Driving on Sunshine
This is the most personal post that I’ll ever publish because I’m a car girl. My family is from Detroit, so cars are always a discussion topic and what you drive is a self-expression. If a car isn’t “just right” then it’s not worth doing. My first car when I got my driver’s license was a 2001 Ford Mustang and I loved that car. Everything about it fit with me. But after 16 years of rolling the old Mustang, I was ready for a new ride.
Being in the renewable energy industry, it only made sense to truly walk the walk and get an all-electric vehicle. But like many, I had range anxiety with going all electric and, like many, a Tesla Model S or Chevy Bolt with extended range batteries were not in the budget. Not to mention that most plug-in vehicles are, to say it gently, unattractive. But this girl, with motor city in her blood, made the switch from petrol to sunshine with a little help from a couple of our customers, Dane Goodman and Marie Schoeff.
In early 2017 they leased a little blue Fiat 500e and they are over-the-moon for the car. They were so excited about it that they spent a couple of hours showing Aaron and I the car and even letting our Great Dane, Penny, test the back seat for size. With just a short test drive, it’s easy to see why they’re so excited. Electric cars go, fast! You have probably read it and heard people talk about it but it doesn’t really mean much until you drive an electric car, so get out there and test drive! Zero to 40, a little Fiat smokes a Porche Carrera 911.* And leases and purchases on plug-in vehicles are a screaming deal right now because of dealer, state, and utility incentives. Check out incentives here. Not to mention that in tandem with a home solar system, operational costs can drop to insurance costs only. Dane and Marie joke that the Fiat is their free car.
When we were at the dealership in Thousand Oaks, the salesman that we worked with also drives a Fiat 500e. He absolutely loves the car and benefits from free charging while he’s at work. That really spoke to me. If a 22-year-old young man living in the LA area can get any Dodge truck or muscle car that he wants and he’s chosen a Fiat 500e, then a paradigm shift is already in motion. Young people are voting with their dollars, and they’re voting for smaller, cleaner, more efficient products.
Now that we have the Fiat, Aaron and I are finding it difficult to share. He’s as pumped about driving the car as I am. I keep finding things that I love about the car, but the very best part is that I never have to go to the gas station again. Did you hear? I NEVER have to go to the gas station again. Most cities, including our own, offer free or no cost public charging with front row parking while you charge. There are a myriad of phone apps that will help you find nearby charging stations and then navigate you there.
I never thought that I could get over the style and range issue, but I did. With all of the resources available to people opting to plug in rather than fill up, it makes more sense to drive on sunshine than ever before. But you’ve probably heard this before (I certainly had), so I challenge you to take the next step. Test drive a plug in vehicle and I’ll let the torque speak for itself.
*Pleading the fifth, I can neither confirm nor deny that we have tested this statement with actual vehicles.