As a young EV activist, I am often asked why I don't drive a plug-in vehicle myself. While EVs are an extremely popular topic among people in my age group, few of us drive them. It may seem hypocritical of us, but there are several reasons why EVs haven't penetrated our market...yet.
CARB Board Chair Mary Nichols negotiated a special deal which would dramatically weaken the California ZEV program allowing automakers that ‘overcomply’ with the new Federal GHG standards so they get away with producing less EVs. This sweetheart deal allows an automaker to cut the number of pure electric-drive vehicles by as much as 50% over the 2018 to 2021 timeframe in exchange for just 2 g/ mile GHG overcompliance during that time. This is a bad deal for California and for the United States!
In September, we finally got our Nissan Leaf. We had signed up very early in the process, and could have had a Leaf in the spring of 2011, but we decided to put our order on hold until they offered the cold weather package. It was worth the wait!
Our nemesis, range anxiety
Many gas drivers are reluctant to try a plug-in vehicle, and often they are not timid about letting us know it. The most common reason is that they are afraid the battery charge will run out unexpectedly and they will have to wait for a charge--perhaps a tow too, if it was very unexpected. They have heard that range varies (true, that) so they don’t know exactly how far a plug-in will go before this happens.
“Gas Anxiety” is very common among plug-in vehicle owners. Although most of us still have access to gas propulsion, we would rather not use it. Not when cheaper, cleaner, quieter, smoother, responsive and torquey electric drive using domestic fuel is available! So we go through all sorts of gyrations to maximize our time driving electric.