2011 Nissan Leaf drives from San Diego to Tucson (Screengrab from Google Maps)
You have to go from San Diego, CA to Tucson, AZ, a distance of around 480 miles. With a variety of options available to you, which do you choose?
Most people wouldn’t hesitate to book a flight, and some would even consider the train. But one electric car fan decided to make the trip in his 2011 Nissan Leaf, turning it into his own week-long road-trip adventure.
It's hardly the road-trip car of choice. With a range of 100 miles between charges, anyone attempting this kind of trip has to be a hardcore electric car fan.
That's exacty what U.S. Army veteran Jerry ‘EVJerry’ Asher is. In fact, for him, the trip was the equivalent of a trip to the shops as during 2008 and 2009 Asher toured the U.S. to promote plug-in vehicles and his previous car, a converted Plug-in Toyota Prius named The Spirit of DC.
Unlike our own 520 mile, two-day trek in a 2011 Nissan Leaf earlier this year, Asher didn’t have the use of level 3 rapid-charging along his rout and had to rely on level 2 charging stations instead. Instead of waiting just 30 minutes to fully recharge his car, Asher had to wait 8 hours.
2011 Nissan Leaf
For Asher though, the trip wasn’t about how quickly he could make the trip. Nor was it about proving the Leaf’s limited range. It was about a personal goodwill tour, educating and evangelizing along his route.
“This car is being put to the test, because it’s really a city car with a 100-mile range,” said Asher. “It was this fun time, leisure trip, and I had no appointments”
Traveling along Highway 80 and Interstate 8 routes, Asher found power outlets and electric vehicle charging stations everywhere from Nissan dealerships through to the U.S. Naval Air Facility in El Centro.
Admittedly, Asher’s trip was hardly quick but was most certainly the cheapest way of traveling for the time-rich retired sergeant.
Fast Charging 2011 Nissan Leaf
With a stop-over at LAX in Los Angeles, flying takes around 4 and a half hours, and costs around $200. Taking the train works out at around $100 and takes 14 hours.
Until level 3 rapid chargers become so common there’s one every 50 miles or so, we’d advise that a trip like Asher’s isn’t exactly something most people would want to do.
But with unlimited time, warm weather, beautiful scenery and a good mix tape, could this be the ultimate way of taking a road-trip? Let us know in the Comments below.