I’ve been driving all-electric in my 2014 Nissan LEAF since February of 2014. And, since August of 2014, it’s been my ONLY car.
I love my LEAF and I will never go back to a gas car — not only because I can fuel my LEAF with clean, green, locally produced renewable electricity sources such as (home) solar and wind — but because it’s quick, quiet, and just a lot of fun to drive.
This in contrast to, for example, the 2017 Ford Escort I rented last week when I was visiting my sister in Goleta, Calif. What a dog — a super slow, not at all peppy, stinky reminder of why I will never regularly drive a gas car again.
I have paid a certain price for being so dedicated to electric vehicles: I haven’t been able to drive many places outside of Greater Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins, Colo. in my LEAF for the past three years thanks to a pretty puny 84 miles of EPA rated range.
That noted, my LEAF has gotten me everywhere I need to go in regular (sub)urban driving. But it has not once gotten me into the mountains west of Denver, thanks to its paltry range, as well as a decided lack of charging stations along anything but Interstate 70, which happens to be the worst way into the mountains here in Denver, especially with the boatloads of Texans and Californians moving to Colorado at a crazy pace.
In 40,000 miles of driving, I’ve managed to run out of charge twice in my LEAF — both times in the winter cold and both times when my only charging options were so-called trickle charging at 120 volts. This meant that in both cases that I ran out of charge, I had to leave the place I was without a full charge (it takes about 17 hours to fully charge my LEAF at 120 volts!).
I’ve come very close to running out of charge on at least three or four other occasions in the three years since a divorce separated me from the two-car household that probably 97 percent of EV owners have: With the “second” car being that ICE that still gets you a heck of a lot further than 84 miles 😉
My ex took the Subaru, and I was on a two-year lease of a LEAF at that point.
I have actually twice extended my LEAF lease despite the fact that it doesn’t get me everywhere I want to go in my one-car household.
Why, you might ask?
First, a stubborn commitment to electric cars and the renewable energy they can, and increasingly do, run on. Second, Nissan just paid for three months of my lease, worth about $900 to me, if I extend through at least the end of September. That’s when the 2018 Nissan LEAF will debut, although it likely won’t be available in Colorado until at least December 2017, if not later.
I am hoping Nissan offers a 60 kWh version of the 2018 LEAF because 40 kWh and what TheDrive.Com estimates might be a range of about 160 miles is NOT enough. Not enough, at least, for it to be my only car, an only car that could finally get me into the Rocky Mountains west of Denver AND back.
My new EV must have at least 200 miles of range, preferably something very close to the Chevy Bolt’s 238 miles of EPA rated range (a range many Bolt owners claim to have substantially extended by driving 55 m.p.h. on the highway, etc.).
Nissan, if you’re listening, you will lose a loyal customer this October — after you’ve paid my LEAF’s lease for three months (July, August and September, thank you very much 😉 — to Chevy and the Bolt if you fail to offer at least one LEAF with 200+ miles of range, ideally at least 230 miles, for the same, or a better price, than the Chevy Bolt.
Again, this car will be, just as my 2014 LEAF currently is, my only car. That’s worth repeating — because so few electric car drivers and proponents are in a one-car (zero ICE) household or situation. (I wish there were stats on this, but I haven’t seen any, although Cleantechnica.Com has done a survey that seems to show, not surprisingly, not very many EV owners have a short/mid-range EV as their household’s only car .)
Yes, I know some electric car buffs have one Tesla Model S — with an 80+ kWh battery pack — as their only car. But, I am sorry, that’s very far away from roughing it on range like I have for 40,000 miles with my 2014 LEAF’s 24 kWh pack.
So, Nissan, if you’re listening, you will lose a loyal customer this October — after you’ve paid my LEAF’s lease for three months (July, August and September, thank you very much 😉 — to Chevy and the Bolt if you fail to offer at least one LEAF with 200+ miles of range, ideally at least 230 miles, for the same, or a better price, than the Chevy Bolt.