So I Got an Electric Car

My faithful 2003 Buick Regal started to show her age about a month ago in a big way, and we realized it was time to get a new vehicle.  I hate car shopping.  We aren’t in the best place to be buying a car right now anyway, and I just wanted my Buick to magically get healed and run forever, but I could see big mechanic bills in our very near future if we didn’t do something fast.

I have loved the idea of an electric car since the EV1 came out when I was a kid.  Bryan asked, “What kind of car would you get excited about?”  I think mostly out of desperation that I totally didn’t care about any of the cars he was showing me online.  “You want me to be excited about a car?  Get me an EV,” I answered, pretty confident that’d be the end of it and I’d be driving home a Camry in a few days.

To my shock, he was totally into it!  We test drove quite a few over the last month, and landed on a 2013 Nissan Leaf in great condition.  The range will get me from work to home every day before it needs to recharge, and I’m going to have to get used to a few things.

I was so excited to hop into my new car this morning (which I named Autumn.  Cuz she’s a Leaf).  My excitement dropped pretty rapidly, however, when as I cruised on the freeway down to work (my commute it about 20 mi each way), I watched the battery level drop much faster than I expected.  It was already at 55% when I got to work.  On my drive back home, I had about 5 mi of freeway commute left when the low battery level lights started flashing at me.  It was then that I learned what “range anxiety” was all about.  Holy cow.  I was just convinced that we had made a terrible, very expensive mistake.

But I made it home just fine with 14 mi left showing up in my range display and plugged Autumn right back in.  I haven’t added the daycare stop yet, so that will have to wait for another day.

I didn’t realize what a fully life changing experience I was signing up for when I drove the car home yesterday.  My trips and errands will have to be very carefully planned.  I signed up for the 3 major companies that make charging stations in our area, and have 2 apps downloaded to show me their locations.  If we have a day where we need to shuttle everyone around and do lots of driving, I’ll need to swap cars with Bryan.

Despite the reality that hit, I’m still excited about life with an EV.  It’s a comfortable, cute, quiet little car, and it looks great charging under our solar panels 😎

When the school year is in full swing, things might get interesting.  I’m researching grants to get charging stations installed at my schools.  There’s gotta be something, right?  🙂

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