Posted By don on August 14, 2016
Near the end of last year my company was looking for new people to help build our antennas. I was thinking our son-in-law Patrick was a smart person who learned quickly so I talked to my boss about bringing him in to see if he would be able to help. He started around the beginning of December and has worked out very well. Everyone likes him and thinks he is a great worker and asset to the company.
I stopped riding my bike to work because I was car pooling with Patrick. We took my F150 4X4 most of the time but that thing gets terrible gas mileage. I knew we needed something that would do better.
I started looking at information on electric cars. Daryl has had his Volt for several years and really loves it. I thought that might be an option and then I looked at the Nissan Leaf.
The Leaf is electric only which means if the battery runs out you have to either tow it or recharge it and there’s no gas engine to do it for you. But it also has an 87 mile range for the older versions and 107 miles for the 2016. I figured 87 miles would be enough since I could drive it the 30 miles to work and then charge it back up while there.
We looked at a 2013 Leaf that had 18,000 miles but it didn’t have the Level 3 socket which allows you to charge to 80% in 30 minutes. I felt if I was going to have one I might want to take it to someplace like Santa Barbara where I could do the Level 3 charge and then come home the same day.
We went to the Nissan dealer to see if they had any used Leafs but they didn’t. I started talking to them about what a new one costs. Turns out when you buy a new electric car you get a $7,500 tax credit from the US and a $2,500 rebate from CA. Nissan was also giving a $4,000 rebate and since I belonged to a credit union I got an additional $3,500 off. That’s $17,500 off the sticker price. That’s close to 50% off. I figured I might as well buy new and that way I got the Level 3 socket.
I’ve been driving it for several months and I have to say I love it. Since I got it I have only had to stop at the gas station once when I drove Betty’s Camry on a day it was low on gas. Since we have the solar panels on the roof most of the electric is “free”. It’s not exactly but very close.
I love being free from gas so much I’m contemplating trading in the Camry for a Volt. I would still get the $10,000 in tax rebates and credits on a Volt. I would definitely want to do it before the end of the year so I could take the Federal credit off my taxes next year. We will see how things go.