Originally published on CleanTechnica.com
It is always hard to know without first-hand experience that you Don’t Know what you Don’t Know. One of my friends is a caring and productive teacher. I found a quick occasion to slide her into a first EV test drive experience. The results were as they generally are with EVs. (Video below is just the first 8 seconds, to get some personal context before the dialogue.)
“I can’t believe how soft and cushy the seat is. It’s so easy. The visibility is great. I feel so high up. So much higher up than my own car, a Mazda. The driving is very smooth and extremely quiet. It handles smoothly. It feels like it just glides around — very easily. It doesn’t feel like a chore to drive it. It is so fluid, like water — pouring.”
Kim, a talented, loving teacher, was just a little bit interested before the test drive, but I am a pushy EV friend. She was not quite sure about the charge and range — not sure it was secure enough for her needs, time, and availability. Kim is an excellent educator informally and professionally. I want to get her into the EV fold because I know so many others will benefit from her example and her information. Luckily, she knows that experience is often the best teacher, and she was willing to go on a test drive.
We were on our way for Kim to test drive a Chevy Volt, so she could have the comfort of a gas backup for the electric battery as well as pure EV driving and charging. Thus, she could take to the highway without my concerns of faster speeds eating up my range so swiftly (in the 2015 Nissan Leaf). She was driving my Nissan LEAF for the first time during the following conversation.
A bicyclist jumped into the street in front of us unexpectedly.
(Kim) “And quick smooth reaction with the brakes!”
(Kim) “Oh, it even has cruise control.”
(Cynthia) “Yes, it helps to save range when I am traveling on highways. I’m steady, and other cars can move around my slow speed-limit driving, as it seems everyone likes to go at least 5 miles faster if not more.”
Kim goes on to describe my humble compact EV as roomy and luxurious. Wow. Nissan LEAF is not considered a luxury car at all, but this is not the first time I’ve heard that. I think the smooth and quiet drive is part of the reason people have that impression.
(Kim) “You have really expanded my horizons.”
She explains how she feels so comfortably wrapped and more protected than in her own Mazda. She also explains why. One thing is the visibility. She loves the windows and the view — so full in all directions. It seems she is identifying the many things I have highlighted before … however, this is her description. One comes to realize that the LEAF sells itself from a handful of key features to a diverse group. So many experience that immeasurably smoother LEAF circle of cleaner air, a wider view, comfortable grasp, and well-designed seats.
Watch the lightspeed transition in the next post as Kim drives the 2017 Chevy Volt and an older used Chevy Volt, and becomes sure she is going to trade her car in for an EV and the affordable adventure into the realm of guiltless driving — breaking free of dirty gas entrapment.