Friday, April 1, 2016

Fossil Free Friday: Electric Cars Exist - Really!

No fooling!
The actual car I drove this week. Really! This is no April Fools joke. It does not burn gas!

Earlier this week, I went to do a little presentation about electric cars at a local event. My friend Matt graciously let me borrow his Nissan Leaf. (It's such a pleasure to drive a Leaf - thanks, Matt!)

For me (on a selfish side) taking the Leaf killed my presentation. No one saw my powerpoint slides. No one scanned my QR code to see the big page o' links I put together just for the presentation. I put in a whole lot of work for nothing.

But the Leaf made my point much better than the presentation ever could have.

You see, electric cars thrill me. Every Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Ford Energi, BMW i3, i8, or Tesla I spot makes my heart leap. Mostly, I just see Leafs and Volts. I get this endorphin/adrenaline surge each time I see any of them - yes, I am fully aware that I am an eco-dork. (Maybe I need a t-shirt!) I live and breathe electric vehicles. And I thought that everyone knew about them.

No one in Lubbock knows that electric cars exist.
I put a lot of work into this sucker!

But a funny thing happened when I was showing off the Leaf. No one quite knew what it was. When I explained why there was no tailpipe, I got a lot of crazy looks. My favorite question was this: "How does this compare to my friend's [Toyota] Prius?" It took a few sentences to get across the idea that they are not the same animal. Yes, they both use some electric stuff, but only the Leaf burns NO GAS.

No gas tank.
No tailpipe.
No oil to change.
No gas stations where you suck in harmful vapors.
No noise pollution.
Fewer moving parts to wear out.
And you can charge it up in the privacy of your own garage - very cheaply!
Lubbock people just weren't ready for it.

I took 8 people for rides in it. They were stunned at the quiet. They were stunned at the quick. They were stunned at the roominess. They were stunned that riding in it was a normal car experience. (To be fair, four of these people who rode in the Leaf knew it was electric - my wife and three guys who put up with my electric obsession over coffee every morning. Thanks for coming, Grizz, Knippa, and Cptn Kirk!)

Look Ma! No gas!
May you tell one person today that electric cars are real and can help us heal our world. (If you need help explaining, try starting here.)
PS. Yesterday. we finally got to see the Tesla Model 3 and learn details - a huge day in electric car history.
Dang, that thing is cool! (Green Car Reports article)