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.