Do Nissan LEAF Owners Actually Drive MORE Than Non-EV Owners?
If you had to guess, would you say that electric car owners drive more or less often than do gasoline or diesel car owners? Should you answer "yes, they do" to that question, how much would you think they drive over and above internal combustion drivers?
I'm almost certain that your answer to the second question underestimates things.
European data from the CarWings system in Nissan LEAF electric cars shows that on average, European LEAF drivers put on more than 50 percent more miles than do average European internal combustion engine (ICE) drivers. Fifty percent.
On the average, European drivers put about 6,721 miles (10,816 km) on their cars per annum. European LEAF battery-electric drivers put on 10,307 miles (16,588 km). These totals were collected by Nissan's Global Data Center through its CarWings system, which sells to about 54 percent of European consumers. The totals shown here were gathered from April 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014 and extrapolated to create a year-long total.
"Since the beginning we have said that the Nissan LEAF is much more than just a city car or second car and now we can show the data that proves this. Our customers frequently tell us that they buy the Nissan LEAF as a second car, but end up using it far more than their other vehicle and the information we receive from CarWings reinforces that message," says Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Direct of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe.
By national breakdown, Spanish LEAF drivers put on more mileage than other Europeans, followed closely by Swedish and UK drivers. German LEAF owners put the least number of miles on their electric cars, on average, at about half the European norm. There are over 31,000 electric LEAF vehicles in Europe.
So what does this impact? For starters, it means that Nissan's thought that the LEAF is not a "second car" but instead a primary car for most owners. The lower cost of operation and ownership means that it gets more use for practical reasons.
This also coincides with American data for fuel efficiency. The more fuel-efficient our vehicles have become here, the more miles we've put on them, on average. Miles driven per capita are up and have been climbing for decades, coinciding with gains in fuel economy averages. Which is why the demand for fuel has not decreased over time as fuel efficiencies increased.