I tend to get a lot of playful (and in some instances, not-so-playful) ribbing about investing in an electric car. Potshots range from my overreaction to the state of planetary resources to my tree-hugging, liberal opinions. The joke of the night at my last family gathering was “The problem with Tee’s new car is the plug doesn’t reach all the way from D.C. to Richmond.”
That’s my brother. He’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip the wait staff. Try the veal.
My sister-in-law and teenage nephew, however, were asking legitimate questions about the range of the LEAF, how running other systems like climate control or the entertainment system affected the drive, and what I needed to recharge an electric car. These were questions that I really hadn’t considered when deciding to drive green. It wasn’t until I read this article about misconceptions around electric cars that I started to pay closer attention to what people were asking me, and started to notice the same questions and statements coming up, all centered around similar assumptions. Continue reading →
When purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), Pip and I discovered an interesting trend: EV drivers name their cars. Some of these names tend to be fun like “Sparky” or “Nikola” but it’s a thing. Even when you log in to the LEAF or Volt apps, one of the options asked for is the car’s name. When signing the paperwork on the lease, our salesman brought it up. “You might want to think of a name for your LEAF.” So on the way back from the dealership, we started thinking about what would best suit our first electric vehicle.
Naming a car is a bit like naming a pet. You want to do it once and you want it to be appropriate. we agreed that there had to be something in the name about the LEAF’s color. Pip had only one request for the car after we finished the test drive—she wanted the floor model which was a rather sharp shade of red. The dealership called it “Cayenne” but it’s red. So names kicking around included Chief, Big Red, Red Ryder, but nothing was really clicking. Continue reading →
When it comes to celebrating Earth Day and working towards green initiatives, Pip and I do what we can. I don’t think I’ve become completely and totally green, but I do think my carbon footprint has gone down a few sizes. We’ve got the dual trashcan for our recyclables. We’re turning off lights and conserving power when we can (although being the digital family that we are, that’s a challenge); but since a Plug-In Day event held in Manassas, I had been wanting to go all in. That was why when, back in November, it was time to seriously start shopping for a new car, I said “I want to go electric.”
At this alternative fuel event sponsored by Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and Electric Auto Association, I got a closer look at the rock stars of consumer electric vehicles (or EVs, as they are commonly known by) which included the Tesla Roadster and Coupe, the Chevrolet Volt (an EVs that had a nine-gallon gas tank as a “reserve” for when the battery is low), and the Mitsubishi MiEV. While I didn’t find the looks of Mitsubishi’s EV appealing, they were offering test drives so I took the MiEV for a spin. The first thing I noticed — the car truly sold itself, not just in how it handled but in how quiet it was. I mean, whisper silent! (A little unsettling, but in a really good way.) Continue reading →