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Friday, February 23, 2018

10 Years of EV Driving (Part 8 - Goodbye Prius, Hello Tesla)

Our gradual path to a 100% EV household.

This is the story of our home fleet slowly electrifying. It all began in 1999 when my wife's Subaru was hit by a driver that ran a red light and we replaced that car with a Prius. This chapter has some parallels to that first one.

One afternoon in February of 2016, my wife and I were headed to pick up our daughter after school. On the way there, a rideshare driver, apparently rushing to pick up a fare, ran a stop sign and struck my wife's car. She was driving her Prius. The airbags deployed and the car was totaled. Long story short, lawyers became involved and the case was settled.

With the Prius gone, we still needed two cars to get around. My wife took over the keys to the Leaf and I was relegated to the old Honda Passport SUV. After driving electric cars for years it was strange to be driving a gas vehicle again. This could not stand. I needed a plug-in vehicle.

The Prius was gone and now it was obvious that the Passport had to go too. The Leaf worked great for commuting and errands, but it could not pull our pop-up camper, nor was it suited to long-distance treks. To replace these two, we need something that can tow and had long range.

The vehicle that I had in mind was the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid. With 30 miles of electric range and then 40 MPG in hybrid mode, the specs for this vehicle looked great on paper. However, I had been watching and waiting for this vehicle since 2013 and it was yet to make its US debut.

Next for our consideration was the Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid. This vehicle had an all-electric range of 17 miles and an MPG of 53 in hybrid mode. The electric range was too short for my round trip work commute and the price tag was nearly $70k. If I were going to spend $70k, I might as well get the vehicle that I really wanted, a Tesla Model X.

After a couple weeks of research, later in that same month that the Prius was destroyed, we placed a reservation for a Tesla Model X. The car could tow 5,000 lbs and it had a 257-mile range. In Sept of 2016, I drove the Passport for the last time and with a gas tank as empty as my desire to buy the gasoline needed to fill it, I handed the keys over as a trade for my new Tesla.

This was it, we were now an EV-only family. No more trips to the gas station. No more oil changes.

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