For those nostalgic for mullets, the Cosby Show and Oakland A's dominance, the Nissan Leaf may be for you.

Those late 1980s hallmarks harken back to the days of $1-a-gallon gas, and that's what you're in for – forever – if you drive a battery electric vehicle, says Green Car Reports, citing a study from Natural Resources Defense Council staff member Max Baumhefner.

Baumhefner found that, while oil and gas prices fluctuate because of various supply shocks and political shenanigans, electricity prices stay relatively constant, meaning that the cost of juicing up an EV isn't going to change much. Additionally, our friends at Green Car Reports found a Union of Concerned Scientists study that estimated that EV drivers can save as much as $1,200 a year in the form of lower refueling costs when compared to gassing up conventional vehicles.

Either way, the study addresses the very topical issue about how much more it costs to buy an plug-in vehicle or a hybrid, and how quickly it takes to pay off the extra chunk of cash in the form of refueling savings. The subject is topical enough for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to launch a new webpage on FuelEconomy.gov to calculate how long it takes to pay off the higher price tag of most hybrids (electric vehicles haven't yet been added to that page). Many of the better-selling hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, take about five years to pay off, while hybrid SUVs often take about half that time because of the more drasctic savings compared to the their gas-guzzling counterparts.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 1 Day Ago
      lol Amen! lol
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry to disappoint you guys but the Electric car is dead in the water in the UK with just 600 sales in the last 6 months of which 338 were Nissan Leaf. "Real world" UK trends & facts. 1,300,000 Brits gave up their car because its to expensive, to become a zero emission cyclist in the last year in the UK which added another 1.3 million cyclists to the 13,000,000 - Fuel costs = FREE. 338 Brits brought a very very expensive Nissan Leaf in the last 6 months = 56 sales a month $29,795 batteries don't exist in the car according to some posters here. GET REAL folk are moving on to emissions free two wheel cycling in there millions.
        GoodCheer
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        If there are 1.3 million fewer ICE car drivers in the UK, that's fantastic. I don't think anyone of this site is anti-bike (maybe a few trolls are, but you can't pay them too much mind). I'm surprised by the low adoption rates. I suppose the lack of domestic manufacture plays a part. I'm sure the "very very" high price also plays a part. Of course the high price of gasoline should be a countervailing factor, but it is hard to do total cost of ownership calculations when looking at cars.
        krona2k
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        The Leaf hasnt even started being built in the UK yet, or the US for that matter. Sure a lot of people will be switching to bikes, which might not be a totally bad thing, but that doesn't mean that affordable EVs are forever a possibility. You're such a doomed you make me embarrassed to be British. We're not all like this guy, trust me.
      StevenG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Based on my overnight rate ($0.055/KWh), driving my Volt is like $0.66 / gallon gas
      Jeff Zekas
      • 2 Years Ago
      The biggest drawback to owning an EV is the price of admission: until a major automaker builds a highway-legal, highway-speed EV for $11,000 to $15,000, there will be few takers. Sure, the cost of running an electric is cheaper... but the monthly payments on a $30,000 car loan are insanely high. When the price comes down (when Ford or GM builds the EV equivalent of the Model T), then, and only then, will consumers even CONSIDER buying an EV... irregardless of range or other problems.
        StevenG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        I'm saving $220/month in gas driving my Volt, that offsets the higher payment. Overall, the Volt is cheaper to own than the average car - average car sells for $30k. Maybe people will look at them more closely, and realize they have a lot of "wants" and much less "needs", when gas is around $6/gallon.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        I agree. The price could definitely be lower. I know quite a number of people who really want to make the switch to hybrids or EVs but just can't afford to jump ship. I have a friend to basically keeps his car in the garage and he bikes to work. He only uses the car for long distance trips. Unless we see a more competitive price, we can expect to see significant changes in EV ownership. Maybe when we see improvements in battery technology, we'll see lower EV prices. Juan Miguel Ruiz GreenJoyment.com
        SpeedyRacer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff Zekas
        Please also consider the insanely high payments for gasoline. I figure over $150/month for most people. You should look at the car payment minus the gas cost when considering an EV.
      SpeedyRacer
      • 2 Years Ago
      The equivalent per gallon of gasoline price for me and my LEAF is about $0.50 I have a time of use rate plan and charge at night. It might actually be much less than that if I would figure in that half my electricity comes from a rooftop photovoltaic system. EVs will take off in time. People do not usually adjust to new paradigms immediately, and change is uncomfortable for many. The technology is improving rapidly and will present an even more compelling case as time goes by. Every new technology has an adoption curve; hybrids, computers, DVRs, video game systems, cell phones, microwave ovens, and horseless carriages are some examples. of technologies at various points on their respective curves. FYI, the adoption curve for EVs is about the same as for hybrids, EVs are just nearer the beginning of the curve. "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      With power cuts coming to Europe in the next few years due to lack of investment/planned replacement in Nuclear Power stations as its a massive political vote loser, majority of British power stations are due to be shutdown and decommissioned without replacements, it takes 10 years from conception to the first energy is being produced, the Germans NIMBYS don't want them, Japanese are already starting to experience power cuts. The electric car will be about as much use as a chocolate teapot in a blackout, and about as popular as the bubonic plague as folk freeze to death sit in the dark when these power cuts kick in, l should imagine you will get stoned to death if you own an electric car.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        The assumption / prediction of Europe power cutbacks is not supported by the decades of data on Europe's increasing electrical generation capacity... nuclear is not the only game in town. Japanese recent power cuts … might have something to do with … you know that Earth Quake + Tsunami double punch that hit them not that long ago … and Japanese power cuts are not related to nor cause European power cuts … that connection is invalid. The ICE's golden era is done and gone … it is in decline … how long it will take for it to join other antiquated technology like the vacuum tube is yet to be seen … it might have a few decades left in it … but it is only a matter of time.
        GoodCheer
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        Also: Thank goodness the UK has such a robust and perpetual supply/access to fossil fuels, so the gas cars will always be running strong.
        GoodCheer
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        Lack of generating capacity could (conceivably) cause brown-outs during times of peak demand. EVs have the benefit of having charge scheduling flexibility; They can charge when there is adequate power (which is generally overnight anyway, when cars are snugly at home in their parking sports).
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        I have given you a solid recommendation over at Fox News: the tea party and GOP blowhards loved your incoherent argument so much they would like to have you on some of their shows.....
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        Wow, that stands to reason : Europe will just let the grid fall by the wayside and go back to candles, coal and firewood.... you sir need to set down the crack pipe! While nuclear has become unpopular, that is because of fear, uncertainty and doubt: not because of a technical problem with nuclear energy technology. The anti-nuclear people are confused fear mongering idiots that need to understand that coal power use emits more cancer causing radioactive metals than anything else: they also need to understand that nuclear fuel rods can be recycled thousands of times: that thorium is far more abundant than uranium, ect. ect. ect. A bunch of immature incompetent fools oppose nuclear energy. Their fear based arguments fail miserably when held up against the facts. Solar, Wind and Geothermal are going strong worldwide, and even if old unsafe nuclear is taken off line, it will not make an EV less useful.
      Dave D
      • 1 Day Ago
      "No one but an idiot assumes that prices for a part, in this case a module, can be multiplied out to arrive at a total replacement cost" Dave, Rick can't help himself. Don't make fun of those who are "challenged" :-)
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 1 Day Ago
      more like "Smoking Rubbish" and then posting....
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Electric prices may not fluctuate, but they do go up. Also, when road taxation comes to EVs that will increase the cost per mile. And that day will come. Still, driving electric is and will remain cheaper than gasoline from what I can see.
        Spec
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rotation
        They do go up . . . but very slowly. And the use of 'eternally' is a ridiculous exaggeration. But for the foreseeable future, electricity prices should remain pretty stable. We've had a crazy shale gas revolution that pushed gas prices to $2/MCF. A couple of new nuclear plants are going to be built . . . first new ones in like 30 years. Wind is the 2nd fastest growing electricity source behind natural gas. Solar panel prices have dropped by more than 50% in the last 2 years. And we still have plenty of coal although we should try not to burn it. So electricity will remain cheap for the foreseeable future. Oil is the problem. We have a nice lull right now but oil prices will go back above $100 if the economy picks up. They'll go much higher if the stupid Iranian issue heats up.
          Rotation
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          CPI isn't inflation. I said inflation.
          Spec
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          Faster than inflation? Where? I suspect it is rising faster than inflation in some places wherein they have intentionally allowed the price to go up in order to pay for more renewable energy. Or in places that are dependent on liquid fuels. But electricity prices have proven to be quite stable in the vast majority of the mainland USA.
          Spec
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          Did you read the comments? Those prices pretty went up at LESS than the CPI rate. And those are California rates and California has a big renewable energy mandate.
          Rotation
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          http://www.lee.org/blog/2008/07/23/historical-electric-rates/ I don't know why you say stable. I'm not talking about fluctuation.
          Rotation
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Spec
          I dont know how you get "very" slowly. It's going up faster than inflation. Yeah, it's cheap. Really cheap. But it's still rising slowly.
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lets not forget how much it will cost to replace the big battery after it no longer provides a useful range..... Not to detract from the value of an EV in saving fuel costs. I love EV's, Plug in Hybrids, Hybrids and any kind of oil alternative, fuel conserving transportation technology.
        StevenG
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        The battery for the Volt is listed in the GM parts catalog for $2,999 right now. In 8 years (the warranty period), it could save you $16,000 on gas over the average car. Battery replacement is a red herring, even after 8 years the Volt is warrantied to have 80% capacity, which is 32 miles, still more than the average person drives in a day. Hyundai is switching to lifetime warranties on hybrid batteries, they figure it will last 300,000 miles. So you can stop spreading untruths now.
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 1 Day Ago
      While I agree with your point, the battery depreciation needs to be factored into the energy cost per mile in order for a fair comparison to be drawn between the fueling cost of an EV and those of a oil burning vehicle.
      Rick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Leaf battery pack that cost £19,000 ($29,795) to be replaced how often will these need to be replaced, what will the residual values of Leaf be like if your $29,795 needs replacing soon but need to sell it on now? Leaf seem a real bargain Mmmmm. http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/autoexpressnews/271129/leaf_battery_could_cost_19k.html
        Spec
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        So people debunked you and you just spam it again? Son, I am disappoint.
        krona2k
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        the battery pack costs Nissan $8400 at the most. Stop reading and believing every article you read on the Internet and instead try some free thinking. Is it likely that all these huge companies and governments are producing cars for sale now with no intention whatsoever of reduced costs and market increase?
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        Key word: 'could'. That is a speculative price based on the service and parts cost of replacing one module, multiple times. That would be like quoting the cost of an engine replacement based on the price of buying and having every piece installed separately. That would be a cost of >$1,100 per KW-hr, which is 2-3 times the cost of what most packs actually cost to buy retail. ( for example, i can go out and buy 24KW-hr of lifepo4 at retail cost ( that's after 2 middle men have marked it up ) right now for $360/KW-hr for a grand total of $8,640 plus shipping. I then have a big dollar figure to spend on the BMS and construction.. my pack ends up being $10k-$12k. P.S. did you read the article you posted? 'A spokeswoman told us the £19,000 replacement figure was not representative of what owners would pay in the real world. “It’s unlikely all 48 modules would need to be replaced,” she said. “The cost of a conventional engine and transmission built up from individually sourced parts would be similarly high.”' Quick summary: that article is BS.
        Aaron Schwarz
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        Have you been hanging out with Rush Limbaugh lately? LOL
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