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Leaf Driver Saves $270 on Gas Monthly and Why He Loves His License Plate

My 2013 Nissan Leaf SV is special to me because I have to drive 130 miles a day and this EV saves a lot of money in gas. I calculated that after the costs of my last car, plus gas, I am pocketing 270 dollars a month after my car payment, says Randy Hamlet from Chillicothe, Ohio.

I really wanted an EV before, but I didn’t really have any options. I remember I was looking at the old CitiCars when I was looking for my first car, but it wouldn’t really work for me. I feel that BEVs are the future of transportation; they provide environmental, financial, and national security advantages, all with a driving experience. The car comes with heated front and back seats, standard, along with sat nav, a heated steering wheel, and a quiet, comfortable ride. I love blasting off silently at red lights. The car saves me a lot of money and I get a very good, quality car.

Electric cars are still rate in our area. I have never seen another fully electric vehicle in the Appalachian hills of Ohio. The only other two times I have seen a Nissan Leaf was at a charging station at Easton Town Center in Columbus and at National Plug In Day (the owner of the Leaf at this event drove all the way from Cleveland). This excludes dealerships and events. I live on 54 acres in the woods and most people around here have trucks and SUVs. People always ask me “how much gas does it use?” After I say it is electric, I often have a hard time explaining that it doesn't use any gas. There is no engine. People don’t seem to believe it, at first.

When did you buy your Leaf and what work have you done on it?
It's been about half since I bought my Nissan Leaf. It was late summer. I ordered it exactly the way I wanted and it took forever to get here. I think I first went to the dealership in May. I had to pick it up at the dealership and I drove 75 miles on my way home, on one charge, with 18% battery remaining. Mostly highway.

When I bought my Leaf I think it had a whole 4 miles on it and I ordered what I wanted on it. The only thing I added was floor mats, to protect the original floor mats. The top gear commercial that made a joke about “floor mats for your floor mats” always made me laugh.

Any interesting particular story associated with the car?
Once I was on the highway and there were three people in a pickup truck. They were coming up fast, but slowed down and went around me slowly. I could tell they were checking my car out. I saw in the mirror three faces staring at me and they turned their heads as they drove by. The passengers never looked away, their faces were glued to the window. That was kind of cool. I get looks often, but it isn’t often I see three people just staring for such a long period. I also drove my Leaf in the parade at the Circleville Pumpkin Show, so thousands of people saw it there and on TV (shouldn’t Nissan be paying me for a sponsorship or something?).

Are there anything else you would like to add?
I am an electrical engineering student from Chillicothe, Ohio. As I drive a lot, I predict I will likely drive over 30,000 miles this year. I would like to drive my car to DC or NYC, possibly for new years. People are always surprised I am a proud gun owning, 2nd amendment supporter when they see what car I drive. I’m not sure how many Leaf owners have AR15s. People always seem to find that interesting.

My Nissan Leaf does surprisingly well in the winter. My driveway is over half a mile long and it is mostly dirt. My Leaf can get out of the hilly, ice covered driveway, most of the times. A neighbor commented on how surprised he was to see my car make it out before. The only time I wasn’t able to get out is when I saw someone in a newer Ford Explorer sliding around with four wheel drive.

Most people seem to be impressed with my car and everyone that takes a ride in it has a different opinion on electric cars. Especially when I go about 90 mph with them in the car or blast off with the instant torque. It isn't a sports car, but it surprises people.

I love my license plates and now you know why.

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