Originally published on CleanTechnica.
The most genuine and buoyant EV enthusiast I’ve met (outside of a CleanTechnica person) pulled up next to me recently at an EV charger late one night in Fort Myers.
Driving home that evening from out of town, I needed one last charge on the way. I had to find a bathroom. One of the things most EV charging stations do not supply — bathrooms. (Let’s hope someone moves forward with Kyle’s idea quickly.)
Suddenly, there is a car next to me and someone waving. I jump, thinking — “Oh dear, did someone follow me back to my car?” I look over and find an enormous smile. Someone was standing by my car. It is about midnight. He asks, “How do you like your car?” I glance at his and realize it is a BMW i3. Oh, he wants to talk electric vehicles. I open the door as he beams with joy speaking of his BMW i3. Yes, he is a satisfied EV owner. He exclaims, “I will never go back to gas, NEVER.”
John Henry uses the EV charger (most nights) that my LEAF was juicing up on. He lives just a block away. John Henry seems surprised to find someone at the charger tonight. He details his BMW i3 features for me — features he knows through experience. He describes his autonomous parking, saying that the car parks correctly each time. John Henry is as animated and energetic as his BMW i3 if it were in motion. His BMW i3 looks new — but it is a profoundly explored and experienced vehicle. With each feature that he has added, and it seems John Henry has added them all, he details his experiences and complete satisfaction.
Yes, he has traveled out of state and long distances in the BMW i3. The only thing he does not enjoy is the noise made by the gas range extender — it recharges the battery part of the way if he has a long trip.
Well, from my perspective, I love the LEAF. Still it does not allow me to cross Alligator Alley (the real problem is the lack of chargers, lack of EV enthusiasts). I would like to. Perhaps it is worth the noise once in a while. He and his BMW i3 with recycled materials (widely considered the greenest production car on the planet) are a smooth jolt of vitality for the planet and one’s self.
A week later, a Moonlight Blue LEAF owner is at a stop light next to me, and I ask, “Do you love your car?” Of course, he does. Later, he saw my LEAF charging and pulled up to say hello and profess once again that he loves his LEAF. There are three LEAFs in our part of town, so it is nice to get to know the owners. We pause, the gas cars whizzing by, wondering why there are not more LEAFs around. Why not more EVs? Once one is free of gas, one finds it increasingly odd and nonsensical to propel fumes into the atmosphere. Like me, he loves the smooth, agile drive of the LEAF. He bought his as a used, formerly leased EV. He charges his LEAF with solar panels at his house. It has been all renewable energy at his home and in his car for a long time. Unfortunately in Florida, he is a rarity. He’s off the grid..
Our conversation flows back and forth from EVs to solar panels — he installed his many years ago. In Florida, EV drivers are too much of a minority. Sharing a few moments with EV drivers about simple things that make sense, are better ecologically, and promote cleaner air is a nice way to keep upbeat.