Nissan Leaf Uber Driving
Chris Holmquist's picture

I Am a Nissan Leaf Uber Driver and I Convert Gas Drivers With Rides

If you have been curious about electric cars and unwilling to deal with a clueless salesman there is an Uber and Lyft driver in Portland, Oregon who drives an all electric Nissan Leaf who understands the pitfalls of the archaic model of the auto dealer. Call an Uber or Lyft in Portland and you'll have a chance to feel what driving electric feels like and get your questions answered without the fear of being nickel and dimed.

In early 2014 I sold my old Saturn sedan to a mechanic because it required repairs and all kinds of muck that I didn’t have the time or resources to utilize. Imagine that! Why is that proverbial monkey on our back acceptable in our society? With my hands washed clean of this, it was on to the next step. Find that cheap, reliable, economical, and functional ride.

Finding a replacement turned out to be quite a serendipitous destiny for me. Uncertain what to expect, I walk into a Nissan dealership and right out in front they had a 2013 Nissan Leaf on display advertising $100 per month lease. Who could turn down a deal like that? So naturally I drove out of the dealer with the car. It really was love at first sight for me. It truly was something special. It was as if I was driving the future, and saving a lot of money in the process! The Leaf has always been the average person’s car to me. It feels like a real car for your everyday life. That’s a beautiful thing. So accessible.

Most people buy plugins for environmental reasons, right? Well not me. Yet I quickly became aware of the destruction big oil caused upon our communities and lifestyle. That did not sit well with me. Made me all the more thrilled that I no longer was going to support that havoc. With my newfound urge for social justice I wanted to fight big oil corruption and greed. Being in transition between jobs, I wanted to find something that would enable me to talk to real people. Help them to learn the truth behind a movement on wheels. A sort of voting with your wallet! Get big oil where it hurts! Right in their pocket books.

Through Vocational Rehabilitation I found a job in which they thought would be best suited to my enthusiasm, a lot attendant at a Ford dealer. Yes, Ford, a company best known for making trucks. As confusing as I thought that conclusion was, I quickly realized my purpose there. I became their unofficial sales consultant for the electric Focus and their plug-in Fusion hybrids. After a while working with the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association (an advocacy group of engineers, technicians, and industry specialists of electrics vehicles), I now had a sizeable enough knowledge to teach a car dealer and salesmen about EVs! What an amazing opportunity! Help to change the world slowly but surely, at the start of it all, by educating those responsible for getting them on the road.

By that time ridesharing (Uber and Lyft) was legalized in Portland. It was then I had my epiphany. It was one thing for a customer to listen to a salesman’s sloppy spiel, it’s another to hear it from an owner. That’s the real world. That’s more effective and less alienating than a high pressure negotiation. I wanted people to feel it, to hear the blissful quietness, and to feel the smooth ride, all without the hassle of the aging dinosaur that is the automotive sales industry. My riders have the opportunity to feel a bold new world. One they can afford and is attainable. They love the heated seats, front and back. I give them my personal business cards, refer them to electric car dealers, and tell them the benefits of driving EV. I share some of the tricks of great EV driving, too. My Leaf has a little over 101,000 miles on it now with only one bar lost.

After over 8,000 gas-free Uber and Lyft rides, I’ve helped multiple drivers get into electric cars through preaching the electric transportation gospel! Since then Uber has written a feature story on myself and my electric vehicle efforts for their upcoming magazine for riders and drivers. What a very empowering ride it’s been.

Let me know please, what you think in the comments section below. What converted you to purchase an EV and convert from a gas driver to an EV owner? If you liked this article and think it may help your friends, consider sharing or tweeting it to your followers.

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Comments

The biggest problem i Have with our Nissan Leafs is that Nissan does not make a 120kWh Titan Crew Cab 4x4 yet to pull our camper.
Nissan doesn't make one yet, but a Tesla Model X will haul it just fine. And plug-in trucks are coming soon from multiple automakers.
Our Nissan Leaf makes the ultimate solar powered horse ranch one tone crew cab truck, we all fit in it comfortably, it yoinks the 1 tone hay trailer right up the mountain at altitude as easy as it drives on the surface of the moon! Honestly it has the most giddi up torque of any of the mid size trucks we have owned. We pulled several 6000# loads of sand 20 miles up to our ranch when building the horse round pen; still averaged well over 100mpg something our maintenance hazard of a Ford truck could never even get 1\10 of! But what I like most about our Nissan leaf, as a retired airplane mechanic, I never have to take a wrench to it... Talk about uptime, I love just using this crew cab one tone truck, in 100,000 miles since 2012 all I have had to do to keep the leaf running is put on 2 sets of tires and top up the bug juice. Absolutely the most efficient reliable truck I have ever owned... Simply plug it in to the sun when you're done, and it's always ready to run. No problem making a 600 mile round trip to get horse meds either, the leaf has more highway endurance then my backbone or bladder, a couple 30 min quick charges on a trip are looked forward to walk about, stretch, and or eat moments (good at reducing chances of heart attack from sitting hours on end!). And with the help of Darian from emotorwerks.com we got this electronic black box that Jack's into the chademo DC port on our leaf so we can tie into it's 24 kwh battery. I tested it could power our ranch, water well and all for nearly a week in a shtf scenario... This has come in handy for several winter ice storm outtages up here in the northwest. If you have not dumped the maintenance prone flaling piston engine yet for the most reliable prime mover in the world "a motor" you are a fool with your wallet. If you have to have an engine at least go with the smart choice, a brayton cycle turbine engine! A first generation used Nissan leaf is now so cheap to buy it's ROI with reduced fuel costs and maintenance will pay for itself in a little over 1 year. Yea for the educated, the Nissan Leaf or any EV is the smartest choice in personal transportation!