Electricity used in 2014 by 2012 Nissan Leaf BEV (January 1 to December 31, 2014): 2,980.1 kWh
Current mileage: 34,834 km (approximately 12,000 km in 2014)
Total cost of electricity in 2014: $360.80
Average cost per 100 km (est.): $3.01 (or $0.0300666/km)
Observed January range (after three years, at 0ºC, with low heat): approximately 85 km
Battery capacity: 12 of 12 capacity bars; estimated 5-15% reduction in range

One of the most common questions I hear as an electric car owner is: “How much in extra electricity does it cost you?” In the past six months, with the price of gas down a fair bit, there’s occasionally an underlying note of “tough timing for you” when I hear that question. But looking over our entire 2014 summary of how much energy we used in 2014, and what it cost us, it seems fairly clear that the cost of refueling is still one of the major benefits of battery EVs, even if winter driving does suck up more range now than when new.

Before breaking down the exact costs for charging an EV for a full year in Toronto, some background: we use our Leaf about 1,000 km every month, about half for my wife’s 25-km commute (total) through west end city streets, the other half for kids activities, gym-hopping and life in general. We charge our 2012 Leaf every night in the winter, and every couple nights the rest of the year, using a Level 2 Eaton charging station in our garage that’s set up on a separate meter with Toronto Hydro.

That separate meter means we’re (un)lucky enough to receive two electricity bills every month, but it also means no standing around gas stations in freezing cold weather either – plus we receive a handy quarterly and yearly report on the electricity consumption of our home, our garage where the charger is installed, and the difference in cost and usage patterns between the two.

Since I’m returning and filling a gas-powered press vehicle pretty much every week, lower gas prices do provide some fueling financial relief – and if the lower prices last all year, it may be enough to pay our entire electric fuel bill in 2015.

That grand total for our Leaf in 2014 was… (drum roll please): $360.80. That total added just over 23 percent to our home electricity bill for the year. And that’s an inflated figure, because it doesn’t include the 10 per cent Ontario Clean Energy Benefit discount, plus I also plugged in numerous plug-in test vehicles throughout the year. Most of those will have been plug-in hybrids with smaller (seven to 12 kilowatt-hour) battery sizes that can provide only 10 (winter) to 30 km of all-electric range, and therefore suck up much less electricity than our Leaf.

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