Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Back in the Arms of the Polar Bear

My actual car jut moments after I hit a concrete light post surround.

It's been a long thirty-nine days, but I finally got my Nissan Leaf back from the shop. In case you missed it, I got a new car. I drove it for a whopping eight days before hitting a pole and feeling like a complete fool. It seemed like a simple repair, but apparently concrete and cars are not friendly with each other. I ended up with a crumpled Leaf.

I really love my car, and being without it for so long made me realize it deserves another mention here. It has been on my green wish list for sometime now, so I am thrilled to actually be the owner of a 100% electric vehicle. I expected my next post on my car to detail how great the past month and a half of driving it has been. What I didn't expect was to only have driven it for ten days in that amount of time.

So, I think the best way to express my adoration for my Nissan Leaf is to list the things I missed the most in our time apart.

  • A bigger bank account- Paying for a rental car, gas for said rental, and a hefty insurance deductible was painful.
  • Silence- It is truly a quiet ride. My version of silence in the Leaf usually involves listening to a podcast or music on my iPhone. It's nice to eliminate engine noise.
  • A charged phone- The handy USB plug lets me charge my phone while I listen to tunes. It's great to come home with a charged phone and unwind on social media.
  • Seeing my son's face- My auto mirror was installed in the Leaf, so I haven't seen his face in the reflection for quite some time. I missed his smiles and knowing if he had fallen asleep.
  • Being alone- I had to get a ride to and from work on many occasions. As a mom who lives with her parents, I get very little alone time. My commute is my ME time.
  • Getting to work- Sometimes I had no idea how I was going to get to work the next day. This element of surprise is not something I want to experience again. 
  • Building tree- As you drive in the Leaf a little meter builds a tree based on how efficiently you are driving. It was so fun to see a completed tree during a drive.
  • Camaraderie- Just like guys with beards or truckers, there is some solidarity among EV drivers. When we see another one on the road it's nice to smile as if to say "Hey man, thanks for being cool like me and caring about the planet." Maybe I should start a Leaf gang, we can be the next Sons of Anarchy. Must think of names!
  • Light shows- I missed the cool sounds and pretty displays on my car. It was always nice to see those charging lights illuminated.
  • Regenerative Braking- This was really cool today. I had a full charge and an estimated 92 miles of range. I drove to work, the nearby grocery store, and the bank (about 27 miles total). When I parked my car I had 73 miles of range left. That means while braking I gained 8 miles in range! Has your car ever added more gas to the tank while you were stuck in traffic. Nope. 
  • Polar bear hugs- If you've seen the Nissan Leaf commercial, then you know that a Polar bear hugs the Leaf owner. I can't help but feel like I should get a bear hug each time I drive. 

The First Mate going to hug a polar bear.

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