Tuesday, April 2, 2013

KARMA I LOVE YOU! I think...

Well, today I found $15 (three $5 bills) on the street. At first I though I was being filmed on "what would you do" but I picked them up anyway. I looked around once more and no one was around to claim the cash... so I rolled it up and walked to my truck.
As I drove away I made the conscious choice to give each five dollar bill to three people in need. So far I have yet to run into anyone on the street asking for a hand out. Strange cause I usually come across one or two poor souls everyday on my drive. Either way the bills are sitting there in my cup holder ready to make someones day.
So I get home and I talked to my wife and the subject of her missing iPad (missing for 2 months now) came up. We thought about it (trust me we have torn the house inside out to find this freaken thing) and suddenly we both figure something out. The last time we saw it and the laptop together (oh did I forget to mention the laptop was MIA as well?) The answer came to us in a flash.... "The crate!" we both said. So I rush to the garage, open up the crate and under the burlap table cloth what do I find... yep you guessed it... the Laptop and iPad!!
Score one point for Karma!

I go to baseball practice with my son after I take him to Shake Shack, have a nice meal and we begin to talk about the cars dad saw today. The first one was a Tesla Model S in silver... man what a beautiful car! I want one so bad but as with most of us its outa our price range.

Then I see a Fisker... poor Fisker, Its sad to see such a beautiful car that has been plagued by so many financial issues that production has stopped.

Then I saw a yellow Lambo.... now why would you buy one of those if you can't even enjoy its true power... I guess when all you want is a quick date that is what you buy... Frankly anyone that I have met that has one of these is usually a complete a-hole, Excluding my cousin which had one but then realized he was becoming an a-hole so he sold it and got a Ferrari... now he is an a-hole with class... love you V! hahaha

Anyway, sprinkle in about a dozen 911's... out of all the sports cars out there I believe this is the best all around... great for the city, fantastic on the highway, amazing on the racetrack... a true 'drive to the track car'

Finally the ubiquitous Massarattis... or as I like to call them the usable Ferraris.

Even though all these cars passed by my windshield the only one that made an impact is the Tesla.
Now lately I have been talking to a good friend of mine that is a financial wizard... best numbers and business guy I know, and we are trying to figure out how I can get my butt into one of these. Frankly, unless I sell 100,000 of my books (out in two months here comes my plug)...

Go to www.phoenixproject-thenovel.com and enjoy the site, in two months you will be able to download my book. First 50 pages are free and if you like what you read you can buy the rest of the book for $9.99 yep! Do yourself a favor and get lost in a fun action adventure fiction novel!

Okay back to the blog...
So I get home and head on over to the computer to see what Elon Musk had to say this morning... and what do you know?
Tesla leasing! Yes! This could be my saving grace! I could become a Tesla owner! Holly Sh#t! Dreams do come true!
Score another for Karma!

Now I am giddy with excitement... what I have read is: get the 60kw (the one I want) for $500 a month!
WHAT? Only $500 a month? It can't be. I quickly jump onto Teslamotors.com and there it is... my dream car for 500 bucks a month... heck I spend $400+ a month on gas alone... I am sold!!!
But then I see something off "Explore the true cost of ownership" what is this? I say to myself...

I click and the 'truth' comes out... $500 is the projected cost after all the savings. To simplify it for you:
Cost 10% down (about $8000) I can do that
Monthly payment (ready this is what you have to write in that check book every month) $1051

So in Tesla calculation I pay $1051 per month, I used to spend $400+ on gas per month: my payment theoretically would be $651... interesting way to look at it you might say...

... and my spirt takes its first blow... not so hard of a blow, but reality hit. Owning a Tesla would cost me $500 more per month than I spend right now with my truck... ouch

Now there IS a positive spin here... they have this "what is your time worth calculator" Well, if you are a lawyer and spend $400 in gas a month and charge $615 per hour then you get the car for free (theoretically). Personally I think this is BS, but it is creative I'll give them that.
Now the big question is: can I afford this? The 'true' answer... right now, sadly I can't... But in two months maybe I could! Let see...what will give me the funds to own a Tesla? Oh yeah! Sell lots of books!
So do me a favor... wait two months... buy my book... and make me a Tesla drive... very simple equation.

As always drive safe and don't text and drive!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Now I am at a cross road

 I really don't like the hub caps but I can always replace them at a later date

 So Nissan is standing by their $199 per month for the model S. But I have no clue as to how much down. I guess I need to walk into the dealership and do the dance (thank you Tesla for getting rid of this archaic way to sell a new car. Lets leave car salesmen where they belong... selling used cars) 

Why do I need to deal with this guy when buying new?

Anyway, my problem here is a simple one. All I want is the 6.6 charger on a 2013 Nissan Leaf S but according to what I have read and been told you cannot add anything to the S.... like a 6.6 charger or LED lights cause if you do the $199 deal goes out the electric window.
So now what I really need to do is sit down with a greasy sales man and try to make them give me the 6.6 charger and not remove the $199 per month. Only way I can see this is by telling them that you want the S at $199 and that you will... wait a minute! Why would I give away my only ammunition to make the deal? I know there is a car salesman out there reading this...
Anyway if they say no, then the lease automatically jumps to $400+! but I am ready for that. I will just say "thank you... you just lost a sale and Ford just gained one"... I will walk on over to Ford and get the Ford Fusion Energi Plugin (man that is a mouthful) How about "Fusion EPI"

I mean really? $400+ for this or the Leaf? no brainer...

Now I know each and everyone of you will raise the flag and call me on all my other posts that say I rather go all electric, and to be honest.... I do, but the numbers just don't add up here. Why would I pay $400+ for a hatchback with 80 mile range when I can get a midsize sedan with a 650 mile range, 21 of those electric. And who knows? I am sure Ford will have some deal as well, it might even be lower than $400. Just to compare the Volt was at $350. Now do I wish the Fusion had a few more electric miles under its belt like the Volt? Hell yeah.... but I have to deal with 21miles per charge the good news here is that you can drive up to 85 mph on electric (but doing this will diminish the range).... 30 would have been much much better.... Again the Volt only has 4 seats and I need 5 that is why the Volt is not on the list.

So I did my calculations and I figure that if I buy the Ford I will be filling up that tank around 5 times a year or say $400. Compare to the $5000 I spend on fuel right now. Just for fun... if the Fusion had a 30 mile electric range I would fill up the tank once a year or $80. Makes you think... Ford are you listening?

So what am I saying here... simple... Nissan, let me keep the $199 per month with the added 6.6 charger and you will have a new customer... Don't and Ford gets the sale. Sucks that I have to say it but it is the reality... But having the ford will still make me "feel" good, well Okay... maybe if I do go Ford I will change my driving habits to use less fuel. I will have to set a new goal two tanks a year!  In either case I have to wait till spring to make my choice. So stay tuned... I still have hope that Nissan will see it my way....

That is it for today... and as always... Please don't Text and Drive.
Stay safe!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You can have my SUV when you pry it from my cold dead hands!

Money to spend SUV to buy

Some of us are SUV addicted. Trust me I understand. I really like my SUV it solves all my issues minus the gas guzzling one... but NOW you can have your SUV and eat it too!

So you want to  keep your SUV and be green... you can! but your gonna need about 80K. Just go to Via motors and get yourself the SUV and you are good to go. This truck gives you around 40 miles electric range then the engine comes on...
I will tell you that this truck fits my bill perfectly but for 80K I rather get the midrange Tesla and save 15k or get the 85KW 265 mile range for $80K, but it does make me think twice...

Its a hard choice especially since I have been driving an SUV for so long. But to be honest I rather go all electric... its just me. Others on the other hand might think twice about getting the Tesla if VIA SUV's are out there... absolutely no range anxiety, but you are still burning fuel which does bother me somewhat.

It will all come down to leasing and who has the best rates... lets see what the future holds for VIA. I think they need to bring the price down to really compete, but Bob Lutz is a hard headed man. Only time will tell. I do like them they fit a niche in the market especially the commercial one...

Enjoy the ride and don't text and drive...

Where have you been?

I have been in the wonderful world of green car limbo... Patiently waiting for March and the new 2013 Nissan Leaf so I can start my green car life... but in the mean time I have meetings to attend, errands to run and places to be.
For example Last Saturday I decided to do another test when I went to see Penn and Teller at the Hardrock hotel up in Hollywood. Side note Mr Penn Jillet of Penn and Teller (the tall one) drives a Nissan Leaf. It was a 67 mile round trip via Highway/turnpike traveling around 60mph average.
So if I want to gambling or to see a show... I am good to go.
On the way there I passed by the Football stadium, and now I know I can go see the Dolphins kick field goals and have more than enough juice to do a detour to the best pizza in town on the way home... Where is the best pizza? Steves Pizza on US1 and 123rd st (well close to 123rd street)

Everyday that passes I see more and more how well the Leaf will fit in my family circle...

So I decided to do some math and this is what I came up with:

My truck in all its I don't care about the environment glory

Gas Guzzeler: 

$375 Per month in gas

$4493 Per year in gas

$31,451 gas bill after seven years of ownership (no oil change, filters etc in this calculation)

Nissan Leaf:

$40 per month in electric bill (number is really around $37)

$480 Per year in electric cost

$3,360  electric bill after seven years of ownership

Now to put things into perspective

Soon to be mine

Nissan Leaf Lease

$3000 down (this number might be a bit lower they have yet to announce the exact number so I will just plug in worse case)

$199 per month

$2.388 per year

$7,164 for three years

$10,164 total cost for a 3 year lease

Lets add the cost of the electric bill in three years


Now in those three years if I where to drive my gas truck I would be spending:

$13,479 in gas

SO if I lease a leaf I will have saved $1875

Now what happens if I buy the leaf (go to bank grab 25K in $1 bills and slide the suitcase under the table) over a 7 year period?

$25,000 to purchase car (Modle S with LED lights, 6.6 charger plus tax etc including tax rebate (rough number but close)

$3,360 electric bill over 7 years

$28,360 total cost over

In gas over 7 years I will have spent:


So I would have saved:


Just imagine that... I can buy a New car and actually make money!

Drive safe, and please don't text and drive...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ford comes through and breaks my 20 mile barrier...
(Thank goodness!)

It is one good looking family car! It will look down right mean in black or slate grey!

Yep! you plug it in as well!

As you all know I have officially decided that to be a true plug in Hybrid you have to travel more than 20 miles on electric only... now Ford was in a bit of a mess when it published EPA numbers in the 47 mpg range when no one... not even the EPA could even reach that number. Most hit the 40 mpg some came did come close to 44 (highway) (but they where most likely going down hill with the wind at their backs).

Personally I was very disappointed that Ford would play with these numbers just to bring in sales when the technology is actually there to able to hit 47mpg... and they can do so by tweaking a few things... Just look at the 2013 Nissan Leaf; Nissan was able to squeeze out a reported 10% more miles per charge. How did they do this? Aerodynamics and tweaking the regen breaks, throw in a bit of reprograming and ... 8 miles where added.
So I believe that Ford can hit the 47 mpg number they just got to make good and step up to the plate.

That said I am writing to report that Ford has come through announcing a 21 miles per charge range!
This is big cause I really like the Ford Fusion. It is a good looking car both outside and in. Has that Aston Martin grill up front and it fits 5! And when the electric juice runs out the Liquid juice takes over. I can really see this car as a fantastic commute family car. Drive it during the day to work and back, and on the weekends take the family up to the mountains or down to the swamps! One thing that I really like about his car is the top electric speed.... ready? 85 miles per hour before the engine kicks in! So if you are a highway commuter and for some off chance your drives takes you in the opposite direction to traffic you can cruise at 85 miles per hour on the highway to work!
And just think about this. If you do get pulled over make sure you tell the cop how excited you are that he just pulled over someone doing 85 on electric power alone... who knows he might just let you off with a warning!

The design works all around

Interior feels sporty and ford has done a great job with the material fit. Although it does still feel a bit plastic at times. I would love to see a bit more leather especially on the upper dash

Out of all the Hybrids out there I think this one is the best (yeah yeah you Volt fanatics calm down! I only say this cause the Volt only has four seats... add a fitfh seat and I am all yours). Now could they have made it better (as in longer electric only range)... Always! and there is the possibility when Ford sees how well the car is selling they might increase that range to 30 miles per charge or dare I say 40 miles per charge! Remember the average American drives 90% of the time under 40 miles per day. I am at around 95% with the Disney, Palm Beach and Naples trips making up the other 5%

Now price is $49,495 and you get the $3500 tax rebated from Uncle Sam which is nice! The volt on the other hand only has 4 seats (This will lead to the "Sorry honey your staying home today" male syndrome which will eventually lead to the "I don't think so and you are sleeping on the couch for the next week" female Syndrome) As for the other stable Hybrids out there the Toyota is still the cheapest at $32,000 (11 mile electric range, really Toyota? I expected more from you) and the Honda $39,000 (13 mile electric range, again kind off weak Honda) So the Fusion plug in falls in the upper middle pricing range and kicks Toyotas and Hondas tail pipes in electric range.

One thing I would wait for and I really hope Ford is paying attention to what GM has done with Leasing incentives, is that you might find yourself around the $270 per month with $3000 down. GM Leasing is at $269 per month with $2800 down. Without the GM incentives you would be looking at around $450 per month. So Ford has to follow these steps to have good sales. I think they will.

So where does all this leave good o'l me? Well, I still want the Tesla, but that ain't gonna happen any time soon. And even thought the Fusion plug in is now in my radar I am still on the path to go all electric by 2015. That plus with the new Leaf pricing it is a win win for the leaf (and mua).... but I will have to say this, I could live with the Fusion plug in, and better yet I think I could live with the Ford Fusion Plug in AND a Nissan leaf in my garage for three years... that is until the Tesla arrives!

As always... stay safe, don't text and drive... and go kick that gas habit, or at least put a hybrid patch on the arm....

Monday, January 14, 2013

Thank you Nissan!!!!
You know how to make me smile!

 Looking good in grey! I'm getting it in white (keeps car cooler in Miami...)

I believe these are the hubcaps that come on the Leaf S... I don't like them, do you?

Come onnnn March!

Well, seems that Nissan Leaf is here to stay! not only that it has found a perfect place to park... right between the VW, Mini, and Fiat... plus a whole bunch of other sub $25,000 cars! Wow I am soooo excited!
As you have read from my last post Nissan decided to do some minor tweaks to the Leaf. These tweaks are all over... from new paint colors to interior options. But the biggest tweak (if you want to call it that) is a lower price model.
This 'affordable' model gives you a really nice car (minus the bloody hubcaps! Man I hate those things.) but no worries, with the cash you save you can get yourself the Aluminum wheels of the SV (all it takes is a little sweet talking to the dealer...) But if you really want the LED lights plus leather then the SL might be up your alley. 

Okay! Enough with all this talk... are you ready!
Here are the numbers:

Base Level Nissan Leaf S: $28,800 minus the $7500 federal income tax credit so: $21,300 (OMG!)

Mid trim Nissan Leaf SV: $31,800 minus the $7500 federal income tax credit so: $24,300 

All the bells and whistles SL: $34,840 minus the $7500 federal income tax credit so: $27,340

For all the above add a $850 destination charge.

You can just scroll down to my last post to see what you get in the S, SV, and SL models.

But one of the best parts to all this ($21,300 I still can't believe it!) is that the car is built in the USA (Tennessee plant) and the battery is built in the USA (same plant different building ;-), And how about the electric motor? you guessed it! USA (Different Tennessee parts plant) So the jobs stay here and you know that by getting a Leaf you are helping hundreds of American workers!

But wait! there is more! How about Leasing? well for the base model its...

3 year lease and $199 per month! (Now I have not heard otherwise, so figure 3K down at signing) But still $199 per month! Awesome!

With these prices you can bet we will all see more Leafs out on the street... heck with these prices everyone looking to get a new lease should really look at the Nissan Leaf (Now it's a contender!)

So you ask when you can get one? Well stand in line behind me! Right now we are still looking at March so you only have two months left before you go electric and step into the future!!

As always, stay safe and don't text and drive... oh yeah, and go kick that gas habit... 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 Nissan Leaf update, welcome 6.6 charger!

 I like the color! Pictures courtesy of Nissan press kit

Looks the same? Supposedly drag went from .29 to .28

 Looks clean and classy in black! stays cleaner as well..

Here is the 2011/2012 dash slight mods. l kinda like the new black dash... classier?

 Great black color option (not so great in the Florida heat)

Here is the 'I am to lazy to look around before I drive' system. Okay I can see the benefit but if you drive this car for a long time then jump into a car that does not have it you might forget to look before you go. Just my opinion...

Now you don't have to use your cell phone to light up the charging port!

Well, fellow future Leaf owners we now have a good idea what to expect with the new model leaf. So here are the basics:
There will be three trim levels:

1. Leaf S
This will be your base trim level. LED lights will be replaced with projector beams (less expensive, and it will eat up more juice) It will also come with steel wheels and crappy plastic covers (Yeah you guessed it I hate hub caps)
No Nav computer (but who needs one with todays smart phones (insert iMaps joke here) and no remote connectivity so as you are lying in bed you can't turn on the A/C and cool off the car before heading off to work.
We do get the option of a rear view camera (smaller display) but really... after driving a Yukon if I need a rear view camera to park the Leaf I should hand over my drivers license!
And lastly the most important option; the 6.6 charger! Yippee!

2. Leaf SV
Here you get 16 inch alloy wheels plus the 6.6 charger, and offers LED lights and running lights as an option.

3. Leaf SL
You get yummy leather trim new 17 inch wheels and LED standard

Now for the SV and SL you can get the Premium (which means over priced) package options, which include a seven speaker energy efficient Bose audio system, and this nifty AroundView monitor system which personally I think is not necessary. Here is a money saving tip from Uncle Bob.... Turn your head around and look before you go... yep just saved you a bunch of cash!

The above is basic info. For 2013 model you can also expect:

Black upholstery option
Longer sunvisors (the old ones where useless)
Leather wrapped steering wheel
Blue tooth standard
Different battery state-of-charge display in % (I don't know how great this will be but it sure beats that bar they have now)
Charging port now has a light and can be locked
Better aerodynamics = better miles per charge
Two new colors Metallic Slate and Glacier White
And a new hybrid heater (what ever that means) but it does cut energy consumption. Not that I need it down here in Florida, but my readers in the North might want to look into this option.

Battery pack stays the same but energy management and regen breaking tweaks (a new 'B' switch for better regen breaking), plus aerodynamics will add a bit more range. Personally I would have liked a new battery pack with 30KW which would take you over the 100 miles per charge, but you can't have it all... No news on how many more miles but they are talking about a 10% increase or about 8 to 10 additional miles.

Now what I am excited about (it takes very little to excite me lately) is the 6.6 charger. What does this mean? If you run your battery down to 1% it will take 4 hours to charge it instead of 7 that the 3.3 chargers achieve. The big news here is that the percentage of you running the car to 1% charge is very,  very low. Most of the time you will be at around 50 to 60% depletion (40 miles per day average) So when you plug in at night you are looking at a 2 hour full charge for that middle of the night cookie dough run. Or if you are like me, I do the 40 miles during the day plug in when I get home at around 6 or 7 and if its Friday I know it will take us around 2 to 3 hours to get ready to go out for the night and I can be comfortable knowing that my Leaf will have a full charge.

Finally, as for which trim level I would get... good question since price has not been set. But from what you have read above I would like only three things, 6.6 charger, alloy wheels and Leather seats (I might be tempted to get the optional quick charge but I have yet to see a need for it).

Here is the link to Nissan's press kit.

That is it for now! I will update once I hear of pricing....
As always you can find the full article at Green car reports.

Be safe and don't text and drive...