Going Electric

I’ve been replacing gasoline powered contrivances now for awhile. The first to go was my lawn mower, which I replaced with an electric, battery powered mower. Not that I save an enormous amount in gasoline by using an electric mower since gas powered mowers don’t go through a huge quantity of the smelly liquid. Nevertheless, the electric mower is cheaper to operate since the cost of electricity is so much less than the cost of gasoline. Convenience is also a factor: I never find myself running out of gas and needing to make a trip to the gas station. I mow my lawn, I plug in my battery for an hour (maybe), and next week, I’m good to go. The additional pluses are obvious: no nasty smell and its much quieter.

My edger is also electric and also battery powered.

And another plus: no oil changes, and essentially no maintenance. The electric motors last forever and are much more reliable. No pulling a rope to start them, either.

And now, at long last, I just got rid of one of my gasoline powered automobiles and replaced it with an electric car. Ideally, we’d have gone out and gotten ourselves a Tesla, but unfortunately, what with two children in college, we can’t afford one just now.

So my wife and I just picked up a used Nissan Leaf, a 2011 model, for about 10,000 dollars to replace our aging 2004 Saturn Vue which on a good day might have gotten 18 miles to the gallon (it was 6 cylinder, AWD model). Now, instead of paying 60 dollars a week for gasoline for my wife to commute to and from work and run errands, we’re spending that much per month (at most) for charging the Leaf. It’s a more reliable machine on top of the savings in fuel costs: no smog checks, no oil changes and not as much to go wrong: no transmission and even the brakes last longer thanks to regenerative braking.

Is the range of a Leaf limited compared to a gasoline powered car? Certainly. But given that the overwhelming amount of my driving and my wife’s driving is local and amounts to less than 40 miles per day, its 80 mile range is plenty. Better, instead of having to sit in a line at Costco to fill up with gasoline (at 3.63 per gallon) we just plug the car in at the end of the day like we do with our cellphones. In the morning, my wife has a full “tank”, no waiting.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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