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Why I Don't Want an Electric Car

November 16, 2010 14:17:42.063

The key piece of the MSNBC write up on the Nissan Leaf for me is this:

Nissan says it can take as long as 20 hours to charge up the car using a standard 120-volt circuit. If you hook up to a 240-volt Level 2 charging station — which can be installed in your home for the estimated cost of $2,200 — you can cut that time down to eight hours or so for a full charge.

Mind you, I don't drive much. And once I start my new job (commuting by air to Dallas), I'll be driving my own car even less. Even with all that though, it just doesn't seem practical. I drive without air conditioning in the summer (my car's unit is broken), but - I'm not going to an office. If I were driving to work in this area, A/C would be an absolute necessity, unless I wanted to arrive soaked. Since running full bore A/C uses the same power that drives the car, that lessens range, and given the ridiculous recharge time (few people have a 240 volt outlet in their garage), it becomes even less practical.

The only way I can see this working is for the battery packs to get small enough that a "charge station" would swap your battery for a fully charged one, and charge you based on the power you received and the state of the battery you came in with. Otherwise, I can't see why I would buy something like the Leaf instead of a hybrid.

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posted by James Robertson

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