I was recently watching a show on Hulu–more than likely an episode from The Office–when I was caught off guard with a car commercial. At first I figured it was the usual visual ad: the dramatic curves, the deep promoting voice, and the mountainous landscape. Then out of no where I was hit with the ending line “The Nissan Leaf: The first 100% electric car”. Hello! That was an eye twitcher. I was now suddenly awake and honestly a bit confused. But why was I surprised by this release? It had been in the making for so long I guess I never realized it would actually come out into the public.
The Nissan Leaf EV is considered “powerful and practical” by the home website but is it really practical? Don’t get me wrong–I am all for the green movement. But from what I am reading, the Leaf is not going to be the best car to have in your home. A home charging station is required if the owner wants to be able to power up while sleeping and this station isn’t your quick and easy circuit plug. The promised release in the Northern California area is drawing a lot of attention but the installation process for the charging station doesn’t seem to be rolling smoothing. In the article “Cities Prepare for Life with the Electric Car” by the NYtimes, a delayed case of installation was illustrated.
When the president of the California Public Utilities Commission, Michael R. Peevey, leased an electric Mini Cooper, he said, it took six weeks of visits by installers and inspectors before he could plug in his new car at home.
“It was really drawn out and frustrating and certainly is not workable on a mass basis,” Mr. Peevey said.
If the electric car is to build any following, it needs to have a faster charging stations installation. While one fully charged battery will allow 100 miles of traveling time, how much does this station cost to install? Nissan doesn’t have an approximated guess available yet. I feel like the installation would be rather steep and think of the electric bills! I’m not sure that I would ever take the electric car route. I take public transportation right now and don’t plan on buying a car anytime soon (hopefully never considering my awful driving history back on the farm) so perhaps I am not a good judge. I am sure once the electric car becomes mass-produced the company will have a set procedure for charging station installation.
For now I will watch the west coast with interest and see how far the Nissan Leaf infiltrates into the Northern Californian and Oregon scene. When the cars start hitting Chicago I will be sure to ask around to hear the comments!