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Thread: Electric Car

              
   
   
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Yakima, WA
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    Default Electric Car

    An off-road electric vehicle? Maybe, but this isn't about that.

    I can't recall as to whether or not I mentioned that I bought an electric car. Notice that I said I (me), not we. Due to health reasons I reluctantly sold the Wrangler and the Bronco II and that left us with Evelyn's Escape and my pickup. Either of our remaining vehicles will work just fine for most backroad trips we will be taking in the future. But, that left me without a toy. I wanted something to "play" with. I started looking at older Jaguar convertibles, Cadillac Allante's and other "special interest" vehicles that would suffice as "toys", but they all had one problem in common. They were old and would be costly to maintain. We have been down that road before and now is NOT the time to do it again.

    So I switched my search to more economical cars, like Smart cars. They are different, attract attention and I can even fit into them with just enough shoulder room. It was then that I discovered some weird looking electric cars. Not hybrids, but 100% electrically powered vehicles. Why do they have to look so goofy? Well, hey, that's what I was looking for...right? So I checked out a bunch of them on craigslist and Auto Trader. You would be surprised at how many different brands, shapes and sizes of electric cars are listed for sale in the Pacific Northwest. After much study I narrowed my search to one of the cheaper, lease return Nissan Leafs. I found several in Seattle and Portland for about the same money that I got out of the Wrangler, and finally bought a 2011 model at the Mitsubishi dealer in Kennewick. And they delivered it for free.

    The range on the car is about 84 miles before it needs a charge and Kennewick is just a little bit farther than that. Thus the free delivery was a factor. Anyway, I have been driving my all electric Leaf on errands around town, to lunch with the boys, etc. and taking a ribbing wherever I go as well as answering questions and just having a good time like you should with a toy. But, it's not just a toy, it works as a real car at the same time. It seats 4 adults comfortably and has all of the amenities you could ask for in an affordable car. When I get home I plug it in and go in the house while the batteries re-charge. So far it's a lot of fun and one of these days I will finish reading the owners manual, especially the part about the GPS trip computer. As if I need one for around town!

    Can't wait to take it on a Backroad Trip, but it's only got about 6" of ground clearance and I'll need to take a 4 hour lunch break while it recharges!

    PS I wonder if Explorer parts will fit - just a little inside joke with our Ford Explorer buddies.
    Last edited by Jerry; 01-16-2016 at 09:00.
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Coupeville, Washington, United States
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    Default

    Two questions for you:

    Have you figured out how to mount your ham radio and antenna in it?

    Could you pull a trailer with a generator on it for those backroads trips beyond the 84 mile range?

    Steve
    Steve

    K9PNW | Exploring the Pacific Northwest in my 1992 Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser

    Pacific Northwest Backroad Adventures - Pacific Northwest Outdoor Adventure Forums

    Steve G. Bisig Photography
    - Pacific Northwest Photography: Nature, Landscapes, Rural, Urban

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    35

    Default

    My sister in law did the same thing, got a lease return Leaf. They love it too. Congratulations on your new toy.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Two questions for you:

    Have you figured out how to mount your ham radio and antenna in it?

    Could you pull a trailer with a generator on it for those backroads trips beyond the 84 mile range?

    Steve
    Funny man, and just for that I am going to answer you. Yup, I have all the stuff to mount a 2m/440 radio. I made a bracket for the face plate, located a 12v power source and made sure everything will fit. Still checking into the feasibility of drilling a hole for the antenna or using a mag mount. The roof is loaded with air bags so don't want to get the coaxial cable snagged on anything.

    Yes, a trailer, sure. And I have one that will do the job. However, there is no trailer hitch on the Leaf, and carrying a generator and enough gas to run the thing just wouldn't work out. My alternative plan is to stop every so often at friends houses to charge up. I could time my arrival for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desert. May I add you to my list of friends? You do have a handy 240v outlet don't you?

    Heh, heh, heh.....
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by luinil View Post
    My sister in law did the same thing, got a lease return Leaf. They love it too. Congratulations on your new toy.
    Does she live in a metropolitan area? Quite a few electric cars along the I-5 corridor. Not many here in Yakima, however. Even our local Nissan dealer is not qualified to sell or service Nissan Leaf's so I don't expect to see many around here for a while. I knew that risk before I bought mine and am willing to trailer it to Tri Cities for service if and when it is necessary.
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
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    I assume you have checked out all of the available charging stations. There are quite a few in western Oregon; enough that a friend and his Leaf can drive to the coast with only a 20 minutes recharge about halfway.

    I think the Chevy Bolt has the potential to be a game changer.

    And when I win at Powerball my first purchase will be a Tesla..

    Toy Man - who has an electric bicycle on order
    Last edited by Toy Man; 01-17-2016 at 06:14.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toy Man View Post
    I assume you have checked out all of the available charging stations. There are quite a few in western Oregon; enough that a friend and his Leaf can drive to the coast with only a 20 minutes recharge about halfway.

    I think the Chevy Bolt has the potential to be a game changer.

    And when I win at Powerball my first purchase will be a Tesla..

    Toy Man - who has an electric bicycle on order
    We have enough charging stations to make it from Yakima to Seattle and of course several from there north and south. Haven't checked between Ellensburg and Spokane. Nothing south or directly east of here so I need to resort to my list of friends. Are you reading this, Steve?

    I understand that Nissan and others have plans to double and triple the battery capacity of future models. Nissan says they will offer three different battery capacities, so you will get what you pay for.

    I have been wondering about that bicycle, Dick. I like that idea and I think the battery is small enough that you can charge it up with a solar charger.
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  8. #8
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    I like that idea and I think the battery is small enough that you can charge it up with a solar charger.
    Unlikely but I am hoping the bike will be delivered this spring.

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