Toyota Prius Critic Turns a New LEAF

Electric-car advocate/Toyota Prius critic Doug Korthof of Seal Beach is bullish on the hybrid Nissan LEAF.

Korthof–who has had supporting roles in OC Weekly stories on mechanical problems with the hybrid Prius, his love of electric cars and the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? (in which he also had a supporting role)–sees the Prius as Toyota's way of not making plug-in electric cars.

He's dubious about the popular hybrid–well, at least it was popular before the well reported unwanted braking/acceleration reports–being that much better for the environment than a fully gasoline-powered jalopy.

Were Toyota to come out with a plug-Prius (. . . any day now, right Mr. Toyoda?), one that allows an all-electric range like GM's shitcanned EV-1, Korthof might warm up to Larry David's favorite ride.

But Korthof doesn't have to, because the new Nissan LEAF already fulfills that role.  

Now, to get the most out of your car, you have to do what Korthof did years ago when he had at least a couple electric cars: install a rooftop solar system; divert some of that power to batteries in your garage; and juice up the car (or cars) overnight.

He says if you drive 100 miles per day, 3,000 miles per month (even though the average is 1,000 miles per month!), you are using 150 gallons of gas per month that costs about $450.

If you have rooftop solar and only drive the LEAF, you save that $450 a month because enough kilowatts will be generated to power the thing.

Korthof notes that such a system would cost about $15,000 to $18,000 after rebates. Were you to finance at 4 percent, that'd be about $100 a month.

If you drive the normal 1,000 miles a month, you can get away with a smaller rooftop system that costs $3,000 to $4,000 after rebates, according to Korthof.

“Thus, buying the LEAF would actually PAY OFF YOUR SOLAR SYSTEM with money you FORMERLY PAID FOR OIL, and you would get your electric for free!” he writes in an email blast.

He warns that if you want the LEAF sooner rather than later, you'd better hurry. You must sign up on the Nissan website by Tuesday.

“No commitment, just give them your name and contact info,” advises Plug In America. “Then, after
April 20, they will ask you for a REFUNDABLE 99$. Then, they will
contact you and you will be in line for a car.

“Including the charger and with the federal and state incentives, the price is just above $23,000. If you just want to lease, that is $349/mo.”
If you've got that kind of scratch, sign up at

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