New EV driver describes his transition to electric
07.05.2018 - by Noah Barnes
New EV driver describes his transition to electric

I’ll admit it: Just a few months ago, I knew almost nothing about electric vehicles. I had heard about Tesla and knew there were a few other EVs on the market, but I never took the time to learn about how they work or why they’re a better option. I had no idea there were tax incentives for purchasing them, they drive better than gas cars, or even that you don’t need to get oil changes.

That all changed when I had the great opportunity to join the Plug In America team as its membership manager. As I learned more about EVs, I quickly realized that I needed to get one myself.

Why go electric?
For me, the primary motivating factor was dollars and cents. I had a Honda Civic, for which I was paying over $170 per month on gas. The monthly payments for a Nissan Leaf were just a little more than for the Civic, but electricity for my Nissan Leaf costs just $50 per month, which alone saves me $120 per month. Plus, while the price of gas can go up quickly, impacting your monthly budget, the price of electricity remains stable and predictable.

How will I charge it?
I was very fortunate to already live in an apartment building that offers EV charging to its residents. I pay my building a flat $50 per month for a dedicated parking spot with charging equipment, which includes unlimited charging for my car. This is still a rare amenity, so we need to encourage more apartment buildings to offer EV charging for residents!

Which EV to get?
I spent a few hours researching the different models of EVs to find which was best for me. In the end, I chose the 2018 Nissan Leaf because it is relatively affordable and offers a range of 151 miles, which is more than enough to meet my needs. In the future, Plug In America’s PlugStar application, launching soon, will make EV shopping experience much simpler. (You can test drive the PlugStar beta site here.)

The result?
I love it! My favorite part of owning an EV, which I didn’t anticipate, is how much fun it is to drive. The handling and acceleration are fantastic and it really zips along. After driving an EV for a couple months, I drove a gas car once and, despite being a new car, it felt like I was driving an old beat-up car because of how it chugged along. I never want to go back to driving gas guzzlers!

Today, I feel like I’ve been let in on this great secret that EVs are so much superior than gas cars for many reasons. But we can’t keep this secret! This is why the work that Plug In America does to educate people about EVs is so important. Please continue telling your friends and neighbors about why you drive electric, because if I can be convinced, anyone can!

6 comments on “New EV driver describes his transition to electric”
  1. Vincent Rakoczy says:

    I had a 2011 Jeep Liberty. I got tired of filling the tank every 200 miles. Then there was all the maintenance too. I traded for a 2018 Leaf which I love. It meets all my routine driving and then some. I’ve taken several road trips and DC fast charged once each way during a lunch break. The vehicle is super quiet and full of technokogyt. Don’t think I could go back to an ICE vehicle.

  2. Jason says:

    I miss my 2012 Leaf and 2014 RAV4 EV. They were great. However, I had leased those. Based on my time with both, I am hesitant to purchase an EV. Now that we are no longer in California where incentives are high even on leases, a lease does not pencil out. The battery life in the Leaf was terrible, forcing me to turn the car in 6 months early because Nissan refused to warranty an new battery. The RAV4 showed some degradation in battery at the end of year one, although it was minimal. Until the prices come down, the utilities don’t require a separate meter to be installed to get a power discount and the EV manfucturers actually support warranty claims on the battery I will be sticker no to gas or hybrids.

  3. Kristin Tindall says:

    Unless you are buying luxury EVs (i.e., Tesla), the costs are much, much lower than gas cars. My husband and I discovered leasing an EV was cheaper than owning a nice gas car, four years old, fully paid off. So we got a second EV and rented a gas car for trips. That was 6 years ago and we’d never go back! We also chose a used Leaf along the way and tracked all costs. It cost less than $0.20/mile after a year of ownership. The most expensive parts were the original sales tax and insurance. We saved so much money, we now have a Tesla model S and 3.

  4. Gordon Morse says:

    Worked in auto engineering for 30 years, and after the first few days in a Kia Soul EV, I knew that there was no going back to ‘infernal’ combustion.

  5. VAN EARL WRIGHT says:

    Lot of xclt points and I agree with all of them!
    Just need the cost to come down but it will as long as we keep advocating & educating

  6. Charles Hall says:

    You’re preaching to the believers! Amen brother!

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