Michael Young used to spend $40 or more filling up his car with gasoline. Now, after purchasing the new, 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF, he spends only $3 "charging" his car.
You read that correctly. $3.
His new car's minimal impact on the environment was a big factor in purchasing the new LEAF, but saving money was a big part of it too, Young said.
"Gas isn't going to get cheaper," Young said.
The 44-year-old Severn resident bought the car from Sheehy Nissan in Glen Burnie on Dec. 23, but he reserved the vehicle back in April 2010. "I put $100 down and that got my name on the list," Young said.
The LEAF has a suggested retail price of about $35,000, but Young said he saved about $2,000 off the list price and also benefitted from a $7,500 federal tax credit.
After learning that he was all lined up to get the all-electric car, Young purchased a charging station that allows him to fuel the LEAF at home. Once fully charged, the LEAF can go roughly 100 miles before it needs to be recharged, Young said.
"My commute is only five miles or so, so [the car] will be able to last quite a long time," he said.
Once fully depleted, it only takes about $3 to recharge the entire car, Young said.
Several other features in the environmentally friendly car allow it to last longer depending on the driving conditions, said the new owner.
"While driving down a large hill, the LEAF actually charges itself by gathering energy inside the engine," Young said. "It also has solar panels on the roof to charge things like internal lights and the radio."
Young also said he doesn't have to sacrifice engine power when it comes to the leaf, and that merging onto major highways isn’t a problem at all.
"I'll take anyone on going zero to 60," he said.
While in neutral, Young put the gas pedal to the floor and the car exerted no audible sound.
“It’s so quiet, there’s a small speaker in the back so when I go in reverse, local bystanders know a car is coming,” Young said.