Now that Nissan has put a price on a new LEAF battery one can compare the cost of driving a LEAF to driving a equally-priced gasoline car. The replacement battery is the new heat-resistant battery, often called the "lizard" battery. The 2015 LEAF is the first with the new battery. http://www.torquenews.com/2250/replacement-battery-cost-bodes-well-used-leaf-market
Nissan has stated that the average LEAF driver can expect the LEAF battery to lose about 20% of its capacity in 5 years and about 30% of its capacity in 10 years. So, I assume that a LEAF will get a new battery within its first 10 years. The rest of the car is very well made and should last for decades with proper treatment.
From the article I estimate that the total cost of replacing the battery will be ~$6000.
The comparison below is for a LEAF and a gasoline car that sells for same price; the calculated saving is the same for any equal price. The MSRP for the three 2014 LEAF models are:
There is a $7,500 federal tax credit for all three models.
Assume:
Cost of LEAF without $7,500 federal tax credit for 10 years:
Cost of car: |
$35,000 |
12,000 miles/year electricity cost: |
$ 5,290 |
Maintenance @ $100-year: |
$ 1,000 |
New battery: |
$ 6,000 |
Total: |
$47,290 |
Cost of LEAF with $7,500 federal tax credit for 10 years:
Cost of car: |
$35,000 |
12,000 miles/year electricity cost: |
$ 5,290 |
Maintenance @ $100-year: |
$ 1,000 |
New battery: |
$ 6,000 |
Federal Tax Credit: |
-$7,500 |
Total: |
$39,790 |
Cost of gasoline car for 10 years:
Cost of car: |
$35,000 |
12,000 miles/year gasoline cost: |
$14,000 |
Maintenance @ $300-year: |
$ 3,000 |
Total: |
$52,000 |
So, the first 10-years saving for the LEAF compared to an equally-priced gasoline car is:
The saving will probably increase in the second 10 years for the following reasons:
In future years the replacement battery may cost less or have higher capacity than the battery being replaced for similar cost.
This same calculation applies for any pure electric car except for slight differences in the miles/kWh value. I am considering leasing the new Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive car in May 2015 when my LEAF lease expires, because it has a range of 104 miles compared to the 2015-LEAF range of 84 miles.
L. David Roper, http://www.roperld.com/personal/roperldavid.htm
4 April, 2016