Electric Car Notes by Ben Zuckerman: 18 Month Service

By Ben Zuckerman

Below is a report on my LEAF situation. You don’t hear from me often because there is usually nothing to report. The LEAF is a car one “fills up” at home rather than at a gas station.

A few days ago I took my LEAF (to Miller Nissan in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles) for a standard 1.5 year service. They checked the lithium battery (this is done for free as part of my warranty), checked some other things, checked the air in the 4 tires and in a spare tire I now carry in the car, and gave the car a washing. Cost to me: zero $$. I still have not paid anything in three 6-month service visits to Miller.

I recently purchased the spare tire (the same spare tire that a Nissan Altima uses) because, like some other new cars sold in the USA, the LEAF comes without a spare. The spare fits comfortably in the trunk of the LEAF and can be easily removed should the full trunk space be needed on occasion. The tire weighs only about 1% of the weight of the car, so carrying the tire reduces the driving range by only 1%.

My understanding is that there are some good buys to be had of 2012 LEAFs and that a somewhat less fancy and thus less expensive 2013 version is being sold by Nissan. When rebates and low fuel and service costs are considered, the LEAF is not an expensive car at all. For persons who drive more miles than average, the annual fuel savings will be especially substantial. And never having to go to gas stations is a real pleasure.