I met an electric car yesterday

And spent some time jamming with the owner because it wasn’t
charged yet when the cookout was over.

This confirmed my impression that the range isn’t yet where it
needs to be for my purposes. It actually is where it needs to be
for my friend — his wife drives a gas-powered car, and when he
goes far enough that the range of the Nissan Leaf is questionable, the plan was that
he’d use her car, but it’s a shiny new toy (2013 model, purchased
less than a month ago) and he wanted to try it

So he emailed my sister that he needed there to be a modern
outlet less than 20 feet from where he could park. Her front door
is farther than that from the road, and she doesn’t have one in
the garage that was built in 1949, but she talked to a neighbor
whose house is closer to the street than hers and he was excited
about being a charging station, so Harold drove the Nissan Leaf
instead of the gas-guzzler.

He lives about 50 miles from my sister’s house, and when it was
time to leave the party, the charger only showed 36 miles worth of
juice. There is a charging station 3 miles from my sister’s
house, but he doesn’t have the right card to use it, so he got
directions to the nearest Nissan dealer and went there.

Half an hour later, he was back — the dealership had been
completely locked up (this was about 9 on Saturday night) with no way to get at a charger, so he was
plugged back in to the neighbor’s. He’s a composer and
agile on the keyboard, so we jammed on folk tunes for a while, and
then I left to get back to the lonely, starving dog, and he and my
sister were playing a piano four-hands arrangement of the fifth
Brandenburg concerto.

He wrote this morning:

I rested a few minutes in the car after our 4-hands evening, and then
left ca. 11:45 with 54 miles of charge shown.
I drove about 45 mph the whole way home, with extreme efficiency of
braking etc.

I started to see that 1 odometer mile was equaling less than 1 charge
mile after just 15 min, or so, and this generally stayed true.
However, when I exited 93/95 to 1A north, I was merely down to 20
miles of charge capacity, and 18 by the time I was home – 
so I likely could’ve left back earlier in the evening with the 49
miles of capacity shown at no empty battery risk, especially if I
drove similar to just now.

I do know the metering is adaptive to your driving, but ultimately,
while relieved I had excess charge upon arrival,
I felt a bit cheated to see that so many miles were yet available.

I’ve always assumed that driving an electric car to Fall River would
be like that. The majority of my trips are within Route 128, and
there are lots of charging stations in Cambridge, so for those
trips I’m sure an electric car would be fine. But the majority of
the miles I put on the car are driving the 60 miles to Fall River
and then back again, so if you need to stay in Fall River longer than I would
want to to get your car charged, then it isn’t yet the right
technology for me.

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