Living With An Electric Car Long Term Will Convert You


Range anxiety should not stop you from buying an electric car.

Jason Feske from Engineering Explained admits that he has range anxiety, and he’s not talking about an EV. He says he has to keep his ICE vehicle’s gas tank above a quarter tank at all times. For this reason, he figured an electric car was not the best choice. However, Nissan loaned him a long-term 2018 LEAF and now he’s converted. As we recently reported, Feske finally bought his first electric car, though it’s not a LEAF, but rather a Tesla Model 3.

Jason says the 2018 Nissan LEAF’s 150-mile range is enough for most people. He points out that in order for an electric car to be a solid choice, you should have a garage and/or a place to charge it at home. He also believes that you should have a two-car household. Jason goes so far as to say that he thinks every home should have one electric car, and since most families already have more than one car, this could work for many people.

Feske talks about the convenience and advantages of having an EV specifically for daily driving. You don’t have to go to the gas station, you save money on “fuel,” and the city driving performance is much more enjoyable than most gas-powered cars. Conversely, you probably shouldn’t buy an electric vehicle for the purpose of taking a bunch of long road trips. In addition, if you’re single and live in an apartment, you may want to postpone your EV purchase.

Feske has plenty of additional insight to share. In the end, he truly believes that those who spend some time with an electric car will likely be converted. But, he’s honest to point out reasons why it just might not yet work for a handful of drivers.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section below.

Video Description via Engineering Explained on YouTube:

Living With An Electric Car Changed My Mind

How Driving A 2018 Nissan Leaf Long Term Changed My View Of EVs
Electric Cars & The Environment

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24 Comments on "Living With An Electric Car Long Term Will Convert You"

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When I got my first EV in 3/2013, I was nervous about range, so my wife and I leased it, thinking we could just walk away in 3 years after getting a really good deal on the car. Even that car, with a laughably short range by today’s standards, worked out so well that I wound up extending the lease and then buying the car thanks to Nissan’s infamous $8K incentive. I agree wholeheartedly with the view that once most drivers spend some real time with an EV in their daily lives, they will love it and won’t consider going back to an ICEV unless they’re pushed by unusual circumstances. The problem is getting people to take that plunge. I know numerous people who: 1. Have more than one car in the household. 2. Can dedicate at least one car to commuting and local errands. 3. Have convenient overnight at-home charging, e.g. a plug in a garage. 4. Can comfortably afford a Leaf, Bolt, or (when available) Kona, etc. 5. Would LOVE to minimize the cost and hassle of owning one of their cars. 6. Would LOVE to drive greener. Yet NONE of them have an EV, despite my ongoing… Read more »


Owning an electric vehicle is the right choice for 95% of the people certainly you need an home charger to make this work
After driving an electric vehicle for over 5 years I can assure you you ain’t going to go back to an internal combustion engine. For longer runs with an electric vehicle the infrastructure for charging is very poor. But if you do under 80 miles travelling per day with the occasional long run it’s still a no-brainer electric vehicles are far superior than the internal combustion engine and improving all the while

Agree with you 100% my 5 friends reasons for not buying EVs 1 Don’t like the style of most EVs 2 They think the car would not have enough range for their daily drive. 3 The purchase cost is considerably higher. 4 They have no idea what EVs are about or what they can do and buy the exact same Ford model they bought for the last 20 years. 5 They think they will have to plug it in twice a day, and that it’s harder than going to a petrol station. These are some of the excuses there a million more made up by big oil to spread misinformation which unfortunately most people lap up. What needs to be done 1 Make all manufacturers produce an equivalent ev for their most popular vehicle. 2 Have a maximum size of fuel tank allowed on ICE vehicles and health warnings like cigarettes on every ICE purchased also have a big yellow sticker on the back of every car pointing at the exhaust pipe warning gas is poisonous. 3 Tax larger gas tanks and use the money to extend the EV incentive discounts to at least £6000 in the U.K. 4 Education… Read more »
Well said. The TAM (total addressable market) for EVs as 1 of the 2 or more cars in a multicar household in the US at least is _yuuggge_. I can certainly see 1 ICE/hybrid/PHEV + 1 BEV making sense for the very large number of US households that a) have multiple cars and b) have access to at least level 1 charging at home. To help this I think we EV enthusiast should 1) embrace strong PHEVs (Volt, Clarity) as a great option for people who either need long range and/or live in places with very cold winters and 2) stop saying L2 is mandatory to own an EV. The reality is L1 is fine for a great many people. As long as you can add more range per night on L1 (typically 4-5 MPH) than you burn in a day L1 should work fine especially for a PHEV or a long range BEV like a Tesla or Bolt. On L1 assuming one can charge 10 hours per night one can add 350 miles / week of range. My wife and I went from Volt+ICE Rav4 in 2014 to Model 3 + Leaf in 2018 and could never go back.

Living with a Nissan Leaf, will convert you to purchasing a Tesla. LOL

Considering I’m squarely in the “an electric car would be a bad idea for you” demographic right now, here’s hoping the cars get less expensive with the same or greater range and the charging network continues rapidly expanding in the next few years to the point where EVs are viable for far more of the car owning population.

The first reviewer of a loaner car where it doesn’t look filthy and beaten with an interior like a garbage dump, the car is spotless inside and out and his review was like the car, clear consise and made sense, need more reviewers like this guy!

These things are still way way too expensive for “average” people to afford. I’m in the market for a new car. Not a single EV is in my price range and of those that are close, none are as fun as the hot hatches I can get for less money. These won’t be right for every family until the upfront costs are drastically slashed. Some argue that the fuel savings will make up the cost difference. Unless you drive hundreds of miles a week, no it never will. I spend about $100/m on gas. Given my electric prices, I’ll save about $55/m charging at home. If I own the car for 5 years (which is typical) that’s $3300 saved, on cars that are good $10k or so more than what I’m looking to spend, and are not at the same driving dynamics level, and will depreciate like a sunbaked turd. On top of this I have to consider that while gas prices fluctuate, my electric bill only ever rises. Never have I ever seen my electric rate go down. Gas however goes up and down. In 5 years, it might actually be cheaper to fill the car with gas than… Read more »

So you’re considering a Camery, eh? I mean, on paper, that is probably the best deal out there. I think you’re missing the point that an EV provides many advantages, not just from a price/cost point of view. Another option is don’t buy new. I got my 500e for under $7k, still under OEM warranty, and with a clean carfax. It’s almost as much fun to drive as my turbo Miata which only saw about 300 miles this year. The 500e might end up being cheaper to own for me than the practically free TDI it replaced. 🙂

yup, buying a few year old used car is really the best deal. I don’t know why people insist on brand new cars. 🙂

For me, the economics don’t quite make sense either. I can keep my current car and drive it until it dies, or I can spend $10k+ to buy a Chevy Volt or a used Nissan Leaf (they aren’t cheap up here in Canada). If I’m only spending <$100/month on gas, it still takes quite a few years to break even with buying a used EV or PHEV. But you can guarantee that when my current car breaks, I'll be shopping for a PHEV or EV. No plug? No sale.

“These things are still way way too expensive for “average” people to afford.” I disagree. I bought a new LEAF on a zero interest loan for $32,240. With depreciation, it will be worth $21,522 In two years. Factoring in savings over gas at $1,000 per year plus the $7,500 tax credit, The average cost over the first 2 years of ownership will cost me only $875 per year!

Another Euro point of view

And what about the third year ? You deducted from your expenses the tax credit from your two first year as otherwise (as any new car gas or EV) those 2 years would have been really expensive due to your 10k+ depreciation. In truth for the EVs to compete they should be cheaper tax credit not included. We are slowly getting there, but not yet.
I would not be surprised that with the coming of the 60 kWh version your third year will (on paper) cost you a leg. Now it you keep your Leaf for like 8 years the steep depreciation does indeed not matter.

I’m not sure I’m following your line of reasoning. All cars depreciate. Do agree that the cars need to compete without the tax credit.

Another Euro point of view

It’s because he owns a Leaf, historically they depreciated hugely. More than an ICE. Now battery technology tend to progress faster than ICE technology so steep depreciation of unfashionable EVs (basically all EVs except Tesla) might be an issue in the mid term for people who plan to own them less than 6 years and do not use them intensively as to recoup the depreciation costs on gas savings.

If I keep the LEAF for 10 years, the value will be $5,541. My average yearly cost of ownership is $1,400 ($117 per Month). That seems very affordable to me.

“these things”? You can get used starter EVs for under $10k (Leafs, iMiev, some PHEVs).

100% not for everyone. Certainly not for lots of long distance driving.

Range AWARENESS is something everyone has. A gas car it will die once it runs out of fuel, but luckily there is a super saturation of gas stations (so many in fact they generally lose money on the gas). Being aware of your range is an adjustment. When you think about it, there is electricity everywhere too, just have to plan outside your average driving.

I started with a 20 mile range Fusion, after 4.5 years (66k miles) and discovering I ran 85% on electric, I changed to full BEV.

“I’m in the market for a new car. Not a single EV is in my price range and of those that are close, none are as fun as the hot hatches I can get for less money.”

In my case, I went from a GTI (hot hatch) to a BMW i3, which has comparable acceleration, and the actual cost of ownership was the same despite the GTI being half the MSRP.

Then I bought a 2-3 year old CPO i3 for $17k. After fuel savings, no way is a 2-3 year old CPO GTI going to be cheaper than that.

If you’re in San Francisco or thereabouts the network is specific to apartment buildings and for renters. No need to limit to just homeowners.

There are many things that power utilities can do to encourage EV adoption that benefit EV owner and the company. It can be used to balance power loads, use under utilized circuits at low use times and overall can be a great revenue source. All they need to do is put NEMA 14-15 type plugs at street light poles or power poles that are switched using a mobile charger/meter that they can issue to EV owners. The charger/meter can pull power at off peak times and provide cars with cheap electricity and every month you get a bill.

Another Euro point of view

I watched the video, what exactly is a cor ?

If you buy an EV, you’ve already been converted.

If only we could loan every household an EV for 6 months, we might just break through the ignorance and apathy of the general public.