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May 10, 2011


I'm saving up for a Jag C-X75:


It's a nip at £700,000, but it's the coolest way to go green.

Oh Brian, Brian, Brian......there is nothing "green" about electric cars. The electricity to power these vehicles will be made with fossil fuels for the next hundred years. Economies of scale will translate into slightly lower operating costs over time, but the initial outlay of money to buy the electric vehicles is for pollution already produced in the manufacture of the vehicles themselves. To use a worn-out and boring cliche: we are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
But have fun with your overgrown golf cart when you eventually receive it. No harm in that!

Willie R, most electricity in the Pacific Northwest comes from renewable hydropower. We've also got an increasing number of wind turbines spinning away. Electricity is cheap compared to the rest of the country.

You're right -- a lot of energy goes into making an electric car. But they're the wave (electromagnetic) of the future. Evolution isn't making any more oil, or at least not quickly enough to be of use to us humans.

Also, I'm old enough to clearly remember the gas lines of the 1970s, when happiness was a full tank. Briefly, until you needed to fill up again. I see a good chance that something crazy will happen again in the middle East that'll disrupt our dependence on foreign oil, which I think is even higher now than it was in the '70s.

Hi Brian,

It is so cool that you are getting an EV. I am getting a Leaf (scheduled to arrive on the 23rd of this month). We have solar panels on our house so it will be truly zero emission and energy independent.

If you want to keep up with the electric vehicle going-ons in Oregon, check out the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association. The website is http://oeva.org/ and they are on facebook and twitter too.

I agree with everything you say about EV's Brian. They are the wave of the future, and they do make a lot of sense in ways that are not completely obvious - that's why they are being produced in the first place!
My only point is that enthusiasm for electric vehicles and hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells and the like needs to be tempered with an awareness that fossil fuel consumption will not, under any circumstances, stop until the supply is exhausted.
The production of Patrick's Leaf has already caused the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere that would have come out of the Leaf's non-existent tailpipe over the life of the vehicle. Ditto with the solar panels, which will never be able to produce enough electricity to charge the Leaf.
The two words "energy independence" may be the ultimate oxymoron.

Willie R. You are wrong. The solar panels that I have had on my house since 2007 produce 3.8MWh per year. That is enough to drive 15,000 miles per year. I will only drive about 8,000 miles per year. So they produce nearly twice as much as I need for driving my (soon to be here) Leaf.

As for the greenhouse gases from the production of my EV, you are wrong again. The carbon footprint from making a Leaf is only about 15% more than a similar sized gas car. For a gas car about 80% of its greenhouse gases come from the fuel it burns and 20% from its production. So even counting the production costs and using today's grid power, an EV has a much smaller carbon footprint.

As for your final point "fossil fuel consumption will not ... stop until the supply is exhausted", I sure hope you are wrong about that one too. The stone age did not end because we ran out of rocks. We can do better than digging stuff up just to burn it.

Patrick, I'm curious... did you drive a Leaf before you bought yours? A few days ago I talked with a salesman at Salem Nissan. He told me that Nissan isn't allocating any cars to dealers that could be used for test drives. Supposedly Nissan wants all available cars going to customers.

The salesman didn't like that policy. I told him that I didn't either. I'm not going to spend $30,000 or so on a car that I've never seen, and never driven. He sympathized, and offered to ask someone local who already has a Leaf if he'd be willing to show us his. So far I haven't heard from the Leaf owner; hopefully I will.

I realize that very early adopters are so enthusiastic, they will buy an electric car sight-unseen and undriven. But my wife and I are potentially part of the next wave -- long time Prius owners (we've on our second Prius) who are interested in going electric but have some questions that need resolving before we're ready to jump into the Leaf (or other electric car) buying pool.

Yes, my wife and I both test drove one at the Leaf tour event when they stopped in Hillsboro last November and I just had one for a week that we got when I dropped my Prius off for some body work. The shop I took it to is using Leafs for their loaner cars. Here is a story about that body shop: http://goo.gl/XuFI2

I don't know if you have any cars that need any work or paint, but if you do, that is one idea.

Patrick - I knew exactly how you would respond to my comments - that is why I made the comments in the first place.
I hope that you enjoy your Leaf when it finally arrives. Everything balances out in the end.

Hello, New Leaf owner here in Florida. Where I bought my Leaf. They have Leaf demo"s. All seems well, very nice driving. I charge at home using 110 outlet. It draws 12 amps and I can check the progress on my computer or look out the window at the blinking lights on the dash. I only drive 10 miles per day and I plug in when I am down to 20 miles and charge to 100 % in 14 hours. I am an old fart and I love the upgrade from the 1978 city-car. I thank Nissan for going all the way with my EV. LOVE IT--tom

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