Originally published on CleanTechnica.
The US is coming into an election year. I plan to stay quiet in election year with our Nissan LEAF. I believe the empowerment of society is in the choices one makes with the pocketbook. One way we really vote is how we spend. Or don’t spend. I never buy gas from dirty oil companies anymore… and hope that I never will again. New possibilities, and… The Quiet.
The quiet changes things.
My relationships with daily life, the natural world, and motion are more peaceful in the 2015 Nissan LEAF. Time feels less hastened — more measured in sublimity. On my way out of the driveway, I pass by a snake basking in the Florida sun. With no sound from the LEAF to disturb him, she or he raises her/his head and politely acknowledges me. She or he seems to like me as I slow down and then come back forward to take a photo. The baby black snake and I gaze at each other. I leave, he or she keeps basking. The small black snake likes LEAF’s quiet movement, and perhaps for this reason, the snake finds me benign and trusts that I am not his or her predator.
A bit later in the day, my most frequent charging spot is full. As there are so few EV spaces in a wide open large garage that allows for, one ceases to wonder about the game of the non-electric ticketed automobile taking an EV’s charging spot. It is simply bad form.
Nearby, there are many other choices. There is an EV plug-in spot at the local marina that is friend to many pedestrians, bicyclists, and artists as well. I delight as a bicyclist whizzes by lit up in large, circular, neon green, glowing lights coming from the spokes of the wheels and a wearing a neon belt.
This once-quiet Gulf city has a progressive niche, and I have options for charging. A few evenings ago, I hijacked my friend the sushi chef from his kitchen, whisking him for a jaunt in the LEAF. He fell in love with the EV and is serious about becoming a LEAF owner as well.
Mira Bai reminds me of something that was identified in an excellent presentation at the EV Summit in Cocoa Beach: “If every electric car owner gets just one person to lease or buy one, that is a huge change.”
My friend the sushi chef was already interested in EVs as a progressive means of transport. He knew that Sweden was attempting to be the first emissions-free country — and he knew why. All he needed to replace or add to his motorcycle was the fresh LEAF experience to move him closer to a buy.
Voting by going electric, or 100% pedestrian, bicyclist, and/or mass transit is a vote for purer air, and quieter cities. The LEAF’s “ECO” button, ever ready on the steering wheel, increases mileage around town for me by 10 miles or more a charge.
The car is so simple. All I do is get in LEAF and push the start button while pressing on the brake. LEAF silently comes alive, not bothering Ms Snake. LEAF makes soft jingles — quietly musical as the dash lights up inside. I slip the gear into reverse with my foot on the brake and check behind me — both out of the windows and with the back cameras on the dash. As LEAF glides quietly past Ms Snake, I press the ECO button and soft green dots appear.
Imagine how much quieter cities will be when there are only electric cars, pedestrians, and bicycles.