It is difficult to go car-free in Kentucky. Inner-city transit is inadequate and inter-city options almost non-existent. But it is possible to reduce your carbon footprint while car-dependent. There are increasing options for Hybrid and All-electric vehicles that will move us in the right direction.
Several years ago we bought a used Toyota Prius. It continues to be a great car for us, but we wanted to do more. So I recently gave up my 1994 Geo Metro and got a used, all electric Nissan Leaf. Knowing that much of Kentucky’s electric still comes from coal and natural gas combustion, I had Photo-voltaic panels installed on my house to insure that I am reducing rather than just changing my carbon footprint. The solar panels and the 2015 Leaf together, came to well under $20,000.
The Leaf is our City Car, and the Prius the Road Car. This arrangement meets all of our travel needs. The Nissan Leaf is a great 4 door hatchback that is as fun to drive as it is inexpensive. Even in “Eco Mode” it is peppy with great acceleration. Charging is as easy as well. We just plug into a wall outlet next to the driveway and in the morning we are ready to go. There are also lots of charging stations around town, though we haven’t had the need for them. It is unusual that we come anywhere near using the 80 miles of range that we have available each morning. Most Americans drive less than 30 miles a day.
Finding a used electric car locally was difficult. Local dealerships just haven’t caught on to what is going to quickly become a hot market. The nearest used electrics I could find were in Nashville, TN. Not a surprise. Nashville also has Light Rail – just like a real City. But getting an electric car back from Nashville is tricky. It has to be hauled or towed, and that plus the issues of shopping long distance had me looking at other options.
In frustration I turned to CARVANA, an on-line dealership with a bunch of EV’s available and a process that is protective of the buyer. If you don’t like the car after you get it, you can get a full refund within 7 days.
We have been very happy with our purchase, and I recommend test driving an all electric if you haven’t. They are impressive.