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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Three Years of Nissan Leaf Driving Part 1 of 3

Three years ago I drove off the dealer's lot in my new electric car, a Nissan Leaf. The first Nissan Leaf was delivered in December of 2010. Five months later, on May 18th, after more than a year on a waiting list, my car finally arrived.

May 18th 2011 - The day I picked up my Nissan Leaf
It left Japan just hours before the devastating 2011 quake hit. I loved this car immediately. It was peppy, smooth, quiet. It had enough range for nearly all of my driving. I charged it up to 100% to see what range it reported.
2011 Nissan Fully Charged When is was brand new
I made sure the golf clubs fit:

Of course I had to drive it to Electric St:

There was free charging at work:

There were charging stations available in Hillsboro:
And Beaverton:
And Portland:

And Lake Oswego:

I have had a lot of fun with this car. I drove it in parades and showed it off at Earth Day and other eco-friendly events.
At Celebrate Hillsboro
When I was not in parades or parking atop fountains, the Leaf was my daily driver. It hauled me to work and all around the various jaunts on "the island" of places I frequent.

During this three years of driving, we have never run out of juice. I had it down to 5 miles of range, but I've never run out. And with all the charging stations around here, I am not worried about it. Worst-case is that I need a 10 minute stop to grab a few kWh.

I admit that I was concerned about being an early adopter when I first bought the car. I was specifically concerned that the batteries were not liquid cooled. Here in Oregon, that was not a problem. In Arizona and other hot places, it was.

I have no regrets about buying the car. Three years later, I still love driving it. And now, little things like keyless entry and bluetooth are must-haves for my next car.

Part 1 here was the touchy-feely portion of the 3 year story. If you want to see the numbers (how many miles, what is the range degradation after 3 years...), then read part 2 tomorrow.

Part 2 - Range