Conventional wisdom might say a Nissan Leaf would not be able to rack up 100,000 miles in under three years. However a Seattle man, Steve Marsh, was recognized on Monday by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee for doing exactly that.
Marsh purchased his car in early 2011, making him one of the Nissan Leaf early adopters. His daily commute of 130 miles was a challenge for an electric car with a 70ish mile range. His employer agreed to install a charging station at the office, letting him charge at the office which covers the driving range for his commute. Marsh also routinely uses fast chargers on the West Coast Electric Highway, which provide an 80% recharge in about 30 minutes.
For Marsh, buying the Leaf was not so much about reducing fossil fuel dependency, but the cost saving potential. Over the last three years he claims to have saved over $9,000 in fuel costs over a gasoline powered car. Electricity is a very inexpensive fuel, if calculated as a cost per mile for gasoline versus electricity. The more one drives the more one can save thanks to this lower cost per mile (for fuel).
"With a daily commute of about 130 miles, I've saved more than $9,000 compared to my old gas-powered car since I bought my LEAF," said Marsh, who credits Washington's strong charging infrastructure. "With plenty of public charging options, as well as a charger installed at my office, my LEAF is a perfect car for my commute."
The West Coast Electric Highway is a network of fast charging stations along highways in Washington and Oregon. Fast charging breaks the charging time equation that makes people think electric cars have limited range. "It's exciting to see how this network of charging stations is breaking the range barrier for EV owners," said Transportation Secretary Peterson who also drives a Nissan LEAF. "It puts Washington's diverse, natural landscapes in easy reach without vehicle emissions and at a significantly lower cost."
Since its launch in December 2010, Nissan says over 40,000 Leaf's have been sold in the U.S. and more than 92,000 world-wide. This makes the Leaf the most popular electric car ever produced.