Home » The $2,000 Nissan Leaf Is Even Cheaper When You Consider All The Electricity You Can ‘Borrow’: Cold Start

The $2,000 Nissan Leaf Is Even Cheaper When You Consider All The Electricity You Can ‘Borrow’: Cold Start

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For reasons I don’t entirely understand, David thought it best to leave the Autopian LA Auto Show crew (me, Jason, SWG, Thomas, and Mercedes) his 21-mile-range Nissan Leaf as our only vehicle. This mostly worked, although at one point I had to borrow man-behind-the-curtain Jeff’s Expedition to go get some t-shirts.

I may actually be the biggest fan of the $2,000 Nissan Leaf. After I boldly drove it to the office–a feat that intimidated even David–I’m pretty much on board with the concept. If I had a place to charge near my building I’d definitely go out and buy one myself.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The non-biggest fans have to be Thomas and Mercedes. In spite of being huge fans of beaters, neither of them could handle the cognitive dissonance of a car that seemed fine on the inside but could only go 21 miles.

Jason was more on my side and I think he summed it up pretty well after Thomas tried to insist it was worse than a Yugo:

For the first 21 miles, the Leaf is a better car. After that, the Yugo is.

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Here’s me, btw, looking at all the random junk in David’s car. My favorite bit? All but three of those shirts in the back were medium! Just three boxes of medium shirts and a handful of larges.

 

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The best thing about the car though is, with its electric lawnmower-sized battery, you can quickly charge it on a 110V outlet. Seriously!

Fullplugshot

The world is littered with 110V outlets and the Leaf, by virtue of having such little capacity left, seems to be able to “fully” charge to its complete 21-mile range on a 110V outlet in just a few hours. This means that David can charge for free at work and then pay, by my estimate, like $3 to top her off at home.

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But why even top her off at home? There’s a 110V outlet just sitting out there at the LA Convention Center, waiting to be used. That’s free power! Free! In California! And there are 110V outlets everywhere if you start looking. At the Airbnb we stayed out. Outside the Taco Bell. Everywhere.

If you’re not in a hurry, the Leaf is a perfect car.

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Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
7 months ago

I was the one who said a Yugo is better, and I stand by what I said. 🙂 A Yugo could at least leave LA. This Leaf would never be able to do that under its own power. Also, that dent is way worse in person. Some of the unibody is definitely crumpled. David has not gone full Hollywood. Instead, he found the California version of a shitbox.

I think Matt described it as “the Yugo is better at being a car, but the Leaf is a better car.” At the time, that statement felt deep. All of that said, it was rather hilarious doing one-wheel peels in the parking garage and on green lights. For a worn, crashed EV, the Leaf has a lot of character!

Last edited 7 months ago by Mercedes Streeter
TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
7 months ago

The leaf could leave LA under the power of momentum (rolling down the hills)

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
7 months ago

As a Volt owner, I’ve become a bit of a 110v outlet hawk. I generally don’t like to take up any Level 2 EV charging stations out in public (mainly because the pack can recharge in 3 hours and gets me about 36 miles) or when I’m gone for a flight for work. I’ve gotten really good at finding the rare and random 110 outlet at O’Hare and MKE airport (no I won’t tell you where they are) but most of the time it’s not practical to lug out the charger and plug in.

I will say my favorite charging story was when I was in Indiana with my Volt. I wanted to charge it as I forgot to save some charge on the drive from Milwaukee and II didn’t see any dedicated outlets near the back entrance. I parked near my room on the 1st floor and ran the extension cable from the room, through a bush, to my car. It was pretty funny to see folks eyeing the setup. I also removed it from the wall when housekeeping came through, more as a security measure than a courtesy to their services.

I’ve also made sure to restrict my charging amps to 8amps when I’m using an unknown plug. No need to start a fire or pop a breaker because I wanted to juice up my car for a bit.

Younork
Younork
7 months ago
Reply to  rctothefuture

Guy in my apartment complex runs an extension cord from his balcony to his 1st gen volt, although we have to pay for power here so not quite the same. I’ve heard the Volt touted as peak car, ahead of its time, and an amazing commuter car, can you speak to any of these points? And are you rocking the 1st or 2nd gen?

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
7 months ago
Reply to  Younork

I’ve had 3 Volts, 2x 2012 first gen that were both totaled while parked (yes really, ugh) and now a 2017 second gen. I’m hard pressed to think of a car that would work better for my situation. Sometimes I wish it were a bit bigger for passenger space, but for cargo the hatchback makes it incredibly versatile. Having had both I think the 2nd gen is the better car even though they do have some well-known weak points. Get those weak points fixed under warranty and you’re good to go.

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
7 months ago
Reply to  Younork

I’ve seen a few folks do that in apartment complexes. Hell, I once saw a setup where someone had a PHEV Wrangler in their underground parking complex. He was parked next to the storage units and ran a cable from his cage to the car.

I have a 1st gen, 2014, and it’s amazing! I get about 38-40 miles of EV in summer and about 30-32 in winter depending on heater settings. It’s got great technology, super reliable, and very good as a commuter. I drive mine cross country and average 42-47mpg depending on where I’m going.

Phuzz
Phuzz
7 months ago
Reply to  Younork

I’ve seen people running a cable from their house, across the pavement (sidewalk) to charge their cars.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
7 months ago
Reply to  Younork

I daily a 2nd Gen, and I am very happy with it. I live in a city, and have access to a 220 outlet at home, so I have a great setup. What Beasy Mist says is true though, it is challenged for space. We fill up the tank once a month and that is plenty.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
7 months ago

I could daily the leaf. 21 is not much different from the 27 my PHEV gets on electric only.

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
7 months ago

There are a few cheap iMievs available in SoCal. With incentives, you should be able to get one free. I’d like to see you guys pick up one of those. I’m tempted but will probably go the i3 REX route and try to get a new battery out of it.

Sklooner
Sklooner
7 months ago

Where I work there are outside plugs for block heaters, the landlord has specifically mentioned it a business plugs in or allows an EV to be plugged in their plugs will be turned off permanently. Guy next door plugs in his car with two 500w in car heaters starting in November so with the block heater he is probably pulling 1200w from that plug.

Der Foo
Der Foo
7 months ago

Last year on one of the neighborhood apps…..Near where I live there are some apartments backing up against some businesses. Some resourceful EV driver ran his charger through a large break (big enough to walk through) in the fence and plugged into an outlet on the back of one of the businesses. Guy ended up with a cut cord. He was quoted as saying that he didn’t see the big deal since the electricity he took was small (reasoned that a 110V plug didn’t allow too much flow) and that he had been using the outlet for months. Was kinda upset that “someone” had been pulling the plug for a week and now cut the cord. “I’m only trying to do my part to save the Earth.”

Guys like that give the EV crowd a bad name.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago

So it’s a low-cost car to operate if you can make others pay for the fuel? What car isn’t? My conscience wouldn’t let me do that in any case.

121gwats
121gwats
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Relax, many cities endorse this activity in municipal lots, and businesses typically dont care, and airbnb/hotels expect it. I’ve been doing this for years, and generally ask. Rarely do they say no. I called the city about an outlet on the street near a park (light post) and they said, “sure.. why not? We let people plug in crock pots for family BBQs, I dont see the difference”. The amount of electricity is probably similar.

The question is: would you feel bad charging your phone on a public outlet? I doubt it. Sure, it uses more electrons than a phone, but its still an incredibly small amount of electricity, relative to how much a commercial property uses.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

Actually, yes, I do avoid charging my phone on someone else’s dime. I carry spare charge packs rather than charge (unless it’s specifically listed as a public charging port). As long you ask and they’re good with it, it’s fine. But I suspect more business will be less fine with it as more and more EVs start plugging in.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Literally on their dime, or more like their penny. Smartphones use about a dollar of electricity all year

121gwats
121gwats
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

You’ve never charged your phone at an airport outlet, riiiiight. Also, I said I ask first, especially if its a small business. A parking lot of a big box store on the other hand? Its such a nominal amount of electricity (compared to their total bill) its right up there with the airport free-for-all. I lose zero sleep. This is not to say its risk free.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

That’s what I said, yes, unless it was marked as public. Why is that so hard to believe? And I acknowledged your asking.

However, justifying by saying “they’re so big they won’t miss it” apparently works for you, but it doesn’t for me.

121gwats
121gwats
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

I’m old enough to remember airports without public designated charging spots, and crappy cell phone batteries that last 6 hrs. Everyone, and I mean everyone was hitting up those outlets during layovers, because power banks weren’t invented yet and there we no other options.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

I don’t fly much, so never had that issue.

Hiram McDaniel
Hiram McDaniel
7 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

I used to travel a lot! As in I knew where all of the outlets were on concourses A and B in the Atlanta airport. I actually packed a small surge protector with three outlets on it, so I could share a charge spot with other travelers.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
7 months ago
Reply to  121gwats

It’s not massive, but it does add up. A full charge on a phone is significantly under a cent, where even a PHEV battery like the Volt’s might be a couple dollars. Not a ton, but not nothing and enough to add up. I’d say it’s low enough that it’s fine at someplace you’re paying for like a hotel or AirBnB, but anyplace else I’d want to at least ask first.

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
7 months ago

I did that once with my first Volt in a parking garage. I came back a few hours later to an unplugged car and a nasty note on the windshield saying if I did it again I’d be banned from the garage and prosecuted. So yeah it doesn’t always work…

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
7 months ago

Gas station toilet paper is cheaper too.
Like DT’s Leaf, it does not mean I want to use it.
I mean maybe the DT Leaf can handle a short beer run or something like that.
Otherwise it’s as dependable as your typical 16 year old airhead kid. YMMV.

That boy ain’t right as we say down here.
Crazy bastard. /s

Last edited 7 months ago by Col Lingus
Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
7 months ago

Toecutter says “I suspect that Leaf is being dragged down by a small number of dead batteries. There’s no way of knowing without taking the pack apart. If all of them are bad, it will prove a waste of time, but if say, most of them are at 70% or more and there’s only a few around 0-20% dragging the rest down, and you swap in used cells of the exact same make/model/chemistry/size replacing the bad cells, this Leaf might double its range, for $XXX spent.”

I had the Leaf Pro app for ours and it provided all sorts of battery data that was meaningless to me, but someone who knows what they are looking at may be able to come up with the information Toecutter would be looking for and successfully fix this.

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

We need a “Toecutter and David fix the LEAF battery” article series. Maybe do a tour of a Greentec location when they pick up some replacement modules.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
7 months ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

Problem is you fix it and it’ll just be dead again in a year. It’s a fundamentally faulty design since the cooling is compromised. It wouldn’t be able to do my commute and I ride a cheap eBike.

Stephen Walter Gossin
Stephen Walter Gossin
7 months ago

Fun Fact: that white Lacoste sneaker you see at the end of that left leg (behind the Leaf) was purchased in Quebec.

Je me souviens!

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
7 months ago

De rien, mon ami!

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago

I sspect that Leaf is being dragged down by a small number of dead batteries. There’s no way of knowing without taking the pack apart. If all of them are bad, it will prove a waste of time, but if say, most of them are at 70% or more and there’s only a few around 0-20% dragging the rest down, and you swap in used cells of the exact same make/model/chemistry/size replacing the bad cells, this Leaf might double its range, for $XXX spent.

I plug the “bicycle”/microcar into electrical outlets at public parks and get free juice. Not that the price of electricity matters much, since it only uses 1.5 kWh to go 150-200 miles. I’ve probably spent $25 in electricity over the last 25,000 miles and 2 years of use.

I really want to build an actual single-seater race car off of this concept. Inexpensive to purchase and nearly-free to operate hoonable transportation is a sort of ideal for many people, especially those of modest means at the bottom of society who dream of Hellcats or Lambos but will never be able to afford so much as a used Toyota Camry. Imagine being able to buy a one-seater vehicle that can rip offs 10s in the 1/4 mile, costs so little to run it’s not a consideration for even the cheapest of people, and can be purchased for a cost comparable to a moped or scooter or mid-range e-bike.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Leaf Spy Pro will tell you the individual cell voltages in a few minutes w/o touching the pack.

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago
Reply to  Scoutdude

That helps, but we really need to test the delivered capacity of each cell. Basically fully charge the pack, then do a discharge test on each individual cell.

The resting voltages do correlate with cell health though.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Sure but its a start. Time to get wrenching!

(IS this wrenching?)

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Definitely wrenching from a literal perspective, everything is nuts and bolts from the bus bars on up. Also definitely from a figurative perspective, you’re testing and swapping parts to make car go better.

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

I sense a trip to LA for Toecutter and a really fun article series. Hey, airline tickets are really cheap today!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

And so deliciously counterproductive to fly on a carbon spewing airliner to fix a busted EV.

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I refuse to fly on airplanes for a large list of reasons. Maybe if the TSA were done away with.

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Agreed on that. I still haven’t been through one of those dumb scanners that are literally more likely to kill me than a tair’ist.

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Article #1 in the series: Toecutter convincing Amtrak that his “microcar” is a bicycle so he can bring it with him on the trip.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

He might get there faster if he pedals instead.

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Maybe. Current iteration is good for 30-35 mph cruising speeds, although on smooth roads where I know their condition I ride faster. I could conceivably cover 500 miles a day as long as I know where I’m going to charge it.

Everything is being upgraded so I can safely cruise at higher speeds. I have dual-pull hydraulic disc brakes on the front wheels with a motorcycle lever with built-in DOT3 fluid reservoir, a cable pull emergency brake plus regen on the rear wheel, stouter axles, gas shocks for all three wheels with 2″ travel, and have built up some 16×1.5″ DOT rims with Mitas MC2 tires on them. I need to finish the roll cage and new body shell and add a safety harness. This way, it won’t be a complete death trap.

Expected completed weight ready to ride somewhere between 100-120 lbs.

Only THEN will I be willing to entertain cruising 70 mph in it. And should I do so, I must make sure if a cop sees me doing so, it is in one of the few places where it is still legally a “bicycle”. Otherwise, I don’t want them seeing me doing more than 28 mph where Class 3 ebikes are defined.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

If that doesn’t work out there’s Greyhound.

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I have many stories involving that dirty dog. Most of them unpleasant. Still far preferable to air travel, IMO.

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Your usual 737 gets 70-100 MPG per seat, which will be in the air whether your butt is in it or not. Blame the rich folks and their yachts, helicopters and bizjets, not the schlub flying Southwest.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Gubbin

Assuming it’s full of course.

Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Taking a snapshot of the cell voltages at 100% and say 20% SOC will at least give you a place to start though. It won’t be able to distinguish the bad cell within the parallel group, but at least they’re bigger cells with only a 2P arrangement. I’m curious how much the BMS is doing to try to balance the parallel groups in this situation – it’s probably only charging all the cells to the lowest parallel group capacity, which will bring down all the 100% SOC voltages, but you should still see some outlying groups. Capacity checks are really the only way to determine the specific cells that need to be replaced though.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
7 months ago

No active balancing in the eary Leaf, so yeah even a manual balance could possibly give it a range boost.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Sure if you want to do it right you would want to measure capacity of each cell and assemble a pack with as little variance in capacity as possible. However this is a $2k Leaf and the goal would be to see if there is one or two cells that are holding the pack back, and if a meaningful boost in range is possible with a manual balance or $200 or less in used cells.

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Well, a reverse trike based on the powertrain from a wrecked Zero would be pretty dandy, a good fairing might actually get you better drag than the original bike. They use Sevcon inverters so you can tweak ’em some.

Though a set of scooter hub motor wheels could be turned into a fun li’l buggy.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
7 months ago

I would love to have this for my kids when they grow up. Going to school? Here is your 21 miles to go back and forth. Soccer practice? 21 miles.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
7 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

My daughter is a college freshman living at home due to a serious aversion to college debt. She has a 2017 Leaf with about 70 miles range and it works perfectly for her. She’s able to get to all her classes and even pick up friends for evenings out with no worries. There are a couple of chargers on campus if she needs them, but mostly she charges in our driveway every other day or so and has the option to charge at work. And the article is right – 110v outlets are everywhere once you know where to look.

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

My daughter is a college freshman living at home due to a serious aversion to college debt.

Smart girl.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Absolutely. Full ride scholarship, Biomedical Engineering, no debt.

I’m the Village Idiot in my own house.

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

I had scholarships cover the vast majority of my tuition. It started out at almost a full ride, but tuition kept increasing, and the scholarships didn’t. My choice was to continue onward and rack up crippling debt, or drop out and forfeit the scholarships I spent my childhood working towards. After graduation, between repeated layoffs and resultant necessary deferment requests to avoid default, the fees and interest piled up. I paid enough in interest/fees to buy an Alfa Romeo 4C, without an Alfa Romeo 4C to show for it. I lived in the ghetto splitting rent with roommates, rode bicycles everywhere, cooked my own meals/brownbagged lunches instead of ordering takeout, while making an individual income in the upper quartile. Even then, it took more than a decade to pay those loans off. Many of my peers will be paying on theirs for life with no hope of doing much of anything else, some of whom couldn’t find work, ended up homeless, and their debt defaulted into a mathematically unpayable total, with no way for it to be wiped away in bankruptcy.

This debt is a trap. I’m among the small minority that escaped it. IMO, it should all be wiped clean, with the institutions who printed up the money out of thin air forfeiting the ill-gotten gains, and the taxpayers not paying a dime of it. The lending institutions should take the losses on the bad debt.

Student loan debt is one of the reasons millennials and Gen Z can’t afford new cars, homes, or to start a family.

I might be somewhat successful now as an electrical engineer, but considering I didn’t get to enjoy my youth or pursue the things I was interested in(had to settle for a job I didn’t really want), if I had to do it over again, I’d have dropped out of high school and sold crack.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

Her school at least sets tuition at one level based on the year of entry. It stays the same throughout the degree program.

I think the other part of the equation here is that we keep telling kids they’ll never be successful without a degree. Yes, some education beyond high school is needed, but college isn’t the answer it used to be.

I also racked up some debt but still managed to pay it off in under 10 years. Mostly because I didn’t finish so didn’t pay 4-5 years of tuition. Lucked into a good job that turned into a good career without the need for more spending.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

“IMO, it should all be wiped clean, with the institutions who printed up the money out of thin air forfeiting the ill-gotten gains, and the taxpayers not paying a dime of it. The lending institutions should take the losses on the bad debt.”

Here’s a pretty good summary of why student loan debt was made exempt from bankruptcy:

https://www.savingforcollege.com/article/history-of-student-loans-bankruptcy-discharge

That said a big part of the problem is the students themselves. Students, at least when I was in school kept voting for massively expensive campus “improvements” that had little to nothing to do with actual education. Massive sports complexes, luxury on campus student housing, slick rec centers, fancy administration offices, gourmet food courts (often filled with ordinary fast food franchises), giant concert arenas, etc. Those projects were easily sold on the promise of build it now and someone else pays later.

Now the gild has come off those fancy projects and the debt of those projects has ballooned. For example around Y2K my alma mater spent God knows how much to install multiple, massive, energy intensive plasma TVs in their very expensive brand new rec center to replace cheap, zero emission whiteboards. What a waste!!

TBF though those whiteboards couldn’t blast annoying commercials our way generating more revenue straight into the administrators pockets.

Last edited 7 months ago by Cheap Bastard
JumboG
JumboG
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Wow, that was like reading a post I wrote myself. Part of the problem is when people were taking out loans like they were crack from the crack dealers schools felt the need to compete with one another to attract students, and so came the rise of amenities. Back when I went to college a dorm room was little more than a prison cell that you could open the door yourself. You got a bed, a desk and some heat. Bathroom shared with between 8 and 40 people (depending on if you lived in a suite or on a hall.) No AC. No cable. Dining hall open for 2 hours each meal. Now my local university has been razing old dorms to build new ones – ones that include AC for everyone, giant TVs that display nothing but pictures of students and campus information, technology centers, fitness centers, commercial restaurants in dorm, all hours dining halls and the list goes on. Plus they built a new student center with all the tech doo-dads, a new recreation center and all the dorms that are really old, and thus historic are getting a total refurb.

Then lets talk about the football stadium expansion. Build it and they will come. It went from 35k seats (which rarely sold out) to 60k seats – which sold out a couple of times, that is until football conference realignment left them holding the bag in a crappy conference, the football team is terrible and the stadium is mostly empty – even during football games. It also doesn’t help that they took away all the nearby parking where people used to tailgate (a very popular activity) in order to make practice fields, new baseball and softball stadiums, a new track. So now people have to park far away for games and get bussed in.

The end result of all this money thrown at expansion – student enrollment is down, and projected to be down for the next decade at least.

Last edited 7 months ago by JumboG
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  JumboG

Yep. There is plenty of blame to go all around.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

The sad thing is it didn’t have to be that way. Campuses DO need renovations and it would be shortsighted not to make improvements but damnit keep those improvements real! I have no problem with A/C in dorms, especially chiller based systems that cool the water using power when its cheap but only when A/C is the last resort. If a dorm can be built such that it is so well insulated it doesn’t need A/C do that instead.

Safety is a big issue too. I recall one campus fiasco when a newly constructed parking structure became known as rape central because of the poor design of the stairwells. UGH!!

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

This car is perfect for a new child driver that you don’t want to wander too far, provided they are responsible enough to keep it charged. It also doesn’t have the performance to get them into much trouble.

Of course, that would assume a responsible parent.

My dad used to let me drive the Audi TT because he gave no fucks, and damn did I hoon the crap out of that thing in places where I knew no one was looking. I did avoid getting into trouble with it, unlike my dad got into plenty of it with that car on a repeated basis…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

This car is perfect for a new child driver that you don’t want to wander too far, provided they are responsible enough to keep it charged. It also doesn’t have the performance to get them into much trouble.”

I think we all know/knew someone who would ignore the limitations and scream for help when they inevitably run out of juice in a “bad neighborhood”. My teenage sister used to do that all the time. The car was for her to drive, for others to keep it drivable. She never checked the oil (even though there was a pressure gauge RIGHT $#&% THERE!) so she ended up calling home for a rescue when the engine threw a rod. I do not recall any heartfelt apology given nor lessons learned, at least not then. It took a while but she straightened out eventually.

(Not that I’m totally innocent myself. I have my own dark closet full of ancient skeletons.)

Frank Wrench
Frank Wrench
7 months ago

There are indeed outlets and free 110 VAC everywhere. I once unplugged an outdoor soda machine to charge something

Outofstep
Outofstep
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank Wrench

Same. My car charger was dead and after 6ish hours on the road my phone was running on hopes and dreams and the soda machine at the rest stop was the sacrificial lamb. I wasn’t an animal though, I plugged it back in for people who wanted a coke.

Now though most places have outlets or USB ports at the seats so the soda machines can be left alone.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank Wrench

Well, that explains that warm Coke I got.

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
7 months ago

The only vehicles I’ve driven or ridden where I regularly scarfed free electricity had serious electrical problems…

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
7 months ago

If I had a Nissan Leaf, I would name it “Clee van Leaf”.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

If I had a Nissan Leaf, I would put a sticker on the fan speed controller that reads “Leaf Blower”.

KC Murphy
KC Murphy
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

“If you are looking for electricity, I can tell you I don’t have much. But what I do have are a very particular set of charging cords, cords I have acquired over a very long career, adapters that make me a nightmare for outlets like you. If you let my battery recharge now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pay you. But if you unplug my car, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

~ Liam Nissan

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
7 months ago

Just be careful, some folks might not take kindly to electron rustlers.

Bobfish
Bobfish
7 months ago

“Get offa mah grid!!” *brandishes soldering gun*

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
7 months ago

“Electron Rustlers” sounds like an awesome ’80s B-grade sci-fi movie.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

Like Ice Pirates!!

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Exactly! It would star Michael Beck and Kathy Ireland or something, and have Rutger Hauer as the bad guy, because all those damn movies had Rutger Hauer as the bad guy.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

A bad guy, but not always a “bad” guy.

And if you haven’t seen Hobo With A Shotgun, you haven’t lived. The bad guys drive a Bricklin!!

A Bricklin!!!

Toecutter
Toecutter
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

In Hobo With a Shotgun, Rutger Hauer is a hobo.

In Blade Runner, Rutger Hauer is a robo.

In Omega Doom, he’s both hobo AND robo!

Can’t go wrong watching either.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago

21 miles of range, has AC, and capable of highway speeds?

I kinda hate to admit it, but that Leaf would be the perfect commuter car for me.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Well, not all three at the same time, I believe 😉

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
7 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

As Meat Loaf sang, “Two outta three ain’t baaaaaad”.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Yeah I bet that piece of fecal matter is a real
Bat out of Hell.
For about 18 miles. Bawahahahaha!

PlugInPA
PlugInPA
7 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I gave my grandmother’s Spark EV a good test drive after replacing the 12v battery – 70 on the highway no problem. Of course it has more like 60-80 miles of range.

PlugInPA
PlugInPA
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Any of its competitors with a liquid-cooled battery will get you that with much better than a 21 mile range – Spark EV, Focus Electric, 500e. Of course you can’t buy them for $2,000 either.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
7 months ago
Reply to  PlugInPA

Before the pandemic it was getting close.

Gubbin
Gubbin
7 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

My little Zero XU has all that (for “motorcycle” values of AC) and was a perfect commuter.

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