Saturday, December 15, 2012

Four weeks without gasoline.   I look forward to many more without!

Nissan North America called me, yes me!, on November 20th, 2012, with a $0 down, $199.99/mo lease promotion on a brand new Nissan Leaf.  I drove mine home the day after Thanksgiving two days later.

Heidi's 2004 VW convertible Beetle was in need of a transmission, ABS system work, and a catalytic converter.  Perhaps $6k of work for a car only valued at +/- $6k which is only driven about 20 miles/day.  At about $50/wk in gasoline ($, and knowing the comparable electric use would be about $30/mo., the economics just made plain sense - go with the LEAF and get rid of the VW, that is what we did.

Myself, a professional Environmental Scientist, I have had a life long passion for owning an Electric Vehicle.  Nissan has made my dream come true.  Thank you Nissan!

The wife and two teenage daughters, well they just could not see past the "cuteness" of a red convertible Bug.  Fortunately, Heidi saw the practicality of the economics, and considering the LEAF would be her daily driver, the ultimate decision (with a bunch of pressure from me, and having her get a test drive) to trade in the VW for the LEAF was her's.  We did it, it was traded in and now the experience begins.

"What if I run out of CHARGE!"  Four weeks later, that hasn't happened.  At first, we used the OEM 110V charger to charge us overnight for an 85 mile range (wait, we are only driving an average of 20 miles/day?).  By the end of week two, the 220V charger ($600 from Home Depot) was wired to the side of the house and charging went from 8 hour to 2 hours.  Still, no issues with range.  So far, we have gone the distance (I can't refuse the opportunity for a good pun....).

Now the social aspect of giving up the "hot red convertible New Beetle" and getting the "WOW" new technology "electric car".

  • First, my kids were really disappointed to learn Great Aunt Louise owned a Detroit Electric and we were not actually the first ones in the family to own an EV.  But sticking with the kids, we are not only the first on the block, but one of the first 4 in the city to own an EV.  
  • As for Heidi, she works for an environmental organization and she is the first at work to own an EV.  Now her co-workers are off to Nissan to see if they can get the same deal.
  • Me, an Environmental Scientist who works for a MAJOR electric utility, I too am a first and I can't wait to give the President a ride in my car.
For the long run, literally.  We also own a 2001 Toyota Sienna, a mini van, that serves it duty for twice a week car pool, occasional long trips, and hauling a lot of big stuff all over.  With 108K miles, I plan on it serving 100K+ more.

Oh! What do I do to get to work?  I have a company provided 2009 CNG powered Honda Civic, yes, compressed natural gas.  A great car and I can't wait until Honda, or another car company, produces a CNG electric hybrid vehicle.  When we get our hybrid CNG cars, we can then go the distance without imported oil.  We have the technology.  We have the infrastructure.  Unfortunately profit proceeds sensibility and until big business sees the light, we are stuck in the grip of limited opportunities. 

Tomorrow we have a trip across the George Washington Bridge, I hope is right about the charging stations or it will be a long push home!

More to come.......

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment and contribution.