Electric Vehicle Roadtrip: Reflections in the last miles
For the last six days I have sat in the passenger seat watching as the high rises of Silicon Valley melted into the row crops of Salinas to the brown hills of Paso Robles to the counter intuitive forest of Topagna overflowing into Los Angeles.
I have readjusted my expectations after watching my husband’s estimated 3 1/2 hour charging stops turn into six long hours. And I have found that it is nothing that an afternoon movie or a chat with a friendly stranger could not cure. A movie in the afternoon is like playing hooky is how my husband aptly put it.
I have watched people’s eyes light up when we explained that we were driving my husband’s all- electric 2012 Nissan Leaf from Silicon Valley to Malibu and back. And I have heard others drive by saying way too loudly with a snicker ” they are charging their car. ”
I have whined at our best laid plans being nixed by the limited miles of charge we had in the car and surprised at other times to arrive an hour or two earlier than expected. I have slowed down and found places and people I would have easily overlooked had we been pumping in the gasoline and moving on. I have learned that three- charge days are to be avoided at all costs.
I have considered the improbability and probability of an affordable electric vehicle going mainstream just as I have wondered if we are pioneers or freaks for even attempting this journey.
I have marveled at the innkeepers, city parking lots and colleges that have placed a bet on us EV drivers by hosting a charging station. And I have daily thanked the technology and forward thinkers that have brought us apps which have made it so easy to find the charging stations and to let us know when the car is ready to go.
Every day, I have thanked my old friends as well as my newfound friends in the Bay Area Leaf Owners community for encouraging me, giving me advice and settling automotive marital disputes such as turning on the AC vs windows open.
I have seen my husband smile and relax. And I have looked in the mirror to see the same in myself
There will be plenty to discuss and dissect going forward as I blog about this trip in retrospect, and examine the future of EV driving for better or worse. But for now, I am going to just revel in the simple fact that we made it.