Mainly because it was cheap. It’s a 2013 Nissan Leaf. We have a grounded outdoor outlet where I plug it in, and then I plug it in again at work. At Hy-Vee (one of the grocery stores here in town) there’s a big outlet thingy that will give you a good charge in a half-hour, so I go over there more often now.
It’s a nice little car, and when you hit the gas, it really picks up and goes. But when you take your foot off the accelerator, a little braking mechanism kicks in that generates a little extra power for the battery. My husband drove this car through the city, taking the roads in town instead of the highway. He drove it carefully and braked often, and you know, simply by driving through town he actually generated *more* battery power, instead of using it! He’s a smart man, but duh, that’s why I married him. (Well, one reason anyway.)
Of course I zoom down the interstate most times — but if the battery is low, I follow his example.
I generally can get the car plugged in often enough to where driving around hasn’t been too much of a problem. There have been a few times when the car got low, though, and that dreaded “range anxiety” has kicked in. “Range anxiety” is what you feel when you worry you won’t have enough charge to make it. I had that the other day.
Here’s what happened: I plug in my car a half-day, then switch out for a fellow who has a hybrid. That’s cool. Well, it was choir night, which means I have to leave work, go home and pick up the kid from daycare, eat supper, then drive back and go sing for two hours. Now, the campus has a Power and Light Co. charger up there, so no problem, I get a little low going back and forth but I can plug into the charger while at choir and get a decent charge to get back home on.
So I left work with my half-charged car and got the kid and fed everyone noodles and then raced back to town for choir. But I get on campus and see that there’s nobody there. Hell, it’s spring break. So I plug in the car and trot over to the choir building. It’s dark! There’s no choir! Dammit!
Well shoot, I’ll just stop by Hy-Vee and use the big charger to get that big charge within a half-hour. So I swung over there — and there’s a car plugged in there! Dammit!
Well, I had like a 20-mile range, screw it, I’m going home. So I drove through town and braked often, and drove pretty slow going home, and I just had enough juice to get there. I didn’t turn on the heater, as that sucks about 5 to 10 miles off your range right away. But the seats are heated, so I just put a blanket over my legs and did fine.
I do like this little car, though I can’t just jump in and go on a big road trip. But it’s great for commuting if you have a short commute. And I love driving by the gas stations. I always considered it a pain to get gas anyway!