Steve Marsh of Kent, Wash., has just celebrated 100,000 all-electric miles driven in his Leaf.
Marsh purchased his Nissan Leaf early in 2011 for his 130 mile-roundtrip daily commute making him one of the first adopters of the car launched in Dec. 2010. Nissan says he has (naturally) used no gasoline in the all-electric car, creating no tailpipe emissions and, by his estimation, he saved thousands of dollars.
“With a daily commute of about 130 miles, I’ve saved more than $9,000 compared to my old gas-powered car since I bought my Leaf,” said Marsh, a financial controller for Taylor Shellfish, who credits Washington’s strong charging infrastructure. “With plenty of public charging options, as well as a charger installed at my office, my Leaf is a perfect car for my commute.”
Marsh said he made the decision to go electric primarily based on the Leaf’s low cost of ownership.
“While many early buyers were excited to buy a Leaf for environmental reasons or to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, Steve Marsh is a prime example of consumers who approach electric cars with a practical mindset,” said Erik Gottfried, director of Electric Vehicle Sales and Marketing at Nissan. “Most buyers now choose the Leaf for the simple economics that Steve recognized right away. Nissan Leaf costs much less to drive and maintain than a gas car yet still provides a great driving experience.”
To support and speed the adoption of electric vehicles in the state, Washington developed one of the country’s most robust EV charging networks. The West Coast Electric Highway opened last year giving EV drivers range confidence that they can find easy and convenient charging along Interstate 5 and other roadways.
With a full charge in about 30 minutes, the fast charger at the Tumwater Shell station is a regular stop for Steve Marsh and his son Christopher, according to Nissan, making it possible to carpool to work in an all-electric car.
“Steve Marsh has proven that it’s possible to drive an electric vehicle long distances on Washington’s roads using clean, low-cost electricity,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “His dedication to driving electric helps to foster economic growth, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce carbon emissions and preserve our environment for future generations.”
Nissan also explained when Marsh bought his Leaf, he approached his employer to consider installing a charging unit for public use at his Taylor Shellfish office in Shelton. His management quickly agreed it was a good idea, he said, especially since it aligns with the company’s environmental philosophies. His was among the first businesses in the region to install a public charging station. Since then, the company has added charging at its shellfish hatchery in Quilcene, along the Hood Canal.
“It’s exciting to see how this network of charging stations is breaking the range barrier for EV owners,” said Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson who also drives a Nissan Leaf. “It puts Washington’s diverse, natural landscapes in easy reach without vehicle emissions and at a significantly lower cost.”
According to Nissan, more than 5,000 plug-in-electric cars are already registered in the state. Washington has among the cleanest and least expensive supply of electricity in the nation, making it an ideal place to drive electric. In addition to the lower operating costs of driving on electricity compared to gasoline, EV drivers also enjoy fewer routine maintenance costs.
Since the launch of Nissan Leaf in December 2010, Nissan has sold more than 40,000 all-electric Leaf cars in the United States and more than 92,000 globally.
Through November in 2013, Seattle-Tacoma is one of the top U.S. markets for total Leaf sales with an increase of more than 230 percent over the same period in 2012.