binary girl: the secret blog



electric car, on verdant green

June 10th, 2015 at 9:04

I got an electric car a week and a half ago, and I LOVE IT.

When Yahoo bought BrightRoll, one side-effect for me was changing my commute, as we relocated the Palo Alto office to Sunnyvale. In the beginning, it wasn’t too problematic, and it gave me time to listen to podcasts, etc. However, I’ve realized that the drive (especially at night) back home is taking me over an hour because I have to do it during peak rush hour, because of the kids’ tae kwon do schedule, and other after-school activities. (I guess I’m not alone in this, hence… rush hour!) Yahoo has a number of electric car chargers that it provides the employees for free, and electric cars in California are eligible for HOV lane stickers because of their “green” status, so Brandon and I idly had a conversation about getting an electric car for commuting purposes and eventually retiring the minivan for a larger electric car when those are available. One of the people on my team is an electric car enthusiast/hobbyist, so he had a lot of information about what was available, the tax credits, and he knows a lot of people who have hacked their cars, so having him as a resource is super useful.

If you’re a geek, an electric car is pretty much right up your alley. I’ve started gaming the system in some ways over the past week to see how much mileage I can eek out; today I went so far as to not charge it overnight to see if it was possible to do all my charging at work, and got here with over 50% charge to spare (between driving from Sunnyvale to Belmont, back to Sunnyvale the next day, which is the longest single-day commute I have generally). So, that means that not only am I currently not buying any gas, I’m also able to not pay for any electricity for my commute, if I so choose… which is a huge benefit, imo.

I’ve used the HOV lane a couple of times (although I’m not supposed to, because I don’t have plates yet, so I don’t have the sticker) and shaved over 20min off my commute. I could more aggressively use the HOV lane if I felt less guilty about doing it, and do better. That is also a huge benefit.

Finally, the car is a) adorable and b) zippy! It has pickup totally and completely unlike my minivan (duh), and is super fun to drive. It looks like Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls so I’ve gotten it a personalized plate: EBUBBLZ :)

It’s big enough that I have two backed boosters in the back for the kids, who like to drive around in it… but I feel sketchy putting them in such a small vehicle, when one of the main drivers for buying the Odyssey is the obscene number of air bags and protections it has in place for my little people. I prefer to have them in five-point harnesses, as well, even though Katie is already fighting me to just be in a normal booster (because that is what she uses for field trips and the like). However, the other option I was considering to ease my commute was a motorcycle, and I sold mine purposefully because I wouldn’t feel safe enough as a mom driving around on one (after The Great Accident Of Pre-Katie Days), so I think that this is a good compromise in that fashion. :)

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