Not me this time, actually…
Reposted from Facebook:
Can we do more to reach out to fellow Leaf drivers?
I came to this question a few minutes ago after a startling…almost painful…coincidence.
I was charging over at Taylor Shellfish farms seafood market and a woman pulled up in a black 2011. She was a model of politeness, approaching my car reluctantly, almost timidly, because in running an extra few errands she could not make it home–some 15 miles away–with her mother who is sick. Her mother who was born not even ten miles from my childhood home!
I all but had to order her to unplug my car! I could see that she was cold and the only thing preventing me from jumping out of my warm car and doing it myself was that she was standing there by my door. I admire people who ruggedly endure the slight inconveniences that these cars can sometimes present–her windows were a bit foggy, I could guess it was cold in her car, and she had given her mother her jacket to wear. Here was a person really trying to do the best she could, largely prevailing, and not wanting to put someone else out.
To each according to need is the philosophy I want my life to be lived. I am not in a hurry, and I think more often than not each of us behaves as though we’re in more of a hurry than a reasonable analysis would show.
Through a short discussion of things–our cars, our experiences–it was clear that this woman could really have used some help from others who know the Leaf. I don’t know; I don’t think this all has to be (or even should be) initiated by the owner.
R seemed a very nice person; she took the unusual–and to my experience unprecedented–step of buying not just one 2011 Leaf but two at the same time! 2011’s which don’t even have the percentage battery indicator! When they were new! She had the dealer tell her almost nothing about the car or how to get the most out of it, and if I understood things correctly, not just one of them but BOTH ran out of charge on the way home from buying them!
I can’t do any sort of justice to the terrible saga her life must have been–being less technologically savvy than even me–having two cars both subject to the same limitations (far worse than mine), and not even being able to take advantage of their full capacity out of fears related to an unpredictable GOM among other things. She actually even got stopped in a 60 zone for “obstructing traffic/going too slow” at 50 mph!
We can’t have this kind of stuff go on. If we’re sincere about wanting to make a difference, and this is one of our ways (i.e. driving a Leaf), we need to make our forums and comments more like polite coffee table discussions and less like the barroom brawls they at times can be. We need to make it a priority to welcome others into the fold, start more of our discussions with, “how has your experience been?” and generally work on helping everyone get the most out of their cars.
The top things you need to know about driving electric are not all obvious to everyone, and they can be very difficult to learn by experience.
I pointed R in the direction of Ray Ishak at Magic Nissan in Everett, but if anyone in the area could volunteer to help R with some of the basics–the dongle and LeafSpy, for example (which I covered only briefly) I’m sure she would probably appreciate it. She said she was on Seattle Leaf owners for a while but then left for some reason.
I think she must have made it home safely, she was charging while I was talking which is generally a recipe for success. I wish she had taken my advice to turn her car on and get warmed up a bit while it did so, but it does slow the charging.
What a great Leaf Warrior to have sign my car!