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Monday, May 10, 2021

Will You Save Money By Going Electric With The Nissan LEAF?


Now that Nissan Philippines has finally priced and launched the all-electric Leaf for the local market, it’s time to re-visit whether it makes financial sense for those looking it as a potential next car.

As with our previous comparison, we’re not taking into consideration some of the touted benefits of EV ownership such as zero tailpipe emissions and low noise pollution. Instead, we’re focusing mainly on running costs. Does the Leaf give you actual savings? Savings that you can use to cover, say, the financial dues of your new car?

With the cost of electricity in the Philippines being one of the highest in Southeast Asia (matching that of Singapore, actually) does the Leaf make sense?

Metro Manila’s electricity rate is P 8.40 per KWh (based on Meralco’s April 2021 advisory). Now, according to Nissan, the LEAF requires a 15-hour charge time using a regular 220-volt outlet. With that, it costs P 415.80 to fill up, drawing 3.3 kW of power—or the equivalent of two 2-horsepower air conditioners working simultaneously. With a 311-kilometer range, topping up the Leaf can be done on a weekly basis.


The same weekly visit to the gasoline station is also true for conventionally-powered cars. However, in comparison, a typical diesel car would cost almost four times as more (P 1,640), while a gasoline would even be costlier at five times more or P 2,160 at today’s pump prices.

On a cost-per-kilometer basis, traditional gasoline cars are the most expensive to run at P 6 while diesels and gasoline-electric hybrids are closely matched at P 2.93 and P 2.70, respectively. Both of them though can hold a candle to the all-electric Leaf’s rate of P 1.34 (Nissan says it’s supposed to be P 1.17 per kilometer, but so far, this isn’t possible for current Meralco Metro Manila rates).

Meanwhile, when it comes to maintenance costs, Nissan says the Leaf is “23 percent lower than a mid-sized car over a 5-year period.” Assuming compact cars are slightly more affordable to run, for this comparison, we’ve upped it to 40 percent.

With that, the total running cost per year (PMS and fuel) is P 1.64 per kilometer. It’s 2.1 times lower than that of a gasoline-electric hybrid (P 3.45), 2.3 times that of diesel (P 3.93), and four times  that of gasoline (P 6.75).

In the course of a year, a Leaf owner could potentially save P 102,260.45 compared to the most expensive option, the gas-powered car. By comparison, a diesel-fed car owner saves P 78,571.43 per year compared once more to the gasoline-powered option, while a gasoline-hybrid saves P 66,000 annually.

However, Despite the large annual savings of driving the Leaf, the utility payback of the Nissan EV isn’t enough to justify its P 2.798 million price tag. The payback is 13.67 years, at best and 33 years at the worst. And that’s assuming nothing goes wrong during the entire period of the Leaf’s ownership.

Given the Leaf’s generous 8-year battery warranty, the only way for would-be owners to feel protected in buying something with relatively new technology is for Nissan to price it within an 8-year payback period. Sadly, this didn’t happen. If you wanted a payback period with the 8-year battery warranty period, the price should have been P 1.9 to 2.2 million.

Of course, the computation here doesn’t even take into account the Leaf’s ability for bi-directional charging which means it can feed power back to the electrical grid, resulting in energy credits. This could speed up the payback period even more, but it also means having to invest in a specific home charger, and applying for the necessary permits with Meralco. And trust us, based on personal experience, this isn’t an easy move to make.

10 comments:

  1. .... and after 10years, you might need to replace the lithium ion battery pack which will cost an arm and a leg.

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    1. Batteries of it are likely be cheaper in near future.

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    2. Nissan does sell refurbished batteries...at the cost of P 405,000--https://www.carguide.ph/2018/03/nissan-starts-refabricating-leaf.html

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    3. 405,000 for a battery pack. Its still expensive even if it goes on a 50percent price drop.

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    4. It's already the depreciated cost of your car by then.

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  2. https://www.topgear.com.ph/features/feature-articles/price-check-nissan-leaf-a962-20210510?ref=home_feed_1

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  3. Sorry to post the link above, but articles like this explains why our market gets exploited by inflated prices.

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    Replies
    1. Totally agreed. Cherry picking markets to compare our prices isn't the right way to go...the features weren't even compared vis-à-vis to what we got locally. I will keep this link up here, but refrain from posting links like these next time.

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  4. The link above is another feel good article from useless hacks pretending to be journalists/critics.

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  5. Gasoline run engine still better. For the Rich people EV is fine but for average Pinoy it's no way. Why pay more for EV if you can save more for low maintenance Car Gas run engine. Think think......

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