Saturday, October 15, 2016

WA EV Fence Sitters AKA "T3ers" Read This!

After what seemed like an interminable period of stagnation in the EV World (besides Tesla) there is now rumors flying all over the place of bigger, better and longer just around the corner.  Whether its 2 months for a Bolt, 8 months for LEAF II or 16 months (or more) for a Tesla 3 there now seems to be a ton of things to wait for!


For those of us like me who is looking for the best deal range verses dollars wise, is waiting for a bump in range going to be the right choice?  Right now there is a lot of incentives making EVs essentially a cheaper "purchase" option than a gasoline car. This is new. Previously to win the TCO battle, we had to live in a relatively cheap electricity/expensive gasoline area and drive the EV a few years before we started to realize the savings.

Now we all know that the longer you drive the EV, the more you save. On a per mile basis there is not a gasoline car in the World that can touch an EV's efficiency.

This chart shows relative savings driving an EV over a gasoline car. The figures show annual savings if you drive the typical miles in each state.  More details here.  As you can see, its a win in every state.  Another thing to keep in mind; Each number is derived using the average power rates for each state and average number of miles driven annually in each state.   Get a LEAF and your savings will escalate with two years of NCTC.  Have solar, same thing. Charge off peak in TOU areas like California and again, savings escalate. So generally speaking; unless your driving needs are very modest, you are likely to save more than this chart displays.  OBTW; New Jersey will soon implement a 23 cent per gallon gas tax hike... :)

So this chart illustrates that the sooner you start on the EV trail, the bigger the pot of gold at the end.  But there are other reasons why waiting might not be in your best interest especially if 200 miles is not really a requirement for you.

It wasn't until I mentioned a great offer to buy my 2013 S off lease that I realized that a lot more people than I realized were happy with their 90 mile LEAF despite knowing that that range was dropping every month.  Yes, most were 2+ car families so a gasser was always in the wings for that occasional trip across the state.  In fact, many were shocked I did not take the deal.  "I am not thrilled with the range of my LEAF but for that price!" was told to me over and over.  Apparently a price/range performance still applied even at the low end of the spectrum.

And this does make sense.  Before taking my current job which requires me to travel to my client's location, I would have survived EASILY on the LEAF's range even after losing a few bars. The current state of public charging isn't really acceptable for work purposes but for personal trips, it will do. I am more than ok with incorporating stops in the journey.  Today I will be going to celebrate the first anniversary of my great nephew's entry into this World. It will be 65 miles one way in VERY unfriendly driving weather. But nothing a 30 min stop each way can't fix.

Another thing making EVs a no brainer is dealer incentives.  Its the same ole year end closeout to make room for the bigger and better.  The 30 kwh LEAF provides a better charging profile and a boost in range along with a MUCH longer battery capacity warranty and its priced to sell.

This is from a dealer in OR. I posted this before and wondered why the S trim pricing was not matching and the article I got this from provided ZERO details but it was revealed that Nissan did a mid year update and the price includes the 30 kwh pack and fast charge package.   Now this incentive runs til Dec 15th  but as always includes the disclaimer that the promotion can expire at any time. IOW, standard auto industry "While supplies last" jargon and at these prices the already low LEAF inventory won't be around long.  Again, if 200 miles isn't a requirement, hard to find a better price/performance deal!

But a lot of us are waiting for that extra range and for good reason.  200 miles becomes 150 miles in inclement weather. Rain, snow, and plain old cold weather whittles away at the range. This is a major concern for those who do not live in an EV friendly environment especially one without at least a bare bones public charging network. 

But longer range vehicles are just around the corner. The Bolt with a tested 230 mile range will be on the streets soon and available in WA probably in less than 4-6 months. At $38,500 to start, its not a cheap option by any means but will still have up to a $7500 fed tax discount along with WA State sales tax working out to about $3,000 which means it could be had for an effective $25,000 gasoline car with roughly $2375 sales tax.  

Rumors also flying over a 2017 40ish kwh LEAF hitting the streets in 2-3 months.  Now most of the fuel for this has come from Renault's announcement of their 41 kwh EV hitting the streets.  Guessing we will learn a lot more during the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.  Even if this is true, still no word on pricing but have to think that it will price under the Bolt by at least a few thousand thru factory incentives or simply lower prices. 

Then of course we have the T3 along with its 300,000 advance orders. Tesla has built a reputation of "gathering no moss." They have not always been on time and yes, sometimes they put out products that simply were not ready, but for innovation speed and coolness, they stand alone.  So does the T3 deserve 300,000 orders? Probably not.  Musk created hype by advertising a very attractive price that in today's World would have made a T3 purchase a no brainer.  But the T3 does not exist in today's World and that completely changes the math. 

With the success of the S and the X and Tesla's ability to continue eating into the luxury car market, sales are booming. Probably better than they expected. This has caused a situation where most of the T3's won't qualify for the fed tax incentive.  For a car that Tesla stated will average $43,000 OTD, (effective price today 32,500) it's effective becomes $40,000 before the WA State sales tax incentive. But  WA State changed its EV incentive allowing more types of cars to qualify including the Chevy "Volt." AND it will only cover the first 7500 vehicles registered.  With the huge incentives on the 2016 LEAFs, combined with the Bolt introduction, added Volt sales and expected mid range LEAFs hitting the streets soon,  I expect $3,000 WA State incentive to expire by mid Summer 2017 if not sooner.  This all means the "affordable" T3 will cost at least $38,325 for the entry level model.  

Now things could change.  Obama tried several times to introduce a wrinkle in the EV incentive program including a $10,000 instant rebate for those of us like me who wouldn't qualify for the entire $7500. That failed so he tried an instant $7500 rebate but with the Republican controlled Congress, that also died a very quick death.  But the government makes it a practice to do things at the last second and the failure of Obama's proposal is partly our fault. Not enough of us made our wishes known. I think when the lose of the credit is just around the corner, that will change.  But then again, who knows? Not sure I want to bank on that. 
Now, EVs have been around long enough that a look at the used market is definitely not to be ignored. For modest needs, used LEAFs are almost being given away. Shopping around we are seeing several in the $7,000 to $9,000 range.  If your needs are more robust (and you have a wallet to match) maybe a CPO Tesla is something to look at.  Normally I would say its way too much money despite the huge range but with incentives evaporating faster than Donald Trump's supporters; a lightly used Tesla might not be that much more money after all

There are also some S 60's listed for $44,000 which makes it nearly the same price as the average out the door price on the T3 after the loss of incentives. Here you have a bigger car with similar range slightly used but remember, the sooner you start EV the sooner you save the money. Keep in mind; most of these cars come with supercharger access a price yet to be determined for the T3...

So like Wow! What to do?

My advice? (or at least what I am considering) I will separate based on need....

For the bargain hunter who needs are very modest;  Used LEAFs can be had for super cheap. Low gas prices are driving some used LEAF prices into the ridiculously low category. But the range will be a factor if your needs approach 50 miles at a time or your area is not EV friendly.

For the modest needs;  Jump on the 2016 LEAF closeouts. These prices are really not to be believed and one of the biggest reasons is that I sincerely do not think the WA State sales tax incentive will survive long enough to cover the LEAF II.  Remember the 30 kwh LEAF has a much better fast charge profile which should be maintained even 6-7 years down the line when degradation is setting in.  It is nice to now actually get that "80% in 30 mins" performance!

For the Road Warrior; This is a tough call.  The Tesla CPO provides a bigger more known entity but at a significant jump in price. But Supercharger access is a tough perk to beat and that network has not shown any signs that its ready to rest on its laurels.  An 85 kwh pack will provide very useful range for probably at least 8-10 years which translates to a minimum savings of likely $12,000 - $15,000 over gasoline and more.  Best of all; its here and now.

The Bolt promises to be a "Tesla beater" but that is the issue. The Bolt is all promise and no substance.  This is not Chevy's first foray into an EV. The Spark is out there in very limited numbers so the real question besides reliability is will they be available in decent numbers in a non CARB state like WA? But with a range over 200 miles and an effective price well under $30,000 it is a tough deal to beat!

Our state despite being a leader in EV adoption has been ignored several times and I don't see that changing. I do think that Chevy understands the market here and we are "up there" but we won't be first.  I think the Bolt will be a viable option by no later than March 2017 so its a great option at a great price point especially if you qualify for the whole fed tax thing.

For me? I doubt its a go for me.  The price I can overcome, but the "buy first, ask questions later" approach I am not sure I can overcome.  I leased my first LEAF because of the tax incentive. It was my original intention to lease it, get the full tax benefit than buy it.  I soon realized after taking possession that Nissan was essentially offering me a "3 year try it before you buy it" test drive with nearly no extra cost to me.  This was especially true on my 2013 lease where the "rent" cost for the 3 year lease (Rent is basically the equivalent of loan interest) was less than a dinner at a chain restaurant.  I admit to becoming accustomed to that lack of commitment.  :)

Sadly, my long awaited choice; the LEAF II is not likely to be here in time for WA Tax incentive which means likely and effective price near to the Bolt and probably with slightly less range and a BMS/TMS system yet to be determined.  But again, if Nissan continues with its 2 year NCTC program, it still makes it a viable option. Add to that; the best lease terms in the biz.

Finally; the darkhorse.  the rumored 2017 LEAF with a the 40ish kwh battery.  Not the long range choice but in an EV friendly area like Western WA, it is more than enough for me, especially at the right price and the price will be right because it will be here to gather all but the dealer incentives. As a returning customer, I will save something there! The price is unknown but if I had to guess, I would say mid $30K making the effective price into the mid $20K.

Now, this is going to come as a huge letdown to many of you, but its becoming clearer and clearer that that the T3 has been outdone... several times.


There are several more choices I did not touch on including the Soul EV which will have a longer range version out soon. The fed tax credit will not be an issue for them for quite a while. So if you miss the bargains that are out there now, you will still likely have the chance with lower volume EV offerings from Kia, Ford and VW. Now VW promises to have a very large footprint in the EV arena but their late start insures a bigger fed discount.

Another thing I failed to note is that the fed tax discount does not end abruptly.  The issues with Chevy Nissan and Tesla still remain but after they hit the sales target of 200,000 units, then the clock starts to tick.  The full credit will be available up to the end of the quarter after the sales target is achieved meaning you can still get the full credit potentially just short of 6 months longer.  But all three should hit that target in 2017. With EV recognition accelerating among the general public, sales will be increasing so it will likely be earlier in 2017 than later.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Nissan Strategy Shift

Huge incentives are allowing 2016's to fly out of the dealerships so whether buying or leasing, it is a really good time to get a LEAF on the cheap. But what does this really mean?

Year end closeout specials are common in the industry so this is not that far out of character but the incentives are huge.  This ad from an Oregon Dealership also mentions discounted lease terms as well so clearing the lot is the obvious goals here.

This does represent a shift in Nissan's planning.  Earlier in the year, their big push was converting leases into sales. Many took advantage seeing a greater than 50% discount off their residuals. Some even had several months lease payments waived as a reward for pulling the buy trigger early.  But those incentives have dried least for now.  Expect that to change especially if dealer stock is depleted before the 2017's are ready.

All this points to the 2017 Model year introducing something exciting. We already know the 2017 S Trim will have the 30 kwh pack available AND we already know Nissan's sister company Renault will have a 41 kwh pack for its EV for 2017 so wondering if that pack will be coming to the 2017 SV/SL at a price that would stop 2016 sales in their tracks (or drop the value to the current incentive level?)

Exciting times are ahead whether you want a small bump in range (30 kwh) for less than your current 24 kwh LEAF or perhaps paying a teeny bit more for a much larger bump in range?

Its all speculation and its obvious Nissan is manipulating the market for some reason so incentives above run out Dec 15th which likely means the 2017's will probably hit the lot first week of January.

But I get a lot of people in my situation who don't know what they want to do and that is in a lease that ends in less than 3 months.  Well let me break down my thought process.

First off; we all want longer range but at what cost?  Waaaay back when I leased my 2013 I thought there would be two likely scenario's.  1) LEAF II would be on the streets or near it or 2) I would have to extend 4-6 months to get it.  All this seems to be on track.

I also thought that there would be several longer range options out there in case I wanted to jump ship and that has not happened.  I don't anticipate the Bolt getting here before Mid February and that is a bit too much time not to mention the Bolt is a bit too much money with much less attractive lease terms likely.

But my options as I see it would be

1) Buy out the LEAF, drive it another 6-8 months until LEAF II arrives
2) Turn in LEAF, drive Corolla for 6-8 months until LEAF II or something else arrives
3) Extend lease month to month until....
4) Turn in LEAF and get best deal I can anywhere

Now there are pro's and con's to every choice.  so....

1) Buy out the LEAF, drive it another 6-8 months until LEAF II arrives;

Pros; no more waiting for the longer range to come out!

Cons; I would be buying a car that has likely over 45,000 miles on it that would be less and less convenient for me. I could easily add another 10,000 miles in 6 months making the car much less valuable.  I would also have to get tires ($500-600) tabs ($280) and deal with trying to sell it in a very depressed market.

Result; least likely scenario unless they bring back the huge buy incentives.

2) Turn in LEAF, drive Corolla for 6-8 months until LEAF II or something else arrives

Pros; pretty much the same as above. cheaper expenses while waiting. one car, less insurance, etc...

Cons; Have to pay lease termination fees and well GASOLINE!!

Result; To be honest with ya, not sure I could go with gas only transportation for that long of a period.

3) Extend lease month to month until....

Pros; This allows me to really check out the market deals. Granted no where near as cheap as a 2016 LEAF but the range is likely to be enough for me to go from Leaser to Purchaser...

Cons; All the #1 list plus more if I decide to go with something other than Nissan.

4) Turn in LEAF and get best deal I can anywhere

Pros; Probably the best kwh/dollar deal I can get. a 30 kwh LEAF would leave me as a Leaser but then again; I now have time to see how the EV market develops. Avoiding the initial factory output of  unknowns is probably not a bad idea. A few years of Bolt and T3 user feedbacks, etc. would be a valuable tool in 3 years.   Also going from LEAF to LEAF means $500 forgiveness on damage/excessive mileage (guessing I will be max'ing that out) waiving the lease termination fees, and possible loyalty discounts on top of all that with the dealer incentives.   Granted if I decide to go with the only other real choice here (the Soul) then those go away but the Soul is not really getting the good deals. I pretty much have to lease and I have to have 15,000 miles and when that gets thrown in there, the price is merely "good."

All that pretty much makes a great deal a near no brainer.

Cons;  range. There is no real downside other than the 30 kwh. But it would still be more than what I had 3 years ago and quite a bit more than what I have now.  Add to that a LEAF gets me 2 years of NCTC (likely anyway) which allows more wanton driving. so umm, yeah this is the "con" section...

So uhh, well. I guess time will tell. What is not showing in the graphic above is the disclaimer that the deals could change significantly before the Dec 15th deadline. (Obviously you can't sell what you don't have)  So time will tell and that time is running short.

A Final Word to address another category of Leasers that I am not a part of and that is the one who has modest range needs and is considering keeping their current LEAF long term

Don't. There is so many reasons against keeping it and the biggest one is that you can get a better LEAF with a possible upgrade in range on the year end deals but remember; the 30 kwh pack has a longer degradation warranty.  I see this a lot where people are happy with the range until it starts to not work for them.  When that happens, there is an extreme change of habit that must occur and that is a greater reliance on the 2nd car and public charging.  I find that people who read about us charging publicly do not realize just how much they won't enjoy it. It doesn't bother me that much because I almost always have other things that need to get done anyway so its never a waste of time to me.

For you; that may not be the case.   So don't judge your buying decision on how well the LEAF covers your needs today. Judge it on how well it covers you when your payments are done in 3-5 years.

If you do decide to buy again don't do it unless you get a significant discount from your residual and I mean several thousand... not a few.

Friday, October 7, 2016

$150 EV Tab Renewal Fee; Part 3... (Wow, this is getting old!)

As always, taxes are a required part of our existence and as always people need to complain about them and the LEAF is not immune to that.  A lot of discussion over the "value" of the $150 EV tab renewal fee and whether or not its a "good deal" over simply buying gas is currently making the rounds.  One EVer wrote that they used their LEAF less than 1000 miles a year  and mused that gas would be a better deal.  I say that Uber is the better deal!

And that would be the typical knee jerk reaction but we live in Rainy WA so even something that is a mile away would translate into a very inconvenient chore (dropping kids off to school) during the loooong rainy season we have. I am ok with walking a mile during our glorious 3... , well actually its getting to be more like 4-5 months of good weather thanks to Global Climate Change!  In fact, I had a dinger on my LEAF which I took to the body shop to get fixed. It was 3.2 miles away and I walked that distance (normally I would have gone 4 miles or so at the gym anyway...) but both times it was during sunny days with temps ranging from mid 60's to low 70's.  IOW, perfect day to get out and suck up some exhaust!!

But back to EVer's "1000 miles on gas" is better statement.  Actually it really doesn't matter how far you drive in ANY kind of car because of two things.
Since gas is higher than when this chart was made, add a bit more to the total.

Thing number one;

The biggest cost factor for any car is the cost of the car and insurance.  I have tracked every penny since Nov 2003 on several different types of car and fuel costs is one of the smallest cost. Yes, I drive the higher end of fuel efficient cars but even a gas hog would not put up a serious fight.  The issue here is generally, the higher gas consumption equals higher payments, insurance, etc... Not always true granted. You could always pick up a 20 year old truck on the cheap but that frequently introduces another expense high enough for major budgetary considerations if you know what I mean...

IOW; he would lose on any car simply because he did not drive it enough. Now the definition of "losing" is highly subjective (objectivity is the excuse we use but in truth, it rarely comes into play) and really depends on one's desire to get things done cheaply.  There are buses, taxi's car pools, etc.  Now children throw a BIG kink into the mix but there are a lot of people who don't have cars and have children. There is no secret that we tend to not want to walk "anywhere" including walking from the 3rd row of the parking lot. Saturday morning, I watched a car circle the two rows on either side of the front door at Costco's parking lot at least twice. (don't know how many laps they had completed before or after I saw them since they were still circling when I parked halfway down the next to the last, nearly abandoned row from the front door) In fact; if you want to completely eliminate ICEing overnight, simply locate the charging stations at least 3 rows back.  Now there is an argument that one does not want to be caught with their car too far from the building in case of heavy rain but couldn't help but notice the very same practice at covered lots like Bellevue Mall so...

But using the chart above, our EVer would be paying just under $10 a mile with fuel costs completely removed.  Uber is starting to look better and better.  Not even going to talk about the invaluable benefits of "10,000 steps a day"

Thing number two;

He complained that the WA State gas tax (which he underestimated by quite a long shot) would allow him to gas it several thousand miles which was his first mistake because gas includes both state and federal taxes plus homage to the oil companies. The 3 parts can NEVER be separated so all 3 "have" to be taken into consideration. I think he simply forgot to consider that the $150 EV tab fee does cover the fed commitment to the highway fund.  Not all of this applies to EVs though. Fuel is frequently not a factor simply because its super cheap or free. Now this not the case everywhere but it IS the case in WA where the $150 EV Tab fee exists.  When is the last time you got free gas?... yeah, that's what I thought.

But if using math for fuel cost considerations only, and the cost of gas being $2.499 today (I checked several stations and this was the lowest I could find. Granted rewards from various sources will drop the cost a few cents but whatever...)   means a 30 mpg car will go  1800 miles so if the EVer's statement of 1000 miles a year is correct, on the surface, it would be cheaper to drive gas...


A gas car needs to warm up before it will perform to EPA expectations so

*30 mpg ain't happening unless the car has an EPA rating of around 50 mpg.  I had a Prius (lifetime average for all driving 53.9 MPG) that I tracked on trips likely farther than what the EVer above would be driving and in Winter using short trips under 3 miles. I averaged 24 mpg (Summer was higher at 36 mpg)  So lets take that $150 using a more realistic 20 mpg and now we are going 1200 miles which means, gas is still winning.  FYI; the 3 mile distance was selected because the strip mall on the corner from our house included several eateries, Safeway, Papa Murphy's, etc. was 2.4 miles away but you get the idea.

Note; the  Prius had a thermos which stored hot water from the radiator and was designed to warm up car quicker during multiple short trips with short stops between. This was supposed to help fuel economy. Most of the time the average "layover" was 10 minutes and that time seemed long enough to "put me back at square one" most of the time. In these cases, Summer was MUCH different.  For comparison; In Summer with car warmed up, I tended to average between 60-75 mpg on city streets with the wide range depending on traffic light timing.

Remember the oil story. My sister had a lady with a brand new Ford Taurus who had her oil changed at 6800 miles (interval is 10,000 miles or one year under normal conditions) more than TWO years after she bought the car. (despite the fact that her first 5 oil changes would be done for free) Luckily nothing really bad happened but the facts are, you are really pushing your luck if you don't get the oil and filter changed AT LEAST once a year and guess what? The more short trips you make, the more frequent your oil changes should occur NO MATTER HOW FAR YOU WENT... so if we take the super cheap route and and DIY'd it, You could probably do it for $25 filter and all.  ($150 tab fee - $25 oil change / $2.499 for gas leaving  smidgen over 50 gallons of gas) so now that $150 is only taking you 1000.4 miles.

Ok, I guess the EVer was right. It would be cheaper to do gas...


In this day and age, I almost never turn down a proposition to save some money. My income is likely a fraction of what most EVers make so it is more important for me to budget than for most. But this is not as cut and dried as we like to think. There is also the desire to have some fun while taking our ride on Planet Earth that needs to be balanced as well.

 But a close examination of how we spend money and where we choose to "get the bargains"  has left me scratching my head.  I thought I was singularly unique in my over the top penny pinching ways while literally throwing money away at other things but have come to find out that I am actually pretty typical.

I will likely end the year receiving nearly $1000 in cash back from the various credit cards I carry. I have a dozen of them or so (I should really know this...) selected for the various cash back options. Since I haven't paid a penny in credit card interest in over 30 years, the number of cards is unimportant and they are all on auto debit so they really make having them convenient, right?

I also have two that have 5% specials that rotate every quarter.  On one, it covered restaurants and I undoubtedly went out more than I normally would because I was "saving" money. Well, we all know that is not how it works.

But because of this give and take relationship with money spent and perceived value, we always need to keep in mind that money put into the local coffers tend to raise everyone's status in life.  Long after my youngest is out of school, I will continue to support education because the alternative is higher crime, greater financial need for social programs, and an overall blight on my neighborhood that will eventually lower property values causing an exodus.  So yeah, that $150 EV tax is one of "the" best ways to spend your money.  Just like any perspective where your wallet covers 90% of your view, this is not always easy to understand. Add the slow grind of governmental gears (at least the ones that aren't circular...) and the results of your money may take years to understand. But remember this $150 tax was bumped by $50 for a reason and that reason just started.

In closing;  I always consider my purchases and how they align with my ideals and I gave up the "hardline" approach a long long time ago simply because I found it tended to close my mind to new ideas.  The Dollar Store and all its iterations was one I avoided because it was supporting China, undermining American Factory workers, etc... But soon I realized I could not help anyone if I was not able to help myself, so I caved. But I discovered that the Dollar Store is not all useless junk (I also peruse the "As seen on TV" aisle closely...) Something I got a few years back and it came in a 3 pack. I find it to be a prime example how compromise in one area can lead to much larger benefits in another. Now, will the legendary (and exaggerated) Plastic Island in the Pacific shrink because of my actions?  Probably not, but in this case, I would require proof to burst my bubble...

Tonia Buell reminds us that the entire $150 is spent to improve our state.  As we know, what we pay for gas does not.

Note; (Another way of saying "Closing part 2")  Our ability to justify our decisions ranks just above our ability to adapt and find a way to make it work.  In my personal life, there are a few events I celebrate because they are very important to me. The anniversary of one of those events will be next week. A triumph of the Human Spirit to go do the impossible never giving up. Never accepting "No" "Can't" "Too Late"

The LEAF is another much smaller way of making it work. Small sacrifices for a much bigger reward. The reward has only trickled in so far but the stream is growing every day so I leave you with an example of making it work.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September 2016 Drive Report

Ok, so my goal of reducing the LEAF usage as I near the end of my lease did not go as well as planned this month which means I have more lease time than lease mileage right now. Either way, it was just a somewhat busier month I guess cause both cars went over 1000 miles for the month.

The Corolla did go 1145 miles costing $70.95 or 6.26 cents per mile. I managed to average nearly 41 mpg, a very good number I think.  There was an oil change this month as well but to be fair since I don't count the LEAF maintenance costs (cause there is nothing to count) I won't count the gasser maintenance cost either. ($33.95 for anyone interested)

The LEAF went 1434.5 miles costing $25.21 (including $1 in public charging costs) or 1.76 cents per mile. Now that figure has a lot to do with NRG providing a week of free charging during NDEW 2016 of I managed to get over 50 kwh.  As always batt stats ebb and flow with the level of usage and during the very busy first half of the month, LEAF peaked at 267 GIDs, 20.7 kwh available, 61.07 ahr, and 95.07 Hx.  Low water mark pretty much happened when the car sat for 3 days straight then was driven less than 20 miles the rest of the week at 251, 19.5, 57.83, 87.28.  I am now over 43,000 miles with 12 weeks to go.  That leaves me an average of  167 miles a week... I think I am going over...

Strange...I can't decide if this is some sort of half baked attempt to show how much I saved or simply bad programming.  On the one hand, they show the connect fees I saved but did not show the per minute fees I saved. Since the station is preset to stop at 30 mins, not sure why 33 is showing but it should either all be there or none of it... Just strange...

Anyway, another great month in EVdom. National Drive Electric in Steilacoom was a success again expanding significantly in attendance this year. Some of the participants below

We had over 60 plug ins in attendance including a mail truck!  There has been a joke circulating that the Post Office went broke because Uncle Sam took away their gas card. Sounds like if they had gone EV, they would not have had that problem!... but nevertheless, it was a joke but the funniest jokes are funny because you can relate to them from real life experiences.

Also from Ray our "inside LEAF contact",  Looks like the S trim will have the 30 kwh option in 2017. Now if only we can get them on the streets in the next 12 weeks! 

Car Sharing programs have exploded taking the "Uber" concept one step further.  They work by having dozens of cars strategically placed around town. You log into the app, do a search, find the car nearest you. Simply go there wave your magic wand (or smartphone) the car unlocks and you drive off.  Pretty cool, eh??

Well, in our myopic World, it was pretty cool until EVs were added to the mix then all of a sudden, we got upset that these cars were monopolizing public charging stations! Oh the inhumanity!! What nerve!  Then news came that one company currently using a fast charger in Seattle frequently (although they will let anyone cut in line to charge first and they do most of their charging at night) plans to add 100 EVs to its fleet. The additional charging need probably means that more fast chargers and prob L2's would be occupied by them!

Well complainers; get in line!  Before you complain about these private business cars taking up public resources, remember.

Way before you started complaining about these cars taking up public charging spaces, I was complaining about them taking up public parking spaces but that was way after I was complaining about truckers, taxi's and buses clogging up my path to work! Take private business vehicles off the road or restrict them to the right lane only (outta way, outta mind, I always say!) is the only solution for me!


That will never happen just as complaining about someone using "public" charging facilities is never going to gather sympathizers. Sure it sucks that its late at night, you are short on charge and the station is the only one for several miles... but wait!

Maybe we are looking at this wrong. Do we complain there is too many trucks on the road or do we complain there is simply not enough lanes on the road to handle the trucks?

Maybe we need to understand that the quickest way to get more chargers is to demonstrate how inadequate our current network is.  Now you might say "that is exactly what we have been doing for 5 years now and its not working!"

Well that is not even remotely close to true. It is working. We have not seen a major deployment of new plugs quite yet but we have gained a lot of attention helped by the growing number of State legislators who are now driving EVs as well.

For anyone in WA, we know that any public transportation project takes massive amounts of money and time to implement. But public charging does not take that much. For the cost of a study to merely investigate a public transportation project, we could blanket the city with fast chargers. But all projects, big and small require money and support. We EVers are multiplying daily but our voice is not be directed in the direction that best addresses our needs.

Every time I frequent a business, I ask for a comment card or an online link to fill out a survey and every time I make it clear that I would think much more highly of the business if they supported public charging. When is the last time you did this?

Or would you rather sit in traffic complaining about the latest tax increase to cover mass transit? Think of where "that" has gotten us...