Leaf Energy calculations

I’ve been considering getting a Nissan Leaf, but it doesn’t look like it makes financial sense. Just looking at operating costs(never mind the capital cost), the problem is that we routinely exceed our PG&E energy baselines. The baseline price is $.11/KWh, Nissan claims a full charge of about 100 miles @ $.11/KWh would cost about $2.75. I drive maybe 50 mi/day so about $1.30/day. The problem is that we exceed the cheaper pricing tiers of energy and any additional usage often costs the max rate of $.40/KWh. At that rate, a full charge costs over $11, or for my 50mi/day usage that’s $5.20/day. Compared with my Prius which gets about 45mpg at $3/gal roughly $3/day, that’s actually a lot worse. Only when gas is $5+/gal does it actually make sense over $.40/KWh.

Now obviously there’s more to it than just operating costs. Having a zero emissions vehicle and using the carpool lanes are big factors. But for most people, they look first at where they are saving money, and for me it doesn’t. Another option is to significantly reduce my energy consumption to get down to $.11/KWh. Or I could install solar panels on my house which is something I’ve been considering, but that sure is a backwards way to solve the problem and is a huge capital cost.

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