Armen Hareyan's picture

Nissan LEAF is Cheaper Than a Free Hummer, Math Explained

The general public thinks electric cars are still expensive and may be it will take another ten 10 years to match the range and ICE price. However, one Nissan LEAF owner does the following math, explaining how his LEAF is cheaper than a free Hummer.

Thomas Crummett comments, doing the math on LEAF price vs a free Hummer under our discussion at SF Bay Area LEAF Owners group.

Depends on how you look at it. MSRP is rarely a useful metric. When people ask me why I bought an electric car, I tell them it's cheaper than a free Hummer. Most people are quick to figure it out, but I do get some very confused expressions. "How can a $30,000 car be cheaper than free?" Well, it comes down to the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Gas isn't free. At an average of 12k miles per year, and $4/gal for gas, that Hummer will use about $18,000 in fuel alone. Add that to the $7500 federal, and $2500 state tax rebates, and you're looking at a price delta of $2000. Given the Leaf also doesn't need oil changes every 3000 miles, you're looking at another ~$2000 in oil changes, assuming you don't self-service. That's just after 5 years. Average car ownership is 7 years.

I think BEVs are already cheaper than ICE.

Edit: Not fair to assume the Leaf only recharges for free. Using the EPA rated efficiency, and average electric price, the Leaf will use about $1400 in electricity over 5 years. As with all things, locations will vary, and affect prices.

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Hummer gets 2.6 miles per gallon ?

What does it say about Hummer's MPG leon?

How do you calculate 2.6MPG? While they are quite terrible on mileage, most places I find report around 11MPG average. $18k comes out to closer to 13.3MPG, so this is actually even a little generous. At 11MPG, that comes out to about 1090 gallons per year, which at $4 is $4363 per year, for a 5-year total of $21818

The quoted post indicates $18,000 in fuel costs at $4/gallon. Given the other figures about 12,000 miles per year and a 5 year cost period, that comes to 13.3MPG. But, better yet would be to take the free Hummer, sell it, and buy a LEAF :) That way the LEAF is free too!

I guess if you ran the figures thinking it was just for a single year, you'd end up thinking he's saying 2.6MPG.

Agree with the thrust of this article, but I'm aware of no ICE cars that require oil changes every 3000 miles. I imagine the Hummer, despite being an otherwise awful automobile, is designed to go 7-10k miles between oil changes.

OTOH, in 60k miles of use, a Hummer will need its brakes done, transmission serviced, coolant flushed, and a tuneup with new plugs and wires at a cost of ?? That would be about $1600 in a Camry and probably twice that for a Hummer, barring any other mechanical problems discovered. The LEAF will need its brakes checked but not serviced; $50. My electricity costs for 60k miles would be $2500, given our local rates and that I do about half my charges for free thanks to Nissan. Also, car insurance for the same policy on the LEAF is half the cost of that for the Hummer, and I'd have to carry AAA, $400 for 5 years, on the Hummer (another Nissan freebie). Tires need to be rotated and changed roughly as often, but LEAF tires are cheaper to buy.

i jumped the bad.

i guess i did not read all of the article.. :
"That's just after 5 years."...
-this explains the arithmetic