N952JL wrote:During the last five months I've driven about 5,000 miles (3,200 electric &
1,800 gas) for a 64/36 electric/gas split. I feel this is just about normal
for most Americans. This clearly shows that while the Leaf will handle 98%
to 99% of my trips, it still handles less than 65% of my driving needs.
That's a great way to look at it. Yes, when the LEAF is not the appropriate vehicle and you have to resort to gas, you tend to drive more gas miles. I also agree with your statements below about the practical-ness of extended QC-ing (although I think your estimate of being able to go 70 miles @ 70mph might be a bit optimistic).
N952JL wrote:As a single person, this forces me to purchase a second car for the one to two
percent of my trips beyond the range of my electric leaf.
You lost me here though. But I also didn't see exactly how you measured a "trip".
If you measure a trip the same way the LEAF does. I.e. when I go to the bank, then get a coffee, then go to visit my sister, then come home, and then later in the day go to the store, then to dinner, then back home, the LEAF counts that as 7 trips.
If on the other hand you are counting the 98-99% the way I think about it (in terms of days), then the picture is a bit different. My own personal experience is that I've had to resort to the gas car 5 times in the past 5 months. That's about 1 out of every 30 or so days, or 3% of the time. In my opinion, that's probably still too often to rent a car to use on those occasions. But if you can get down to 1%, that's basically 4 times per year (using my day-based definition), which I think would put you in feasible range of renting a car. I don't see how you are FORCED to have a second car.
Let's work through some numbers though. For comparison purposes let's compare having a LEAF as your only car vs. having a 30mpg gas car as your only car (I think as a single person having 2 cars would be excessive for most people). I don't know your electricity cost or gas costs, so I'll use the national average of 11 cents/kWh and $3.90/gal for gas. I'll also assume 4 mi/kWh.
Counting your electric miles (6400/year), that would cost $176 in electricity vs. $832 in gas. You'd also need 2 oil changes in your gas car ($60). So the gas vehicle would cost $716/year more than the LEAF. The question is: can you afford to rent a gas car for those 4 times/year that you need it? That works out to $179/rental. Depending on whether your trips were 1 day or 1 week this may or may not work out for you. But since rentals are usually in the neighborhood of $40/day, it seems pretty feasible to me. Even for me at 12 trips per year, I'm still looking at it being cheaper to rent at $60/rental if most of my rentals were 1 day rentals.
Of course maybe you've already decided to count the fuel savings in the LEAF against the higher purchase price, or towards a replacement battery some day, or some other thing.