First Month with e-LEAF … And counting

Well, it’s been a month now with my silent sweetheart, my 2012, burgundy Nissan e-LEAF.  It has been the most rewarding, enjoyable driving-month that I can remember.  And, ten years ago, I started driving my 2003 Toyota Prius and thought the world of that car.  It was quiet and consumed half the gas of my previous Honda Civic.

Now, this amazing LEAF is absolutely silent and consumes about one-tenth the cost of what my Honda Civic would cost today for fuel.  And, the best part is that I never have to stop at a stinky gas station and stand outside in the cold and wind and wet to gas up a car for $50.  I simply come home and take 10 seconds (not 10 minutes) to plug in my car and 10 seconds to unplug it in the morning.  That’s a total of 20 seconds in the privacy of my own driveway or garage.

So, rather than spending some $200 a month on stinky gas, I spent $16.20 in August on clean, over-night Niagara Falls electricity.

Most of my driving has been around town, including Thornhill and the Toronto GTA.  But, it also included a drive to Milton and my friend’s cottage in Gravenhurst.  This latter drive is exactly the declared morning range of the LEAF, or 160 Km.  So, as “insurance”, we stopped for coffee in Barrie and charged for about an hour at Georgian College at their Solar Charger.  We had a nice coffee in their cafeteria, talked to the installer of the Solar Charger and then went on our way to our destination … all without any hick-up.  While at the cottage, I had no trouble plugging in to the 110V outlet and coming home two days later and stopping again in Barrie for a dinner for us and some electrons for my “watt-LEAF”.

The problems with watt-LEAF?  It’s so powerful and fun to drive that I tend to be a more aggressive driver now.  I’m also concerned that I drive more.  Now, I tend to drive to Toronto when previously I would have taken the subway.  On the other hand, I enjoy driving in the High Occupancy Lanes and driving fast enough to keep up with the other drivers in those lanes.  Am i proud of these latter new driving techniques?  No, not really.  I’m just expressing the potential down-side of driving faster electrically.

Actually, one real down-side of the LEAF is that it lacks the “small” storage compartments in the passenger area.  You can pack lots of stuff in the “trunk” but not up front where you want to keep lots of little things in the glovebox, etc.  Mind you, I’m comparing to the excessive storage capacity of the Prius (that has two glove boxes along with several smaller drawers between the driver and the passenger).

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to enjoy driving my wonderfully silent and powerful watt-LEAF.

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