Great New Leaf TV Commercial

A great new Leaf commercial from South Africa! 

And then there is the classic Lance Armstrong Leaf commercial.

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Charging Moments in a Leaf

Over the past few days I have found myself in some interesting locations that only photographs can accurately describe.

I call the first one 1.21 Gigawatts–if you know your movies you will get the reference.

1.21gwYes, that is a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

Another angle

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The back of the DeLorean

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While this DeLorean was not powered by plutonium and/or a Mr. Fusion reactor running through a flux capacitor (as evidenced by the two exhaust pipes) it was nice to see this beautiful piece of iconic automotive history sitting next to my fully electric Leaf.  Now if only someone (hint: Elon Musk) would develop an working “Mr. Fusion” reactor I would be the first to try it out on my Leaf:-)

I also found myself at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) where I snapped this photo of the Leaf and a really big tracking antenna.

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 This tracking antenna was used during the early days of manned space travel to track the Apollo era astronauts in orbit–an amazing piece of space history for sure!

Wildlife Conservation in a Nissan Leaf

A few days ago I drove my Nissan Leaf deep into the forest on a one lane dirt road in search of Zoe–Zoe is an adult Timber Rattlesnake!  I am following Zoe’s movements in order to learn more about the natural movements of a wild Timber rattlesnake in it’s natural habitat.  I bring my experiences and knowledge to the world via my Youtube chanel, nature blog and facebook page.  

This is probably the first time a Nissan Leaf has been used as a Timber rattlesnake tracking vehicle and possibly the first time a Leaf has been used in wildlife conservation.  

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After driving to the top of a steep mountain, parking at the end of a gravel road on a foggy, darkening mountainside I located Zoe and collected the vital biometric data and got ready to head home.  I noticed that my GOM said that I had ~41 miles of range remaining so I decided to take a remote, steep, one lane gravel road through the deep forest in order to benefit from the most regenerative braking and gravity assist (downhill) as possible to extend my range.  The only issue was a creek crossing–yes, a creek crossing.  It was a small creek but it must be crossed in order to make it back to the pavement.  Like any true pioneer I turned off the safety of the pavement and into the dark forest I plunged with LED headlights cutting  laser-like paths in the foggy blackness of the night.  Down and down the narrow, steep road wound until I came to the creek.  Would I tear out the bottom panels of the leaf on the rocks in the creek?  Would the leaf flounder and get stuck? Would it short out?  Like electrons through a wire all these questions and more went through my mind at warp speed…but I could not go back or turn around because the road was to narrow to do so…I was committed so I plunged into the creek…slowly…and the Leaf charged across with no apparent ill effects–woo hoo!!  Without so much as a wheel spin or slippage the Leaf negotiated the creek and the entire journey with no problems at all. While it may not be a 4×4 it is a very sure footed and capable car for steep, mountainous, gravel roads…and yes, even shallow creek crossings.

I must say that the car performed admirably while quietly climbing steep, wet mountain gravel roads without issue.  When I reached the bottom of the trek I realized that I had regenerated over 23 miles of range just by rolling downhill–amazing! Free power means more range, less money out of my pocket and less power I have to suck from the outlet and therefore a cleaner, greener ride!

When I arrived at home I glanced at the GOM and noticed that it was sitting on 41 miles range–the same range I had when I was at the top of the mountain at the start of the trek–truly amazing–the 12 mile drive home was powered by the car for free!

Watch the video of the adventure below!

The Leaf is an amazing vehicle!

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A few days after my snake tracking adventure I found myself in the city charging my Leaf alongside a Chevy Volt.

Premium parking + Free power = Bliss.

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Snake Tracks is a Timber Rattlesnake conservation and research project occurring near Earthshine Discovery Center in the mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Through the magic of modern technology and allot of hard volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of volunteers, glimpse into the lives of two wild Timber rattlesnakes in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at the website at: http://www.earthshinenature.com

Follow us on our blog at: www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

We are not paid to operate ENP or to conduct wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting

www.earthshinenature.com/donate

You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers www.steepcanyon.com used with permission.

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National Plug In Day Asheville, NC A Charging Adventure

On September 29, 2013 I made a trip to Asheville, North Carolina on business.  The day also happened to be National Plug In Day and since I drive a Nissan Leaf EV I decided to visit a few of the charging options in the Asheville area.

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The first station I visited was the BrightfieldTS/Chargepoint solar charging canopy off of South Charlotte Street at the Asheville Public Works parking lot. It was easy to use but while I was there I had several non-EV drivers park in the EV only spaces–how rude.  Lucky for me I was able to get a slot and fully charge up the Leaf with no issues at all.

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The second station that I attempted to visit ended in charging failure–however, it was not the fault of the charger.  I had planned to visit the charging station on Aston Street at the Buncombe County DSS parking lot.  Upon arrival I was greeted with an empty lot with cables across the entryway and two unused charging stations sitting idle in the distance.  It seems that the parking lot is closed on the weekend so I was unable to access the chargers–what a bummer.  It seems like a waste to put two perfectly good charging station in a place where nobody can access them on the weekend when people are out and about wanting to spend money in town.  But trying to figure out why government does what it does is a losing battle so I drove on.

The third charging station I visited was the Chargepoint station at 81 Coxe Avenue.  This is a nicely located station if you are fond of one of Asheville’s claims to fame–local micro-brewed beer.  The charger worked flawlessly and while you wait for your charge you can take a few steps north to Asheville Brewing company–famous for its varied beers and wonderful pizza.  Or, only a few steps west of the station is Ben’s Tune Up Shop–a wonderful new restaurant and pub with great atmosphere and food–don’t miss it!

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The last station I visited was the BrightfieldTS charger on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville at the Reuters Center.  This station is also Solar powered and worked flawlessly.

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On the way to the last charging station I followed one of Asheville’s newest attractions–the Amazing Pubcycle–a pedal powered bar! What a cool concept, check it out in my video below and at www.amazingpubcycle.com

My Plug In Day adventure was a great success, I only wish I had seen more EV’s on the road–I saw not a one. Maybe next year I will organize a Plug In Day event in the WNC area, anyone want to join me?

Watch a video of my adventure below.

This is a map of the charging stations that are currently available and operational (but not always accessible as I found out) in the downtown Asheville, NC area.  Get yourself to Asheville and plug it in! Click the map for a larger view and more information.

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