Last week we purchased a second car for our family. Since we didn’t want to spend much for this occasional use car, my partner A had spent the past month scouring online listings, looking for just the right car. None of them felt right to me. Somehow, the fact that all these cars had a gasoline engine was the problem, not whether it was a Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Chevy or Ford.

Our primary car these days has been a 2020 Nissan Leaf, an all electric car that I haven’t needed to take to a gas station since we simply plug it in when we roll into the garage. So when we found a 2012 Nissan Leaf with just 51,000 miles, I was ready to drive up to Reading for it. The problem was… would the car have the range to get us home to Northwest Philly? The fully charged car showed a range of 44 miles, and home was 50 miles away! We found a public charger on the way home, and got home just fine. We even stopped for pizza along the way.

Today was my first day of typical use for this “new to us” electric car. I loaded up the car with the morning’s errands and then noticed that I had forgotten to charge it overnight. The dashboard showed it had a range of 35 miles, which could be of concern, but I proceeded with my morning.

From Mt Airy, I dropped off stuff at a thrift store in Glenside, went to a friends house in Abington, picked up buckets, went to township’s public works department to fill up with leaf mulch and returned to the house where we’re building a compost pile for all our yard waste. We already had a layer of cardboard topped with last week’s weeding. To this, I added the newly gathered leaf mulch and a few buckets of fresh weeds.

I realized I could have plugged the car into a standard 110 volt outlet at this house, but that would have taken 4 and a half hours for a full charge. At my own home, I have a 240 volt EV charger. The dashboard showed I could power up in an hour and a half at home. 

I then drove to Mom’s Organic Market to get one item for lunch. Since this grocery store has a free EV charger in their lot, I plugged in the car, which now showed a range of 21 miles. Fifteen minutes later, I returned to the car with 3 items. The range had increased by 5 miles, plenty to drive the 6 miles home for lunch. 

What, me worry? No range anxiety for this gal…

When the range dips from 44 miles to 10 miles, I may find myself in the market for a replacement battery. A has learned that a battery from any of the newer model year Leafs would fit into this older model car. I plan to maintain this car’s body and simply replace the battery when it’s time. Could this be my forever car?