Why an Electric Car is the Perfect Second Car

2017 Nissan Leaf EV, electric car

2017 Nissan Leaf

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint for the past few years. I had hoped to be in the process of converting our local electricity from fossil-fuel based to renewable energy, but after that 2.5 year campaign that came to a grinding halt, I decided to buy a used electric car anyway. Why used? Buying used is the cornerstone of reducing our impact on the earth. Buying used means that more emissions are not being generated to create a new product plus it keeps items out of landfills longer.

Before I bought a used electric car (on Craigslist), I quizzed my friends who were already driving Nissans, Teslas and other electric cars. Is the range thing an issue? Not for Tesla owners. But for all other used electric cars made before 2017 that get about 80 miles or less per full charge, range is something to consider. The best advice I got was to hang on to one gas-powered car for now. Many households have two cars, if one is gas-powered then it can be the road-trip car while the electric car can be the commuter or errand car – range anxiety solved.

My 2017 Nissan Leaf gets about 100-124 miles per charge and that 20+ miles means I can drive to all my usual haunts. I looked back over the past year and realized that most of my trips are 6-12 miles long, on the island, where I live, or within 30 miles of the island. I LOVE my Nissan Leaf it is the perfect island car.

Benefits I expected:

  • Eliminating my car emissions (no more guilt driving past people eating at cafes on the street).
  • Eliminating guilt about running a bunch of errands in one day
  • Reducing the cost to drive – it costs about $3.50 per 100 miles (if electricity is 12 cents per kWh — the national average) vs gas which costs about $12 per hundred miles (if gas is $3.50/gallon and the car’s fuel efficiency is 30 mpg).
  • Reduced maintenance costs: mainly tires, oil and windshield wiper blades.

Benefits I didn’t expect:

  • No gas smell in the garage
  • No need to go to smelly gas stations and pump gas – didn’t realize how much that was chaffing me.
  • So easy to charge – it just plugs into a regular wall outlet – and charges overnight. I haven’t had to charge it away from home yet.
  • Electric bill did not go through the roof. It costs about $30 more a month to charge my car, but that’s still a lot less than I was spending on gas.
  • Super zippy and fun to drive. It’s FUN.


If you live on Bainbridge Island or in Kitsap County and are available on Friday, there is a talk at the Bainbridge Island Senior Center on transportation alternatives:

Rethinking Transportation
Friday, August 3rd at 3:00 PM
Huney Hall in the Bainbridge Senior Center

Speakers: Demi Allen Vice-Chair, B.I. Multi-Model Advisory Committee & Co-chair, Bainbridge Mobility Alliance and Erika Shriner, Co-Chair, Climate Action Bainbridge

On Bainbridge, our automobiles represent a major source of greenhouse gases and traffic seems to constantly increase.  Fortunately, there are alternatives for meeting our transportation needs that are cleaner, healthier and – yes – more enjoyable.

Stop by to learn more about our transportation options and some of the changes planned for our island. AND become part of a community-wide effort to improve our quality of life while reducing our contribution to climate change.



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