Jennifer Test Drives My Leaf

July 31, 2013

Mark D Larsen

Jen Feels the Zen

Another of my offspring has test driven my Leaf! Besides Eric and Marisa, now Jennifer has also experienced driving an EV.

She was in Utah on vacation from Alabama, and drove down to our area with Marisa and Shan, plus all their kids, to see the play Mary Poppins with us at the Tuacahn Outdoor Amphitheater. Of course, I had to insist that she drive the Leaf from our home to the theater, and you can watch the obviously amateur video I recorded of her all-too-brief time behind the wheel by clicking on the image to the right.

While Jen drove, we chatted about the usual impressions and questions that people have when they drive an EV for the first time. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to hear the dialogue because two of the grandkids and Tamara were also jabbering away in the rear seats, and a couple of times I inadvertently moved the camera’s microphone in front of the air conditioning vents. Whoops! Nonetheless, you can still follow the gist of the conversation.

Jen’s initial reaction was that the car was “so quiet and strange” to her —which echoes what almost everyone says when they step on the accelerator for the first time. She then asked how far I had ever driven my Leaf. She wanted to know how regenerative braking works, tried shifting into Eco and back into Drive, and again commented that the Leaf’s nearly silent responsiveness seemed “foreign” to her. Jen then asked if there had been any problems with the Leaf, and I launched into my usual pedantic perspective on the capacity kerfuffle. Also like most folks unfamiliar with EVs, Jen expressed a concern about ending up “stranded” with a depleted battery. I tried to reassure her as best I could that such an outcome would be extremely rare, since any standard electrical outlet would suffice for a trickle charge.

So... what seemed to spark the most delightful response from Jen? Learning about the heated steering wheel...!