Trip to charger leads to adventure

Made it to Florence!


Eden and I were scouting out the area looking for a place to have lunch.  It wasn’t long before we realized we  were going the wrong way as the area was getting more and more residential.  But then we spotted what looked to be a tiny house perched atop a large grain silo.  So we stopped to take photos of this strange site before we turned around.

Perhaps that’s what is so great about setting out on the road and just exploring.  Sometimes, when you least expect it, something strange and wonderful pops up.  We found out later that this small structure sitting up high was a gift from a grandfather to his granddaughter — what would most likely be the world’s most wonderful playhouse.

Something that isn’t written too much in the EV press is how much fun and liberating driving an electric car can be.  Our car is very green, and it’s powered by our home’s solar panels.  Given the time, we can drive just for the pure thrill of it — not worrying about the price per gallon or the environmental toll our driving is taking on the planet.  

The road trip we were taking was in my 2011 Nissan Leaf, a 100% electric car.  I have almost 60,000 miles on it and it is my daily driver. With its somewhat limited range it typically is used just for transporting us in and around Louisville, Kentucky.  Today, we were to be venturing out to Florence, Kentucky, where the Nissan dealership there is host to the only DC Fast Charger in the state.  Other more common slower chargers will fill my car up in hours, but with this charger it would take mere minutes.  I am the president of Kentucky’s EV group and I’ve never used a DC Fast Charger before.  So, I’ve been feeling it’s something I really should have done by now — you know, establishing EV cred.  But the journey in my 2011 Nissan Leaf required planning and several charging stops to make it happen.

My traveling companion on this overcast and slightly humid day was my 14-year-old daughter Eden. She’s a good sport and understands that her environmentalist dad sometimes does seemingly irrational and odd things.   This trip was about balance and I would find a campsite midway where while we plug in and gain needed miles, we could enjoy time together and she could sketch, take some photos, collect rocks and enjoy nature.

We even found a new friend in a calico cat who seemed to adopt us at the campground.  We named him Tucker since after rubbing up against us for quite a while he just tuckered out.  

The trip took us all day, so in the scheme of things, it wasn’t a huge road trip — more of an outing.  After all, our friend Brian Kent traveled in his Nissan Leaf to 48 states planting a tree in each and in the process increased awareness of the importance of clean transportation options.  But I put the most miles on in a day in my car since I’ve owned it and charged more in one day than I ever have before.  In total we drove just short of 200 miles.  

With longer range electric car options for the masses on the horizon, station hunting, advance planning and range anxiety may very well vanish. But, the experiences of exploring are what remain unchanged.

Most importantly, I spent the day with my little girl who is growing up very fast.  She shared the experience with me.  It was a wonderful day.  We even shared a bit of good old range anxiety heading home — but we made it.  

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