Meet Sister Ann

A week ago Thursday I bought a used Nissan Leaf. It’s a 2012 in excellent condition, with 26,000 miles on it. So far, I love driving this car.

Getting a new-to-me car was not my plan. My last payment on my 2010 Camry hybrid was a week ago Friday. The plan was to not have a car payment for awhile, but the husband generously made me a deal I couldn’t refuse.

I’d looked at going full on electric for quite awhile. In optimal conditions, the Leaf gets 84 miles to a charge. My commute to work is a little over 40 miles round-trip. Perfect.

Before deciding on the Leaf, there was a moment’s hesitation as I pictured myself once more in a Jeep Wrangler. I enjoyed my Wrangler when I had one. I saw it fitting into our renewed interest in camping. But Wranglers get terrible gas mileage and are darned experience. Maybe the husband, who drives only ten minutes to work, will get a Jeep when it’s his time to buy.

This Leaf was relatively cheap, and I’ve figured out why. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the car; it’s that folks are leasing instead of buying them. This is because the technology behind battery charge time and miles per charge is improving each year. Electric cars are like smart phones. They both keep getting better at what they do and their trade-in value sucks. Owning this car is going to be a practice in contentment. Just because there’s a better model available doesn’t mean the one I have has stopped meeting my needs.

The car comes with an app. I can monitor charging status and turn on climate control from my phone. Upon installing the app I was required to name my car. I named her Sister Ann.

Last Thursday I had a 240 volt plug installed in the garage at a cost of $300. That, along with the $500 Siemens charger I bought from Home Depot, means I have $800 of gas unpurchased to recover before I start seeing savings. This set up is essential though as level 1 trickle charging (plugging the car into a 110 outlet) takes too long. Luckily, charging with a level 3 quick charger is free at Nissan dealerships, and there’s one about 5 miles from my house.

I didn’t buy the car from the Nissan dealer. I feel like an interloper charging there as the salesman get all perky when I drive up, only to be disappointed when I pull into the charging station. They’ll just have to get over it. There’s a Dollar General Store and a Home Depot within walking distance, and I plan to make charging at the dealership part of my weekly routine while I shop. Hey, a free charge is a free charge.

I wish I knew someone with a talent for custom pinstriping. I’d like to apply a design of small hearts and scripted letters that read “Sister Ann” in a tasteful pink.