Five years after publishing a report on the positive economic impacts of electric vehicles, we finally got on board: Quercus Consulting’s company fleet now includes a 2017 Nissan Leaf SV! Today I took it for our first long drive, a round trip of 80 miles. Spoiler alert: it worked great and we didn’t run out of juice! Here’s what you really want to know:
Range: We made the purchase decision pretty quickly (minus the 5-year deliberation period), so we do not yet have a Level 2 charging port in the garage. In the past four days of driving the Leaf, all of our round trips have been five miles or less, so using the 120V “trickle” outlet from 9 pm to 6 am has been sufficient. Today’s trip was to visit our client at the College of Lake County, which just installed a ChargePoint station two weeks ago, lucky us!
We started the trip with an almost full charge and a range of 98 miles – it’s hot today so we had the AC on, which reduced the range by 11 miles – and arrived at CLC with 67 miles available, or 66% charged. That was more than enough to return, but we wanted to try the Level 2 charger and wow, what a difference from the 120V! In 2.5 hours of charging we were back to 100% charged with a range of 110 miles, including AC. How fast can I get an electrician to install a 240V outlet in the garage?
Cost to Charge: The rate to charge depends on the host site. At CLC it was free (thanks!), but looking at the ChargePoint app, another station along our route would have charged $2 per hour, so the cost would have been $5 for the 2.5 hours. Equating that to a conventional compact car with a 13-gallon tank at 66% full, the cost to top off would be just under $11.50 at today’s gas price. If you’re interested in the cost to buy the car itself, please see the post “We Heart Utility Rebates.”