10 days of free loaner cars as part of lease

I was delighted to learn that as part of my lease I get 10 free days of a loaner car for longer distance trips. I took advantage of this for a recent trip to Washington D.C. Driving the loaner reminded me of how much more fun an EV is to drive. It wasn’t just the missing creature comforts (heated steering wheel and seats, navigation system, bluetooth, etc.) that comes in any higher end model but it was the responsiveness I missed the most. Conventional (or primitive?) cars are just poky compared to the high performance machine that is an EV.

On my walk around the neighborhood in DC with my trusty companion Zippy the dog I did find a LEAF parked on the street. I had wondered how folks in this area would deal with charging since they all tend to park on street. Checking Plug Share and some of the other Smart Phone apps for charger locations I see that there are many of them in local garages so perhaps in the reverse of what I do this owner charges during the day at work.

AWD Subaru versus Nissan LEAF

Snow has finally arrived after a close to 2 year absence. A good solid old fashioned snowstorm with snow falling at 1-2 inches an hour. We’ve been plowed once but have about 6 – 8 inches in the driveway. I was taking my daughter to a friends house close by and my husband was headed back out to work in his AWD Subaru with snow tires. Guess who got stuck? Driving the back roads and down a step driveway to drop her off I can say with no hesitation that if you want a car this is good in snow forget the AWD and Go Electric because when it’s an AWD Subaru versus an all electric LEAF, the LEAF plows on by while the Subaru is stuck in the snow.

RutVegas with 8 miles to spare.

It was a cold and long drive from Jericho to Rutland last night but with a stop in Middlebury at the ACRPC for charging (and fueling at the Middlebury Food Coop), I made it to Rutland. The ambient air temperature was in the low 20’s and I drove at about 45 mph (except when the speed zone was 25 I actually drove 25).

I was able to plug in to my brother’s external outlet and it reached the car without an extension cord. It said it would take 19 hours to re-charge but 12 hours later it was done.

The drive back was a little faster and while the air temperature was about the same the sun was out. I didn’t turn on the heat either direction to increase range and while my body was warm my feet did get cold. I wonder how much range would really be sacrificed in cars had better insulation. While it would clearly add some weight you wouldn’t need as much heat and cooling – just like air sealing and insulating your house.

My stop in Middlebury on the way back created me with 3 cars plugged in!

ACRPC 24 December 20123 Cars Plugged-In!

ACRPC 24 December 2012
3 Cars Plugged-In!

I made it both ways with 8 miles to spare at the end. I might wait to do it again until it’s 60 degrees out or I get the next version of the LEAF that will have more range and better heating.

Have you tried plugging it in and other tales of user error

Well it finally happened. I woke up the other morning, got in my car and… 8 miles of range. I must have been some distracted to have set the timer gotten out of the car and head into the house without actually plugging it in. I haven’t spent too much time looking into an inductive charger (no plugging in, just drive over the device and it can charge from there) and I’m not sure one lack of plugging in means I really should look into it more, but it sure sounds convenient.

I also had occasion one morning to remember that there really is a difference between a.m. and p.m. This was more of an annoyance. Looking to get another hour or two of charge,I parked at the City Market charger and gone to the Y to work out. Upon my return my range hadn’t changed. It was then that I realized that I hadn’t changed the timer from p.m. (my usual time of charging) to a.m.

Hopefully these two lessons learned and I won’t experience anymore user errors.

 

More like gliding

Last night I drove a group of the neighborhood ladies to our annual Yankee Swap out in Colchester where a former neighbor lives. Despite her move she remains active in our neighborhood gatherings so this year we all gathered in the cul-de-sac in Jericho to car pool and I offered to drive.

The most common statement was, “it’s quite roomy in here.” Followed by, “it’s like being in a space ship.” When we go there our hostess said, “oh you drove.” to which one of my passengers responded, “it was more like gliding, so smooth and quiet.”

Flashing lights, frantic waving

That’s what happens when one LEAF meets another on the road. The other day on my way to work I was headed south bound on Pine Street and a north bound car started flashing its lights at me. This certainly caught my attention and I quickly realized it was another LEAF. As we crossed paths I found myself frantically waving my arms in greeting. We stared at each other, expecting I assume, personal recognition. There was none. So, now I know for sure there are LEAF drivers I don’t know, another sign that the club is getting bigger.