Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Electric Vehicle pros and cons

In May, after we got a really bad hail storm in Lakewood, I ended up buying a Nissan Leaf.  This is a 100% electric vehicle.  No gas.  No oil.  No rev or RPMs.  The only thing you put in this car is windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid and steering column fluid.  That's it.

This car is super fast and fun to drive.  My new favorite thing is to pull up next to a sports car at a red light and leave it in my dust when the light turns green.  If you think you have a car that can beat mine, let's set up a race!

I plug it in every other night or so, I can go 125-ish miles on one charge.  That's back and forth to work 2 days plus a few errands.  I recently calculated that the home electric bill went up about $15 a month.  People...that is less than a tank of gas was costing.  I'm saving over a hundred dollars a month in gas!

Because I have a good charger at home I don't have to rely on public charging stations very often.  When I do have to charge away from home there is usually some non-electric driving jerk who is parked in  the charging station parking space.  Those of us in the electric vehicle (EV) world refer to these people as ICE Holes.  Internal Combustible Engine, aka gas powered vehicles.  The charging infrastructure is growing but there are still limited places for us to charge our cars.  When we pull up to charge and there is a non EV parked there it is infuriating.

This happened to me yesterday and last week at the Whole Foods in Belmar.  There is a parking garage for the store and other businesses in the area.  The charging stations are close to where the office building doors are and the last two times some ICE Hole has been parked in one of those spaces.  Spaces that are clearly marked and painted bright green.  It's a parking garage!  There are hundreds of spaces, and in fact, the space directly across from the EV spot was empty!  Because the other charging spot was in use I had to get creative.

I drove around to the empty space and luckily the cable was long enough to reach my car so I could still plug in and charge.  Because this was the second time in two weeks I was furious.  Why are people so inconsiderate?  Would they park in a clearly marked handicapped spot?  Generally people are respectful and leave those spots for people who need them.

Last week the ICE Hole came out and got in her car and drove away as I was setting up to charge on the other side of the charging station.  I gave her a dirty look and that was it.

Now it's happened twice and I was pissed.  I stomped around.  I wanted to leave a nasty note.  I had no paper.  I rummaged through my purse and found the school supply list we used last weekend.  I ripped off a section and gave them a piece of my mind.

Then I stomped into Whole Foods to get my lunch.  I worried the whole time that the ICE Hole would key my car.  Would they know it was the EV across the way, the EV charging next to them, or someone totally different who just left the note and didn't charge.  Oh geez, what have I done?

I finished my lunch, went out to my car.  ICE Hole was gone.  My car was intact.  I had gained 8 miles in that 45 minute charging session.  All is well that ends well but next time, maybe I'll park directly behind the ICE Hole, pinning them in, and hook up the charger and leave.  See how they like that.

People, please don't park in the green EV spots unless you drive an EV.  Think about it this way, your car is on fumes, you pull into the gas station and there is an 18-wheeler at every pump, just parked, no driver in sight.  You wouldn't be able to fill up and you wouldn't be very happy about it.  Yesterday could have been an emergency, if I couldn't charge I may not have been able to get home.  Think twice before parking, if you wouldn't park in a blue space designated for ADA then don't park in a green space either.

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, I highly recommend going electric.  Lots of auto companies offer electric options so you can drive and compare.  Huge tax benefits, huge savings on gas and you get to drive a fun car.