Shopping For an Electric Car – Part 1

Recently, I started shopping for an electric car.  Next year, I have a shorter commute and our daughter is moving to a daycare that is closer to home.  We’re all about bees and clean water over here, so it’s kind of a put-your-money- where-your-mouth-is thing.

Yesterday, I test drove the Nissan Leaf.  It was so cool.  You turn the car on and it does not make any noise.  No “vroom”.  Driving it was such a smooth ride: no gear changes and so quiet.  They are really peppy.  I even took it on the 402.  You can quickly start speeding as you don’t have the motor feedback sound to let you know when you are pushing it.  Unfortunately, I’m not crazy about the headlights and the look of the vehicle.  We waited 3 weeks just to test drive because they kept selling them before we got the chance to get in one.  But I can’t get over the look.

Next we went to Chevy.  They have a Bolt model that has more normal looking headlights.  And the range on one charge is pretty impressive compared to the Leaf.  But they can’t get any in and don’t seem interested in selling me one.  I’ve called without response.  We went in in person yesterday only to be told that they are near impossible to get in.  Most that come in are purchased sight unseen.

So who is driving this market?  Do these companies REALLY want to get into the electric car business?  It makes you wonder.

Today on my drive, I imagined myself driving around in my electric car and the ratio of electric vs. combustion motors that would be around me.  It was a bit depressing.

And, then my thinking got a bit deeper, as it tends to do on drives.

I started thinking about innovation in education.  Ugh. I know. That word. Again.

I started thinking about what it would take to make a movement to the majority of the population driving electric cars.  Look at how much industry is tied to a typical engine: parts companies, manufacturing, garages, oil industry etc.  Yes, they are improving the fuel efficiency of traditional vehicles and how much they pollute.  But I started wondering… what would it take to really make a change in this industry?

I wonder if it’s the same in education?  Many of us want to change the status quo.  We want to go from grades to feedback, focus on big ideas instead of small details, from content based to inquiry and less “traditional” classrooms.

But what obstacles or big systems are we up against?  Where is our best investment?

So, my car shopping continues.  Do we wait for the 2018 Nissan Leaf that is due to come out in the fall and see if it looks more normal?  Should we check out the VW eGolf?  Or should we invest in a company that really seems invested in wanting to make a change: Tesla.

The Tesla Model 3 comes out this fall.  Not only does its range compare to the Bolt’s but it is really cool looking too.  Tesla does not have a typical dealership and car lot.  I would need to deposit $1000 dollars online without seeing or driving it just to enter in conversation.  There is also no guarantee about when it would arrive.  Most of the details about my order are worked out by phone and by email.  And well, I’m not sure it’s the best “family” vehicle.

And did you know that the government is offering pretty amazing rebates ($14,000.00) when you buy an electric car?

Well, the story continues.  It’s my latest inquiry.  But I have to say that I’m tempted by that last option.  This is a company making solar roof shingles and that wants to help put a man on Mars.

Perhaps in order to really make a change, we all need to invest in those things that reflect our values.

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