Electric vehicle advocates in EV + ICE households: Please be careful with “enough range” comments

In January of 2015, my Nissan LEAF ran out of charge 400 meters from my house — and I had to run a long extension cord into someone’s kitchen window in order to charge it enough to get home. It has been my only car for three years now.

So, there’s a conversation going on on Facebook on the Nissan LEAF Owners Page about the 2018 Nissan LEAF, set to be unveiled to the public in just about a week on Sept. 8.

Much of the conversation is about the anticipated range of the 2018 LEAF. Many people are writing that a 40 kWh battery pack and 150 miles will be “enough”. Others are writing, ‘No way, 150 miles is NOT enough!’

I agree with the latter group. And I’m annoyed with the former group, because I am willing to bet 99 percent of this group lives in a TWO-car household — with one of those two cars a LEAF “with enough range” except, oops, “when I want to go on mid-to-long-range trips. Then, I hop into my SECOND car, a stinky ICE — fill in the brand name here — and I get there, no problemo!”

They get “there” not because the LEAF has “enough range” (for blah, blah, blah, 90 percent of their driving, blah, blah, blah) but because it does NOT have enough range to cover 100 percent of their driving needs, which, of course necessitates their second car, almost invariably an ICE (or Volt, or Model S in far fewer households).

It’s just plain ANNOYING to read these two-car household LEAF owners write endlessly about how 84 miles, or 150 miles with the new “improved” LEAF — is “enough.”

No, not really. Not even for the advocates is it enough — or they would be living in a one-car LEAF household, not an EV/ICE household. The EV, single car only, household is fundamentally different than the EV + ICE household. I know: I’ve been living in a LEAF only household for the past three years (and I’ve run out of charge twice in my “enough range” LEAF during that time, btw 😉 )

The people in EV + ICE households ought to admit as much when they comment about an EV “having enough range”. Yes, it has “enough range” —when I have a gas car as well that I can jump into to take trips that, ahem, the LEAF in fact does NOT have enough range for me to do in it.”

So, please, qualify next time you assert that a LEAF with 84 miles or 150 miles, or even — I hope! — 200+ miles has “enough range”. Yes, it has enough for SOME people (with two cars, one of them an ICE) in SOME places and for SOME (maybe even all, but also NOT necessarily all) of their driving.

Thank you 🙂