Let’s All Turn Over a New Leaf – Electric Cars are the Future

And, the future is now! Those fortunate enough to live in the Portland, Oregon, area can apply to get a new Nissan Leaf – one of only a few cities where this revolutionary vehicle can be purchased, charged, and driven around.

There are many naysayers who seem to think the vehicle, and others like it, will not catch on. However, they are wrong and those who do turn over a new “Leaf” will help to make the world a much better place.

Here are the tired arguments from the electric vehicle deniers:

1. Cost. The Leaf’s battery pack alone is equal to the cost of a brand new Ford Fiesta (over $15,000) so the Leaf then costs about double the Fiesta. Who would want two cars you could drive anywhere, anytime, with great mileage (40 mpg), rather than one Leaf that you can’t drive even to Eugene? I suspect no one.

2. Long charge times. The Leaf will only take eight hours to charge if you install a 240-volt charger (only an extra $2,200 plus any wiring changes needed) in your home. Most people sleep that long, so what’s the big deal? The Leaf will also fully charge in just 16 hours if you use 110 volts. Most people sleep for 8 and then relax for 8, so waiting 16 hours should not be a problem. That was almost too easy.

3. Driving range. The Leaf is advertised with a 100 mile range before the car simply stops dead in its tracks. In hot or cold conditions with heaters or air conditioners running, lights on, etc., that range is expected to drop to just 60 miles. Most people do not live more than 30 miles from work, so this range should be acceptable. In fact, as long as you don’t drive anywhere else after work you should be able to get home just fine unless there is a big hill to climb just before you get home or it is very cold or very hot or you did not have the full 16 hours to charge the Leaf the night before. End of discussion.

4. Zero-emission vehicles will save the planet. Yes, they may, which is why the Leaf is the best option – as it is totally zero emissions. However, unless you live in rare parts of the country where there is ample wind and hydro power, you are charging the car by burning coal. Half of our nation’s power is generated by burning coal, so unless you charge your leaf without using coal you have done nothing to stop pollution or global warming. In fact, you may have contributed more to global warming by charging for 16 hours using coal as your power source. But, at least your heart was in the right place even if your mind wasn’t.

5. Cool factor. There is that, of course, and you can smugly ride the streets of Portland in your Leaf, laughing at the fools and idiots in the SUV’s they don’t need and that get just 16 miles per gallon. However, were you to attempt any freeway driving and were to get in an accident – well, enough said about that.

6. Resale value. With the battery pack expected to last only 7-9 years, and the pack costing $15,000, how much will a used Leaf be worth? Absolutely nothing as the car would, at best, be worth only about $3,000 dollars and would require another $15,000 to get it back to running condition. Would you pay $18,000 dollars for a 7 to 10 year old car that barely seats 4 and can only travel about 60 miles? I suspect many will, thus this should be a non-issue. Put that baby on eBay Motors and watch the bidding wars! Or list it as a Buy it Now for just $17,000 and get ready to ship!

7. Charging station availability. Well, there will be some charging stations. You will pay an annual membership fee and several dollars an hour to charge, but unless someone else beats you to the plug, you should be fine. Gas stations may add “fast chargers”, too, which will only require 30 minutes to charge the Leaf. Imagine having to wait in a gas station for only 30 minutes so you can drive another 60 miles. You can read books on your iPhone, play Scrabble with friends over the Internet, call people, Twitter away the time…and before you know it, your car is charged and ready to go to The Dalles (just don’t go too fast, or you might only get to Hood River – and leave that air conditioner off).

Portlanders should be getting their deposit checks out and ready to sign. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime deal that should not be missed. As you have seen, the objections to this planet-saving miracle of technology are so easily debunked it is child’s play. And child’s play is fun. Almost as fun as driving a Leaf!