Friday, March 18, 2011


Payback time. No, not gas prices. The weather. Back in January, I posted about the "normal" winter we'd been having instead of the anticipated "Snowpocalypse 2011". That changed about a month later. If you look at the temperature plot above, you'll see a dip, leading up to March 1st. Unseasonably cold temperatures and convergence zones blessed us with 8" of snow that stuck around for about a week. From now on, I keep my mouth shut.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I haven't updated you on our Nissan LEAF for a while. There's a simple reason for that: nothing really interesting has happened. Which may be interesting in its own right. The LEAF has turned out to be an ordinary car with one exception -- it runs on electricity. We drive it during the day, we plug it in at night, and we don't stop at gas stations anymore. Karma's painful, so I'm not going to say, "I told you so!". But I started needling my wife a few years ago about her solo-driver commute. I asked her, "What are you going to do when gasoline hit $10 a gallon? You need to figure out some way to get to work that doesn't involve burning oil." Well, we did. Of course, I would rather she rode a bicycle, but this is probably more practical for most people.

The one change that has occurred in the past month is the installation of our Blink charging station. The Blink has a touch-screen menu system, wireless connectivity, and web access. It also tracks our actual electricity consumption. Since we don't have a separate meter for the car, I've been trying to estimate based on data coming from the car's telematics system. Turns out my estimate was a bit off. We're actually averaging a bit over 3 miles per KWh, when you measure it straight from the wall.

Based on a rate of $0.116 per KWh, our fuel costs are just under $0.04 per mile. That compares with just over $0.10 per mile for the car my wife was using (Toyota Echo), and $0.19 per mile for the minivan we traded in (Toyota Sienna). As a family, we're still buying gasoline. But the oil burners have been shuffled so that the highest-mileage child drives the car with the highest MPG. My son, when he starts driving in a couple of years, will be getting one of these.