Wednesday, February 13, 2013

going green

I'm not generally a big fan of change. We had grown pretty attached to our two rugged old Jeeps, zipping across the Upper Midwest for camping trips, Madison farmers' markets, Packers games, and family visits. OK, one doesn't exactly zip around in a Jeep -- they're built for durability and toughing out bad weather, not speed, but we loved them. Plus they're awfully cute.
Gas mileage? Terrible, but we lived with it for a long time, thinking that at least we were re-using an existing car rather than creating more waste. But the Cherokee's repair bills were adding up, and the rusty patches were growing, so it was finally time to bite the bullet.

It was time for something green.
OK, maybe not quite that green -- this is a retrofitted classic car turned EV parked at one of the charging stations at Paul's office. Ours is the cute little blue Nissan Leaf in the background.
I wasn't planning to blog about this, but the recent New York Times article on electric cars in the Netherlands, its review of the Tesla S road trip and subsequent controversy, and President Obama's touting of green energy initiatives in the State of the Union speech made me think it was worth a mention. We love it. Fun to drive, lots of torque so it's peppy, zero emissions, and no trips to the gas station.

There are some downsides, though -- it really helps to have a garage and somewhere to plug in at home. Relying on public charging stations is risky, because the infrastructure just isn't there yet. Cold weather dramatically reduces the battery range -- much more than Nissan admits -- as does driving at freeway speeds. Even in average weather the range is at best around 70 miles. Recharge times are long. This is not a car for road trips. For many people in urban areas, though, this is an excellent second car. Work commutes, errands, and nights out on the town are easy and require no extra planning.

Anyway, I just want to say that there are people in this country who are willing to take a risk on new, green technology and put their money where their mouth is, and we are two of them.


Anonymous said...

This is so cool, Jodi! J and I may be moving, and we'll need a second car, but it won't need to go far. This could be perfect!

Hilary said...

Yeah, that's pretty awesome. Congratulations on your new purchase! I've been daydreaming about a Leaf lately, so appreciate your thoughts!

Alisa Kim said...

I really love this car. I think if they worked on expanding the range a little more, it would be so great. I'm glad you posted about this!

BCGramma said...

Super!! Good for you and your husband.

Chris said...

Good for you!!! :)

R's Rue said...

Cute car!

Rue said...

Oooooh, that is so nifty! I'm glad to hear it's fun to drive. We're seriously eyeing the burbs right now and while I'd love to live close to the train, a cute little car to drive to the train station sounds pretty fun.