Friday, April 23, 2010

Turning over a new LEAF

No, not the truck. We just put down a deposit for a Nissan LEAF. And no, I haven't given up bicycles, either. The LEAF, if we're lucky enough to get one, will be primarily used by the significant other. Her commute is similar to mine, around 20 miles round-trip. So the 100-mile range of the LEAF covers it nicely, with plenty to spare for a side trip to the grocery store. For longer trips, we'll rent something with a gasoline engine.

So why the picture of the Big Ugly Truck (BUT)? It's to highlight the absurd criticisms typically leveled at electric vehicles. "Oh, they're expensive". "The range is too limited". "You'd need a second car". Ummm, couldn't you say exactly the same thing about the BUT? The example pictured above lists for almost $50K. With the miserable gas mileage, the range is less than 300 miles between fill-ups. And do you really want to use something like the BUT as your daily commuter?

Maybe you do. Maybe buying a vehicle is less about practicality and more about image. And so if that's acceptable when your choice is a 150+ MPH sports car, or a 400+ horsepower truck, why isn't it acceptable when your choice is a sleek-looking electric car with limited range?

Updated (4/27/10): In answer to the question "Who could possibly need a truck like this?", Motor Trend posits, "...the Raptor is apparently proving popular among Texas ranchers who regularly drive across rough tracks to the farthest corners of their property". Texas ranchers that like to frighten their own livestock being an underserved market, I guess.