Sunnysider Goes Green!

There are a LOT of hybrids here in Sunnyside. Some families with more than one! But Ann Speer who lives in the Glen with husband John, may be the first resident to go whole-hog and get a ‘pure’ electric vehicle (EV) - in her case, a Nissan Leaf.

The Leaf is one of the highest-ranked and is the best-selling EVs in the US.  Over a quarter-million have been sold since Nissan put them on the market in 2010, and her 2019 model has significant upgrades over the original model, including a range of about 160 miles on a single charge.  It is recharged by plugging it into a charger in their garage.

Ann graciously gave us a test drive, and several things really stand out.  Like many EVs, it is spookily quiet, and it accelerates like a scared rabbit!  

Now, this sure isn’t your grandpa’s car!  No ‘stick shift’, and in it’s place there’s one knob with three positions: forward, back, and “brake” (more on that later). Your grandkids probably don’t know what a clutch is, and for sure there’s not one in this machine!  But . . . your grandkids could probably teach US how to use the myriad lights, buttons, and whistles and abound on this dashboard!  Be prepared - you really have to study the manual to even get a start on the features!  Yes, it’s got cruise control, of course . .  and a fancy sound system.  And it has a backup camera as well.  But that camera also has a ’top’ view, as if it were hovering over the car, and a forward view!  Oh, and of course there’s steering assistance, lane change warnings, blind spot warnings, a USB port (!) if you have to have a computer attached, heated seats, heated steering wheel, and that’s just scratching the surface.  Oh, and the “brake” setting on what you’d think was the shifter puts the car in to regenerative braking mode, which helps recharge the battery when you take your foot off the accelerator if you’re doing a lot of local stop and go driving. 

Many people believe that the EV is the future of transportation, and as the nation moves to more and more renewable electricity sources, it’s not hard to see how the future could be writ large in these vehicles.  Who says old fogies are old-fashioned?

--Jim Kellett