produce guy at a local co-op supermarket, in case you're wondering. And the wife was a grad student when they went all-organic.

      •  Thanks very much for your reply (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        That was pretty much what I expected for someone in my position.

        When you consider that I'm one of the 47% the tax credit wouldn't do me any good. So I'd be stuck with coming up with the down payment and dealing with any costs at the end of the lease period.

        My biggest fear is that something on my existing vehicle will break and that I won't be able to afford to get it repaired.

        That's more or less what happened with the Jeep Grand Cherokee that I owned prior to purchasing this one.

        I really do need a way to get to the local shops and I like taking a 400 mile trip about once a year. And, right now, the Jeep is just what I need and I just hope that it will keep doing its thing until I leave this earth.

        Back when I was very young some of my elders drove really ancient cars and I think I may end up doing the same.

        The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

        by Mr Robert on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 10:02:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's why god gave you rentals. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayBat, Assaf
          I like taking a 400 mile trip about once a year.
          This really does drive me nuts.  Ordinary usage should not be distorted by extraordinary events.  Figure out what you need, and tap out for the odd events.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 08:02:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I wrote above, a lease gives you the $7.5k.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, Odysseus

            ...up front, regardless of your Federal tax liability.

            The Leasing company files the paperwork, gets the $7.5k, and credits you by taking it off the remaining balance.

            So with a lease-not-to-own deal as is offered for most EVs/PHEVs nowadays, you end up with a fairly low monthly payment partially (or even fully) offset by gas savings,

            And with the option to walk away without paying the full balance after the term is up. Then you can hop onto the latest EV/PHEV technology with a new lease.

            The down payments you'll have to pony up once every few years, are probably less than the cost of maintaining your aging Jeep over that time period.

            I know, we've paid like 2 grand fixing our 2001 Santa Fe just this year. And now it's leaking engine oil.

            As Odysseus says, rent a car for that annual 400-mile trip, and enjoy driving it with a new car instead of an old iffy one!

            And meanwhile, remove a few barrels of gasoline a year off the oil companies' profit, and off the planet's carbon budget!

  •  It will probably be 1/5th to 1/10th of your gas... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, chipoliwog, KenBee

    ...cost with the Cherokee. Sounds like your deal is similar to ours. Seattle standard rates are around 10 cents/KWh.

  •  Diary updated, including some responses 2 comments (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf, JD SoOR, Lawrence, ozsea1, madhaus
  •  Note ... (8+ / 0-)

    for dealers, there is a real challenge with EVs: they reduce the tail profitability (oil changes and ever so many other repairs) after purchase.

    PS:  Enjoyed/appreciated this diary on multiple levels. Thanks.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 08:15:06 PM PDT

    •  Thanks! I doubly appreciate it, coming from... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, ozsea1, chipoliwog, madhaus, KenBee of the site's leading authorities on climate change and the environment.

      I didn't think about that dealer tail-profitability angle. Another vested interest they might have against EVs.

      But from a broader perspective, they should think about the ability to get down payments every 2-3 years as leases return and customers get the newer technology, on a much higher frequency than for gas cars. In the long run, this EV upside should at least balance out the maintenance-income downside.

      But that is probably beyond the thought processes of many dealers. I thank my luck for Eastside Nissan being one of the exceptions to this rule! They came up with the low-monthly 2-year lease, probably exactly in order to capitalize on that.

      •  Worth viewing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Assaf, ozsea1, Odysseus

        "Who Killed the Electric Car?"  Not necessarily for agreeing/disagreeing, but for windows on different ways to think about the various value streams and interests involved.  

        Now, you've got me thinking about obsolescence as a challenge with EV marketing and market penetration. Why spend $20 for something today when -- maybe -- I can get 20 percent better for $19 next year? An example in HEVs -- the newest Ford Fusion Hybrid will have, according to the reviews I've seen, about 20 percent better mileage than the model it replaces.  Hmmm ... why buy the current technology, at full price, if I can do so much better in two months?

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 09:16:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Now this is quite an issue (0+ / 0-)

          I spent yesterday as part of a focus group of Leaf owners talking with several Nissan execs, including a group that came to SF from Japan.  They wanted to know our thoughts not only on why we bought it and how we drive it, but how to best market it to more people.  I got a lot of the group agreeing with me when I told them their ads suck.

          Actually their ads are fine, they just completely undersell the car.  We want to see people driving an EV and ENJOYING DRIVING IT.  For some reason the automakers won't buy those kinds of ads for EVs.  Instead they market it like they're trying to convince you to eat your broccoli.  I figure they're afraid of eating into their ICE car sales.

          The reduced maintenance stream for the dealers is another issue, too.  Maintenance for the Leaf is pretty minimal; tires, brakes, cabin air filter replaced once a year, annual battery check.  No oil, no transmission, no fluids except for the wipers.  There is a 12V lead-acid battery that runs the accessories, so that's one more (minimal) item.

          In capitalist America, bank robs you!

          by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:21:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  PS ... (8+ / 0-)

        a different item ...

        Prior to the Volt's introduction for sale, I had a chance to talk to some Execs. I challenged them on the four seats -- noting that my household is a family of five and that we would have the money put aside (somehow) to buy a Volt if it sat five but that there was zero chance of buying it with only four seats.  

        The GM exec asserted "you're an unusual case, our market research shows us that there won't be lost sales due to the four-seat capacity ..."  I never wrote it because, well, I simply didn't believe this was said with a straight face and I didn't really feel like calling out these people.  

        Guess, when it comes to the Volt, "you're an unusual case" too.

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 09:24:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, gotta love these MBA Exec types and their.. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, ozsea1, Odysseus, poco, A Siegel

          ..."research" - a masquerade for lazy CW.

          Exactly the type of "research" that brought us the financial collapse and the near-collapse of the Big Three.

        •  We didn't like the Volt, and not just because of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel, Assaf

          the five people problem (we're a family of 4 with 2 teens).  There simply was not enough room in the back for 2 adults (let alone 3).  The Leaf is reasonably comfortable in the back (I've ridden there a few times but I'm the primary driver).  I didn't find the Volt that comfortable in the front, either.

          I love the idea of the Volt and its serial power technology, I just don't like the design of the inside.  It's too small, there's a sea of identical buttons on the console, and did I mention it's too small?  Seriously, I'm convinced the American manufacturers hire special user interface people to make every interaction suck as much as possible.  When I'm in a Japanese-designed car, I never spend long finding controls.

          Anyway, I want the Volt to succeed, so I hope they come out with the same thing a bit bigger.

          In capitalist America, bank robs you!

          by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:25:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I just had similar thoughts re Big 3 ;) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            One structural problem is that they only care about the US market.

            And the US market can be gamed via politics (delay CAFE standards upgrade, etc.), and via image manipulation counting on the conservatism of the average car buyer. Not just political conservatism, but just the way Americans like to stick to the same habits and traditions more than most other cultures when it comes to consumer patterns.

            Not putting a fine point on it: the Big 3 are still in the mindset that insulting our intelligence provides the best bang for their buck.

            On the other hands, the Japanese cater to the US, Japanese, European and Middle Eastern markets all at once. That requires some seriously intelligent product design, and a better understanding of genuine needs and wants shared across the globe.

  •  You forget a few (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, madhaus

    The Tesla Model S comes to mind. You talk about the Coda, a car that makes a beige Camry look exciting by comparison, yet you totally ignore the only cool electric car out there.

    Then comes the Brammo Empulse. There's also the very expensive, built to order Lightning SuperBike, and if its in production finally, the BRD Redshift. Yep, electric motorcycles are way cooler than their four wheel brethren.

    Sarahpalindrome (n.): A sentence that makes as much sense backwards as forwards.

    by Hannibal on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 09:52:41 PM PDT

    •  The cheapest Tesla S costs $12k more than Coda... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...and it's not even on the market yet.

      I am not a vanity car user. To me, a car is just a box of metal and other materials to carry you and your family around conveniently and safely, and - if possible - without wrecking the planet in the process.

      This is the diary's perspective. I think that while Tesla should be commended for its obvious immense contribution to EV tech and EV image, the niche/sports/vanity angle is the wrong one to take for the broader EV/PHEV market, if we truly want to mainstream this technology and make it accessible and affordable.

      •  Too bad that won't be the Coda (0+ / 0-)

        It's built too cheap, is ugly, and costs too much. It's basically the Edsel of EVs, without the charm of the Edsel.

        Sarahpalindrome (n.): A sentence that makes as much sense backwards as forwards.

        by Hannibal on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 01:49:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Tesla is awesome (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But yes, the least expensive version isn't even being built yet.  That said, I'm more concerned about Coda because they aren't selling many vehicles.  Tesla's sold out until the middle of next year.

        In capitalist America, bank robs you!

        by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:26:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Leaf was also sold out when it came out. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And look what happens now.

          EVs/PHEVs must break into the economics and mindset of the middle class. And we need a find a way to help them.

          •  Agreed, that's why I went to the Nissan focus grp (0+ / 0-)

            We were Leaf owners who want them to sell more Leafs past the fast followers.  That said, some purchasers are waiting for the 2013 models, which will be built in the US so no yen pricing issue, will have the option of a 6.6 kW charger, and other coming improvements.  

            One question they asked us was what kinds of people could we see buying one, and what argument would attract them?

            Noted tree-hugger George Shultz owns a Leaf and even made a little video about it for Stanford.

            In capitalist America, bank robs you!

            by madhaus on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:31:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you're still in touch - pls convey my message (0+ / 0-)

              as written in the diary:

              Price late-in-the-year cars like there's no tomorrow.

              Line up massive fleet leases to local govt. and non-profits, at fire-sale rates for last-year models that were not sold.

              Maybe even work with 3rd-party organizations on subsidized leases of last-year models to those of limited means.

              They won't be sorry. A rising tide lifts all boats, and the more Leafs out there for people to see - the better for everyone.

  •  We just leased a Leaf (10+ / 0-)

    The monthly cost of the lease is about the same as what my wife was spending for gas and payment combined for the Honda CR/V we traded in for it. We've had it for about a month and we're very happy with it so far. For my family, it works for getting my wife and two of our kids to work and school every morning. My youngest is in middle school so she takes a bus. There's adequate range for my oldest daughter to drive it to orchestra practice on the weekend, 60 miles round trip. We'll see how that range holds up when the weather gets colder.

    We live in he Chicago area and we were seeing gas prices fluctuate to a high of over  $4.25 over the summer due to a refinery issue. At least the cost of running the Leaf is more predictable. We took a four year lease. Typically at about 16 months the dealer will try to renew the arrangement by exchanging the car for a new model, often at a lower cost. By then I heard that there might be extended range variant of the Leaf available. If that's the case, I might elect to take the deal. We'll see.  

  •  My car share network has a Leaf (10+ / 0-)

    I don't get to drive it very often but when I do, it's a dream to drive. It's silent and gives a smoother ride than any car I've ever driven. If I had regular need for a car, I'd buy one of my own. (A transit pass, a car share membership, and a bicycle get me all the transportation I need.)

  •  I love these early adopter diaries. (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting this.

    And thanks for making a positive difference for the planet, ie. for all of us.

    I'm looking forward to you at some point writing a diary where you show how you added a solar pv system to charge your electric car.  That, to me, would be the ultimate in electric car coolness - driving on sunlight that is captured from your own roof!

    Don't pay too much attention to the hi-jacky comments by NNadir.  He's a pro-nuke fanatic who seems to hate everything about renewables and he's been becoming increasingly shrill as the price of renewables has fallen and their adoption rate has risen.  Don't let him get under your skin.  Your diary has quality.  His comment has none.

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 02:13:16 AM PDT

  •  ha, just saw terms? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Assaf, Odysseus

    I am clueless here about leasing, and spent an hour trying to find out: nothing.

    so after the time period you can:

    1. Return the car and hop onto a newer model,
    2. Buy it outright and sell it at a profit if the price is right, or
    3. (and probably the less common option) Buy it outright to keep it.
    I keep reading people saying
    ' I turn it in and get a new car.'.
    .without saying anything about any new down payment..very frustrating that single dumb

    if 1 do you still make the 99$ payments and do you pay another 5600$ down?

    Sorry to be so ignorant, it seems so fundamental yet haven't seen any answer to that most important question when figuring costs...

    Thanks for this!

    I see trailers there, I am sure someone has a gas generator on a travel trailer, or an extra battery set for extra mileage..considering how some of those cars looked to be owner conversions...very cool, thanks!

    So maybe a new business plan for uhaul, battery trailers for longer trips..I mean if you trust them, and many do, to put on a trailer hitch...

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 02:44:10 AM PDT

    •  Well, you can shop for whatever new lease deals... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, KenBee

      ...are out there when your lease deal expires.

      And the beauty is, you are not bound to Nissan. You can switch to a Volt or, to whatever available EV/PHEV will make most sense for you 2 years from now.

      Yes, this means putting down a few grand in two years... but do the overall math. Our Leaf's monthly payments are fully paid for by gas savings. We do pay extra on insurance, but not a whole lot (right now about $70/month) - and that's because we still keep our gas car for now. In 2 years we might not need a gas car.

      And... we are moving a few hundred gallons a year off the gasoline demand column.

  •  Electrics like Leaf and Volt should be a huge hit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with off-grider and Survivalist cause electricity is easy to make with many methods but Gasoline/Diesel isn't and even Ethanol isn't that easy to make.

  •  Do you know if the car co. are going to design (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ashaman, KenBee

    All Electric Cars that can tow a Trailer with a liquid fueled Engine that meets Clean-air and efficiency standards  Powering an Electric Generator that can power the Drive Motors and recharge at the same time while driving that can be rented or owned so that people can go on long trips if they want to without needing to stop for recharging.PS this is something I thought up when I was reading about the problem of people with all-electrics wanting to do Road-trips without having to stop a lot for Recharging .

  •  We have a Leaf- and it's run on the sun (10+ / 0-)

    We have full solar on our house and we charge the vehicle off our panels.   We wanted to see if we could become more energy independent, clean energy independent, without a major change in the way we lived.

    It's been almost a year and that car has been a workhorse.  Particularly on weekends, it is in use all day long, with one, maybe two, pit stops at home for a bit of a charge up and then back out again and again.  

    The fun part is when we pass another Leaf on the road- we wave to each other.

    Changing over to solar is one of the reasons I get so damned irritated with Romney, who seems to have no interest in alternative energy or pooh poohs the idea entirely.   Our house and car show what is possible.  Lots more rooftops out there that could use some solar panels.    

    Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science. Robert Green Ingersoll

    by offred on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 05:30:27 AM PDT

    •  We also have a solar panel run Leaf (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davehouck, Lawrence, madhaus, KenBee

      Glad to see that the Leaf has been good for your family.  We have one as well, run off our grid tied solar system which we installed 3 years ago because we knew we would be getting an all electric vehicle when they became available.  Our Leaf is a workhorse for us as well.  Today, we will take my mom to adult day health, bring the car home, charge it for awhile with our GE wattstation charger (US built), do some banking, and pick her up again - about 85 miles in total over 6 hours.  There is nothing like the joy of seeing the car cleanly charging with electrons directly from the sun!

    •  The 47% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, javan

      While reading your comment, the 47% came to mind.  The federal and state income tax credit incentives for solar panel systems and electric and PH vehicles are, in my view, great programs.  However, the 47% can't make use of the tax credits, and thus far fewer households are able to implement these technologies.

      One way to address this problem would be to make the tax credits refundable.  I think this would significantly increase the demand for solar panels and electric vehicles.  Of course it would also be an expensive item in the government's budget; but then so is the defense department.

      Another option for the 47%, at least with respect to solar panel systems, would be to have government pay the upfront cost of the system and then bill the homeowner monthly an amount that would be roughly equal to what the homeowner was previously paying for power from the grid until the upfront cost was repaid.  Something similar could perhaps work for vehicle purchases.

      All of this is to say that I agree with you; lots more roofs need panels on them.  And I think we through our governments need to find creative ways to get those panels up there.

      Love one another

      by davehouck on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:24:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you know you can lease solar installations? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There's your payment up front.  Same as leasing the Leaf, you get the tax incentives taken off the lease.

        SolarCity offers a zero-down lease, among other options.  There seems to be healthy competition in the Bay Area market among the solar companies.  I think the leasing is why I'm seeing so many panels going up now.

        Anyway, we also have solar, but we charge the Leaf at midnight (9 cents a kWh) and sell power back to the utility when the sun is up and it's more expensive.  So technically, while our PVs keep our bills way down, we aren't charging the Leaf with solar power.  I could do that but it would be much more expensive that way.

        In capitalist America, bank robs you!

        by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:30:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  make solar tax credits fungible (0+ / 0-)

        if that is really the right word..make it so they can be sold.

        If Big Industry can buy and sell Carbon Credits

        WHY NOT US!!


        and you lot over there complaining about us poor people not able to do this, I am dam happy them who can DO!

        Assaf could have bought a 2 seat 5.6 liter BMW or some shitheaded car like that...and many who can, do that. Boo!

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:58:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ford C-MAX Energi this fall (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BRog, Assaf, javan, davehouck

    Ford's PHEV, the C-Max Energi, is hitting the market this fall, and I'm looking at it very closely. I currently have both a VW TDI for road trips and an electric scooter for commuting and errands, but it would be nice to combine the roles.

    The C-Max will be made by union people within the US, and the plug-in model will give a nice 20 mile electric range. Based on the non-plug hybrid, I'm expecting 47/47mpg.

    So we'll soon have 3 choices for mainstream PHEVs in the US: Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in, and C-Max Energi.  Woohoo!

  •  Great! You turned over a new LEAF! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wish there was a good EV/PHEV for me. I drive 28,000 miles a year carrying LARGE musical instruments. I play both string bass and tuba, I can't image they would fit into a Leaf or Volt.

    Help! The GOP is NUTS (& the Dems need some!)

    by Tuba Les on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:00:21 AM PDT

    •  The Ford C-Max Energi mentioned ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ashaman, Assaf, Tuba Les, KenBee

      ... in the comment above yours appears to have usable cargo space.  I haven't seen it in person, but looking at it online it does appear to address cargo space concerns, even improving upon previous versions of the C-Max.  Might be worth taking your instruments down to the dealership and seeing if they'll fit.

      Love one another

      by davehouck on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:31:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  also Prius V (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davehouck, Assaf, Tuba Les

        Ford is aiming their C-Max to compete directly against the Prius V, in terms of size, price, and mpg. Both should be good options for someone needing a bit of cargo room. The rear seats fold flat, giving a pretty reasonable space for cargo. Ford's offering also provides 20 miles plug-in range, which Toyota doesn't have.

        •  I looked at the Prius V (0+ / 0-)

          It definitely has enough room. But I live in the mountains, not the best place to have a hybrid for good mileage. I went with a VW sportswagon with TDI.

          Help! The GOP is NUTS (& the Dems need some!)

          by Tuba Les on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 12:36:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a VW TDI now. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tuba Les, KenBee

            Heh, nice choice, my current car is also the VW Jetta sportwagon TDI. But I'm starting to feel the need for electric propulsion, so the C-Max Energi is calling.

            But if the Prius V has enough room for you, then you should be good with the C-Max as well. The Hybrid is on dealer lots now (co-worker purchased one yesterday), and the Energi should be here in a few more months.

    •  Maybe a Fusion Energi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tuba Les

      105 MPGE!

    •  Nissan's EV van is hitting the US shores right now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tuba Les

      Search "Nissan EV Van." Seems like the first ones to test it are FedEx, but maybe it'll be consumer-available in a year or less.

      •  Also, u might be surprised what fits into a Leaf. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tuba Les

        If you need 3-5 people and these large instruments, forget it. But if it's you and one more person max, it might fit. The Leaf is longer than compact cars, and the back seats fold.

        •  Perhaps (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's the size and shape that is a problem. My contrabass is over 6 feet tall, 28 inches wide, 20 inches back to front which includes the bridge. It is in a soft case, so I have to be careful. I do not put the neck between the front seats because it's not good as an arm rest, and I take up a fair amount of space. I also bring a 30 inch stool and sometimes my concert tuba in another soft case.

          I just got the VW this year, and expect to drive it for a long time, so by the time I need a new car, things will have changed, I am sure. Thanks for the info.

          Help! The GOP is NUTS (& the Dems need some!)

          by Tuba Les on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:44:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Assaf - I purchased my Nissan Leaf in July (7+ / 0-)

    of 2011 after waiting in line for about 8 months. I was driving a 1984 Mercedes 300TD on B100 for about 5 years before deciding to take the leap into the 100% EV world.

    I considered a VOLT but I really didn't want to use any gas at all for my daily commuting here is Seattle. My daily round trip is about 25 miles so the LEAF is a perfect solution for this type of commute. Occasionally, I use my car to visit clients but typically will never have to drive 10 miles to see them.

    I'm sorry that you had a number of concern trolls jump on your diary. I, for one, commend you for taking this important step and helping to make EVs more affordable in time. To be sure, you can nit pick the LEAF like any other vehicle but it is a major step in the right direction.

    Anyways, congratulations to you for getting on the EV bandwagon and hope that you enjoy your experience. I'm loving the LEAF and it is the best car that I have owned.

    It takes time to practice generosity, but being generous is the best use of our time. - Thich Nhat Hanh.

    by Frank In WA on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:15:09 AM PDT

  •  I'm the proud owner of Nissan Leaf too (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, Assaf, JayBat, madhaus, KenBee, javan

    fully paid for and 100% mine as well.

    Thanks Uncle Sam and CA for the $12k off... but I haven't been to a gas station in 15,500 miles and 16 months. :)

    Costs only ~ $1/day to run.

    •  gas 155-electricity 30/mo=$125 monthly savings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      not bad

      operating costs are the big story here, not all the other stuff important as it all is..if the operating costs weren't sooo different this wouldn't 'work' at all.

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 04:38:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I also got to drive a Tesla Roadster yesterday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, Assaf, KenBee

    at plug in day....

    it was exactly like being shot out of a cannon... like this:

    •  Which NPID were you at? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was at SF.  I would have gone to Cupertino as well, but I went to the Nissan meeting instead.  I know there was a roadster giving rides at the Cupertino event.

      In capitalist America, bank robs you!

      by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:31:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Leaf owner since December (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Assaf, javan

    We were one of the first people to buy it right off the lot, as the dealer had been given 8 extras they didn't order.  When we called to order one, we were given the option of buying one immediately, so we did.  I would have gotten a black one if I had a choice of color.  Of the 3 left on the lot, we could have white or silver.  (We took white.)

    6,500 miles so far.  I think I've driven the minivan maybe 8 times in the interim, usually on long trips (Yosemite, Los Angeles).

    If you're an owner I suggest joining for ideas and community, and joining an owners club if there's one in your area.  The San Francisco BayLEAFs is the largest owner's club in the world, so I invite any Bay Area kogs who own, want to own, or admire the Leaf to join us.  The BayLEAFs also has a Facebook group and we have several out-of-area folks who like to see what can happen with so many Leaf owners in one region.  At yesterday's National Plug-in Day in SF, we had 105 Leafs show up.  Here's some of them.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the crane shot (yes, Nissan hired a crane for photography) of all the Leafs, plus another of all the owners!  There was no way I could shoot them all in one frame so I didn't even try.

    I met at least one Kog there-- Lusty!  I recognized her license plate as we'd never met before!

    In capitalist America, bank robs you!

    by madhaus on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:40:03 PM PDT

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