[Flickr Creative Commons photo by Daremoshiranai]

Even $10k won’t get me to buy out my LEAF


Nissan LEAFs during the car company’s inaugural USA LEAF tour several years ago.

So, apparently Nissan is offering some people who’ve leased a 2012, 2013 LEAF and who have come to the end of their lease terms $5,000 off of the cost of the car — if these LEAF lesees offer to buy out Nissan on their LEAF lease.

Not a bad idea, Nissan.

But it’s not enough, not nearly enough.

It’s not because I don’t like my LEAF. I love my LEAF. But, at 95 miles of total range in ideal weather conditions, and only 70 miles in wintry Colorado weather + highway driving, the current LEAF simply does not have enough range to be an only car.In fact, in my case — and I concede my case is probably unusual — where, thanks to a mid-lease divorce, my 2014 LEAF has been my ONLY car for 10 months and running, Nissan would have to come pretty close to giving me my 2014 LEAF for free before I’d keep it.

In fact, I’ve twice run out of charge in my LEAF in the past 15 months, both times during the winter with outdoor temperatures in the teens, both after long highway drives of 40+ miles, and both with my two daughters in the car.

LEAF needs 200 real-world miles
I absolutely, positively need 200 miles of REAL range in an EV, meaning 200 miles at 65 mph in winter weather with the heat on, for a pure EV to be a practical car for my one-car, post-divorce household.

I can’t afford a current Tesla. And the Model 3 won’t be arriving, I’m guessing, in reality, until mid-to-late 2018 based on Tesla’s previous track record of delivering its makes when it said it would. And we’ll see just how “affordable” it actually ends up being.

My LEAF lease runs out on Feb. 22, 2016.

But I’m NEVER, EVER going back to a gasoline car — and I’m very reluctant to fall back to a Volt, even with 50 miles of electric range (it’s probably 30 miles of true electric range in Colorado winter conditions). After 15 months of not giving Big Oil any money — not a single penny! — I don’t want to go back to giving Big Oil any money, no money whatsoever.

The EV charging infrastructure we’ve currently got in Colorado, and 95 percent of other places in the U.S., is totally, and completely, inadequate.

In addition — and any EV driver will tell you this — electric cars are superior to gasoline cars in every single way, except one — unfortunately, the most important one: Range.

$10k not even enough
So, sorry, Nissan, $5,000, $10,000, even $15,000 wouldn’t be enough for me to buy out my two-year LEAF lease when it runs out in nine months.

But, if you can get me that EV with 200 real-world miles for $35k, or less, I’m very definitely all over that!

And, BTW, please do something real — like Tesla has — to get a real EV charging infrastructure in place here in the United States.

The EV charging infrastructure we’ve currently got in Colorado, and 95 percent of other places in the U.S., is totally, and completely, inadequate.

If there were a real charging infrastructure here, one, that, for instance, could get me into the Colorado mountains from Denver and back, I might, just might, take you up on your $5,000 offer, though, realistically, I’d probably want a LEAF with 150 real miles and a robust charging infrastructure that could get me EVERYWHERE in Colorado before I’d consider keeping my LEAF long-term.

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