Saturday, December 10, 2011

Going Green on I-40

Capitol Broadcasting Co. is adding several electric-powered vehicles to its fleet. This Nissan Leaf is the first to arrive. (There's a waiting list.) It's stationed at the American Tobacco Campus where a charging station has been installed. ATC is a bastion of hi tech, and we are promoting this alternative to the internal combustion engine.

I commandeered the Leaf for a day last week, drove it to a meeting in downtown Raleigh and returned to Durham. It's really quiet. An electric motor and batteries. No transmission. Cruising along on I-40, I was surprised to see 70 mph on the speedometer.

If your driving style alternates between jack rabbit starts and hard braking, you're not suited to this car. The Leaf is for patient, mature drivers. (I'm working on that.)

The Leaf gets hooked up for an overnight charge...that provides enough juice for about 100 miles. The car's range and the charging routine would be the big adjustment for me. The upside: electricity is a lot cheaper than gasoline, and your commute is pollution free.