electric vehicle ownership thoughts

About two months ago, my hybrid vehicle – a classic green Prius – died. It turns out that some Priuses (Prii?) can accumulate sediment on the pistons, which can lead to engine failure. We weren’t quite there, but the mechanic made it clear that our old Prius was not long for this world. So we traded it in and got a Nissan Leaf.

I am slightly skeptical about electric vehicles. I believe that they will one day happen and be dominant, but I wasn’t going to be the first to buy one. Over the years, my skepticism was justified. They were quite expensive relative to similar cars and they had limited range. Some brands, like Tesla, also have very expensive repairs and, thus, higher insurance rates. Honestly, not a great deal, especially for someone who places low value on cars.

But that is now changing. Electric cars now have really good mileage and their prices are competitive. So it was a good time to make the switch. These are my thoughts so far:

  • Context matters: I live in a rural area so I need a car for lots of short rides but also one that can drive to the big city. Thus the electric car was not going to be my only car, as it still isn’t great for long hauls. Why? If you have a super long trip, you might not find a charger close by, or you may need to spend a bit of time on charging. But for an “in town” car, the electric vehicle is a no brainer. If your battery carries 100+ miles, you will not use it up going to work or the grocery store. If you travel long distance all the time, I’d stick with a combustion engine.
  • I do not miss gas stations: I was surprised at how quickly I forgot about gas stations. You won’t miss the smell. You’ll like saving the money. If you think oil companies are a blot on the world, this is your car.
  • The silence: Unexpected. An electric car makes almost no noise. I could hear my thoughts and I loved being able to hear my music again. A real delight.
  • Charging: If this the car you use in town, then charging is an after thought. You plug it in and just let it charge while you sleep. You will likely need to install a higher voltage outlet, but I suspect these will come standard in homes anyway.
  • Charging on the road: This is why I still have a combustion car. If you are on a long drive, you may or may not have access to a good charger. Why? Some charging stations may be broken. Or they may not have the charger that fits your car. About ten years from now, this will not be an issue but it is an issue today.
  • No fumes and other things: The car emits nothing, which means you can close the garage door while your favorite songs finishes on the radio. The car is also turned on by pushing buttons, which is so much nicer that turning the transmission on.

We won’t be in an EV world for a while, but if you need a car for lots of short range driving, or even medium range driving, this is it.



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Written by fabiorojas

July 8, 2019 at 2:22 am

Posted in uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. How do the maintenance costs compare?

    Liked by 1 person

    chris eberhardt

    July 18, 2019 at 1:27 pm

  2. I have a new car, so we’ll see. But in theory, the only big cost is the battery. The car has few parts – no oil changes, no filters or belts.



    July 22, 2019 at 5:29 pm

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