“Yes, this is the future, for sure…. Even big metropolis areas are seeing the light….We were just in Mexico. Mexico City is moving toward electric taxis and buses.” Our conversation shifted, and Pat responded to a comment, “And then we won’t even be charging off the grid, it will be coming straight from the sunshine.”
Pat is a retired state electrical inspector for New Mexico — he taught one of the first photovoltaic programs in New Mexico for 9 years. His lovely wife, Louisa, is a brilliant retired professor. She teaches me today more about what is going on with our criminal justice system, as she educates fluidly in even a brief conversation (if you pick her brain with even the slightest nudge).
The three of us took a test drive and whirl in my Nissan LEAF. I love seeing reactions to the first experience in an electric vehicle. Pat sinks happily in the Nissan Leaf’s driver’s seat and enjoys immediately: “It’s unbelievable; I mean, its amazingly… I mean, just the quietness. Oh, it’s just really nice.”
The conversation covered the LEAF, solar, and living in a society with so much available information, but also so much stunted, thwarted information or misinformation. Louisa noted and explained some degrees of media manipulation (about the elections) as I explained the easy-to-drive, easy-to-charge, and easy-to-care-for EV — the Nissan LEAF. Pat smiles, “It’s comfortable, it’s quiet, yeah, I don’t know what else you would want to get around.”
As I ask Louisa about her experience in the back seat, she offers some more positive descriptions. “It’s quiet, it’s smooth, I’m big on seats, the comfort of seats, we drove here all the way from New Mexico. These seats are really comfortable…. I like the fact that you have the ability to look up where the charging stations are.”
Louisa goes on to cover an important point without solicitation: “But one of the things you look at, so many people, their work, their social activity is within a four- or five-mile radius, and so this would be wonderful, an in-town car. And it’s beautiful, by the way, it’s a gorgeous-looking vehicle, it really is. I like sporty-looking vehicles. It matters to me, you know you lock your car, you look back, you smile, ‘I’ve got a good-looking ride.’ ”
I’m content to hear that Louisa’s likes the style of the LEAF as I do. I always look back and smile — no gas. NO Gas. Pat goes on: “It’s a completely brand new huge industry taking place around these vehicles. With the batteries and the photovoltaics. Tesla’s doing, Tesla’s doing huge amounts of photovoltaic work…. That’s what charges up the grid, and conversely you can have — I would think — you can have charging stations running around off the sunshine…. They’re into all of it. It’s great. Because it takes all of it to put this together. Because it is a transitional thing, and we are right in the transitional period now. People thought it would have happened 30 years ago. Too many competing interests.”
We turned onto a faster road so Pat and Louisa could experience the torque of the LEAF. Louisa: “Oh, this is sweet.” Pat: “Oh yeah, it does whatever you want it to do.”
I caught some of the soft-spoken conversation and responses to a first electric test drive on my phone. It is not a great video, and I took it to remember the conversation precisely. It is worth a listen if you can overlook the quality of the video. Louisa’s and Pat’s responses to the Nissan LEAF are insightful and warm.