Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Home Grown!

Arguably the toughest part of being green is living locally.  If you live on a farm, you can probably provide most of what you eat but farms around here have seasons so even that option is limited.

I try to get food produced locally as much as possible and one of the items that is a  huge green house producer is beef.  I get my grass-fed beef from a farm in Tenino which is about 15 miles from my home and pretty proud of that.  It is expensive but the meat is lower in fat, cholesterol so its about as healthy as one can get in the red meat department.

The other big challenge is working locally. And we have taken a big step in that direction as well. My SO works at Providence Centrailia Hospital in ER admitting.  If you watched "ER" the TV show you know "Jerry Markovic" the guy at the counter who knew just about everything that was going on in the hospital and checked people in? Well, that is what she does.

The problem is that its a 64 mile round trip commute. Right now, the LEAF makes it in Winter ok if driving a bit slower and colder but that will change.  The first signs of degradation are now showing up. Not a lot yet. Much less than I had expected at this point when I took delivery of my LEAF 22+ months ago. But it has caused her concern despite the SOC meter telling her she has plenty of range.

Now that commute was not something that was planned. In fact, she was working in the oncology dept in Lacey. (10 mile RT commute) They were  reorganized and sent to Centrailia. After about a year, the department was reorganized again and the remaining jobs were bid on and assigned by seniority and she lost her position in oncology and became the ER admitting Rep.  This she liked. The job was much more exciting, interesting and it was 4 10 hour shifts.  Her hours were not as nice (9:30 AM to 8 PM) but she loved the 3 days off every week.

But this reduced the time she had with Ryland, so when the very same job she had (the oncology dept was reorganized again) previously worked came back up again (also back in Lacey) she applied and was accepted and will start back in Lacey in 2 weeks!

She is back to the "9 to 5" five day a week work schedule which is good for our Son but its also a desk job primarily dealing with insurance companies processing the paperwork on PET Scans for cancer patients.

This changes the transportation picture for us. The C-Max Energi gives us plenty of EV range, a decent price and the gas range should we need it.  Our Prius only has 45,000 miles on it so not really worn out by any means but we could move our current 60/40 electric/gas to a much better percentage.

Now, some might think that counting on this job assignment long term might not be the best idea especially considering how often these reorganizations are happening. Well, all I can say is that everytime these moves happen, people get left behind. They either quit, retire or get put into a job they dont like and move on.
My SO does very well at her job (I read her performance evaluations) and I think she will be there in one capacity or another for a long time and she thinks so as well.  Now, to get a job as an ER Admitting Rep in Lacey!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Move On!!

Hope everyone is saving a ton of money during the 2012 Version of Black Friday. For me? well, plan to stop off at Sis's house for "TG II"  and leftovers to fortify myself for a journey to the masses.  I am not buying anything. Just along for moral support I guess (mostly likely "package hauler") but does give me time with relatives I normally dont see much. My sister lives a few miles away but there will be a crowd of us.  I think when facing crowds like the Black Friday Throng, its best to have your own crowd.

SO was lucky enough to work today and took the Prius to Centrailia. It will be on "blinking bar" (time to get gas) when she returns tonight and it will not be needed again until Tuesday so it will be my unenviable task to refuel it between now and then.

Its funny. I have been the very proud owner of one Prius or another (two at once most of the time) for more than 8½ years. I have always refueled both vehicles and used to look forward to getting gas so I could go online and brag about how cheap it was for me to get around.  Nowadays just the task of scheduling a time to get gas has become a major hassle that I avoid with more vigor than scheduling a teeth cleaning and why is that??

Well that question is a pretty easy one. Its because the money I pay to drive the Prius is an embarrassment!  I am averaging more than 8 cents a mile. That is three times more than what the LEAF costs to travel the same distance.  A single trip to the gas station costs me more than a whole month of driving in the LEAF!

Added to the mix is the unavoidable consequence of driving the Prius. The more miles I put on it, the closer I get to things like Oil Changes, Engine Air Filter purchases and, and, ahhh, hold on. I feel sick. I need a minute...

Ok, Whew!! Had to think about the money I will save by NOT buying anything today to recover from that dizzy spell.

But I realize what seemed like a great idea 8½ years ago is no longer. Time has come to move on but can I do that. Hold on!!
Yep! I am good. Checked the LEAF. Its charged to 10 bars and 80 miles on the GOM (I know it to actually be about 60...)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


In a few hours I will sit down at two tables and proceed to stuff myself (twice) eating from a feast that will have on average 30% more food than can possibly be eaten at one time.  I will do this because that is "mainstream" American tradition aka Thanksgiving.  Now I am not bashing Thanksgiving or any other holiday in any way. I love holidays. Despite having friends and family less than 60 miles away, I  see them only on holidays. I work an on call job where scheduled work hours can be 24/7. My SO works 4 -10 hour shifts that rotates where she works every Wednesday and every other day of the week in a two week period which means she gets every other weekend off and if her work day is on a holiday, then she works. This makes the logistics of making to the holiday gathering or even random birthdays and such, very difficult. So this is not to bash holidays despite it being written on a holiday.

But "Mainstreaming" is not always a good thing. In fact, its my contention that it is mostly a bad thing. Fast food, bigger faster cars, Fads,  etc. has created a fatter, lazier, poorer American.  It is simply another tool in the mind control game played between big business and the high powered advertisers on Wall Street where they continue to tell us what our needs are and have been doing it for so long, we now think that the idea was originally ours all in an effort to maintain an outdated revenue stream.

Mainstreaming prevents prompt active adoption of newer and better ways of living. What most fail to realize is that nearly everything we do is done the wrong way and why do I say that?  Well nothing is perfect. We all know this. Every day we figure out different (not always better!) ways to do things. Some get implemented, some get buried because they are too far from "mainstream" and get lost, sometimes forever. IOW, someone else decides what is best for us before we even know what it is in most cases.  Either way; no matter what the subject, there is a better way!

Recently, specs for the 2013 JPN version of the Nissan LEAF were announced. Just like the previous 2012, many small improvements have boosted the appeal of the LEAF which imm, is still the best EV choice for a family out there.  The American version will be slightly different because it always is but the JPN version gives us a hint at what we can expect and the big discussion at www.mynissanleaf.com is how "un" mainstream the car remains and that is implied to be a bad thing...a VERY bad thing.

Well, I realized that my LEAF does require a considerable change in my driving habits. These required switches have escalated since starting my new (temporary i hope) job.  My job requires me to travel to customer locations which can be all over the South Sound. The District I am assigned to covers the entire Olympic Peninsula (includes Forks which is nearly 200 miles ONE WAY) Generally,  the company provides van pools, car pools, etc  but have had several unscheduled jobs added at the last second where I was required to drive and ended up taking the Prius for a few of them.  Either way, the Centrailia drive is still very doable and now that Providence Centrailia is installing Blink chargers a contingency plan is now available for the day when Centrailia will be too far.  

Having recently moved, I now share a plug with the dryer which means more scheduling to make sure the LEAF has the juice needed to get to its destination which adds to the concessions needed to make the LEAF work for us.

All in all; the LEAF does not require any one great adjustment, just a series of minor ones and the associated time and effort that goes along with it. I personally know people who will not make any concessions in any part of their lives due to their perceived need for immediate gratification and its seemingly inconsequential financial impact who are struggling with money. (like who isnt?) It does require some forethought, planning and anticipation.  I am willing to make the sacrifice and after 22 months and 4 days; the benefits have been well worth it!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Information Part Two; TMI

Steve is a LEAFer in the Pacific Northwest. Despite having had his LEAF for only 16 months, he has put over 57,000 miles on his LEAF making him the undisputed mileage champ of the USA.  His employer installed an L2 charger at his workplace near Shelton, WA allowing him to make his 60+ mile commute from his home in Kent, WA.

His battery pack is now showing the signs of age and he thought it best to contact Nissan for a quote on a battery pack replacement so he could get his finances in order to be able to make that purchase when the time came. Nissan's Response?  They basically told him that since the pack was not for sale a price could not be provided to him.  Now, how can a car manufactured for sale in the US not have replacement parts? especially a "wear" item (a wear item is a part or component that is expected to wear out like brake pads, tires AND batteries...)

I loaned him my SOC meter and we have determined that he can "probably" make  it till next Spring when the weather warms up and the car should perform more efficiently. I say probably because he will have days where a boost will be needed. He did report that he also got a heated jacket but there are some days where defrost will be needed to maintain visibility and we will also have a dozen days this winter where temps, precipitation, etc will require him to grab a quick boost somewhere.

Something made Nissan elect to take this position and I cant help but wonder why? After all, they did say that battery packs were available but only for warranty exchanges and since loss of capacity is not covered under the warranty, he is currently SOL.  Is Nissan afraid that providing a price now before the costs can be reduced will scare away potential customers? Ford was very willing to provide the price almost as if they wanted EV buyers to move to their new Energi line which they are heavily promoting. They even moved up the C-Max Energi launch from Q1 2013 to this past week in many areas of the country.

Now Nissan did have a grand opening tour event thingy set up for the new battery plant in Smyrna, TN that was canceled at the last minute. Official word was the logistics of getting the "key" players there could not be managed.  If we take that to be a valid reason, who is so important that the launch could not be done without them? Thinking it would have had to be a guest. Hmmm, hard to speculate further on this for "some" reason.

Now, if we were to think that the start up curve was a bit steeper than expected and the there might be obvious confusion on the factory floor readily apparent to even to a casual  observer, then maybe a tour would be canceled simply to "save face" but then again, this might give others more insight into just how monumental a task Nissan has taken on.

So now it boils down the question; What level of information should be provided to the consumer?  the "TMI" question is a tough one and advertisers know it.

Marketers generally use "buzz" words and pictures to sell product.  There is no such thing as non essential backgrounds in a TV commercial. Everything is done for a very specific purpose right down to the color of the bike the kid is riding in a neighborhood scene advertising home insurance (as if Allstate affected the "livability" of your home)  You get the "warm and fuzzies" and eventually your sub-conscious associates it with the product in a very small way.

But Buzz words come in two flavors; good ones and bad ones.  The challenge Nissan faces is how to describe the loss of range that will happen and make it "warm and fuzzy"

I was lucky enough to be picked for a focus group that will address how Nissan will provide this kind of information since it is vital that the consumer understand this and how it will affect them since the rate of degradation is very much tied to the local climate the LEAF will operate in. Sooo, any specific concerns, information you might want or questions you want answered? post them here. Cant promise much other than it never hurts to ask, right!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Charging for Charging Cheaper Than Free???

Ran into a SEVA (Seattle Electric Vehicle Association) member returning home from the mountains where he had a meeting to discussing public charging options.  He is part of a group that is pushing to offer free charging thru out the entire state.  Well, seeing as I use free charging for up to ¼ of my needs, I was all for that!

SEVA sponsored two of the charging stops for the WCGH (West Coast Green Highway which is a charging network with a goal of allowing an EV to go from Canada to Mexico. OR is pretty much done. WA has a few gaps from the EV Highway Project and CA is ahh...getting started)  due mostly to a conflict of laws.

Rest Stops are under the thumb of the Truckers Association which helped to create a law Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) of 1982 that bans commercial activity of any type which "somehow" includes charging for electricity which means that the gateway rest stops at the OR and Canadian borders (Custer in the South, Scatter Creek in the North) cannot charge for their juice.  Note that Vending Machines are allowed and I guess a machine that u put money in and then access services without the aide of a live person (kinda like a charger!!) is not a vending machine?  If we set up the charger so it took quarters, would that count?? but anyway...

I am no lawyer (couldnt pay me enough to do it!) but the laws of this country has some hand in all the difficulties we have had as a nation but if that was the only issue, there would be no issue since free charging is where we wanna be anyway.

Now the WCGH is a joint agreement between the States of WA, OR and CA to provide additional charging stations to support the EV Highway Project. Each state in question would provide ALL the costs including installation, electricity, etc. for 3 years to any host who agreed to have the station installed.  BUT, there is a state law (ya, another law!!) that says the State of WA cant give away ANYTHING unless a...(ya, that 3 letter word again) was passed! 

Now, electricity might be a spendy item in CA, but here, its dirt cheap. VERY cheap and the total cost of the free electricity for the entire 3 years for the entire WCGH Project statewide would not add up to 10% of the cost of getting the law passed!

EVs are starting to get a hold in the market place but antiquated laws like these (and there are many many others!!) are obstacles and in some cases, roadblocks to a smooth transition the  that must be addressed. In WA State, Jay Inslee the new governor has a great reputation for supporting renewable energy and green projects. Exciting times are ahead. Hopefully WA can become the leader in getting the laws changed to allow EVs to flourish

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Information Part One

Although LEAF sales have picked up a bit; most of that increase can likely be attributed to very sweet lease deals. In some cases, the savings on fuel on the switch from gas to electric, is covering most of the monthly lease payment.

But despite all the wins for EVs the numbers are just not where Nissan wants them to be. The concern over the unknowns of EVs are still blocking many people from taking that last step in the buying process.

Whenever possible,  I help man booths at various local fairs, show, etc.,  to help promote and display EVs so I get a chance to talk with prospective buyers and their concerns are based on questions that no one really has answers to and that is "how much is the battery?" and that is a valid concern. Batteries are something we are all familiar with in one way or another and that  is a usually when the battery is low, dead or needs to be replaced. But that price from Nissan is unavailable.

The next question is "how long will the batteries last?"  Another answer that is not really available either.

This is where Nissan needs to step along with other EV manufacturers. What we currently get is a very general guideline of "20% loss in 5 years" and a 3 page disclaimer.  It is becoming pretty well known with current LEAF drivers that depending more on the climate where you live than anything else, you could be much worse than 20% or significantly better.

Now, leasing is one way many have chosen to answer the battery longevity question and that is by simply ignoring the question. The LEAF has been out long enough now where most can get a vague idea on whether the batteries will provide the range needed for the now available short duration leases as little as 2 years long.  That is great because it does expose more people to EVs but what will happen in 2 years when there is a flood of previously leased LEAFs on the used vehicle market?

I think Nissan should provide a detailed battery health report that provides the numbers for people who can understand them or wants them along with a short term capacity warranty. I think no less than a year is applicable. This stops unscrupulous used car dealers from selling someone a LEAF with used batteries after they claimed they were replaced.

The other thing I see happening (pure speculation here!) is a new industry within the auto industry where Leased vehicles will be staying in house instead of running thru the normal used car auction route.  The reason?  EVs change the game.  The normal drawbacks of used vehicles still apply to an EV but to a much lesser extent.  Put a new battery pack (or one rebuilt to new capacity specs) and you essentially have most of a new car. Its not like your electric motor rated at hundreds of thousands of hours is on its last legs but more importantly; an EV has about 500 LESS parts to wear out in the first place!

More on information later. Remember too much of anything aint always a good thing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Heated Jacket Test; Battling Winter Range Degradation Part 3

Got up yesterday and first thing I realized; Test Day!! It was cold like 30º cold! I had been waiting for a good day to test my heated jacket for two weeks now.

I also got report from SO that charging stations were installed at her work. Had to go see for myself, so charged up the LEAF, charged up the coat and away I went.

Now, remember the coat stated "up to 6 hours" on a charge. With 3 power settings, I took that to mean 6 hours on low,  4 hours on medium and 2 hours on high heat.  So at 10:08 AM, i turned on coat and after its preheat cycle, set it to high heat.  GID count was 280, Trip A reset to zero and away I went!

The LEAF sitting in the garage overnight had a dash temperature of 47º.  phone said temps were 32º. There was nearly fun Sun so solar radiation help would be evident but still a bit of scattered fog in the process of being burned off.  The plan was to only toggle defrost on long enough to keep the windows clear which would not generate any heat from the car so had only the jacket to keep me warm.

Trip A; 3.8 miles entering I-5 South exit 109, Dash temp is now 41º.  I set cruise control to 60 mph and settled in for the drive. I picked a slightly later drive time as I knew the temperatures would not warm up significantly until 2-3 in the afternoon and to miss traffic as much as possible.  I was able to maintain my speed for the entire trip having to bump out of CC for less than a minute to get around one slow moving car.

Hit the streets at Exit 81, trip A; 30.7  GID 175, dash temp; 36º. So far everything is fine. the jacket has heated wires running thru the back all the way to the front. So, its like a warm blanket wrapped around me. On the high heat setting, it never felt overwhelmingly hot. I even left it on for 10 minutes when I went to grab lunch and it was still comfortable.

Totally off topic but Kudos to Ecotality for NOT placing the Blinks in prime parking areas. Yes, the stations are ICE'd here but there is no signage up yet. The Blinks are located in the parking lot to the right of the Emergency Room Entrance behind the public parking area and as you can see; not next to any building so hopefully that will encourage people to not take the spot unless they want some juice!

I took my pictures and walked around outside for about 10 minutes (more than long enough to catch a chill and was very cozy.  Then I swung by the Centrailia quick charge station, parked ACROSS the street and grabbed lunch at Burgerville; "home of the Tesla charger!"   Coat off 11:08 AM.

Turned coat back on 11:45 AM and back in car for return to Olympia exiting at exit 109  Trip A; 60.6 miles GID 73. Dash Temp 41º, Sunglasses on.

Unlike the trip down, now my feet were getting cold.  That started on my walk around the Providence lot while taking pix of the Blink Stations. My stint at Burgerville failed to warm my feet up enough to make a difference.

I had the vent closed because it really pours cold air in if its open and that helps but also causes the windows to fog quicker. I did have to toggle defrost on a half dozen times but only had it on less than a minute each time and it was not used at all on the trip home.

Arrived home; Trip A 64.0 miles, GID 64 (that was easy to remember!)

Jacket battery dies 12:55  total run time,  2 hours 10 minutes.

I have to say the Jacket test was a success. It definitely helps to keep you warm. Having driven in similar weather, I can assure you there is no way I would have been able to do it without running a lot of heat in the car. I would have been too cold.

Normally in the morning, I am fresh out of the hot shower with hot coffee in hand. None of that was present on this test and done to more accurately evaluate the effectiveness of the coat.  I expect to see temps within 10º of what I saw today so I think the jacket will allow me to use much less climate controls and maintain a bearable level of comfort.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nissan LEAF Commercial Suggestions

Having just watched "Cars" (not sure which one... maybe 2 or 3? I have a child who feels the need to watch movies over and over and over...) I realized that Nissan needs to continue their upwards trend in getting a more effective message across in their LEAF ads.

Their latest ad that emphasized the differences the LEAF provides over a regular gasoline car (instead of pushing the "Green Thing") was a great turnaround when considering their previous ad campaign.

Now my commercial will start out with a "Woody" like character,  a well used mini-van,  sitting in the driveway.  A brand new LEAF pulls in and right away the mini-van laments that the LEAF is a novelty and would only be good for limited use.

As time goes by and the LEAF is used exclusively and the mini-van starts trying to justify its own usefulness but continues to question its own worth with its various oil leaks "They havent let me park in the garage in ages!"

The constant need for maintenance "I do have to say I dont have the pep I used to have!"

The rising cost of gasoline "I hate it when they only fill up half my tank!"

Then the mini-van jumps as the LEAF pulls in silently behind her "I just HATE it when that LEAF sneaks up on me!"

Just as its seems like the mini-van has lost all hope. The family comes out all carrying presents.  the mini-van instantly perks up knowing its Christmas and Grandma lives in the next state; a trip the LEAF cannot make (unless you live in WA or OR!!)

 Just like Woody and Buzz in Toy Story, there is no one shot solution.  But that is the #1 issue people come up with when talking themselves out of an EV. Still have too many prospective EV'ers who say "Sure its a good idea 28 days of the month but what about the 3rd Sunday of the month..."   Now, why someone can go thru a check list with 7 things on there with a resounding "yes" to the first 6 items ordered by importance but discount the entire deal based on a "no" to the least important item,  the semi annual family trip, is beyond me.

 We Americans are a car-centric society. Multiple vehicles is the norm.  (about 2/3rds of my driving life, I have had 2 cars or more) An EV in concert with a gasoline assisted vehicle be it hybrid or EREV is where its at and that will be probably at least another 10-15 years before EVs will be viable to move beyond that.

Just as the "EV only" household is very rare the "have multiple needs to drive over 50 miles daily" household is just as rare.  I have a LEAF and a Prius and we constantly switch cars but our situation is unique. we generally use the LEAF for the longest commute of the day. It saves us at least 5 cents a mile (more if you abuse the free public charging like I do,  shhhh!!)

Yesterday, I drove 102.3 miles with 2 quick charge stops  and it might have added to my day but in both stops the time was well used. the quick charge stop was one of 22 minutes, the other of 10 minutes.  the first stop of 22 minutes was simply to charge but I also had to stop to make some phone calls that could not be done while driving because it involved punching in about 30 numbers before I could get to a live person (yes, it was the federal government!! how did you guess?)

The 2nd stop was getting food. I did not need a lot to get home at that point, but I HAD to eat!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Buyer's Market

Recently new ChAdeMO quick charge stations were turned on in Great Britain to the delight of Nikki a resident of the Island and a EV promoter but more importantly a fellow LEAF Owner.  Naturally tweeting about new things, cool things, etc. is the norm along the pix of course!

I mentioned my prodigious use of the Tumwater DCFC just down the street from me and how I normally charge 10-15 minutes to take advantage of the faster charging rate that happens on the bottom 2/3rds of the pack so I tweeted Nikki and I think she got the wrong impression that maybe I thought 30 minutes for an 80% charge or just over an hour for a full charge was too long.

So she responded by asking if I had preferred a LEAF with shorter range for a presumably a lower price to which I responded "Yes!!, but not for me."  You see; Tesla did it right.  Offer a model with multiple range options along with multiple price points. Sure we want a longer range EV, but at the same time not all of us want to or can afford to pay for that extra capacity. But having the lower price points is what gets people thinking about the car and its not unusual to see the buyer end up paying more than they had planned once they get to the dealership.

Nissan just announced 1579 new LEAFs hit the streets of the US in October making it the best month in over a year and continuing the upward sales trend fueled by attractive lease rates.  This is pretty good evidence that the LEAF is  very attractive for many but not quite at the right price point. But Nissan is listening.  Rumors are flying that Nissan will offer a lower price point for the LEAF by modifying the basic features and removing some of the bling.  No apparent range drop but other things like switching out the expensive LED headlights for HIDs (which use more power so ya, a bit of a hit on range), possibly taking out the NAV, etc.

I also think Nissan is on the right track (no doubt pushed by GM) to offer the dirt cheap leasing to allow more exposure to driving electric. Its my opinion that the average lessee will be willing to pay a lot more for their 2nd EV rather than move back to gasoline.  Range will always be an issue but I think many drivers overestimate their needs and actually using an EV with a limited range may show them that the range is not really that limited especially when one is leaving home every morning with a full tank without having to leave 10 minutes early for a stop at the gas station to do it.

But one thing Nissan has not announced that I think is critical is offering a larger pack for the LEAF. Test drive reports for the Toyota RAV 4 EV by Tony Williams (a soon to be former LEAF owner) who easily did 130 miles on a charge is receiving a lot of attention but he lives in CA where you can get one...the ONLY place you can get one!

But betting that Nissan strips down the LEAF removing say $3-4,000 of features, then adding 8 Kwh to the pack for a few thousand more than the SL currently sells for and they may have a winner.  This should bring it up to about a 125 mile range means that people can now go thru their 20-30% range degradation and still be ok.

But the biggest advantage of the larger pack is more effective use of quick charging . now instead of gaining 30 miles in 11 minutes, I can gain up to 65 miles in 25 minutes!

After all; 11 minutes was frequently not enough time for me to get done what I needed to do!

Friday, November 2, 2012

October 2012 Stats

October Driving Stats for 

2010 Prius.................................2011 Nissan Leaf..............
miles/ cost
1046.1 miles/ $81.01.................1456 miles/$17.55 

Once again, quick remains free. That I suspect will change within the next few months and I did get a lot of free juice with accounts for the low charging cost on the LEAF.  I estimated near $20 in free juice acquired for the month. 

Now the Prius did benefit from much lower fuel prices. Our gas prices had spiked for most of October due "concerns" over the supply issues in California.  Ya see, California had a shutdown of refineries for a formula switch over to winter fuel and at the same time had  a fire at one of the refineries causing additional supply issues. Now why WA prices were affected by CA prices is purely due to speculation since CA has a unique formulation of gas that is not used anywhere else so its not like they could borrow some of WA's to hold them over creating a shortage here. Now, there was brief talk of suspending the special CA only formulation requirement for a short period of time, but that never happened but the price spike did. 

But CA resolved its supply issues and the price went back down. Now I got gas in the Prius today for a price of $3.399 or 51 cents lower than what I paid on October 16th.  I purposefully held out as long as I could and it did pay off considering gas was in the $3.50's on Monday. 

So bottom line; Despite what you see, the LEAF is not cheaper to drive by better than 4 to 1.  If there was no free electricity and if  gas had been reasonably priced for the month of October, the difference would have been a much more reasonable 3 to l in favor of the LEAF