Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Green Cars - A personal history from Prius to LEAF

Back in 2005 I bought a Toyota Prius car. Which was a time that type of car was rare in here. (1997 model of Prius. The very first commercial version of it intended to sell only in Japan. Prius started to get imported only in 2001) Since people generally were afraid of the new technologies I got a good price so I went for a second car of the same model before long. Those did work well till about 8 more years from that point... I think I did a little bit to promote greener hybrid vehicles. 

Compared to those insane risks, a EV buyer today is not taking much of a risk at all! You can find more about those past fun stories if you are interested, in Toyota Prius Car - Experiences from a long term user , part 2 of that and finally in here : What's Wrong With Prius ? 

Even though hybrids wasn't an end solution to the CO2 emission problem and getting totally away from petroleum, they did a nice transition in preparing peoples minds for what's coming. Thanks to hybrids people learned to appreciate and love greener features as well as getting rid of their fears for newer technologies.

Electric vehicles were a total game changer though. Even I didn't anticipate such progress in EVs in such short time. Credits should go to Nissan and Tesla. However, the first EV I was interested about was Mitsubishi i-miev (due to the example set by a good friend of mine), if not for few stubborn kids who didn't like the looks of that nice little car (kids have strange logic!), I would have bought one of those. As it was, I became a LEAF owner (entire director board at home was firm in this and I was over ruled). This was in April 2015 and once again I got a good price because I was just happened to be ahead by 2-3 months before LEAF started to become the fashion in here.

I always wanted to write a post on wonders of this cool car, tips and tricks, best practices etc but by now there are many forums out there and many people have done that already. People seem to be reasonably familiar with the car, those who are still new, we try our best to get them up to speed at our stations. Model 2012 seems to be the oldest which can be found in here. 2013 model came up with few significant improvements to battery, engine and software. However, 2014 and 2015 have no big differences compared to the 2013 model. 2016 model is supposed to come up with a 25% increase of battery power, so we can expect to increase the range by similar factor. If you are someone who get 160 kms from a fully charged battery, you are expected to get 200km from the coming model.

Nissan Models advertised for far into the future include 300km range, self driving etc. On the other hand Tesla says they will start producing cheap model 3 cars in mass starting from end this year while it is now almost official the silent giant Apple is designing it's own car in secrecy. Future look good!

So why should we get so excited about fully electric vehicles ? because they provide us a way to be totally away from fossil fuels. Once we get power from the grid, we could easily control things and optimize things. A mixture of Solar, Wind, Sea Wave, geo thermal, hydro and even nuclear could power our vehicles.

The mere thought of doing all our transportation using clear, clean sunlight one day.... saving the entire planet from the mess we have created. Isn't that a worthwhile goal to take few risks, to work a little harder and to dream a bit ?

Want to clarify doubts on the logic of arguments and cross check the numbers ? read here.

If you are still having doubts why it is worthwhile to bet your money on and take even a personal risk if needed and go for a EV, you can read this story about venus for motivation! :-)

It will be a much bigger risk for us all to not to go for a green vehicle!