There are times when driving my second hand Nissan Leaf feels like I am working on cracking a code. Change one behavior (e.g. turning on the heat) and relative efficiency takes a nose dive. Adjust a few things (e.g. make sure to drive with the car set in “B” mode) and it seems like you can do no wrong. Ambient air temperature, type of driving, route choice…on and on it goes.
I am certain that it is the same for a traditional ICE vehicle or even a Tesla, but when you are limited to a little more than 100 miles on a full charge there is a hyper heightened awareness to how quickly the “guess o’ meter” depletes. However, it was a lot less of a concern this month as I averaged 6.1 miles per kWh for just a tenth of a mile over 900 miles. That works out to a little less than 148 kWh of electricity consumed and ~1,053 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions avoided versus driving my truck.
Since January I have driven 4,607 EV miles at an average efficiency of 5.1 miles per kWh. This correlates to ~5,234 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions avoided versus driving my truck. As I have said before this assumes that I draw all of my power from the grid as opposed to generating it on site with my solar panels. Based on gasoline prices I have saved about $650 just in fuel since January.
Speaking of solar photovoltaic production, July was a fairly good month:
720 kWh for the month is good. It is a little bit less than the same month during the prior year, but I would say that it is within the margin of error. It is not like this is January and February where snow covered my panels up to a foot deep some times.
All in my household consumption ended up about 26 kWh more than my production. Included in my household consumption numbers are almost all of my EV charging, so without the Nissan Leaf in the garage we would have ended up over 100 kWh. Granted, that would mean I was spewing carbon dioxide from the tailpipe of my truck. I will take the trade.
Unlike some summer months we were home for every weekend and took no trips. Furthermore, for the entire month of July we went out to eat once. I feel fairly good about making all but one meal at home, charging my electric car, running the air conditioning when it got really hot, and still managing to almost be even in terms of household electricity consumption versus solar electricity production. It is my hope that in the next month I will adding about 60% more solar photovoltaic capacity to my roof.