Happy Birthday, Car

pluginAmerica-logoIt has been one year since my quest for an EV ended and I drove home Honda Fit EV #189. I looked around in the Fit EV Drivers group on Facebook for a report on how many of the 1,100 planned units have been delivered, but could not find it. Nevertheless, I read that Honda recently announced the end is near for this production run.

I have accumulated 11,200 miles in one year, a bit less than I had hoped, especially after Honda eliminated the mileage cap. Overall, I have really enjoyed the experience. There have been a few problems:

  • The car would not complete the start-up sequence and was not drivable once last June. I was taken on a flatbed to the dealer who could not find anything wrong after the car sat for a few hours. The advice I was given was to disconnect the 12V battery to reset the computer and try again. There has not been a next time.
  • The Bluetooth failed last October – this has been reported as a very widespread problem, but not related to the EV technology – I understand Honda bought the units from Mitsubishi, so it was merely an inconvenience.
  • In the coldest days last winter, I ran out of electrons while the car sat at my office all day and on many days I chose to drive in a very cold car in order to save the range so I made it home.

Considering that we are early adopters of fairly new technology, I think the problems were very minor, especially compared to the benefits:

  • I really enjoy the quiet and vibration-free driving experience. Now that the temperatures are in the 40s and higher, my range is no longer an issue and I have been driving in Normal or Sport modes and not in Economy. 🙂
  • It has been amazingly economical. With the lease price reduced to $259/month including collision insurance and my energy costs of approximately $.03 per mile, the car has been nearly free based on the savings in energy and maintenance compared to my previous car.
  • I am enjoying the opportunity to demystify the technology and share the experiences with inquiring people who just want to know.

I would like to give a shout-out of appreciation to the Verizon Foundation, that donates money to non-profits in honor of employees’ volunteer work; last year they donated $750 to Plug-In America for my volunteer work in sustainability education through participation in various public events. I hope to do it again this year.

I would also like to express my appreciation to my friends in the NJEAA for their leadership in promoting EVs as practical alternative transportation.

In 2 years I’ll be driving something else. I am keenly interested in what the choices will be then and how much the technology has changed.

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