I reserved a Nissan LEAF two days ago, along with what I’m going to guess was tens of thousands of other people in the U.S. — Nissan hasn’t yet released the official numbers.
My e-mail invitation to reserve came very late in the day on Tuesday (April 20), at about 6 p.m. MST, or late enough to give me some anxiety.
It kind of felt like the good old days when I would call Ticketmaster and hit re-dial thousands of times trying to get tickets to the latest U2 or Rush show before they sold out.
Of course, I’m not 100-percent sure that I’m actually going to go to the Nissan LEAF show — though I’m defintely going to be going to the EV/PHEV show (we will never buy another pure gas car, ever!). I definitely want to drive a LEAF before we plop down tens of thousands of dollars on it.
I also want to learn more about electric cars before I leap at one particular type or brand.
I am very much a layperson when it comes to EVs, as is apparent, for instance, by the fact that I never even considered the fact that the first-generation LEAF apparently will have a 3.3 kW onboard charger as opposed to a 6.6 kW charger — I’ve been reading exchanges about this on Darell Dickey’s Toyota RAV4 EV e-mail listserv, which has temporarily been hijacked by conversation and excitement by the LEAF.
I only have a vague idea of what having an onboard 3.3 kW vs. 6.6 kW charger actually means (among other things, I believe having a 6.6 kW charger means quicker charging). In fact, I just put in a question to the listserv to see if someone can teach me about the finer points of EV charging.
Bottom line: It felt very exciting to be part of a movement to EVs. I especially like the part of proving the naysaying “experts” wrong. There are so many analysts and consultants out there who have offered nothing but simplistic, negative commentary about the future of EVs. This commentary has gaping analytical holes.
I suspect that 95 percent of those who put down a $99 deposit on a LEAF two days ago also have no clue about the intricacies of EV charging. I bet many don’t care about them either — although they might begin to think about them a bit more as they actually move closer to purchasing a LEAF.
Bottom line: It felt very exciting to be part of a movement to EVs. I especially like the part of proving the naysaying “experts” wrong. There are so many analysts and consultants out there who have offered nothing but simplistic, negative commentary about the future of EVs.
This commentary has gaping analytical holes.
For instance, many of these analysts never talk about one of the most obvious realities of the American auto landscape: The two-car household. As I’ve noted elsewhere (‘What range anxiety?’), the two-car household essentially kills the biggest EV bogeyman — “range anxiety.”
I have yet to see any “expert” analyst acknowledge the neighbor factor either. When neighbors see their neighbors with real EVs, like the LEAF for instance, and hear from them about how much cheaper they are to operate, how much more convenient they are, and how much money they can save on fueling costs, they will go out, in droves and buy an EV, very often as a second car. Right now, of course, the neighbor eying someone’s 2000 Toyota RAV4 EV cannot go out and buy one. That’s a huge issue.
The sheer availability of EVs is going to make a drastic difference in terms of the lay of the auto land. And it’s yet another variable that has not at all been sufficiently addressed by the naysaying “expert” analysts who claim EVs won’t take off.
I beg to differ — and the $99 I just put down on a LEAF, and which quite possibly tens of thousands of other U.S. consumers just put down, proves otherwise.
This is not a blip on the radar. It’s just the beginning of a series of events which will have the “experts” backtracking quicker than the first Nissan LEAFs will be snapped up off the lot. Er … I should say off of the assembly line — those early LEAFs won’t be sitting on the car lot at all!
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