I bought an electric powered vehicle, a Nissan Leaf, a few months ago. I named the car Electra. Electra is the Greek Goddess of island thunderstorms. Our word, “electricity” comes from the Greek word “electra.” I must confess that Electra is my mistress. I met her at a car dealership. We hit it off right away. I think about her regularly and spend a good deal of time with her. She goes just about everywhere I go. I keep her charged up, washed up, and cleaned up. Her looks are a bit unusual, but I am okay with that. She communicates with me constantly, telling things me things like how many miles I can travel with her before another charge is needed. Electra has taught me a valuable lesson I’ll share with you.
Driving an electric car is nice. It’s so quiet. There is little engine noise. You can listen to soft music. The acceleration is smooth. It has some pep too. The acceleration is fast from about 0 to 30 miles per hour. But, driving cars like her causes me a bit of “range anxiety.” You have to plan ahead and know how far you plan to travel, but even when you are prepared, you still worry a bit about the unexpected. It’s like always driving your car with the just-about-out-of-gas light on. Electra will only take me about 75 miles before she runs out of juice. If I run out of electricity, I have to get the car towed. If I step on the gas or if I brake hard, the range goes down. So, I’ve learned to slowly accelerate and anticipate stops and traffic slow downs. I still drive the speed limit, but now it takes me a while to get there. But, everyone else drives like I used to. They are in a hurry. They impatiently pull their cars up next to Electra’s rear bumper and pass us fairly regularly. What’s funny is that I almost always catch up to the people who pass me in Atlanta’s traffic. They get ahead for a while, but then there’s a stop light or a traffic slow down and I am right behind them. They are all probably stressed out and angry about the traffic and slow drivers like me. The lesson, I’ve learned from Electra, is not about them, nor is it about learning to slow down. You see, now that I have slowed down a bit and have been driving to conserve energy, my mindset has changed. I used to be in a rush, and I spent my time thinking about the things I needed to do when I got to work or wherever. Now I am more relaxed. I enjoy the process of getting to where I want to go. I don’t even let the tailgaters bother me most of the time. So, ironically, my range anxiety has made me calmer.
You don’t need an electric car to understand this. Try to enjoy each minute of the day instead of living for some time in the future when you arrive at your destination. I drive around with my mistress, Electra, and we enjoy our time together, but my wife is aok with this arrangement. We are saving money and helping the environment a little bit. I’d be lying if I said the anxiety was totally gone. Did I tell you that the Nissan Leaf does not come equipped with a spare tire?