Monday, April 1, 2013

Getting Rid of My Gas Problem: My New Nissan Leaf

I am not a hippie. I don't like most 70s music, despise having long hair, and bras are very important in my everyday life. I suppose I may identify more with the crunchy movement, but even then I'm not sure I fit in quite right. I am, however, someone who likes wasting less, paying less, and things that look good. That certainly explains my obsession love of cloth diapers. They may have to take a backseat now though, in my new car! That made me feel like a game show contestant for a minute.

I really did get a new car though. That may not sound very green, (it's actually black) but I bought a 2013 Nissan Leaf. If you aren't familiar with the Leaf, it's a 100% electric, zero emissions vehicle. I have said for years that I wanted my next car to be an electric car. I didn't really expect it to happen because they have been out of my price range. Then my completely paid off car started to need lots of work.

2013 Nissan Leaf by Steve Lyon via CC by SA 2.0
This is not my personal car, but the same style. Keep reading to see why my car isn't pictured.

I haven't had a car payment since we bought my car. It was purchased during a crazy deal a local car dealer was having. Buy one car, get the second car for $1. Seriously. So the thought of a car payment was both scary and challenging. Then, one day while filling up my car for a record breaking $51 dollars I did the math. I am spending a car payment on gas each month. An electric vehicle (EV) is the perfect option.

I started to research, since information is my addiction. I was looking at used car options and learned they are not eligible for rebates. So even a well priced used car was only slightly less than a new car after they hefty amount of incentives from both the state and federal level. Then I saw the price reduction on the 2013 Nissan Leaf and wanted to know more. My googling fingers went on to click link after link mentioning top ratings, large range, and how 2011 and 2012 Leaf owners are kicking themselves now that the 2013 model has arrived. I was convinced this would be my next vehicle. Now I had to convince The Captain and make it a reality. 

The convincing turned out to be the easy part. The actual getting a new Leaf proved to be much more difficult. Car shopping with a toddler is hard, test driving with one is not happening. I went and looked at some in person with the help of my Ergo {affiliate link} and asked my remaining questions. I still hadn't had the chance to drive one. It was such a feat to arrange our schedules for car shopping that it ended up happening on the last day of vacation. Luckily my dad left work early and was able watch The First Mate for a little while, so we thought. We dropped him off around three in the afternoon and we made it home just after nine at night. Car buying sucks, but at least you get a shiny new car to show for it.

Since I did the research I thought I would share my favorite findings on the 2013 Nissan Leaf with you:

Why I Love My Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle

I chose the Nissan Leaf S model, which is the lowest level. With the SV or SL you get even more features. 

I have to add to this post that the average person drives less than 29 miles a day. That barely makes a dent in the Leaf's range. I commute 23 miles each way to work and this has still been a great car for me. I don't think we are ready to be an all electric car family just yet. If we want to take a long trip we will use The Captain's car. I do believe EVs are the car of the future you can own now. As they become more popular, even more charging stations will pop up to allow for longer trips.

Why no pictures of my new car?

Yeah, about that...

So, I decided to post this on April Fool's Day because I feel like a complete fool. I got my new car exactly one week and three days ago and it is currently in the shop. I hit a concrete light post surround in the parking lot after work. Seriously. I wish I was joking. The parking lot I park in every freaking day and I hit a giant light post. It really did blend into the night sky and my car so I didn't see it. I still feel dumb, pukey, and sad. I never want to speak of it again.

I do have an awesome photo idea though, so I will eventually take that picture once my car is repaired and all mine again.


  1. Congrats on the new car! My philosophy is to never buy new because of depreciation, but we had a similar situation a few years ago when the auto companies were all about to go bankrupt. We got a brand new car for what the used models from the previous year were selling for.

    I will be interested to see how you like your Leaf and what your experiences are going forward!

    1. I try to avoid new unless we get a crazy deal too. The last time was the buy one get one $1 and now $10,000 in rebates that came with this Leaf. I have NEVER had a new car, it's kind of cool.

  2. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for directing me to your site! Way bummer about the concrete light post. Damn thing should have gotten out of your way when it heard the reverse beeping!

    Re: Charity's comment on buying a new car, I bought a two-year used 2011 Leaf and took advantage BIG TIME of a huge depreciation, occurring not for any fault of the car, but rather the public's distrust of new technology.

    I've been keeping a diary of my experience: feel free to follow along!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Amy. I am so mad at that light post, it's never getting near my EV again. I'm driving a rental right now and so sad that I will need to go to a gas station again.

      Everyone please go check out Amy's site:
      EV: Life & times of an early adopter

  3. Well, I'm very glad you weren't hurt in your accident! I am sorry to hear though that life played an April Fool's trick on you and your car a bit early. It definitely sounds pretty amazing. Is it out of the shop yet? How's it driving now? I hope there haven’t been any other problems with it!

    -- Prince Moss

    1. It is STILL not out of the shop yet. It is supposed to be done tomorrow, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


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