Saturday, August 6, 2016

Still In Love With Driving Electric

I launched this site about a year ago as a way of promoting National Drive Electric Week. I was a guy who started writing about electric cars at the end of 2014 and bought a 2011 Nissan Leaf in March of 2015. I was a fan of the cause who became a fan of possibilities. I found the Inland Northwest EV/PV Group and got involved with NDEW. Right before our two events here in Spokane, I started working for BMW. I wanted to spread interest in the technology in general and the i3 in specific.

I failed at the actual business of selling cars and soon switched to a Nissan/Ford dealership. I got to work with the new Leaf and Ford's plug-in hybrids. I was disappointed in the trunk of the Fusion Energi but realized I like the C-Max Energi more than I thought I would.

Again, I found making money selling cars was too difficult. I have a family, a mortgage and two decades of experience in the restaurant business. In order to earn that all-mighty dollar, I went back to working in hospitality.

I'm very happy to be back waiting tables, but I miss one thing. That fifteen mile drive along a windy country back road back and forth to work every day. The drive was a blast in a car that is quick off the line and rock solid around corners. I drove, and still drive, every day like I have something to prove.

And I prove it well. The 2011 Leaf is the original and best. It disappears from a green light better than almost everything on the road. With the battery in the floor evenly spread from wheel to wheel, the balance is exceptional. I take corners like a monster.

While I regret the slim-income months I spent attempting to sell cars, I appreciate the experience I had driving many other vehicles. I found 300 horsepower twin-turbo BMWs to be sluggish compared to what I drove home. Plus, my car never feels like it's working hard. Put the hammer down in an ICE powered car and you get the feeling you shouldn't drive like that all the time or you'll break your machine.

My car? It loves it. Slow or fast, it always feels effortless. Maybe I'll wear my tires out a little quick, but the powertrain is so mechanically simple I'm sure it will go forever.

I love driving every day. You have to drive, so you'd better enjoy it. Most people have to spend a bunch on a machine, maintenance and gas to have fun. Not me. My car cost me under $12,000 and has enough change in the center console to fuel it for a month.

I had a chance to drive the 2016 Leaf at work then drive my 2011 home. Was it my imagination, or was my old one faster than the new one? Not at all. Check the stats. The 2013 model dips from 215 pound-feet of torque to 187 while keeping 107 horsepower. I'm not a mechanic or engineer, but Nissan must have changed the gearing. It's the same trick that gives the Chevy Spark EV 400 pound-feet with no more horsepower.

Now, the newer Leaf has a 30 kWh battery for more range while weighing about the same as my car. It's up to you if you need the range. Mine takes me everywhere I want to go in a day. And everywhere I go, I go fast.

More thoughts to come. National Drive Electric Week is coming and I have that feeling.