So here we go, this post has been a week coming, I just haven't had the time do get it together. About a month ago, perhaps a little more, I did something that seemed to upset quite a few people, even apparently some people at Nissan! I posted the opportunity to buy my Nissan Leaf on Ebay. That lasted all of a few minutes, I’m not even sure how long the auction was up 24 hours before I was asked to (or really it was suggested that I ) remove it. So down it came, along with the posts that I had put up announcing it.
What people didn’t know was that I had been posting the Leaf on craigslist here in the bay area for a month or more before it was ever listed on Ebay. I had a few inquiries from the Craigslist ad, though many of those inquiries were just your typical internet trolls complaining. Some even took the time to email me and call me an “Idiot” I appreciate that someone took the time to do that.
So back to Ebay, I pulled the ad, I removed the blog/forum posts, I cleared most of my tracks at the threat of losing the right to purchase the Leaf. I even quit posting the ad on Craigslist. After the ad came down from Ebay people started coming out of the wood work asking to buy the car. Fortunately for me I had lined someone up before I even pulled the Ebay ad down. In fact the ad didn’t even have anything to do with getting rid of my car, the Craigslist ad came through.
What? I thought you purchased the Leaf last week?
Well, technically I did, for a little while anyways. I had a guy fly in from Detroit on Monday of last week, we drove from the airport to the dealer, then the bank, then the dealer again. The dealer wouldn’t take a cashier’s check, so we had to go to the bank and have the money wired from their bank, to the dealer’s bank, which was all of 1 block away. Unfortunately the dealer’s bank became a problem and wouldn’t show the transfer as posting until the following day. So in order for us to drive the car off the lot that day I ended up having to take a loan out on the car as a fall back contract, in case the transfer didn’t go through.
After about 4 hours of things we finally left the dealer, I in my 350z and the new owner in the Nissan Leaf. I didn’t even get to drive the thing! Though I did sit in it a few times
So there it is, I no longer own a 2011 Nissan Leaf? Why might you ask? Well it really doesn’t matter what I say, people are going to hate on me. But here goes my explanation with a little backstory.
Back in April of 2010 I got an email from Nissan announcing the preorder process for the Leaf, I jumped on things and signed up, immediately preordering as soon as I could. Shortly after that I setup www.LeafOwner.com with the thought of creating a website dedicated to the Leaf. I got some good traffic, with the help of some key features on Engadget, AutoBlogGreen and even two different tweets from Lance Armstrong!
I was thrilled at the idea of getting a Leaf, I have an 8-9 mile commute, so it was going to work out perfectly for that. I was one of the first people to get the Aerovironment charger inspections, I asked my landlord if we could get an install going. From there things actually started to sour a bit. I got the charger assessment back and it was for $2200, roughly $800 for the charger/shipping, and then the rest for the installation, for about an hour’s worth of labor and maybe $100 worth of equipment.
As the summer progressed I kept up with the Leaf, attending events to see the car when I could, and then went through the ordering process, that is when things really went south for me. I went ahead and ordered the car, as a lease option, but when I started thinking about it, the lease was going to be $420 a month. I started thinking, 420 a month could go towards a very nice car payment, rather than “renting” a very expensive Nissan Versa.
I’ll take some hits for that, but to me that is what the car ultimately became. It’s an economy sized hatchback, that when fully priced out last week was $38k. While there are lots of cool geeky features in the Leaf, the only real addition above and beyond a Versa was the batteries, the electric aspect. So I decided that the car most likely wasn’t for me.
In October I went to the driving events that Nissan was doing, and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. I drove the car, and after driving corvettes, camaros, and 350zs I just couldn’t see myself driving the Leaf, not at the cost.
I’m a car guy, I always have been, and the later it got into 2010 the more I had the itch to start racing cars again. I am now actively autocrossing my 350z (www.project350z.com). Heck, for the price that the Leaf ultimately cost I could have purchased a brand new 2010 Nismo 370z! Though I didn’t want to do that either, spending more money just wasn’t in the cars right now. My 350z cost me $12k, and that’s a lot smaller car payment than a new Leaf would be, and the car ultimately becomes more useful to me as I can autocross it.
So in the end, to sum things up. The price of the electric car killed it for me. I’m not saying I will never own another Leaf, or an electric car, but right now it just didn’t make sense to me. In the future I do hope to own an electric car, heck maybe I’ll build an electric VB Bug for www.projectvw.com in the future. But for now, I’ll let the early adopters help to bring the price of the electric car down.
For those of you who choose to hate me for that, I am sorry that you feel that way, but that’s the beauty of our wonderful country, everyone gets to have their own opinion.
(if you’re interested in purchasing LeafOwner.com let me know!)