Sunday, February 21, 2016

Once You Go Electric, You Never Go Back

From the bean of Green Bean.

My new electric vehicle, a BMW i3
A few months ago, I finally took the plunge and leased an electric vehicle, a BMW i3. My commute had increased and, with public transit and carpooling not an option, I felt guilty over the gas that my car (a Prius) was guzzling. I had been waiting and watching for years for a real electric vehicle. Even though the perfect one wasn't out there, yet, I decided to go for it.

After three months of driving electric, I wonder what took me so long. First, electric vehicles are so smooth to drive. No herking or jerking. They are also virtually silent.  Add to that the EVs are essentially maintenance free and you never need to stop at a gas station.  Here are a bunch of other reasons that EVs rock. 

Why exactly did I wait to invest in an EV? I'll bet these are the same reasons stopping others as well.

But EVs are so small! I'm waiting for an electric SUV to come out. Six years ago, I bombed around town in a minivan, sucking up gas like there was no tomorrow. After waiting forever for an electric SUV or minivan, I downsized to a Prius. It was an adjustment! I could not carry around as much stuff - or kids. So sorry that I cannot drive and supervise 6 kids on the field trip, teacher! After a month or two in the Prius, though, I slimmed down. I carted around less sports equipment, fewer books, smaller luggage. I even started a Pinterest board called Camping in a Prius and invested in smaller items for camping trips.

I realized that I was truly free, though, when I ordered some plants and a tree from a local native plant nursery. I asked to have them delivered because I could not fit them in my car. The delivery person pulled up in a Prius. Yup! Turns out, all you have to do is put the back seats down.

My current vehicle has a cargo space about half of a Prius. Never had an issue!

The point of all that is to say that who really knows when there will be an electric SUV or minivan out there. Tesla has been promising their Model X forever and there are now a few on the road. As a good friend and fellow i3 driver pointed out: the Model X is actually pretty small! Not to mention super pricey and subject to a hella long wait list. I've heard rumors of a Volkswagen van but I'm not holding my breath. Mercedes and Ford have small EV station wagons that might be worth checking out. We can keep waiting - forever - or lose some weight (a ton!) and enjoy the benefits of never stopping at a gas station again!

But, but, but range anxiety... Yeah, I initially freaked out over this. My car only gets about 70-80 miles per charge. It covers my commute and I just plug in whenever I have the opportunity. I've yet to get below 20 miles remaining.

I confess that I haven't taken this baby on any road trips yet. Which isn't to say that I won't because charging stations are popping up left and right.  However, we still have one gas vehicle, which seems to be common for most of my EV driving pals. The gas vehicle is used for whichever partner has the shortest commute as well as for longer drives.

What if they come out with something better!?! Well, I sure hope they do! That is why I only signed my car up for a 2 year lease. In two years, there should be a Chevy Bolt that can go 200 miles on a charge. Telsa may have introduced their Model 3. BMW and Nissan are working on bigger, better, longer driving cars as well. I rolled the dice, collected my rebate and came home with a very manageable monthly payment.

My EV Runs on Sunshine.  Okay, this is not a problem. It is, however, the icing on the cake. I charge my EV with my solar panels. Take that, fossil fuel industry!


daisy gurl said...

Wow! What a fun experiment! I can't even imagine saving all the money on gas. Mother Earth benefits, and so does your wallet!
You're invited to share this outdoor post on this week's Maple Hill Hop!

Paige Wolf said...

Sounds awesome!! If we drove more we would totally get one!

Lindsay said...

I would love to have an electric car! When I'm ready for a new one, this will be next in line!


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