Electric Cars (see below)

Environment Matters




Electric Cars

Laren Cohie writes:

Most of us can do something significant to move [clean energy] forward here, now, and be personally, and financially rewarded at the same time. About six months ago, we decided to investigate used electric cars. We were just curious. We did not expect them to be economical, yet. So, we had no intention of actually buying one, for at least another couple of years. However, once we started looking, we realized that we could get an electric car for virtually the same cost as for a comparable used gasoline car. We ended up buying a 2015 Nissan Leaf...(same body style and indistinguishable from the 2017s) with about 21,000 miles on it, and a five year 100,000 mile battery warranty. We love it. Were we being consumers by buying “the latest toy?” Well!....I guess, in some sense. After all, it is really fun for us “environment nerds.” But, when we crunch the numbers, our electric car does not consume the way a gasoline car does. And, since we use it for driving that used to be done in a gasoline vehicle, we actually consume less.

We never have to go to gas stations, wait in lines, stand out in the cold, rain, heat, etc, and then pay to damage the environment. We just plug in at home, where all our electricity comes from on-shore wind (the lowest carbon footprint), so our driving is truly clean/green. In fact, a Nissan Leaf, powered by on-shore wind electricity has a carbon footprint that is literally smaller than a bicycle rider (additional food calorie intake has a carbon footprint, too) And, we average 5.4 miles per kWh (significantly more than average Leaf drivers) so driving is also really cheap, making our electric car, especially in the long run, a very smart financial choice. There are no oil changes, no ant-freeze, no transmission fluid or even a transmission to break, no exhaust and emissions system to go bad and need testing and repairs, no gas tank, gas lines, no fuel injectors, etc. Even ALL of the lubrication is sealed, and totally maintenance free. The regenerative braking reduces standard brake wear to a tiny fraction of that on gasoline cars.. The only maintenance is rotating the tires and cleaning the interior air filter, two things that are part of the long list of maintenance and things to break on gasoline cars. Electric cars are way simpler than gasoline cars, which makes them way more dependable and economical, than gasoline cars. Eventually, since we tend to drive our cars to hundreds of thousands of miles, our Leaf can be expected to need a battery replacement. The battery is under the car, where it would be unbolted and unplugged. We expect that, by then, batteries will be both much lower cost (prices are dropping, already) and also higher capacity (which has also been happening). And, just because a battery loses enough capacity that it is no longer ideal for vehicle use, does not mean that it does not have a lot of life left in it for use as a home battery system (for off-peak grid electricity, or home generated Solar electricity).

Take a look at used electric cars (or new ones). You are likely to be as impressed as we were. Maybe you will be impressed enough to “get on board” yourself, like we did. You can be part of moving this transition along even faster.

Laren Cohie is a well-known and well-respected environmentalist in our area who has been educating and informing us for several years now!

Michael Zurakov, another respected environmentalist who has been advocating for electric cars for a number of years also has this to say:

Folks need to know they can get a clean 3 year old Leaf for around $12K, and enjoy super-low operating costs for several years.

This page last updated on 8/28/17