I own an electric vehicle. Call me Mr. Environmental Sucker. Here’s the issue.
The battery in my Nissan Leaf is going “Tango Uniform” as the folks in the military say. The car was originally touted as having a 100 mile range. Right now I’m limping around with about 50 miles of range and it’s still decreasing as time goes on. The simple solution should be, replace the battery. Here’s the problem.
Car companies would rather sell you a new vehicle instead of extending the life of an older model. What Nissan has been doing is raising the price of a replacement battery to make fixing the car unaffordable. According to kbb.com the car has a private party value of $5000. The trade-in value is half of that, around $2,700. How much is a new identical replacement battery from Nissan? About $10,000!
There are some shops that will replace the battery with a used battery from a wrecked newer car and prices vary from $5000 to $9,500 depending on the capacity of the used battery. The upper end batteries are almost double the capacity of the original battery, increasing the range to 160 miles, which is an improvement.
At this point, I’m not sure if spending more money on the electric car is worth it. On top of the repair costs, here in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia, the electric company has raised the rate of electricity. At peak times the charge is about $0.58 per kilowatt-hour. Compare that to the national average of about $0.12 per kilowatt-hour. If the battery were 100% efficient in charging (which it isn’t) and I was able to get the full 100 miles per charge (which I can’t) it would cost $14 to drive the 100 miles, best case. With gas at about $3.00 per gallon, the equivalent “gas mileage” is 21 miles per gallon. An equivalent sized gas car gets 30 or more miles per gallon, which means the gasser is 50% more cost effective to drive. My bigazz, four-wheel drive, diesel pickup averages better than 25 miles per gallon beating the electric car on cost effectiveness.
Given all that, I have no idea what I’m going to to with my electric car. Anyone want an electric vehicle? I have a “Green New Deal” for you.
As an owner of an electric vehicle, “Going Green” means that “Green is Going out of my wallet“.