Low-Hanging Fruit

charging ev

Point #1—There are certainly many things to be concerned about in the world, besides CO2 levels.

Point #2—But, with regard to that particular concern, I find myself focusing on electric vehicles, or EV’s. I think this is because they are the “low-hanging fruit”. If your grid power comes from hydro or nuclear or wind/solar, or if you have the option to buy renewable power from your power company, then I can’t think of any single change that would have a greater carbon impact, for most people. The other day when I described broad-leaf herbicides as “exactly the wrong thing to do”, well, this might be exactly the right thing to do.

So I’ve learned a few things in my quest. Ford is releasing a new EV that is built on the Focus platform, but some websites seem to list it as a “compliance vehicle”, i.e., an EV that is being released in limited numbers mainly to comply with California requirements that a certain portion of a manufacturer’s sales be of zero-emission vehicles. I’m going to check on this.

The Nissan Leaf is by far the “standard”, (they’ve sold about 60,000 of them) though Tesla’s high-end cars could be considered as second. The Leaf comes in three “trim levels”, and prices after federal rebates are roughly 23k, 26k, 29k. Three-year lease rates start at $199 a month.  And I’ve learned a bit about charging EVs—in general, charging on 110v is called “Level 1” and takes about 12 hours or so. Charging with a “Level 2” charger is at 220v, and takes about 6 hours. Finally, there are new “Level 3” chargers that charge with 440v DC, and can bring an EV to about 80% full in just 30 minutes. You can completely charge a Leaf for about $2 in electricity, depending on your rates.

So, the Nissan dealer in Plattsburg, NY, has a Leaf in stock—I’m going to go drive it Saturday. I’ll let you know how that goes…

Image credit: packshot / 123RF Stock Photo