Editor's blog

picture of a messy desk and computer screenFew things are more satisfying and rewarding than writing about something about which you are passionate. For me, the environment is one of the things for which I have the greatest passion. As a father of two young girls, and, more generally, as a member of global humanity, I believe there is nothing more important than ensuring that our planet is a livable place for its incredible array of organisms for as long as possible. Few things are more crucial to making sure this occurs than a truly massive shift from fossil -- and finite -- fuels to renewable, clean forms of energy like solar.

When the Nissan LEAF is your ONLY car


The Nissan LEAF has between 70 and 100 miles of range, depending on weather conditions, speed, etc.

editors-blog-entry3I did not plan on having an all-electric Nissan LEAF as my ONLY car. But that's the situation I've got now -- and had for the past four months thanks to a marriage separation that happened in the beginning of August.

(I apologize for the caps on "ONLY" -- sort of. I bet 90 percent, maybe even 95 percent of LEAF owners have a second gas/EREV/PHEV car as their long-distance vehicle, meaning my situation is highly unusual. Note to Nissan: You should keep track of stats on who's driving a LEAF as a second car, or an only car.)

My wife took our lone gas car, a 2014 Subaru Forester, with her back in August, and I have our 2014 Nissan LEAF, which I've been leasing since March.

No doubt, for most people, including me, having a second gas car in the household, or better yet, an EREV such as a Volt (having one BEV and one EREV, both fueled by home solar generated electricity was my dream, but not my wife's) is a preferable situation to trying to go solely with a full electric vehicle -- unless you've got the money for a Tesla Model S.

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Support electric cars? Don't buy a Toyota


Toyota says no one is asking it to build electric cars. Okay! Then electric car buyers will go elsewhere for the car of the future, and, ideally, won't go to Toyota to buy a car of any kind until it stops its anti-EV talk and walk.

editors-blog-entry3While there are other car makers who've been critical of electric vehicles, among them Honda and Hyundai, Toyota has clearly been the leader in EV disparagement.

Well, I've had it with the Toyota approach -- which is to diss EVs at the same time as promoting fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen (you could do the latter without doing the former!).

That's why I've started a petition on Change.Org asking other EV drivers and advocates to pledge to not buy a car from Toyota, not even a gas car (yes, a majority of EV drivers have a second car, usually a gas one).

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Goodbye central utilities, hello home solar!


The old model of centralized electricity production is being replaced by localized, distributive energy production -- much to the dismay of large, centralized utilities, whose business model is not only outmoded, but anti-competitive and fundamentally un-American. [Flickr Creative Commons Photo By John E. Amos]

editors-blog-entry3Imagine a world in which the Big Utility monopoly on energy production and distribution and storage was no more. In its place is a world characterized by you-and-me, localized energy production and distribution and storage. Thinking about this makes me absolutely giddy! 

That's the way I felt today when I read a report by Greentechmedia that Germany's biggest utility, E.ON., is completely retooling in respone to the rise of distributed energy production in that country.

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10 things I love about our Nissan LEAF

alina-kyra-leaf2-524editors-blog-entry3Though the number is surely growing , not many people in the United States -- or the world -- can say they’ve driven an all-electric Nissan LEAF 10,000 miles 100 percent powered by home-solar generated electricity.

I’m one of those fortunate people.

And I figure 10,000 Sun Miles® in a 100-percent home-solar charged electric vehicle (EV) is a good time to take stock of 10 things I love about driving an all-electric Nissan LEAF -- and, in a later installment, 10 things I don’t like, or, at least like less, about driving an all-electric Nissan LEAF.

So, here goes, 10 Things I Love About Driving An All-Electric Nissan LEAF, with the Number 1 reason -- meaning the best reason -- listed last.

No. 10. Ease of fueling. I can’t remember the last time I pumped gas. Oh, no, actually, I can remember exactly the last time I did -- because I’ve pumped gas so few times since leasing my 2014 Nissan LEAF in March 2014. It was on Aug. 8, 2014 -- when I had to refill a rental car I rented while visiting my sister in California. I’ve always disliked pumping gas -- especially in cold, windy, blustery winter weather. Don’t. Need. To. Do. That. Anymore ;-). Just. Plug In -- In My Garage.

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Solar-charged Nissan LEAF an 'inspiration'

leaf noteSometimes when you do the right thing -- like power an electric car with sunshine, something I've been doing for about 10 months -- you get recognition for doing so.

editors-blog-entry3The handwritten note in the picture to the right was placed on the windshield of my 2014 Nissan LEAF this morning. My LEAF has the vanity plate, 'SOLPWRD'. Here's what the note says -->

'SOLPWRD -- I love your car + that it's solar powered! Inspirational! :-) I want one!'

Yup, this little gesture of kindness, definitely made my day :-).

Anyone else out there have stories similar to this one? If so, please share them in the comments field below.

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