Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why I reserved a Nissan Leaf

I reserved a Nissan Leaf for many of the same reasons that I purchased a CNG-fueled Honda Civic GX in November, 2009

  1. Fuel costs (4 cents/mi for the Civic; forecasted to be 3 cents/mi for the Leaf)
  2. Abundance of domestic fuel to produce electricity, just as there is plenty of domestic natural gas to fuel my Honda Civic GX
  3. Federal and Oklahoma income tax credits that reduce the price of the Leaf by 50%
  4. Sufficient fueling locations - starting with my garage for the Leaf.  The CNG fueling option for the Civic is still unavailable.
  5. Battery viability? Not sure - but I'll be finding out!  More on that in a minute.
  6. Safer than driving around with a tub of gasoline
So, almost all of the reasons (except for #5) that I purchased a CNG vehicle apply to a electric vehicle.  It's cheaper, easier to fuel, & doesn't use foreign supplied fuel.  

Now, battery viability - Nissan states that the Leaf should travel 100 miles on one charge and that the batteries should last 5 to 10 years.  That's a bit of variability in the life expectancy... I would tend to favor a CNG tank over a battery except for one thing - our society will adopt batteries much quicker than a CNG tank.  Recharging a car battery gives the owner the illusion that their daily commute is emission-free. 

My primary conviction is that the US is going broke due to the massive quantities of energy source imports.  Any viable technology that enables use of domestic energy for transportation purposes should be pursued.  

So, I am hedging - I will have an electric powered vehicle and a natural gas powered one as well.  But neither will require crude oil derivatives.

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