Electric Car Notes: Update on Leaf Ownership after a 6-Week Absence

By Ben Zuckerman

My wife and I recently rented a standard (manual) shift car to drive around Ireland for a week. For decades I drove and was a fan of standard shift cars. I was saddened to leave these when nearly 11 years ago we purchased a Toyota Prius and then, three-plus years ago, a Nissan Leaf EV. The transmission of the former is too complex for manual shifting and the latter does not have gears so there is no need to shift. I must admit that my Leaf has now cured me of my love for manual transmissions. Not only is shifting irrelevant, but so is visiting messy, crowded, gas stations and dealing with a variety of payment options at these stations. After our week in Ireland I now appreciate more than ever the pleasure of simply “filling up” (charging) at home. Also, whatever gas mileage our small Irish car obtained (I never checked), I knew that the car was polluting the atmosphere with its carbon emissions. In contrast, the electric panels on the roof of our home charge our Leaf with absolutely no carbon pollution at all; this provides psychological pleasure while driving.

Note: Ben Zuckerman is a distinguished astrophysicist and a former board member of the Sierra Club. See his other posts on owning a Leaf.