Twelve months ago we bought our very first electric car. We have wanted to buy one for years, but the purchase cost was just too high. We only wanted to pay $20-30,000, so we decided to wait until they started to appear on the second hand market for around that price.
One day, while reading an article about electric car purchase costs in RenewEconomy, a comment someone left grabbed my attention. The comment stated:
‘Why would you spend $50k+ on a new Nissan Leaf, when you can get one for about half the price by importing a second hand low km electric car from Japan?”
At the time we owned a 27-year-old Toyota Hiace with more than 300,000kms on the clock, so we were thinking it was time to upgrade.
I went online and spotted a car that fitted our needs perfectly! A little Electric Mitsubishi Minivan! It’s the perfect town vehicle for doing all those errands, and it meets 95% of our driving needs. We still own a small sedan for the longer trips.
I decided to engage vehicle importer J-Spec to bid for this van. They were great and explained all the additional costs that would be incurred, such as GST, Shipping, Compliance, their fee, rego and delivery to Port Macquarie. We managed to win the car at auction with a bid of Y933,000 ($12,300).
The additional costs were $1,230 GST, $2,900 shipping, $3,000 compliance, $1,100 J Spec fee, $770 rego & stamp duty, $350 green slip and $650 delivery.
Total landed cost was $21,200. For that we got a 4-year-old electric car with 28km (not 28,000km) on the clock. Mind you, I’ve noticed a couple on carsales.com, so you could cut out all the hassle of importing yourself.
The car we got was actually a Japan Post vehicle that had never been driven, and had been in storage for 4 years. It has a 16kWh battery and a top speed of 110km/h.
The range is 80-100km depending on how you drive it. It has 3 driving modes, Drive, Eco and brake. Even in drive it has regenerative braking with power flowing back into the battery when you take your foot off the accelerator. It is fun to drive with great acceleration from start or low speeds.
We have solar at home, so our charger is set up to charge during daylight hours. We also charge after midnight when the car needs a top up overnight.
Our electricity provider, Powershop, has an EV special rate of about 11c per kWh between midnight and 4am. With our driving patterns and charging availability, we can use this car for all our local needs. Port Macquarie is 17km, and Wauchope is 7km from our place.
So what are the annual running costs? Our feed in tariff is around 10c per kWh, so when we use our solar power to charge the car, we miss out on that.
This car averages 5.5km per kWh. The 10,000kms service was done by our regular mechanic (His first service of an electric car) and cost $115. We have done 15,000kms in the car in the first year. We plan to keep this car for at least 10 years.
So here is a breakdown of the annual costs:
|Electricity||15,000/5.5km = 2,727kWh x 10.5c||$286 or 2c per km|
|Rego||$350 or 2c per km|
|Green Slip||$350 or 2c per km|
|Comprehensive insurance||$750 or 5c per km|
|Services||1.5 services||$172 or 1c per km|
|Depreciation||$21,200/10||$2,120 or 15c per km|
|Total annual cost for 15,000km||$4,028 or 27c per km|
Needless to say, we love our little Postman Pat van!