The numbers never lie and this is something that software developer Aleksei Jusev knows all too well when he turns on his iPad to display the Excel spreadsheet that he has rigorously maintained since the day that he collected his new Nissan LEAF.
“I did 10,000 kilometres in the car in the first two months. That cost us €100 in electricity, or 1 cent for every 10 kilometres. If I drove the same distance in my old petrol car we would have had to fill it up 12 times. That would have cost us €840,” he explains with the swipe of a finger.
“We used to have a seven-seater Peugeot 5008. It cost €70 per week to fill it up . That’s €300 a month, although we kept to €210, sometimes €250 and only did about 600 kilometres or less each month. We were restricted by fuel costs.”
“Our first ESB bill after we bought our LEAF was only €100 more than usual, which covers two months. We are saving around €200 a month in fuel costs minimum. That’s nearly €2,500 in savings over one year and we don’t have to restrict our mileage - we have more freedom to travel.”
That freedom of being able to jump into their new EV and to take off whenever they please has made an enormous difference to the quality of life that Aleksei (29) enjoys with his wife Tatjana and their two young children Evelyn (7) and Alex (3).
“My parents, brother, grandmother and cousins all live in Dublin and we live 70 kilometres away in Athy. The LEAF is so cheap to run that we can just jump into the car and pay them a surprise visit. It keeps us connected to our family and our kids get to spend more time with their cousins.”
“Some days we would do over 200 kilometres and generally we do in and around 900 kilometres each week. We have the freedom to go to places now with our kids to enjoy a day out and we are not restricted by the cost of days out or eating out thanks to the money we are saving on fuel costs. The car has freed up disposal income.”
Aleksei generally charges the family’s LEAF at home having installed a 7kWh home charger but is no stranger to plugging in the three pin ‘granny cable’ when he needs to top up the battery on visits to family and friends.
“I never worry about range because I know what the car can do and that it will cover me. When it drops to about 30% or 40% I plug it in for a few hours and that will get me through another day.”
“I did 260 kilometres on one charge driving from Kildare to Dublin including driving around the city, to Blanchardstown, out to the Airport and back home. Most of my driving was at motorway speeds and I had 9% left in the battery when I got home .”
“Charging the car is a really simple process. My usual routine is to plug it into the home charger but I have used the granny cable to top it up at my parent’s home and also used the rapid chargers when I needed them.”
“The car has given us more freedom to travel and we have taken it to Cork. We knew we’d only need one charge to get us there. We were 70 kilometres from Cork when we got our first charge and that was enough for us to reach where we were going without any problems.”
“I use the car to find charging stations if I’m going to a location I have not been before. I use the timer to charge, not always to 100% but 90%. I worked it out at home and I will get 15% for about one hour on slow charge.”
The car has also proven to be a hit with their young children who love how quickly it accelerates or “rockets”, while Tatjana enjoys how quiet the car is, especially when they are travelling as a family at motorway speeds. Aleksei, though, is much more impressed with the on board technology.
“Driving with ePedal is awesome. It was one of the reasons why I bought the car. I never drove automatic before and I wanted to have the same experience with one pedal for accelerating and braking. I was nervous using it at first but I got used to it very quickly and I’m not using the brake pedal at all now, even when parking. I can control everything with ePedal.”
“I work as a software developer so I have a big interest in tech. ProPILOT is real intelligent driving. It does everything for you. The car picks up blind spots, keeps you in lane and applies the emergency brake if you need it. It’s very reassuring and it makes driving more comfortable.”
With 12,500 kilometres currently on the clock of his new Nissan LEAF, Aleksei is close to his first service and while his mileage is excessive for little under three months, he points out that he is making even more savings when it comes car servicing.
“We pre-paid for our first three services which only cost €270. That is very cheap. Before we were paying €150 for one service, the next was €300 and then €150 for the one after. That was €600 and we’ve cut that in half which is another saving of €300.”
“I estimate that we will save at least €5,000 over the next two years by driving EV. That’s a lot of disposal income for our family. The other bonus is that we are not restricted anymore. We can go anywhere we want, at any time. We will never go back to petrol or diesel. We love our Nissan LEAF.”