2015 Nissan LEAF
FAVORITE EV FEATURE
The future holds boundless possibilities of feeding the electrical grid in sustainable ways, which is the key to energy independence.
Ryan had been mulling the idea of driving electric for years — and finally pulled the trigger on a pre-owned model at the end of 2016. Making the switch required a few changes in behavior. “I was driving an old car that got 19 MPG on a good day and leaked oil on my driveway. I drove until the fuel light blinked then shelled out money at the nearest gas station,” he said. “Now I am more mindful and planned. I’ve developed new driving techniques as I’ve learned what regenerates the battery and what drains it. But I’m loving the torque and the lack of fumes billowing out the back.” Ryan relies on his EV as a full-time family car, taking him from daycare drop-offs to meetings to errands. He thinks many people would be surprised at how much space is available in a typical electric vehicle. “The first thing I did when test-driving was trying the car seat, stroller and groceries test. It passed with flying colors,” he said. While he charges from home — and appreciates a heated steering wheel on cold mornings — he also regularly uses public charging stations for a top-off. “It’s fun to discover new businesses with charging stations,” he said. He’s also an adjunct professor at a local college, so he often gets a full charge at the college’s charging stations while teaching evening classes. Driving electric has changed Ryan’s perspective. “It’s been a freeing experience. Once you drive electric, all gas-powered cars suddenly look archaic. You’re no longer beholden to erratic gas prices,” he said. “The future holds boundless possibilities of feeding the electrical grid in sustainable ways, which is the key to energy independence.”