Goodbye Nissan: New LEAF doesn’t have enough range for this one-car household

The 2018 Nissan LEAF is a nice looking car and priced to sell — but 150 miles of range is not going to be enough for my one-car household, and not enough for most one-car households in the United States.

editor's blog iconNissan, you just lost me as a customer. I’ve been leasing a 2014 Nissan LEAF for more than three years, and I’ve been extending my lease repeatedly (twice) in the hopes of getting to a LEAF with more realistic range for the single-car American household. Nissan, you just paid three months of my payments for the LEAF, but you also said I could bolt with no lease-breaking penalty after you make my September lease payment on Sept. 24, 2017.

I plan to do exactly that because — while it’s priced to sell — a 40 kWh LEAF with 150 miles of range is not enough for my single-car household, although it might be enough for some, definitely not a majority, of American single-car households.

I am a long-time (I founded SolarChargedDriving in 2009!) and super strong advocate of EVs, and, especially EVs + renewable energy. This is why I’ve stuck with what has been a lame for me 84 mile range LEAF for three-plus years.

I’ve twice run out of charge and come very, very close on many other occasions as I fairly often have to drive 100+ miles in a day. This thanks to endless carting around of kids here, there and everywhere in a post-divorce world in which my ex and I live 10 miles apart, and my kids go to school 13 miles from where I live and 10 miles from where I work.

I am tired, very tired, of having to worry about range — yes, range anxiety IS REAL for those of us in one-car pure EV only households.

I’m tired of not being able to drive into the mountains just west of Denver, where I have not gone hiking — except with my brother in the Boulder foothills — at all in the last three years thanks to the fact that my LEAF cannot make it into the mountains and back without needing at least one charge. Okay, AND thanks to the fact that EV charging infrastructure is still extremely lame in many places in America, and has not been built to extend the mainstream EV into a mid-to-long-range vehicle in most places.

Only Tesla, with its Supercharger Network, has got this right: You build a charging network that transforms the EV into a long-range vehicle, and, voila, it IS a long-range vehicle!

I know, Nissan, you’re already talking about 2019 and a 60 kWh LEAF with 200+ miles of range. This shows that you are, in fact, insecure about the 40 kWh version, perhaps because it writes off 75 percent of single-car households in the United States.

I am not going to wait another 18 months for a LEAF that finally delivers enough range — and I bet you wouldn’t extend my 2014 LEAF lease beyond four years anyway (my lease time with my 2014 LEAF hits four years in February 2018).

Yes, I will be Bolting from my LEAF to a Chevy Bolt, at this point, and will start looking for one very soon. It should be an interesting adventure, as I am already going in with a “bad”, or really, a combative attitude toward Colorado Chevy dealers, who, as far as I can tell — and I haven’t looked a lot yet — are gouging people on the Bolt in a state that is handing out a $5,000 up-front tax-rebate that supposedly should slash the sticker prices of cars like the Bolt.

I haven’t seen any evidence of Bolt price slashing in Colorado, just some “mailers” in the mail offering me a $349 per month lease “deal” with $2,999 down and 10,000 miles a year. Sorry, that’s not a “deal,” or at least not the one I would expect to get in a state with the most generous EV incentives in the United States right now.

Let the Bolt quest — and combat battle with price gouging Colorado Chevy car salesmen 😉 — begin for a deal that I am determined to get, or else!