Pepe Le Pew and the Electric Car

Let’s talk about the upsides of electric vehicles . . . or at least, try to.

It’d be much easier to do so if electric vehicles weren’t being forced on us with all the subtlety of the cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew urging the girl cat with the painted white stripe on her back to come away with him to the Casbar.

But that aside . . . where to begin?

Is the EV a less expensive way to get from A to B?

The answer to this question is probably the most important question for many car buyers, who buy vehicles chiefly as transportation appliances. This encompasses the economy car class as well as most family-type cars in the $25k and under class.

There are no EVs in this class.

Right now – and with nothing else on the horizon – the short-range version (150 miles) of Nissan’s Leaf is the least expensive EV you can buy.

It stickers for $27,400. 

As opposed to about $15k for a piston-engined equivalent, such as Nissan’s Versa sedan.

How buying the Leaf makes getting from A to Be less expensive is hard to see. Electricity isn’t free – but we know how much gas costs.

How much gas does the roughly $12,000 difference in cost to buy the Leaf over the Versa purchase?

Well, it costs just shy of $50 to fill up the Versa’s 12 gallon tank at $4 per gallon – a higher than (current) average price – just for the sake of this discussion and factoring the likelihood of higher gas prices to come. One fill up per week equals $200/month to fuel the Versa. This adds up to $2,400 annually. Thus, you could drive the Versa for five years before driving the Leaf began to save you any money on fueling costs.

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