Through a $99 million grant from the Department of Energy, the "EV Project" will locate fast charge stations in six states. They will be strategically placed in shopping malls, airports, and even select Costco and Best Buy stores. The EV Project will also pay to install chargers in qualified private homes, including mine, and pull data from the cars via the web while the cars charge overnight. The hope is that Americans will buy as many as 5 million EV's in coming years.
As an expectant Leaf parent, I recently attended a public presentation and test drive of the EV here in Los Angeles. It was my opportunity to drive the car and I was in good company.
Hundreds of Los Angelinos showed up ready to send high amperage to the 80 kilowatt motors of the more than 20 cars that were used for the demonstration. The response was exhilarating as citizens of all races and creeds forged a common bond in true alternating current synchronous acceleration.
My test drive was the culmination of years of desire. I wasn't sure that the drive itself would equal the excitement and anticipation leading to the actual moment. My mind was spinning with so many facts and figures about the car, that sitting in it, and driving it almost became overwhelming. I was the kid in the candy store.
I'm happy to say that I reached my "Zen" moment quickly. I decided to just drive the car. Don't overthink this, I told myself. Enjoy the experience.
Enjoy it, I did.
The car is easy to drive. Since it is an electric vehicle, it is extremely quiet. The torque of the electric motor drive is nearly instantaneous, resulting in quick and smooth acceleration. The regenerative braking, which returns power back to the vehicle while slowing, is smooth and quiet.
The driver's display is informative, but does not try to overwhelm you with too many rolling factoids. I'm looking forward to visiting the gas station, just to clean my windshield or check out the restrooms.
Don't just take my word for it. In future installments, I will introduce you to my new EV and other EV drivers, as well as plug-in vehicle advocates who are dedicated to giving you even more reasons to Go Green.