Nissan LEAF Cuts 60% Off Monthly Fuel Bills?

MAY 21 2015 BY MARK KANE 36

Family in Nissan LEAF

Family in Nissan LEAF

In its latest press release, Nissan encourages the switch to electric drive because it will pay off.

According to Nissan, fuel bills could be lowered by up to 60% compared to conventional vehicles.

“Families could carve as much as 60 percent off monthly fuel bills by making the switch to electric. This equates to a saving of €24† each month, for the average European family.”

For the sake of comparison, Nissan is using the LEAF and Note 1.5dci.

“† Based on a Nissan Note 1.5dci costing €40.76 a month (€10.19 a week) versus €16.64 (€4.16 a week) in the LEAF; diesel prices correct as of 22/04/15 and calculated over an average distance of 208km per week travelled. Totals based on Nissan’s Global Data Center (GDC) as of 30.09.2014 (UTC).”

It would be swell to save €24 each month, but we are not sure if this is fully honest to present financial comparisons without noting upfront costs.

For example, in Germany, the price of the Nissan Note 1.5dci stands at €16,340 (Visia trim) and goes up to €21,040 (Tekna trim), while the Nissan LEAF begins at €29,690 (Visia trim) and ends at €35,090 (Tekna trim).

Even if we assume best-case scenario and compare Note Tekna €21,040 with LEAF Visia €29,690, the difference is €8,650. Basing solely on the €24 savings each month, it would take 360 months or 30 years to make up the difference in upfront costs.

This is probably the reason why manufacturers are hiding some numbers here and there, which leaves us to believe that the LEAF still needs a couple of grants / incentives to be price competitive.

After deducting the tax credit or grants, that €24 savings each month is surely welcome.

“And it’s easy to see why; one of the participants, Martin Brady from Dorridge, UK claimed to have saved €3,385 since adopting the Nissan LEAF as the family’s primary mode of transport. He said: “I’d be surprised if it costs me much more than a fiver (£5) a week. I mainly charge at work.”

As many as 89 percent of LEAF drivers charge overnight at home, benefiting from a cost per km of just three cents or less†. This leads to ample savings for the average family, money which is being redeemed against a wide range of items, from solar panels to home improvements‡.

Jarl Hovind from Oslo, Norway comments: “I don’t spend more than NOK3 (39 cents) per 10km on charging the LEAF.”

Commenting on the research, Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan in Europe, said:

“As fuel prices continue to fluctuate right across Europe, there’s one thing customers can be certain of – electric cars are incredibly economical.”

“We’ve seen more and more drivers become disillusioned by the price of motoring in recent years, and this trend will continue unless more families make the switch to electric vehicles.”

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36 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Cuts 60% Off Monthly Fuel Bills?"

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Title lacks context … can save “as much as 60 percent off monthly fuel bills by making the switch to electric. … for the average European family.”

How does this translate into savings for an “average USA family”?

note: reports out today indicate USA families drove more miles in March/April than ever before. Combined with increasing gas prices this should be an ideal time to purchase a new, or used LEAF (in reality, any BEV for that mater).

jmollard

Everyone please go here for a very quick way to compare any vehicle you want:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=34918
Add your existing vehicle or one you’re considering then click “Personalize” to enter your local gas and electricity prices and annual mileage.

pk

At the time that I purchased my 2015 Leaf back in July I was paying around $340/month in fuel for my 2010 Subaru Legacy. My electricity bill hasn’t gone up more than $40/month as I pay 7.5 cents/KWh between 7 PM and 7 AM. So my monthly fuel bill has been cut by at least $300. (~88%)

Total cost of ownership is a better metric IMHO.

ModernMarvelFan

Subaru Legacy vs. LEAF? NOT apple to apple comparison.

You could have switched to a Prius and save at least 2/3 of your gas bill.

Mike777

But, he picked a better vehicle.
It’s a free world.
Who what’s a Prius.

jmollard

I live in BC and own a Leaf & economical Civic, a fair comparison. Still mine is an incredible 90% savings. Gas here is $5/gallon and electricity is 6 cents/kWh:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=32154&id=23502&#tab1

krona2k

A Prius is not comparable to a LEAF either. Probably better to compare a Nissan Note (UK) to a LEAF, the LEAF wins.

Kosh

+1.

Same numbers for us. $300+ a month to drive a 2008 Scion xB, vs $30 a month to charge the leaf.

Maybe electricity is more expensive in the UK?

Dave K.

My numbers are similar in metro Atlanta, about 1/10th the cost of fueling a gas car, maybe 1/4th the cost of fueling a Prius(I own both). My Leaf is the most economical car I have ever owned by a large margin, if it had about 120-150 miles of range it would be perfect.

DonC

It’s advertising and it comes with all the weasel words that advertising is known for. It’s like the $199/month lease with the huge upfront payment. You have to run the numbers yourself. No one will do this for you, and it’s silly to assume they will.

Naturally it just depends. It doesn’t cost me anything to run a Leaf because of the TOU rates and solar. But that’s me. Other people might have different outcomes.

Overall I suspect that an electric drive will save money, especially when compared to a similar ICE vehicle that offers a similar ride.

jelloslug

I leased mine for $199 a month with no money down. Over the entire term of the lease I was at a net gain of $400 or so over driving the paid off car that I was previously driving. That was including the lease payments and the insurance.

Just_Chris
I live in Australia no incentives or any form of government pressure to push car mpg up. My case. Toyota Yaris to Leaf – 20,000 km/year Fuel bill Yaris – $1.3 per litre 6 l/100km = $1560 per year Leaf – $0.085 per km 0.16 kWh/km = $272 per year saving per week $24 or $6440 over 5 years. Cost of Yaris – $17,000 Cost of Leaf – $35,000 ($39,990, drive away I got an ex-demo) It would have been cheaper to stay in the Yaris but that is a much smaller car and very sparse. There is only 1 trim of Leaf in Australia which is essentially the same as the top trim 2012 in the US or Japan (we don’t get heat pumps here because we don’t need them and we only get the 3.3 kW charger). but compare to the following and the Leaf looks like a good deal: Prius – $40,000 Camary hybrid – $32,000 – $40,000 Focus (Titanium) – about $34,000 BMW 1 series – over $40,000 Audi A3 – over $40,000 Lexus 200h – $38,000 and over Why Nissan compare the Leaf to the Note I have no idea. The Note is a really… Read more »
Just_Chris

BTW my fuel savings are 83% not 60%

miggy

Great details Chris, I think the USA needs to increase their tax on petrol/gas to 50c a litre, this would increase sales of EV’s and PHEV’s without any tax incentives.

Just_Chris

Thanks, I think the big thing is people always assume you use the whole battery and that you charge during the day when power is expensive. They then compare to a base level Nissan note? Wtf, I love that Nissan can’t even get it right. Upto 60% sounds like 50%, I guess they don’t want people to think too hard about the fact the “sticker” mpg is non-sense and that their “economy” cars are not very economical.

James

You really can’t compare the drivetrain of a Note and a Leaf. I’ve had to suffer through a week of driving a clunky Ford Focus while my Volt is in the body shop and it’s just killing me. I forgot how horribly inelegant gas engines were, and how choppy the acceleration could be. I would say you can’t get even close to the smoothness of a Leaf until you hit $50-60k in ICE cars. It’s like comparing a Volt to a Cruze, which is just as bogus.

Jeff Songster

I first put 8kW of microinverted solar panels on my roof… then as we economized more we were generating excess… and paying 260 month for gas for our Ford Flex V6… I suggested a Nissan LEAF and we got one in sept 2013… the savings helping to pay down the solar panels to the tune of $200+ a month and we liked driving it so much that my wife and I decided to get another so we could each drive it every day. Now we have a 2015 also and I am considering putting up some more panels to cover the $50 a month that the second car added. We love our LEAFs! Solar powered Zero Emissions driving for us!

Glad you posted that Jeff. I was just about to say pretty much the same and you beat me to it.

Add $2,000 worth of solar panels to an intallation. Extra labor will be next to nothing and you will have nearly free fuel for the next 30 years. Zero emission, silent, renewable, domestic fuel. Probably for the rest of your life.

Your grandchildren will thank you.

ModernMarvelFan

“Ford Flex V6”

LOL. You could saved almost as much by switching to a Prius instead.

It is very typical for PEV owners to compare to some old gas guzzler and then claim how much they saved…

You can also save over 80% gas bill when you switch from a Hummer to a Corolla. LOL

Lensman

ModernMarvelFan said:

“’Ford Flex V6′

“LOL. You could saved almost as much by switching to a Prius instead.

“It is very typical for PEV owners to compare to some old gas guzzler and then claim how much they saved…”

Maybe that’s because their previous car was a klunky old gas guzzler. I know a lot of people who used to drive one; some still do. Contrariwise, I don’t know a single person who has ever owned a Hummer.

Perhaps you move in different social circles? 😉

Just_Chris

I think I agree with you, you absolutely could save as much going from a hummer to a corolla as going from a corolla to a leaf but why is this a bad thing? Replacing a Prius with a leaf is good but replacing a hummer with a leaf is better.

Just_Chris

The RACV (motoring organization in Australia) do a total cost of ownership for all the popular cars in Australia, last year they also included a TCO for electrics (http://www.racq.com.au/cars-and-driving/cars/owning-and-maintaining-a-car/car-running-costs).

It’s not quite right because they used the price of the leaf as $51,000 when it is only $40,000 and they also put in a value for a lone which isn’t quite right as Nissan have been offering 0% interest for quite some time now.

Even if you just adjust it for the correct RRP you find that over 5 years the Leaf works out reasonable for it’s class and cheaper than a lot of the big names in the list.

My wife laughs every time we pass a gas station with our LEAF….I chuckle a little… When I fill up my tank on my Xterra every month and a half I feel bad that I have to go to a gas station.

PVH

I wonder how they come with such figures.
My own calculation based on my car (a VW diesel).
Based on a price of EUR 1.08/liter for diesel (where I live). My average consumption (last 100K km) 6 l/100km (+/- 40MPG).That gives 6.5 EUR/100 Km.
An EV would be about 25Kwh/100Km, Kwh costs 0.2EUR, so 5 EUR/100Km. So a difference but not that much. And that is Europe where fuel is expensive. I understand diesel in the USA is much cheaper (about 0.8EUR/litre that is 3.2 USD/gallon). On day I will gladly swap my turbo diesel for an EV as to get rid of an overcomplicated engine, but not yet… not yet.

Priusmaniac

Have you included the doctor bills for the treatment of your diesel particles induced cancer or that of your children, parents, neighbors or passerby?
If you live in the Netherland, have you included the tax rise to pay for the super delta plan which is going to be needed to raise the dams of 4 m by the end of this century and 62 m by the end of this millennium?
Have you included the sadness of your grand children not being able to see the wild animals we see today because of climate change induced extinction?
If you like mussels, like I do, have you tough about their disappearance because of acidic seas?
There is much more at play when choosing a car.

PVH

No, indeed I did not include those aspects and they are of course critical. When considering the big picture, they are many way to reduce one’s “footprint” on nature. Environement concern reply to many of our fellow US commenters here is to buy a $100K car (Tesla) and drag along a very heavy heavy li-ion battery. As opposed to this, many Dutch would simply cycle to work and leave their petrol fueled car at home. I prefer this second approach (when possible, we often have much shorter distances to work here is Europe) as long as EV’s are not considered practical enough for average family use (which includes a fair amount of long distance drive).

Just_Chris

You only need 16 kWh to drive 100km so you are comparing 6.5 euros to 3.2 euros. You could probably get a cheaper power rate at night and reduce that further. Your diesel golf probably didn’t cost that much less than a leaf so a leaf would probably work out cheaper for you in the long run. Obviously no car could ever be cheaper than walking or a bike. I would go for those options over a car given the choice.

PVH

16 Kwh for 100 km seems quite optimistic. Its like when automakers mention an average consumption of 4.2l/100km for a turbo diesel when in real life it is about 6l/100km. I just checked the Leaf range at 55 mph (90 km/h). Its only about 100km, and 55 mph is no real highway speed (75 Mph is). So would say 25 Kwh/100 km seems already quite optimistic.

Just_Chris
The leaf has 2 modes D and Eco, Eco gives you more range in town because you maximise re-gen. There is not a lot of difference on the freeway. If you drive on the freeway in D you should get over 100 km range. I think the 90 km must be either when it is cold or if you have excessive cooling requirements. There are also issues with how you calculate the range, if it is by the range-o-meter then it will be pessimistic as you can drive 10 km after you reach “0 km”. The usable battery is 20 kWh so I geuss that is where some come to the conclusion that 20 or 25 kWh per 100km is a good estimate of driving economy. May be this is a good estimate for some drivers. The 16 kWh per 100 km is actual data from my car (which correlates fairly well with my smart meter on my house) after 10,000 km of driving mainly in the suburbs of Melbourne Australia in Eco mode. This is fairly ideal driving conditions for a leaf. The other thing that improve my numbers is that almost all of my driving is done in… Read more »
PVH

Thanks for this accurate info.

Thanh Lim

I also mostly charge at work and drove 18K miles my first year and mostly charge at work and only weekend charge. My numbers are seriously skewed as I spend $5-8 a month for charging at home instead of paying my $250 or so in gas. Yes, I had to pay for the car, but the savings really gets the total cost of ownership waaaay down.

RogerInVermont

I live in northern Vermont, near the Canadian border. It gets cold here in the winter.

I have to have heat for my body, and I would hope the battery is heated for better performance.

I see Leafs (Leaves?) on the road in the winter; those are hardy folk!

Also, electricity from my rural electric coop is .172/kw. They don’t offer day/night rate differential, yet. But I haven’t asked.

When I make the leap into EV, it will have to be a Volt, and it won’t be for monetary reasons.

I, too, think of my grandchildren.

Mike777

You may have to read the fine print of your utility bill. My utility has a lower EV rate, but you need a separate meter installed. They don’t advertise it for some reason.

Djoni

Hi from further north, Québec!
Yes, cold is a state of mind here 5 month per year.
So I agreed on the must of having heated battery for better range, performance and durability of it.
I just don’t understand why they didn’t figure that and the heatpump on the first sketch.
Still, EV does cut expense a lot.
But the big point is that it’s so much a better ride, that’s incredible.

Speculawyer

The savings can be even more. It really depends on your local gasoline & electricity prices.

For me, the savings is HUGE because gasoline here is over $4/gallon nearby and my solar PV system generates electricity at 6 cents per KWH>

Solari3

Definitely agree the amount of savings vary depending on location.

I switched from a MB GLK SUV getting 20 mpg to the i3 and I’m saving $2500 per year as premium gas is at $4.15 and the TOU rate is $.17 per kWh.

I do understand this is not a fair comparison. So I’ll compare my i3 with the X1. Both comes to around $30k (subtracting the $10k in CA/Fed rebate for the i3).

At 15000 miles per year, X1 at avg of 28 mpg would cost $2200 per year.

At 15000 miles per year, the i3 at avg of 4.5 mi/kWh would cost $566 per year.

That’s a $1634 difference in the i3’s advantage.

What I did not calculate in here is the fact that I’m generating my own electricity with a solar system that is producing electricity at $.48 per kWh but I’m charging the i3 at $.17 per kWh. But that’s another discussion for another day. 🙂