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Testing the Leaf

A colleague of mine generously lent her Nissan Leaf for us to test drive for the week. We need to answer two questions before we head down the electric car route:

  1. Will the range be enough for daily driving in our two car household.
  2. Is it cleaner than a hybrid or small diesel.

The answer to first question seems to be an unequivocal yes. Total daily driving for each of us is about 8 miles. Total miles driven in the household each day – about 16. It’s not much. We’ve ended each day with plenty of range on the Leaf. We can’t envision a day where it would be a problem.

The answer to question #2 is a little more difficult. I’ve heard anecdotally about the relative cleanliness of electricity generation vs. burning automotive fuel. I discovered one paper so far in my not-exhaustive research: A Roadmap to Climate Friendly Cars: 2013

Basically, in Minnesota if you don’t take in to account the manufacturing of the car, it is cleaner than the next cleanest option (a plug-in prius). If you do take in to account the manufacturing, it is less clean.

However, I imagine you can tip that balance on an individual basis by installing rooftop solar panels.

If we head down this path, my dear readers, you can be sure that I will blog about it here in excruciating detail… more to come!

Categories: Environment, Transportation.

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