I have always been a fan of electric cars - they're simpler, quieter, smoother, more fun to drive and not dependent on any single fuel source: you can make electricity any number of ways. The problem has always been battery technology, and that is finally getting solved. My first EV was "tweety", a bright yellow Corbin Sparrow.
While it was a lot of fun, it needed just a little too much tinkering and I was never a fan of the belt drive, so sold it to someone who could afford to upgrade the battery and liked tinkering. A few years later, I got a Solectria Force, which was perfect for Corvallis - while it's real range was only a little over 20 miles, dropping to around 10 after 5 years, it was still good enough to get around Corvallis and is still in use by some friends who haven't gotten around to replacing the batteries yet.
In 2011, I was finally able to get a "real" electric car: a Nissan Leaf. With a 50-70 mile range, fast charging capability and a fast charging infrastructure being deployed around Oregon and Washington, it meets 90% of my driving needs. "Cross country" (out of town) trips require a little patience, as charging about doubles trip times, but not so much as to make them impractical. Most charging is done at home, however, and in my case, that's about once a week.
Some of the trips I've taken in the Leaf (all from Corvallis and back):
- Ashland (March 2012)
- To Ashland and back for the opening of the first 8 fast charge stations on the West Coast Electric Highway.
- Sisters (August 2012)
- To Sisters to test out going over the Cascades before driving the Leaf to a nephew's wedding.
- Seattle (September 2012)
- To Seattle to try out the Washington section of the WCEH
- Madras (September 2012)
- To Madras for the nephew's wedding