Driving EVs For More Than A Decade — Comments & Stories From Early Adopters

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It might be a bit of a surprise to some, but electric vehicles (EVs) have now been commercially available for more than a decade — enough time to get a really comprehensive handle on the experience of owning one.

So what do those that first adopted the technology back at the dawn of commercial availability have to say about it and the growth of the EV market? Certainly something interesting, right?

That’s where a recent article published over at Plug In America comes in, gathering together a list of some of these early adopters of the technology and getting their comments.

A quick note here, in addition to being early adopters of EVs, many of these people also use solar photovoltaics to charge their EVs — perhaps giving them a good deal of insight into where the general market is probably headed eventually.

Also, it’s worth mentioning here — as Plug In America notes — that the total number of EVs has increased over the last decade from around 800 a decade ago to around 310,0000 today.

Below are some of the comments/stories (quoted from Plug In America, including captions). Enjoy!

electric cars
Darell’s daughter Kyra Lee, at 18 months, had the job of putting the charging paddle in the EV1 every evening. Diaper and all. Today, at 14, she hasn’t lost the touch.


Darell Dickey, Davis, CA
First: 1997 EV1
Latest: 2011 Nissan Leaf

“Started driving EV as our main car in 2001 with the EV1, and will never go back to a gasoline car. If you can’t ride a bike, you’d better be driving an EV. There is no more reason to burn liquid fuel.”

Tesla Model S
Linda, her Model S and Rusty the Golden Retriever (on loan from a friend).

Linda Nicholes, Huntington Beach, CA
First: 2001 Toyota RAV4 EV
Latest: 2013 Tesla Model S

“Since leasing my RAV4 EV in October of 2001, all of our electric cars have been powered by the sun. I am hopelessly addicted to the quiet, smooth, pollution-free ride as well as the fact that electric cars kick butt off the line. To drive a Tesla is to realize that the game has changed — forever.”

Dency and his original RAV4EV.

Dency Nelson, Hermosa Beach, CA
First: 2002 Toyota RAV4EV
Latest: 2011 Nissan Leaf

“We installed rooftop solar in 1999 and my family and I have driven over 180,000 emission-free and fossil fuel-free miles powered by the sun! It’s a no brainer! I will absolutely never consider a car without a plug. No Plug/No Deal! Rooftop solar plus battery electric vehicles equals healthy lives and a healthy planet! We have the cure for this cancer.”

Paul Scott and his custom-painted 2002 RAV4EV.

Paul Scott, Santa Monica, CA
First: 2002 RAV4 EV
Latest: 2014 Zero motorcycle

“Solar-powered EVs allow me to drive without causing harm to others, without creating demand for an energy source over which we fight wars, and allows me to stop funding the oil, coal and natural gas industries. I use my savings to fund politicians who support causes I like and many other causes, such as sustainable population efforts and animal rescue.”

Marvin and his son, Price, now part of a two-LEAF family.

J. Marvin Campbell, Culver City, CA
First: 1993 Ford EVcort
Latest: 2013 Nissan LEAF

“How you spend you money matters far more than how you vote. Driving an electric vehicle powered by the sun is probably the biggest paradigm shift the average American can easily undertake. Be the change you would like to see in the world.”

Sherry Boschert and Meg Newman, San Francisco, CA
First: 2002 Ford Th!nkCity
Latest: 2011 Nissan LEAF

“We first got an EV for environmental reasons and only then discovered the best thing about it: Driving on electricity is so much more fun! We’ll never go back to gas cars.”

Interesting stuff.

There are a number of other interesting stories and pictures over at Plug In America‘s article (here), including perhaps the most endearing of all (at the bottom).

All Images via Plug In America (presumably via the owners).

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

8 thoughts on “Driving EVs For More Than A Decade — Comments & Stories From Early Adopters

  • I did not know there used to be other EV’s besides the EV1.
    How many models of EV’s used to be around and when?
    Is there a list or a story someplace?

      • Thanks Zach, I was dropping down to say that this was the first time that I had heard of the EVcort, so planned on checking the original piece to see if there were any others to find out about.
        With the manufacturer’s crushing so many of the early test vehicles after the lease plans were up, I hope there are a few of each around being kept safe for an early EV museum for the grandkids someday.

        • Ha, I wasn’t aware of EVTradingpost.com either. Will check it out. 😀

  • I had a 2000 Ford Ranger EV. Most were crushed by Ford when the leases were up. Since then I have had a Ford Focus Electric, Rav4 EV, a Volt, and a Model S. We have solar panels. I have loved them all.

    • Wow, that’s a nice line of vehicles. 😀

      I have a feeling you’ve embraced the term “early adopter.” 😀

      • Actually I never was much of an early adopter on anything until Global Warming came up. I also tried a CNG Ford Crown Victoria for a few years around 2007 and have run three cars on Biodiesel. I have finally settled on electric as the best solution. Being in SoCal I also have been going low water use since about 2007. Rain gardens fed from our roof gutters, Rain barrels, Grey water, Native California plants/no lawn. I have cut my water bill by 70%.

  • Kudos to all the early adopters, congrats to those of you that have recently started driving EVs and if you aren’t driving one yet, we look forward to you joining us, you will be glad you did :).

    I’ve been driving EVs since 1992 and haven’t had a gas car since 1994. My wife started driving the Nissan Leaf in 2013 and together we have just passed 300,000 gas-free miles driven. We have a solar PV system on our roof since 2010 so now we drive on sunshine : Here is an article from 2012 that describes what we have been doing in more detail.


Comments are closed.