It is with great sadness (joy and happiness) that I report our time with our supercharged golf cart with heated seats has come to an end. Despite its peppy acceleration and ease of shredding the tires at stoplights (new tires at 17,000 miles!), our love affair with the Leaf cooled as time passed. The primary detractor? Range, range, and range.
I know, I know. In the last update, I bragged that with proper planning, range was not an issue. Well, proper planning and adjusting our daily routine to hit charging stations became annoying. A good part of this anxiety could have been dispelled if we had purchased a home charger (about $1500 installed). Since the Leaf was a mostly free experiment, that was an investment we did not want to make.
Driving the Leaf daily for two years has proven that electric cars are definitely a viable option. The primary needs for more widespread acceptance are more range (200 miles would be great) and less ugliness. The major auto companies seem to agree and expect to roll out nearly a dozen new and improved models in the next few years.
So, the big question, what's next for us? Last time I discussed a major left brain v. right brain conflict. The logical left brain is building spreadsheets to support another electric car or perhaps hybrid - something practical like a Tesla Model 3, Toyota Prius, or Honda Accord Hybrid. The emotional right brain is putting together a multi-media campaign with the buzzwords fast, stylish, and loud.
I took the right brain shopping at CarMax a few months ago. The salesman nearly had a stroke when I mentioned my plan to share the car with a teenager learning to drive. He repeated the phrase "loaded weapon" several times and tried to steer me to a lesser model. Without hesitation or shame, I admitted this would be a pure ego purchase, meant to restore my testosterone levels to normal after two years with the Leaf.
Alas, the left brain won this round. After careful reflection, my wife and I decided that teaching my 15 year old to drive in a ridiculously high powered twin-turbocharged sports sedan would probably not be a good idea. Instead, we added another boring but practical small SUV to our fleet - a lightly used 2014 Ford Escape. It does have a turbocharger, but just one.
So my dream has been deferred until at least Thanksgiving. Until then, I'll make the best of the Escape and closely track dealer inventories and Autotrader for the perfect car to ring in the New Year.
Feel free to stop by the office for a quick joy ride in my turbocharged SUV. Can't think of a better way to spend time with friends and clients!