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Am I too negative about #EV driving or just a realist?

May 20, 2013


Am I too negative about EV driving, or just a realist? The debate is one of the themes emerging since I announced that my husband and I will be driving his all-electric 2012 Nissan Leaf from Silicon Valley to Malibu later this week.

Besides some of my readers misunderstanding my attempts at humor such as my tongue-in-cheek references about whether my marriage will survive the road trip, I think the question of whether my writings turn people off to EV ownership is a good one.

My purpose is to neither encourage or discourage, but to report my experiences while having as much fun as possible. I do know that plenty of my friends think the whole thing is cool, while others crack jokes about how I am an advertisement for gas-powered vehicles. The trip we are about to embark on raises plenty of
EV uber- issues at the get-go, and will likely bring up more as we go along.  The most glaring one at the moment is the question of when we are going to see more super chargers made readily available or when Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors is going to make his accessible to those of us who cannot afford to purchase his sleek Model S.

If we could find one or two super chargers along the route from Silicon Valley to Malibu, our road trip would be as close to one with a gas-powered vehicle as  you can get.  Yes, it would take 20 minutes to charge instead of five minutes to fill a tank with gas, but that sure beats three hours a charge.

Then again, as a reader points out, maybe slowing down is just the ticket to de-stress for a long weekend.  Will we be forced to stop and smell the roses, and visit  sights which we would have certainly overlooked had we been bombing down I-5 instead?  I hope so. And as another reader notes, this might be a business opportunity for those who want to provide short-stay tourism to EV drivers stopping to charge.

However, as that reader also notes, not everyone has the time or the patience to turn a simple drive into a lengthy adventure, not to mention the extra cost of staying overnight on what should be a one-day trip. There, too, is the uncertainty of not knowing if the chargers we will need will be available.

As for me, I have made peace with all of these issues, and I am, indeed, looking forward to the spontaneity and adventure of it all.  Whether or not I will feel that way if we get stranded somewhere without a charger, well, that’s when my husband is going to start worrying. I am packing tonight, and can’t wait to get on the road.

By the way, I have also created a new Twitter account where  you can also follow our travels, it’s called @survivingEVLife.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!

One Comment
  1. I think you provide very valuable feedback to those of us who like the idea of driving an EV, but wonder about the day-to-day realities. Last night I happened to watch an old Top Gear episode where Jeremy and James test rode a Leaf and a Peugeot iOn. Given that they are admitted petrolheads, they did no trip planning and ended up pushing the cars around Lincoln to find someplace to charge. Makes for amusing TV, I suppose, but your articles are far more realistic because EVs do require a lot more forethought than the cars our parents drove.

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