Originally published on CleanTechnica.
I started a list of how life has changed since driving an all-electric car — the list grows longer by the day.
To begin: 1. Every time I plug-in, I breathe in well-being. The clean, odorless connection to my car triggers my shoulders to drop. I relax as the memories of smelly, often dirty gasoline fuel pumps and noisy gas stations fade with the quiet of the ChargePoint or EV plug-in connection. Knowing that I do not contribute to air pollution is akin to finding a sense of right livelihood, I experience right driving livelihood.
2. Driving an all-electric car is a great conversation piece — one on one, with new acquaintances. So many seem interested. When I plug in at an EV station, people often walk by quizzically interested in the car. Questions: How does it plug in? What does it cost to charge? How long will I drive once charged? They comment on the fresh style of the LEAF. They listen as I start it — to the quiet. When I say, “it is on,” there is the inevitable look of amazement as we only hear the quiet of our voices.
Sometimes they sit in it. The lively exchange meets with their wonder of the spacious feeling inside. I take my friends who drive nice gasoline cars for rides. Always, they remark on how comfortable they are, how remarkably smooth the EV moves — rides. More comments are always about the vast open windows that enable such a clear vision of the road and traffic.
3. In a group of people, the EV quickly takes over as a conversation piece. Everyone likes to check out the phone apps for EV station sites. I share my ChargePoint fuel cost for the month. 1$. Plugshare, ChargePoint, and Greenlots apps make for more interesting conversation. Conversation is fresh, educational, and electrically positive.
4. State of mind. Composed in the LEAF’s tranquil surroundings — my mind is clear, focused — even in heavy traffic. Being more naturally inclined as a traveler and not a tourist, I am unaccustomed to such ambiance. A clean energy bubble surrounds me. Like a protective, newfound LEAF ‘aura’ as I travel. The LEAF maneuvers adeptly and flows quietly, without the bad conscience of exhaust fumes. The singular odd part of the experience is wondering why there are so many gasoline cars still? It seems like I am in a backward time zone, as I am now aware that such immeasurably safe, ethically sound, and technologically superior EVs are out there — available in so many varieties and forms.
5. Efficient Technology of Modern Time — Less is More. There is no oil change or lube job necessary. One remembers opening a more complex hood of an ICE. Technological advances may seem complex to many of us who wonder how it is all done. The Nissan LEAF and other EVs change one’s perception. One begins to accept that EVs are intrinsically cleaner. Combined with the more efficient drivetrain, there is a long list of charging stations and on-the-dash info on a screen at my fingertips, efficiently helping me navigate in more ways than one.
6. Walking. A daily walk or two improves mental acuity and vitalizes the walker. It’s also found to be the least stressful mode of transport. I park, charge, and walk to the store, the library, over the bridge to the beach, or only walk the center of town — wherever my feet feel inclined to move. I lap the marina around beautiful Sarasota Bay through the sculptures by local artists, around the dog park, and by docked boats. Walking is particularly useful as a daily activity for aging adults and studies indicate walking keeps cognitive decline at bay.
7. Environmental Education & Solutions. Being part of global wellness trends and solutions, I read about EVs, study the technology, and learn more about environmental solutions, such as electric buses. I gather more knowledge of solutions to global concerns. Even though I now drive a Nissan LEAF, I must say I appreciate Elon Musk, whose efforts have positively stimulated the idea that driving electric is hip, cool. I know the Model S is the safest car on the planet. I urge whoever can look into a Tesla to test drive one, or a BMW i3, and more. Though I am content, for now, with the LEAF for my county-wide jaunts.
8. Efficient Mobility Without Increased Transit Costs. I travel to my client’s homes up to 80 miles without increasing fuel costs. The adept LEAF takes to the road so easily that longer trips seem shorter — even with more charging. I eat and exercise while recharging. Trips seem more concise — even with more charging. And the cost of the transport doesn’t usually rise even if I drive more.
Images © Cynthia Shahan (All Rights Reserved)