The cost of driving an Electric Vehicle

Many critics of electric vehicles will tell you that owning an Electric Vehicle (EV) is very expensive.

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The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV w/200+ mile driving range.

The way I see the relationship of debt to owning a car – petroleum or electric powered – is, simply put:

Either one is a subscription to dependency

No matter the car, just the act of buying the thing means you will have to pay weekly, monthly and yearly “subscriptions” for the fuel, repairs, tax, insurance etc…just for the privilege of owning and driving the thing.

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To me the logical choice is to buy the one that fits your needs and is more, well…logical.

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When buying a vehicle I take a scientific approach and try to leave emotion out of the decision so as not to be swayed by peer pressure (from friends, coworkers and the myriad of flashy automotive ads that saturate the mass media) or manufactured conformity (buy this car to be cool, look good, or “fit in” to some imaginary status caste) or manufactured demand (you need this-you need that–because without it you will be nothing so buy,buy,buy!).

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Nor do I listen to annoying, obnoxious, car salespersons like this guy. ¬†I listen more to owners who post their stories and experiences on automotive blogs such as this one ūüôā and then I do all of my own extensive research and crunch my own numbers before making a final decision based on my findings.

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So, in my rationale I could either;

Buy a gas powered car and pay the (higher) subscription fee for the gas, oil and tune-ups and resulting environmental damage cost caused by the cradle to grave environmental and human cost of the mining, shipment, refining, and distribution of those petroleum products that the vehicle requires to operate.

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A blast from the past a 1970 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser 

Also, when I drive a petroleum powered vehicle I am willingly but not happily forced to accept the sad but true fact that the actual end use of all petroleum based fuels requires much less time to actually burn the fuel to propel the vehicle down the road from point A to point B…than the entire complicated and precarious supply chain that has been constructed to bring that fuel to my car’s fuel tank.

OilSupplyChain

Source

In other words depending on the country of origin of the crude oil it can take weeks to months to explore, deal, mine, protect, trade, ship, refine, store, and transport the fuel to the station where I finally pump it into my tank and then burn it up in only a few days or even a few hours.¬† Then there is the sad facts that it takes 44 gallons of water and around 15 kilowatts of energy to mine, ship and refine just one gallon of gasoline–ONE GALLON! ¬†That is about half of the amount of water I use in a day and that 15kw of electricity would push my Nissan Leaf¬†EV about 50 miles down the road! ¬†Now if you really want a shocker multiply the above numbers times how many gallons of gas your car holds and if that does not make you furious with the oil companies I do not know what will? ¬†I did the math for my 1999 Toyota 4Runner and the results are shocking: the amount of water required to produce just one tank of gas is: 814 gallons!!! ¬†The electricity needed: 277.5 kW!!! ¬†WOW! ¬†By my calculations that amount of water and electricity would supply my wife and I, our house and EV for over 2¬†weeks (with my car going an average of 200 miles/week)!! Now, figure that for a month…a year…or a decade…of petroleum powered vehicle ownership…it just makes me want to cry.

bpdeepwater The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon incident 

My rather long-winded but valid point here is that the amount of energy and waste required just to get us down the road in gasoline powered vehicles is just incredible!

There is also the huge cost in human damage, suffering, pain and death caused by the fact that the acquisition of a portion of those petroleum products come from powers and factions that may support terrorism with some of that money.  These powers and factions often become involved in wars that drag us into the melee because we are addicted to their product for which many of us cannot live without due to our societal dictated and manufactured purchasing choices so we are forced to fight in their wars in order to keep the oil flowing to feed our sickening dependency.

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We are shamefully and totally hooked on oil.

Last but not least there is the environmental damage and degradation caused by the¬†mining, shipping, refining and burning of petroleum (and all) fossil fuels. ¬†We have been burning petroleum as our primary liquid fuel and coal as our primary solid fuel for a little over a century and in that very short time we have polluted our planet’s oh so very fragile atmosphere, oceans and wildlife with toxic compounds from oil spills and copious amounts of carbon dioxide–a naturally occurring and harmless gas when in “normal levels” but when in excessive levels it becomes a potent “greenhouse gas” with disastrous effects on life on earth. ¬† It is true that CO2 has positive properties when in “normal levels.” ¬† If you think back you learned of this in your high school biology class. ¬†You will remember that it’s positive properties are; ¬† 1. It allows plants to grow and via photosynthesis create oxygen as a byproduct so animals like puppies and kittens, bunnies and whales, and you and me get to live. ¬† ¬† 2. Another one of its positive properties is that when it is in the form of atmospheric CO2 it traps heat like a blanket on a bed. ¬†This heat trapping ability allows the atmosphere of the earth to stay warm enough for life to exist and that my dear reader is a good thing in every way.

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Source NASA

However, due to the continued and rapid burning of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, and natural gas) what we are doing to the planet is so far above anything that could be ever considered “normal levels” that the planet’s ecosystems are unable to cope with the influx of high levels of carbon pollution and in turn it the climate has begun to heat up. ¬†It is as if we are adding more blankets to our bed without thinking about how hot it is going to get and how hard it will be to remove the blankets. ¬†This process has often been called “global warming” but a more accurate term that better describes the problem would be anthropogenic climate change. ¬†This is climate change caused by things we humans do to the planet such as burning fossil fuels. ¬†If you would like a good visual of how this works consider the following video by one of my heroes – Bill Nye “The Science Guy.”

It is time for a big change. 

Enter the Electric Vehicle

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A Tesla Model S

Or, on the other hand I could drive an EV and pay the much lower cost for the electricity subscription, support the hard working Americans that build the cars (in the case of Nissan, Chevy, Ford, Tesla, Apple, Faraday Future and more) mine the coal, install and maintain the solar arrays, wind turbines, hydro-electric and nuclear power plants that provide my car with power to move down the road. The simple fact is that the electricity supply chain is much shorter and more efficient than the petroleum supply chain. In the area where I live, the mountains of western North Carolina, the power used to fuel an EV (and a house) is produced locally by a combination of coal, gas, solar, wind and hydro power plants so is therefore MUCH cleaner than any petroleum product will ever be.¬† (Read the true facts about EV’s here: https://bluewaterleaf.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/just-the-facts/ )

KUWAIT. US soldiers and helicopters in front of burning oil fields. 1991.

KUWAIT. US soldiers and helicopters in front of burning oil fields. 1991.

The human cost of driving EV is also MUCH more positive in that foreign wars do not need to be fought over their fuel source–electricity–since it is produced domestically, locally and in some cases on your own property!¬† If you have the means to install solar panels or some other form of renewable energy on your property you could easily power your home and EV(s) with clean, unlimited, renewable energy for free (after the cost of the system).

That my friend is brilliant!

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Charging up my Leaf at a local solar-electric EV charging station on the campus of UNCA in Asheville, NC. 

The sad fact is that now, in many states such as Florida and in my home state of North Carolina, our state government is hell bent on destroying renewable energy development despite the fact that NC is near the top in the nation for¬†new solar installations which, if allowed to continue to grow, our energy grid would continue to get cleaner with each renewable energy installation and in turn the carbon footprint of our homes and our EV’s would just get smaller. ¬†There is absolutely no logical reason this kind of backward action should ever be allowed to happen yet our lawmakers and politicians seem to be simply backward thinking Luddites who fear anything new and fear positive change especially when it means good paying jobs, a cleaner environment, and equal rights for all people. ¬†If we ever want to progress and if we ever want to break our addiction to fossil fuels we MUST get the fossil fuel fired old fossils out of office and replace them with science minded, educated, caring people who think toward the future and want to make good and lasting change happen for everyone. ¬†That change will only happen if we do our research, ¬†speak out, vote, and get active.

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The BMW i3 EV

Either way and whatever car I choose to drive I will always have to pay the subscription to dependency to drive and power the thing…however, I choose the EV because it has a much lower subscription cost* and a much smaller environmental, human and future impact cost and that is as important to me as is the money. *I drive an average of 200 miles/week and my Nissan Leaf EV costs me only about $7-10/week in electricity!!

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However, something else to consider is that the EV may initially cost a bit more than the gas car so therefore I may need to finance the EV¬†and go into debt. Yuck…yet another subscription to dependency. However, by buying the EV I would, from day one, have more money in my pocket since I have no gas, oil or maintenance costs typically associated with gas powered vehicles (especially used cars) so…all that money that I would have pumped into the gas tank and crankcase and then burned up and spewed into our shared atmosphere (to the determent of my loved ones, wildlife, the earth and future generations) can now be used to pay off the car loan ūüôā

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In conclusion; my sleuthing, science and number crunching all allow me to come to the conclusion that I would rather pay for the financing on the EV than drive a lower initial cost yet high operational, high environmental cost, petroleum powered car…but that is my logic, and everyone’s logic is colored and molded by their knowledge, research and experiences so you can take it with a grain of salt if you wish.

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The Nissan eNV200 100% electric small van.

The Roadblocks

Do not believe the fossil fuel fed naysayers who have spent millions on manufactured lies, false advertising through mainstream media outlets and propaganda campaigns (online and on TV) that try to say electric vehicles are dirtier to operate than their petroleum powered counterparts–none of these stories are true.

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The oil soaked¬†Koch brothers¬†are some of the worst EV bashers who are spending millions in the attempt to make EV’s and renewable energy look bad. ¬†We must do all in our power to end their assault of outright lies against science. ¬†

Even in the dirtiest states with the blackest, coal fired grids, an EV powered by 100% coal produced electricity (which is rare now with all the new wind and solar farms going online all the time) is still much cleaner than any gasoline powered vehicle ever will be (especially Volkswagen’s “clean diesels” or any diesel for that matter) and, because the electricity it uses to push it down the road is generated domestically by Americans – it supports American jobs and does not support foreign wars and terrorism…and that is a really good thing.¬† Furthermore, there are those who will say “what happens to the battery when it reaches the end of its life? It must be toxic waste and more dangerous than the emissions generated over the life of a gas powered car?!?!¬† Answer, ¬†this is simply more lies and fabrications designed by those who want to keep you addicted to petroleum fuels.¬† The truth is that the lithium-ion batteries that drive an EV are 100% recyclable.¬† Before they are recycled they are often used as back up power supplies for computer data centers and soon even houses just like a back up generator.¬† ¬†(Learn more true facts about EV’s here: https://bluewaterleaf.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/just-the-facts/ )

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The 215 mile range Tesla Model 3 will be hitting the roads very soon!

The future

With¬†Chevrolet and Tesla soon to be releasing new EV’s with a 200+ mile driving range, and Nissan releasing their plans to release a redesigned Leaf with 200+ mile range but they have not revealed the release date, (and hopefully they will also release a 200 mile range small van that would be a game-changer!¬† Check out the story I wrote about it here on this blog: https://bluewaterleaf.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/the-env200-nissan-electric-van-where-and-when-is-it-for-the-usa-market/ ) all with prices in the $30-35k range (before the $7500 government tax incentive) Soon, the issue of “range anxiety” is going to be a thing of the past and we will all have no logical excuse to keep driving our dirty old gas guzzlers. ¬†16volt

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt

I truly believe the day is coming very soon when kids will look to their parents and say “Mom, dad – why are you driving that dirty old gas guzzler when you could save so much money, have a great car, and protect my health and future by driving an EV?”¬† and ” I want my first car to be all electric!” ( I already hear that from students in my middle and high school science classes all the time ūüôā¬† Then there’s this very encouraging article from England: ¬†http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/most-british-teenagers-expect-their-first-car-be-electric-1524811

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The Nissan IDS concept…is this the new Leaf or something more!?

Soon, I believe within 3-5 years, the choice will be ours to go electric and support a clean, healthy war-free future for us all or…digress and remain in the past while denying the science¬†and refusing to accept the inevitable truth that driving EV is just a better and more economical way to drive for everyone, for the planet and for the future.

What path will you choose?

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

 

Just the Brakes

 

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In the fall of 2015 I noticed the Leaf’s brakes acting unusual at low speeds. ¬†As I was slowing down at speeds below 30 mph the brakes would grab and slow the car in an inconsistent manner. ¬†It was as if there was a sticky substance on the brake rotors causing them to grab intermittently and very briefly, slowing the rotation of the brake rotors making for an uncomfortable ride. ¬†This problem came and went at random- the only factors that were consistent were;

it always happened at speeds below 30 mph

it was more frequent in cold or wet weather

it was always random

When the issue first started I promptly called Jennifer in the service department of Anderson Nissan¬†in Asheville, NC¬†where I regularly have my car serviced, to get the issue investigated…unfortunately, she¬†informed me that the service department was closed for a day or so while they were having their floors resurfaced so my only option was to take the Leaf to the Hunter Nissan service department¬†in nearby Hendersonville, NC for the check up. ¬†Upon arrival at Hunter¬†I dropped my Leaf off in the service department and browsed the lot while I waited for a report.

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My Leaf at Hunter waiting to be checked out…it is very dirty due to the constant rains associated with the powerful 2015-16 ElNino

Soon, I found myself checking out the details of an NV200 small cargo van and shortly thereafter a wonderful sales associate ( I wish I could remember his name) introduced himself and we were off taking a test drive in the NV200.

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The test drive and conversation with the salesman was wonderful but obviously I had no intention on buying an NV200 because it is powered by the wrong fuel for my needs…gasoline.

12190057_10207024051892475_5148828535035350589_n¬†The reason I test drove it was to try to get an idea what the electric version of this small van might be like to drive. ¬†¬†Th electric version is the eNV200 and it is powered by the very same battery-electric drive-train found in the Leaf. ¬†My test drive was wonderful,¬†with¬†the NV200 driving surprisingly well for a small van…it really felt like I was driving a car. ¬†However, I do not believe it is a good comparison with the eNV200 because truthfully, from my point of view as an EV owner – it was noisy, vibrated, and smelled a bit odd. ¬†Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking down the NV200 at all, it is a very capable vehicle and all those things I mentioned are status quo for gas powered vehicles. ¬†In my defense¬†I suppose I am a bit more sensitive to these things because I have been driving electric almost every day now for 2.5 years so I guess you could say I’m a bit biased since my conversion to the wonderful all electric Nissan Leaf. ¬†In fact, thanks to Nissan who is leading the way in the world of electric vehicles, I’m a total convert to driving electric. ¬†So much so in fact that¬†I will¬†eventually divest from gasoline totally¬†and the path to make that happen for me is the¬†eNV200. ¬†If Nissan ever decides to bring it to the USA I will be the first to own one and will use it as the company vehicle in my nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and conservation and renewable energy education organization Earthshine Nature Programs. ¬†I’m sure the eNV200 is an even capable vehicle than the NV200 due to its lower center of gravity, higher low end torque, virtually silent drive-train, and much lower operating costs.

eNV200

Sadly however, the game changing all electric version of this wonderful small van is currently only available in Europe and Japan and there is no word from Nissan when or if they have plans to bring it to the USA.

I feel so passionate about this vehicle becoming a reality in the USA that I recently authored a blog post on this amazing van and how I believe Nissan should get to work on bringing it to the USA as soon as possible.  In my opinion, if they do not, they are missing out on a really great opportunity found in the thousands of large and small business owners, Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers that would jump at the chance to lower their overhead, make a difference, and drive clean, green, EV vans on their daily routes in cities, towns, and in the countryside of the USA.

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Maybe one day soon, Nissan will decide to bring the eNV200 to the USA and offer it for sale alongside the best selling EV on the planet –

the 100% electric, zero emission Nissan Leaf.

Until that time I will continue to drive my Leaf and love every gas free mile.

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Charging up at a BrightfieldTS solar charging station in Asheville, NC. 

After the test drive I had a nice chat with some of the Nissan employees about the eNV200, Leaf, IDS concept and the future of EV’s in general.

Then I received¬†the message that my car was ready and I was told that they could not duplicate the problem…interesting?

I knew the problem was there because I had experienced it but Nissan’s own service technicians could not find any issues…and apparently their diagnostics did not reveal any¬†issues either…reminds me of when you finally get in to see the doctor…and the symptoms are gone. ¬†Murphy’s law.

I drove off the lot a bit frustrated with the situation but since there was nothing I could do about it I went on with my day.

A few weeks later I found myself in Asheville, NC pulling up to a CHAdeMO DCQC to grab a charge when out of the blue the car exhibited the odd braking symptoms again! ¬†This time I was ready for it and had installed a LeafSpy Pro app¬†on my smartphone coupled with a Konnwei KW902 OBDII Bluetooth adapter (read more about it on the Electric Vehicle Wiki.) This device allows me to monitor the Leaf’s systems at a glance and, at the push of a button, scan all of the car’s systems for error codes (see below photo for an example of how LeafSpy Pro reads Diagnostic Trouble Codes. Note, these codes are not from my car, I found this photo on the LeafSpyPro app page in the Google Play Store.)

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As soon as the Leaf’s brakes started acting up I rolled to a stop and hit the Leaf Spy only to discover all systems were green and operating perfectly – save for the BCM that was throwing out¬†an error code. ¬†I promptly called Anderson Nissan and informed Jennifer of the issue. ¬†She said that I should get the Leaf to her ASAP. ¬†I agreed with her because as I see it – if there is a both a physically detectable and technologically documented problem in the braking system of you car, putting things off is never¬†a safe option.

I was only about 5 miles from Anderson Nissan so off I went and soon I was rolling through the big bay doors and onto the beautiful, newly finished service room floor. ¬†Jennifer was there to greet me and after she gathered the required information she informed me that the 3 year/36k mile basic warranty on the car had expired within the last few days and that the braking system was no longer covered by the warranty…bummer.

She said however that since I had documented the problem almost two months before and had been a loyal customer of the Anderson Nissan Service Department since I had purchased the Leaf, that she would contact corporate and see about getting the part covered in “good faith” but the only catch was that it may take several days to get an answer from Nissan HQ. ¬†I had no issues with waiting because Jennifer and team quickly had me a loaner car – the pretty, new Nissan Altima in the photo below.

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I drove off leaving the Leaf behind thinking I would see it again in a few days…but that was not the case because Mr. Murphy is always ready and waiting to pull out his law and¬†make life a bit more complicated for us all.

A few days later I spoke with Jennifer and learned that Nissan had agreed to cover the cost of the brake master cylinder and booster assembly as well as the Intelligent Brake Control Module (IBCM) under a good faith agreement.  The only cost to me was going to be for the use of the loaner car that had now become a rental.  This was great news to me especially when I found out the cost of the OEM components would have been $2000!!  Ouch!!

THANK YOU NISSAN and THANK YOU JENNIFER!!  

Later, I did some quick research online and found a used OEM unit for $265 which I would have opted for had Nissan not been able to cover the parts under warranty. ¬†I’m a teacher and do it yourself mechanic and would find covering a $2000 repair bill out of the question unless there was absolutely no other way. ¬†Luckily, that was not needed as Nissan agreed to cover the parts…whew! ¬†I am very glad I did not need to install used parts in my Leaf just yet because the car is still covered under its 5yr/60k mile power-train and 96 month/100k mile drive battery warranty so during that time I do not want to use anything but new OEM parts if possible for fear of voiding any part of the warranty. ¬†I may be overly cautious with this but I feel it is better to err on the side of caution in these matters.

Jennifer then said that the parts needed to fix Elektra were not going to be in for several more days. I was fine with this as I had the now rental car but the issue was that I needed to go out of town on important family business and had no other option but drive the Altima. ¬†She said I could¬†take the rental car out of town so on the road I went…WOW! ¬†Nissan and Jennifer are even more AWESOME!!

A week later I returned from my out of town trip, borrowed a car and, and returned the Altima Рwhich by the way gets amazing fuel economy Рit averaged around 40 mpg for the entire time I had it!  When I dropped off the Altima I learned from Jennifer that the parts were in transit and should be installed by the end of the week.  At the same time I snapped this pic of Elektra looking lonely in a parking lot full of gas powered cars.

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A few days later I spoke with Jennifer again and she said the parts were going to be installed on Saturday! ¬†Woo Hoo!! Below is a pictorial timeline of the removal of Elektra’s faulty braking system components and the installation of the new parts.

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In the middle of surgery to remove the defective parts

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The defective parts removed. Note the hole in the top center looking into the cabin of the car.  This is where the brake master cylinder/booster assembly bolts to the bulkhead. 

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The defective components 

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The shiny new components

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The surgery is complete!

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On the road again! (Yes, the little Nissan Leaf is surprisingly agile in the snow!)  

A huge thank you NissanHQ, Anderson Nissan, Jennifer, Marlon, the Leaf technician that performed the “surgery,” and the other players behind the scenes that all worked together to get my Leaf back on the road as painlessly and as fast as possible and for helping me make this blog posting happen for all those out there that are interested in learning about driving the all electric Nissan Leaf (and hopefully one day soon, the eNV200 van!)

20160118_175001   Awesome, friendly, service from Jennifer, Marlon and crew!

Very well done!

(…they even washed it and fully charged it!!!)

Until next time…

“Plug into the future!”

Blue water leaf is not affiliated or responsible for any ads that may appear below this line.

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A Nissan Leaf Misadventure

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Part One: Setting the Stage

In mid November 2015 I was faced with a situation.

I had the opportunity to attend a science education workshop at the SciWorks science museum north of Winston Salem, NC almost 200 miles from my home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.

This workshop¬†was important to me for¬†not only the knowledge I would gain but also in the hours that I could use to further the completion of my North Carolina Environmental Educator’s Certification.

The only issue was that my wife was out of town with our long range ICE powered vehicle so I was forced to make a decision – miss the class or drive the Leaf on the almost 400 mile round trip.

It was an easy decision – I like a challenge so I decided to drive the Leaf.

But first I would need to do some research to be sure that I would be able to make the trip without much difficulty.

Factor One – The Route

After comparing the charging station map on Plugshare.com with the distance and elevation maps on mapmyride.com I came up with this map…

winstonEVadventureElevations

Green = Level 1&2 EVSE and Orange=level 3 EVSE 

As you can see there would be no issues getting from Brevard to Black Mountain – I have done it many times when I have attended the Leaf Festival (it has nothing to do with the Nissan Leaf). ¬†However, between Black Mountain and Hickory there is not a single EV charging station to be found so I dubbed this section of the route – “The Wasteland.” ¬†I felt almost positive that I could make the crossing of this stretch of highway without any issues and then continue on to my destination. ¬†My resolve to attempt this run was strengthened after my friend and fellow Leaf owner Rudy completed this same route in his Nissan Leaf a few weeks prior. ¬†In fact, Rudy’s adventure took him much further than I was going to go – all the way to Chapel Hill – so his accomplishment gave me inspiration to tackle the shorter drive to Winston Salem.

What I failed to factor into my calculations was that “Murphy’s Law” always has a way of throwing unforeseen factors into the mix that often result in undesirable outcomes of which you will read all about in the play-by-play I have outlined for you below…

Factor Number Two РThe Car

I drive a 2012 Nissan Leaf SL. ¬†It measures available range only in mileage, not in percent of charge remaining as all newer Leaf’s so nicely do. Many owners of this, and earlier model Leaf’s, refer to the estimated mileage range meter as the Guess-O-Meter or GOM which calculates potential range remaining based on many constantly changing factors such as speed, elevation, temperature, accessories being used, and more.

I routinely drive my Leaf in ECO mode in order to conserve as much power as possible so all mileage reports in this document will be for ECO mode unless otherwise noted.

My Leaf has 31k miles on the odometer and it has recently lost its first battery capacity bar.

Factor Three – The Driver

Remember Melville’s story about the white whale…well, in the past I have often looked at driving long distances in my leaf as sort of my “white whale” so to speak. ¬†In all other instances I have defeated my whale and always made it to my chosen destination and back using meticulous research, planning, knowledge, driving skills, and a bit of luck I suppose…and fortunately¬†without the undesirable consequences Captain Ahab encountered fighting his whale. ¬†On this trip however, due to errors of miscalculation on my part – the whale almost wins.

The Drive

Day one 11/13/15

Home. 8:30 am. o miles driven. I left home with  a full charge and  77 miles on the GOM.

Mills River. 9:00 am. ¬†I stopped for a car wash to remove the dirt and grime built up from the last¬†week and a half of constant rains. ¬†Not only would the car look nice for the trip but the clean, shiny, paint would hopefully help the car slip through the air a little bit better thereby lowering my drag coefficient resulting in a bit better energy economy…that was my¬†theory anyway.

Asheville. 10:20 am.   26 miles driven,  41 miles remaining on GOM. I made it to my first charging location of the DCQC CHAdeMO unit on the campus of Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College where I plugged into the massive Eaton Level 3 charging unit and filled up the Leaf up to 80% and 82 miles of range on the GOM before heading out to Black Mountain.

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DCQC View

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Leaf View

Black Mountain.  12:37 am.   17 miles driven, 44 miles remaining on GOM. At this point I was farther east that I had ever been in my little electric car.  I plugged into the Level 2 GE Watt station and waked about a block into the middle of the quaint little mountain town and found a bar and grille style restaurant called the Ale House where I had a great lunch.  After lunch I headed back to a fully charged Leaf with 72 miles of range so I pointed the car to the east.

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The only way to get out of the mountains from Black Mountain,  without undue difficulty and copious amounts of time, is to take interstate 40 east over the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge escarpment Р a massive wall of a mountain that drops from around 2800 feet above sea level to around  1400  feet in just  a few miles.

2:00pm. After leaving Black Mountain with a full charge and¬†getting on interstate 40 I headed up to the gap in the ridge where I found that had only 54 miles of range remaining due to the high speed climb up from Black Mountain. ¬†54 miles of range was nowhere near enough to cross “The Wasteland” – that close to 70 mile gap from Black Mountain to Hickory where not a single EV charging station can be found… but I threw caution to the four winds, trusted the science and the car’s technology and my “hyper-mileing” skills…and down I plunged off the edge of the mountains and into the foothills bound for the Piedmont. Then, after dropping over the escarpment – gravity, mass, and momentum coupled with the ingenious science of the regenerative breaking system in the little EV worked together to totally top off the car’s battery upon reaching the bottom!! Wow! The Leaf’s regenerative breaking system had filled the battery all the way back up to full even though the cruise control was set to 60 mph for the entire run down the escarpment–amazing! ¬†I then set my sights on Hickory in the distance, set the cruise to 65mph, ¬†turned up the stereo, and off I went.

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Hickory.¬†¬† 3:58pm. ¬† ¬†63 miles driven, ¬†3 miles remaining on GOM!! ¬†WOO HOO!! ¬†I made it across the wasteland without stopping!!! I rolled into Hickory with only 3 miles of range remaining on the Leaf—now that was close, the lowest I have ever drawn down the Leaf….but I made¬†it across “The Wasteland” at 65 mph!

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Now I’m sitting here at Crossroads Nissan plugged into their CHAdeMO quick charger and will be getting back on the road soon to Statesville. I love my car!!

day1c4statesville

Statesville.¬† 4:58pm. ¬† 35 ¬†miles driven. ¬†25 miles remaining on GOM!!¬†Made it with no issues. Going to go find food while Elektra suckles the grid from the¬†Level 2 charger at Classic Nissan. ¬†Wandered inside to talk to the friendly sales staff and drool over the NV200 delivery van (hopefully soon to be sold in the USA as the eNV200 fully electric small van of which I will one day have for my nonprofit company’s education outreach and wildlife rescue vehicle–read all about it in one of my recent postings.)

nissanvan

Statesville. 7:15pm. ¬†Still in Statesville…walked a few blocks down the street for¬†some carnitas and chorizo tacos…car still charging…slowly…seems like this L2 is a bit under-powered…

After an 8:00 departure with around 60 miles available range I headed east on I-40 bound for SciWorks science museum north of Winston Salem where I planned to camp for the night.

day1c5winstonmicrotel

West Winston-Salem. ¬†9:00pm. ¬†46 miles driven. ¬† 12 miles remaining on GOM!! ¬†Made it as far as a Microtel…only about 12 miles short of my destination…just too tired to keep going…been a long day and the Leaf was down to 12 miles of range…and it was dark…and the territory was unfamiliar…so I didn’t want to try to push the envelope like I did earlier crossing the “Wasteland” so I found a¬†hotel on Plugshare where a user stated that they had successfully charged via a 110 outlet on the back of the building…so I booked a room and plugged into the¬†outlet for the night. All in all it has been a successful but long day. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

microtelplug

My outlet for the night…I hope nobody unplugs the Leaf!

day1c4microtel2

Day 2

8:29 am.  Had a decent nights rest at the Microtel and the Leaf charged at L1 for the entire night but only made it to around 75% charge. No problem however since my destination for this morning is the CHAdeMO DCQC at Modern Nissan just a few miles north of the city.

winstonnissanday2c1

North Winston-Salem. ¬†7:20am. ¬† ¬†12 miles driven. ¬† 37 miles remaining on GOM!! The drive to Modern Nissan was short and uneventful. I decided to feed the car first but had to squeeze my Leaf into the space that was partially ICE’d (blocked by a gas powered vehicle).

winstonnissanday2c2

It is charging now so I have some time to ponder the insanity of my surroundings – several older Nissan gas powered vehicles sit in various stages of repair from decades old to shiny new…almost all of them ICE powered… here I sit, charging my all electric intergalactic spacepod of light and wonder (not to be confused with the Intergalactic Spaceboat of Light and Wonder) from yet another technological wonder, the charger…that is unflatteringly installed on top of several wooden pallets and hidden in a remote corner as if they really couldn’t care any less. The people running this establishment and reading these words may not see as I do but as far as I am concerned, the future of passenger transportation is, no, must be the fully electric car powered by renewably generated electricity. There is no other way to get us out of this fossil fired mess we are in. ¬†If I was Nissan I would have the DCQC installed prominently out in front of their facility for all to see and would be promoting their EV’s with more gusto….then again, there is the 2nd generation Leaf, the eNV200, and¬†this¬†to look forward to.
Meanwhile, the maintenance staff that has just arrived seems to not share my views as they were all driving large, noisy, modified ICE vehicles that looked like they either had just driven off the set of one of those childish fossil fired Fast and Furious movies or were built to survive an apocalyptic ¬†zombie hoard…the one sad thing they all had in common was the huge and loud exhaust pipes. Do they even have any clue about the brilliance of driving electric? I doubt it.

8:15am Even with the range limitations I still love my car….it just finished charging so time for me to go get some fuel for myself now…off to the Waffle House.

sciworks

Sci-Works. 8:59am.  3 miles driven. After a great Waffle House breakfast I made it to my destination of SCI-WORKS with 66 miles remaining on the GOM.

day2nissanwinstonC1a

Modern Nissan. 5:04pm. After a great day of science education I departed SciWorks and headed back to Modern Nissan to top off the battery before¬†¬† heading west to Hickory where I will flop at my sister’s place for the night!

Salisbury. ¬†6:57pm. ¬† 41¬†miles driven. ¬† 15 miles remaining on GOM!! ¬†I decided to detour to the newly installed Greenlots DCQC in Salisbury for a quick charge while I forage for sustenance on main street…¬†salisbury11.15.15

8:52pm.  While the Leaf was fast charging I wandered down a nearby alley to main street, turned left, and found a great Italian restaurant where I had a wonderful vegetarian calzone before getting underway once again.

salisbury11.15.15a

Statesville. 9:50pm.  25miles driven,  31 miles remaining on GOM!!  I made the short run to Statesville where I was not planning to stop but once I hit the city limits and saw the 30 miles of range remaining on the GOM I felt that it was prudent to grab a short charge before pushing on to my sisters place in the backwoods north of Hickory.

Naptime…

10:15pm. The L2 has brought the estimated range up to 60 miles. ¬†Time to set out on the 41 mile trek to my sisters home¬†north of Hickory. ¬†It will all be secondary roads so the drive should be easy and uneventful…

11:00 pm. My sister’s house somewhere north of Hickory. ¬†41 miles driven, 6 miles remaining on GOM!!! ¬†Made it to my sister’s house around 11pm…with 6¬†miles of range remaining!! ¬†Good thing I decided to charge in Statesville! ¬†During the charge and subsequent non stop 60 mph 41 mile drive in the country, the temperatures bottomed out around 28f so it is possible that temperature+speed+headlight use+hilly terrain may have been the combined factors that drained the leaf’s battery so fast on this leg of the journey…but I did make it.

leslysplug

I pulled out the extension cord and plugged into a 110v outlet beside the porch and quickly fell asleep on the couch…

leslysplace11.15.15

The next morning

leslysplace11.15.15a

Day three.

9am. This morning the sun cracked over a frosty morning with temps around 25F and a¬†Leaf charged up only to around 65%. I set out on the 14 mile run to the CHAdeMO unit at the Hickory Nissan dealership that I visited on Friday…

hickoryDCQC11.15.15

Hickory Nissan dealership. ¬† 9:45am. ¬†14 miles driven. ¬† 35 ¬†miles remaining on GOM! ¬†At the dealership now charging up as much as possible and planning my route back across “The Wasteland” and then up, up, up the escarpment to my mountain home.

Truthfully, I’m more worried about this leg than any other part of the journey due to the cold temps last night and gradual elevation gain possibly forcing me to stop and trickle charge somewhere in “The “Wasteland”…only time will tell.

10:15am – This quick charge seems to be slower than usual…must be the cold…

Marion. 12:30 pm.   45 miles driven.    7 miles remaining on GOM!

pigplug

I rolled into Marion around 12:30 pm…with only 7 miles of range remaining! I feared this might happen and here I am – that damn Murphy again. ¬†After driving around looking for an outlet and not having much luck and then being turned down by two different small business owners-despite offering to pay them for the electricity – I finally found a place to trickle charge–at the Smokey Que BBQ restaurant. ¬†I plugged in and let my car trickle charge while I filled up on a nice lunch of grilled catfish and veggies.

smokeyQMarion11.15.15

As I ate I calculated just how long it would take to charge the car enough to make the climb up the steep escarpment. At level 1 trickle charge, since there are no¬†L2 charging stations in “The Wasteland,” the remaining distance to the L2 charger in Black Mountain was only about 18 miles away but I needed to factor in not only the distance but the elevation gain up the escarpment and increased speed of interstate driving, so by my rough calculations I would need around a 75% charge to safely get me there with some juice to spare…and to do that in my current charging situation (or lack thereof) I would need to wait for the car to charge for about 8 hours…!

CRIKEY!!

I thought about all of my options and there were only two.

Option 1. Wait for 8 hours then drive to Black Mountain, charge at L2 for about an hour, then make for the DCQC at AB and charge up to 80% and then head home – this option would take me the most time putting me home at probably 1am…but it would also allow me to do the entire trip on electricity so I would have again killed the “white whale” and have some really awesome bragging rights ūüôā

or

Option 2. I could forget my pride and let the whale win for once. ¬†Nissan offers, with all EV purchases (at least for now), the option of calling roadside assistance for a tow in the event an EV owner cannot make it to their destination due to either running out of a charge or a lack of charging station infrastructure…my current situation definitely qualified as lack of charging station infrastructure¬†and would have been both had I continued without plugging into the restaurant. ¬†I decided to make the decision that I never thought I would need to make –¬†I called Nissan’s roadside assistance and asked for a lift. ¬†The operator was very helpful and professional and soon the driver called me back and said it would take him¬†2 hours before he¬†could get to my location so I pulled out my new Bill Nye book and read a few chapters while I waited.

After reading for awhile I took a walk and soon found myself chatting with the restaurant’s owner who¬†seemed¬†very open and interested in the possibility of installing a Level 2 charging station at his business. ¬†If he did so he would not only put his business and town on the navigation systems of every EV in the region but he would also remove “The Wasteland” from the maps and make the drive to the “High country” that much more open to electric vehicles. ¬†My challenge to all local EV drivers that are reading this – please, if you ever find yourselves in Marion, make it a point to stop by the Smokey Que BBQ and let the manager know how much an electric vehicle charging station would open up his business and his town to the future–and maybe he will see fit to be the first to do so.

About 1.5 hours later I decided I had enough juice to make the 12 mile drive to Old Fort where it would be easier to meet the tow closer to the interstate so I called the driver to let him know I was moving a few miles up the road.

blacmountaintraileredleaf11.15.15

He¬†soon met me in Old Fort and I snapped this pic of the Leaf being loaded onto the flatbed with Black Mountain looming overhead in the background. ¬†At first I regretted having to make the call but later decided that it was a a good test of Nissan’s roadside assistance and I soon discovered that Nissan’s service was smooth, seamless and well orchestrated and if you are an EV owner it is there to help you should you ever need it. ¬†Well done Nissan! ¬†However, with proper planning you should never need to call for a tow.

blacmountaintraileredleaf11.15.15a

The view from the cab of the flatbed as we made our way up the escarpment…

While Nissan’s roadside assistance for EV owners is a complimentary service and my piggyback ride up the mountain was 100 free of cost to me –it was not free of fossil fuel due to the rollback being diesel powered. ¬†So this one heavy hauler diesel fired trip most likely negated most if not all the electric¬†driving I had done over the last three days – what a total let down ūüė¶ ¬†

Live an learn.

The driver soon dropped us off at the AB Technical Community College’s DCQC – the first and last charging stop of the trip. ¬†I plugged in and charged up to 80% in 22 minuets and headed home.

loadingupforblackmountain11.15.15

Home.  8:15pm. Finally, back at the old home place after an epic 427 mile EV driving and charging adventure that I do not want to repeat anytime soon.

FINAL NOTES

-I only spent $6 on electricity for this entire 427 mile round trip while driving the Leaf. ¬†Try that in a gas/diesel¬†vehicle. ¬†Had I completed the entire trip without the help from the tow the trip would have been closer to 450 miles…but that is water under the bridge.

-Most of the greenhouse gasses saved by driving the Leaf on this journey were most likely negated by calling for the diesel powered ride up the mountain.

-Detailed trip planning is very important.

-The 2012 Leaf is a wonderful machine in almost every way but it is just not a long-range-at-highway-speeds vehicle. ¬†However, if you have access to EVSE charging infrastructure including DC quick chargers spaced about every 50 miles…then it would be doable…although a bit more time consuming.

-Level 1 “trickle” charging is unbelievably, painfully, SLOW! ¬†Do it at night while you are sleeping or while you are working.

-Electric cars will often force you to slow down and stop and smell the roses, taste the food, drink the ale, and generally enjoy life a little bit more.  This can be very good for business in towns that have charging infrastructure located at or near local businesses.

-Some see an adventure like this as just that–a grand, forward thinking adventure–even with the anxiety that is often inherent with new technologies. ¬†Others see it as an impractical waste of time or a massive hindrance–I would be in the former.

-EV battery technology needs to be drastically improved so that EV’s can regularly go over 200 miles on one charge.

-From my experience on this and other long range EV adventures in my Nissan Leaf, as far as I am concerned – even with their limitations (and there are not many) – battery electric EV’s are going to play a major role in the future of automotive transportation.

When will plug in battery electric vehicles begin to dominate the roads?  I believe it will happen when all of the factors listed below fall into place;

Battery technology develops to increase range to around 200-300miles/charge.

Charging stations get fast enough to charge an EV to 80% in 10 minuets.

Fast charging infrastructure is more widely developed to fill in the gaps on the maps.

A wider variety of makes and models of BEV’s are offered that appeal to a wider range of buyers. ¬†This should include passenger cars, pick-up trucks, delivery vans, motorcycles and luxury super-cars.

More people take a ride in or drive an EV and experience the freedom and joy of driving electric.

From all the hype it looks like 2018 may be the year of the EV if all of the rumors hold true.  I suppose we will just have to wait and see.

salisbury11.15.15a

In the meantime – watch out for white whales.

 

The Nissan eNV200 electric Van…where and when is it for the USA market?

It is not as sexy as a Tesla.

It is not as everyday as a Nissan Leaf.

It is not as futuristic as a BMW i3.

It is not as unique as a Chevy Volt.

It is not as radical as a BMW i8.

What is it?

It is the Nissan e-NV200 all electric compact cargo van!

 eNV200

Above photo from: http://insideevs.com/nissan-e-nv200-sale-japan-october/

It is a small cargo-utility van based on the successful Nissan NV200 fossil fuel powered cargo van but it is powered by the motor and drive train of the all electric Nissan Leaf!

nissan-env200-ev-05-1

Above photo from: http://latestheadlinenews.org/2013/11/22/nissan-e-nv200-ev-tokyo-2013/

The eNV200 is a wonderful and incredibly practical cargo vehicle that will benefit so many large and small businesses, taxi, Uber drivers, shuttle and delivery companies, nonprofits, schools, churches and other organizations as well as families that need to tote around several people, cargo, and animals, on a daily basis.  Its beauty is not only found in its practicality and simplicity, but also the very low cost of operation due to its all electric drive train that has been proven by the astounding success of the Nissan Leaf.

interior

Above photo from: http://www.nissanusa.com/content/dam/nissan/future-and-concept-vehicles/e-nv200/gallery/6_large.jpg

nissan-e-nv20--evalia -340011

Above photo from: http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/nissan/e-nv200/first-drives/nissan-e-nv200-combi-first-drive-review

Nissan-LEAF-e-NV200avis

Above photo from: https://chargedevs.com/newswire/avis-denmark-orders-401-nissan-e-nv200-vans-and-60-more-leafs/

Unfortunately, this wonderful, small, electric utility van is not offered in the USA…yet.

Since it’s debut in early 2014 I have been patiently waiting for a revelation form Nissan about when the e-NV200 all electric small utility van will be released in the USA.

I have thoroughly searched the internet and found several great articles, reviews and open-ended, non committal commentary such as these.

http://www.env200.com/

http://www.nissanusa.com/future-and-concept-vehicles/e-nv200

http://www.autonews.com/article/20140609/OEM05/140609830/nissan-e-nv200-van-debuts-in-japan-but-is-it-a-good-fit-for-n.a?

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1092763_nissan-e-nv200-electric-van-battery-adds-thermal-conditioning

https://chargedevs.com/newswire/avis-denmark-orders-401-nissan-e-nv200-vans-and-60-more-leafs/

http://2016nissancars.com/nissan-e-nv200-usa/

http://www.caranddriver.com/news/nissan-e-nv200-electric-van-photos-and-info-news

https://transportevolved.com/2015/03/03/nissan-officially-launches-7-seat-evalia-variant-of-e-nv200-electric-minivan-in-europe/

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/12/07/nissans-e-nv200-now-available-japan-us-release-delayed/

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1092704_driving-nissan-e-nv200-all-electric-small-commercial-van

http://www.autoblog.com/2014/06/13/nissan-expands-us-ev-test-market-for-e-nv200-to-portland/

The debut at the Washington Auto Show:Or follow the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk9USADkx5A

2016 Nissan eNV200 reviewOr follow the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjMAchflGf0

A review by Robert Llewellyn of Fully ChargedOr follow the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcf-NSkPE_w

 

Another good review of the eNV200

 

Mre from Fully ChargedOr follow the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGFt3i3kLqM

A video review by the Red FerretOr follow the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGxN2uShN5c

The Dalbury E: http://insideevs.com/nissan-e-nv200-transformed-worlds-first-electric-camper-van/

Dalbury E videoOr follow the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb1JTOrdbKU

As you can see the eNV200 is a very capable vehicle that is loved by many and, as far as I am concerned, its obvious benefits as a small, electric cargo vehicle outweigh any current range limitations. Unfortunately, I assume that from Nissan’s business point of view – this is not a practical outlook and I fully understand that position.

However, if Tesla can make a vehicle with a range close to 300 miles…why is Nissan taking so long to catch up, make a longer range battery, and get the eNV200 on the roads here in the USA?

I have questioned the “authorities” at Nissan in person and online and all I get is vague open-ended comments that lead nowhere and on one occasion a Nissan associate¬†even attempted to re-direct me to another subject…hmmmm…why all the cloak and dagger…? ¬†It is just a van…it is not an issue of national security.

After all my research and I have finally come to the conclusion that either-

  1. Nissan is working on and/or waiting on battery technology that will offer the longer ranges that many sources have reported will be in the next generation Leaf.  This technology could obviously then be applied to the van and thereby make it much more appealing to the US market where the average person drives a longer distance each day than in Japan, Europe, and the UK where the van has been available for the last year or so.  I would welcome longer range between charges so if this is the case I have no issue waiting.
  2. Nissan is planning to release the van alongside the redesigned Leaf in 2017 -possibly with the same battery options as with the second generation Leaf.
  3. Nissan has the technology in place for a 200+ mile range Leaf and/or van but is waiting to release the car at a later date in order to dispose of the current stock of older technologies.
  4. Or…Nissan is not planning on releasing the eNV200 in the USA.

Option one and option two make the most sense from my point of view.

Option three¬†I can understand as well but I do not believe it to be the case as the technology in the Leaf and the van is essentially the same so one would think that Nissan would produce all the EV vans and Leafs it had in stock in order to maximize profits in order to produce the next generation of EV’s/vans with more capable range.

Option four…well, I truly hope it is not an option.

Nissan Light Commercial Vehicles product planner Evan Fulton stated in this article¬†that ‚ÄúIf we had, say, a thousand business owners waiting, we could move very quickly.‚ÄĚ ¬†Well, I would be one of those business owners that would put an eNV200 to purposeful, and highly visible daily use should it become available in the USA so that leaves only 999 more businesses and individuals to get on-board with the eNV200 to possibly count for something. ¬†If you are interested in the eNV200 please, PLEASE do contact Nissan or at the very least comment on this blog posting with your interest¬†because Nissan needs to know there is interest so that the eNV200 will become a reality.

nissan-env200-concept-dash-guage

Above photo from: http://www.trucktrend.com/cool-trucks/163-1201-nissan-env200-concept-photo-gallery/photo-gallery/#photo-10

I am usually a very patient person but just knowing that there are eNV200’s all over the roads in many other parts of the world, and that real people are enjoying daily use of these remarkable cargo-utility vehicles for purposes very similar to my needs…I just could not take the suspense any longer so a few months ago I wrote Nissan HQ in Atlanta in the hopes of being considered as a product tester for the eNV200. ¬†Below is the letter for what it’s worth…

——————————————————–

Hello Nissan North America,
I would also like to personally thank Nissan for supporting the WNC¬†area in working to build our EV charging infrastructure with the assistance of¬†the installation of the first DCQC on the campus of Asheville – Buncombe Technical Community College and for bringing the Nissan Leaf EV to the world’s roads.¬† It is truly a remarkable vehicle that I have been driving to-from work daily since August 2012 and I am excited to see what upgrades and improvements are to come for the Leaf.
I am also very excited to someday see the eNV200 all-electric cargo van hit the roads in the USA.
If at all remotely possible, I would like Nissan to please consider my non-profit wildlife conservation organization, Earthshine Nature Programs, to be included in any future field/beta tests of the eNV200 van.  If Nissan chooses to select my company to test an eNV200 (if this is even possible) I would give it a very thorough beta test in an area that would give it great visibility.
You may ask why I say this?
1. Earthshine Nature Programs is a small 501c3 and currently, I drive my personal 2012 Nissan Leaf as our only company vehicle.¬† We are in great need of a dedicated company vehicle and, as we are an environmental/wildlife conservation nonprofit company whose goals are to teach ways to better live with wildlife, conserve and protect nature, and live more sustainably by using renewable energies such as solar, wind and driving EV’s, to me it makes perfect sense to use a clean EV as our company vehicle and promote Nissan’s clean vehicles and clean charging technologies to everyone we meet.
solarcharging714UNCA
Solar charging at a local BrightfieldTS L2 charging station.
2. We drive our Leaf an average of 15k miles/year and all of these miles are in and around the Western North Carolina, East Tennessee, Upstate South Carolina and North Georgia areas.¬† We are very visible to the public in our Leaf however, other than a small front license plate, it has no company insignia that denotes who we are.¬† However, if we are able to one day acquire an eNV200 van we will have it outfitted with our company logos (see attached photo example) and (if a field test vehicle for Nissan or a vehicle donated by Nissan…) we would gladly apply any and all appropriate logos chosen by Nissan to the vehicle to make it more visible to the general public when we were out and about.¬† This could only help promote Nissan’s amazing EV technology to everyone we meet.
ENPoutreachvanconcept
The outreach van would be charged primarily via classroom generated solar energy from our our soon to be constructed, student-built and maintained 6 kW solar array! 
3. I would drive the eNV200 in all types or weather and various road conditions as I have been doing with my 2012 Leaf.¬† I have a ~30 mile round trip daily commute and this route takes me from my home at an elevation of around 2200 feet to around 3000 feet at my office.¬† This route consists of several miles of high speed driving at 55-60mph, several more miles of “country road” driving at speeds of 35-50mph, then ~6 miles of mountainous driving on curvy, two and single lane paved and gravel roads at speeds of 15-30mph.¬† I also drive to and from my various wildlife conservation/research study sites at least twice/week and I frequently make many wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and consultation “house calls” all around the WNC area throughout the year.¬† In all of my travels, on all road surfaces, and weather conditions, the Leaf has preformed above and beyond my initial expectations.¬† It is truly an exceptional EV.¬† Should I be able to partner with Nissan and acquire an eNV200 van, I would drive it in the same conditions as the Leaf in order to test it’s capabilities as an environmental education, outreach education, wildlife conservation and rescue work vehicle in the cities, towns, and countryside of my service area.
4. I would also display/promote the eNV200 van at any/all National Drive Electric Week events, public car shows, farmers markets, and EV club meets that our local EV club (the Blue Ridge EV Club on Facebook) hosts or attends in the future. ¬†In 2014 I was one of the Asheville “City Captains” for NDEW, ¬†we put on a great show and I produced a video documenting the day, it is available via the YouTube link below. If you skip ahead to 6:28 there is a fun spin around downtown Asheville, NC in my Leaf and a convoy of EV’s that you may also enjoy ūüôā
 Or follow this link to the video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an9C_iILSzg
In conclusion, I believe that if Nissan chooses to offer/loan/donate an eNV200 van to Earthshine Nature Programs as a test vehicle, we will certainly be able to give it a wonderful field test and give it great visibility in¬†the community. Also, as an early adopter and a science-minded person, I love to keep track of usage data.¬† As I have done with my Leaf, I would keep detailed daily written reports as well as video documentation on all of my experiences with the eNV200 van.¬† I would then post detailed stories with photos and videos on a¬†blog similar to this one that would¬†be dedicated to the eNV200. ¬† This blog would allow people anywhere in the world to learn from my company’s experiences using an eNV200 van as a company vehicle and it would serve to further promote Nissan’s game changing EV technology to the world.
For more information on our nonprofit please visit www.earthshinenature.com
I hope to hear from you soon.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ——————————————————-
It has been many months since I sent that email to Nissan HQ and in return I have received…silence. ¬†Hopefully, this means that they are considering shipping my company a shiny new eNV200 complete with the new longer range battery tech as a Christmas present…or maybe a¬†birthday present next July…
I can dream can’t I… ūüôā
From my point of view as a forward thinking nonprofit business owner, science and renewable energy educator, and supporter of the rapid adoption of clean tech and energy innovation, I believe that once the eNV200 is released in the USA it will be a great seller among progressive small businesses all over the country and a great move by Nissan that I will support 100% just as I have done with the Nissan Leaf.
nissanvan
Thank you Nissan for working to create the future of transportation today, now please bring the eNV200 to North America because we are ready and waiting!