The Groebe Family
Honda Clarity PHEV, Nissan LEAF
Biggest EV Difference
The Economy of Fuel and Maintenance
With battery improvements and EV cost reductions, driving electric made sense to me. The fun of electric driving and the convenience of garage charging were the frosting on the cake.
For David Groebe, caring for the earth was the number one factor in adopting an electric vehicle. As his passion for sustainability grew over time, so did his interest in the advancement of electric driving, creating a legacy for him, his wife Carol and their sons. Today, the Groebe’s are a multi-generation EV family, having leased or owned four Nissan LEAFs and a Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.
Concern for the Planet
Describing the origins of what sparked his interest in EVs, David says that “even though my dad worked in the petroleum industry, I had concerns about the environment at an early age.” He thought that humans were taking advantage of a non-renewable resource that they shouldn’t. “If you cut down a tree, you can replant it, but you can’t put fossil fuels back in the ground.”
As David grew older, pollution and the health of the planet further fueled his passion for sustainability. If you ask him now why it’s important to choose a vehicle fueled by electricity, he cites the reduction of greenhouse gases. “It’s the right thing to do for planet earth,” he says.
The Discovery of Driving Electric
Discussing the search for his first electric vehicle, David reflected upon “a friend who had a 2012 LEAF and was a strong proponent of all things EV. I researched other EV brands, but the LEAF seemed like the best choice.” Ultimately, he decided to lease a 2015 model from Nissan.
“With battery improvements and EV cost reductions, driving electric made sense to me. The fun of electric driving and the convenience of garage charging were the frosting on the cake.” David further remarked that electric vehicles are just a more enjoyable ride because they are smoother and quieter.
A Multi-Generation EV Family
What began with David’s first Nissan LEAF has turned into a multi-generational electric vehicle family, with his wife and two of his sons following in his EV footsteps. In 2017, his son Rob added another new LEAF to the family, taking advantage of the $10,000 off MSRP discount for KCP&L customers that was available at the time.
After his first lease was up, David upgraded his LEAF status. “The next-generation was introduced with greater range and much better (in my opinion) style, so I leased a 2018 LEAF SL.” That year, he also sold the family’s old hybrid SUV and added his wife Carol’s current car, a Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. In 2019, their oldest son John also joined in, getting a great deal on a used 2016 Nissan LEAF SV and bringing the family tally up to a total of five electric vehicles.
David and Carol's son, John Groebe, proudly calls himself a second-generation EV driver. “I was the last one to jump into an EV. My Father, Mother, and Brother Rob had all made the switch and encouraged me to switch as well. I was skeptical about the range, especially as I was coming from a full-size Toyota Tundra with a 40-gallon gas tank. Fortunately, I kept a daily mileage spreadsheet for my Tundra lease, which proved to me that I very rarely drove more than 30 miles a day. As the lease was expiring, I knew that I wanted to join the EV Revolution!”
John elaborates that he “had already switched to an EGO battery-powered lawn mower and trimmer, so a battery-powered car was the next logical step. The first thing I did, once I purchased the LEAF, was install a trailer hitch for my bike rack. I love the fact that I can be energy and environmentally efficient by using both battery and human power to get around. I often take my bike to the park and ride while the LEAF is charging on the Clean Charge Network. I feel exceptionally lucky to live in Kansas City, with charging options virtually everywhere.”
Adding a Plug-in Hybrid
The addition of Carol and David's Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid was a small departure from the family’s Nissan LEAF legacy. “We wanted a PHEV for occasional highway trips and routine city driving.” They were able to get the full $7,500 tax credit, thanks to its 17kWh battery. But the thing they love most is its spacious interior.
With one of the longest ranges of any plug-in hybrid, the Honda Clarity can go up to 47 miles on electricity only and has a 340-mile hybrid range. However, Carol only needs up to 25 miles of range as she goes about her daily business of coordinating weddings and volunteering at church. David quips that in the year-and-a-half they have owned it, they have shockingly only put gas in it twice. 95 percent of the miles on the odometer are electric miles.
While the 2020 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid seems to be only stocked at dealerships in California, Honda says you can order the car in all 50 states.
An Electric Lifestyle
David says it wasn’t hard to get used to driving electric after coming from a gas-powered car. The most notable lifestyle change? Never visiting gas stations anymore. “We charge in our garage nearly exclusively, and very rarely need to charge elsewhere.” His garage is now equipped with a JuiceBox EV charger, which he got a discount on, thanks to another tax incentive.
Another difference for David has been the economy of fuel and maintenance. “Before EVs, the cost of gasoline figured in most of my driving decisions, but now I don’t think about fuel costs. There is no noticeable difference on my electric bill."
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