Making the Jump to an Electric Car

To Car Drivers:

While we have almost Ten thousand drivers driving better electrically, most drivers are still driving regular “ICE” (Internal Combustion Engine) or Prius or Hybrid cars. So, I would like to address this majority because I feel that most of these drivers would seriously consider replacing their current Car with an Electric Car, either one of the Teslas or any of the other 11 available fully electric drives.

I am a member of the “Nissan Global LEAF Advisory Board”, an online forum of LEAF drivers who make relevant comments about EV driving in general plus specific comments about their LEAF experiences. I have just submitted some comments to this forum and it seemed logical to share these comments with you.

Following are my submissions for your edification …

~ Erik

“My Electrical Engineer Dad told me how inefficient these stupid Gas Engines are when I was about 15 years old. He went on to explain how efficient an electric motor is and how easy it is to design an Electric Car with just a motor and a whole bunch of batteries. So, I set out to design an EV (Electric Vehicle) with a motor from a retired streetcar and fill the engine cavity and trunk with lots of lead-acid batteries (Remember, this was in the mid-1900’s, before Li-Ion batteries were readily available.)

Fast forward to our new millennium, and naturally, with this technical upbringing and my own Electric Engineering diploma, I was one of the early adapters of a Prius Hybrid in 2003 and drove several of them for a decade. Then came the Chevy EV-1 and the Tesla Roadster … quickly followed by the more affordable Nissan LEAF. So, mid-2013, I inquired about a LEAF and my Toronto Maple dealer located the very last 2012 LEAF in Canada and offered it to me with a $10,000 deduction, along with an Ontario rebate of $8500. Obviously, I couldn’t turn my back on a brand new all Electric Car for $22,000!

I made the purchase and drove home on my birthday with this gorgeous, silent burgundy LEAF SL. Within the first month, I became quite comfortable with the wonderful technology, so I drove the 160 Km to a cottage with my LEAF, stopping once for a rather long coffee break. Later, after charging to 100% and driving for three days around our city without my usual overnight charging, I joined the “100-Mile Club”.

However, with our annual 4 to 5-month stay in Florida, I quickly realized that the LEAF did have one major limitation in the area of long distance, inter-city driving. I then did something that I never envisioned that I could ever do: I ordered a Tesla.

Why, you ask? Two reasons (out of some 100 reasons) — 400 Km range, along with 30 to 40 minute SuperCharging stops all along the route to most destinations, in particular, to Florida. Since my Tesla purchase, I have driven some 122,000 Km from Toronto to Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and 6 round trips to Florida, using some 25 Gigawatts of clean, electric energy — and not a single drop of fossil fuel.

Meanwhile, we still have our original 2012 LEAF — my wife loves it for her simple drives around town and visiting the grandchildren. We charge overnight, sharing the charging circuit with the Tesla for something around $1 per night per car.

Are we happy with our two EV’s? Absolutely.

Have we invested maintenance into our combined 12 years of EV ownership? The LEAF maintenance was one windshield wiper blade, one 12 V battery and a couple of key fob batteries. The maintenance on the Tesla has been a couple sets of tires and a couple of key fob batteries.

~ Erik

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