A few months before the lease on my last car was going to end, I began researching electric vehicles as a replacement. I consider myself a responsible citizen and am paying attention to climate change, so I liked the idea of not adding more carbon to the environment. With gas prices skyrocketing and the available incentives, I could save some money. It also felt like the right time because the battery technology has improved.
It can seem scary to make the switch, but I highly recommend planning ahead, doing your homework, and taking your time. I began my research nearly six months before my current lease was to end. A friend who drives an EV was able to answer a lot of my questions, which made it a lot less intimidating. (For example, what if there’s a power outage? She pointed out that gas pumps don’t work in a power outage, either!)
In doing this research, I found that some salespeople were aggressive or immediately talked down to me because I’m a woman. If their first question was what color I like, I was done. It’s insulting and I knew I wasn’t going to get a good deal. However, some dealers had salespeople that were passionate about EVs, which was very helpful.
I test drove about a dozen cars, both plug-in hybrids and all-electric, but ultimately found that the 2019 Nissan LEAF SL was the right car for me. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I do. It’s cute, has a great turning radius, and it feels like a normal car, which made it an easier adjustment. It’s also still eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit.
I’ve been driving it for a few months and really like it. Most of the time I drive on the “Eco” setting to conserve the battery, but when I need to zip and take off, like getting on a highway, it’s very fast and safe. I also feel like I’m practicing what I preach as an environmentalist and the cost savings in gas is amazing. My electricity bill has gone up $15 per month, but I used to spend $300 each month in gas!
I only got a two-year lease on my Nissan LEAF. The battery technology is improving so quickly, I’m already looking forward to what new EV options will be available in 2021!