1,500-Mile Nissan LEAF Zero-Emission Road Trip – Progress Update 1

3 years ago by Tyrel Haveman 4

Send-off at Magic Nissan. Photo by Erik Petersen.

Send-off at Magic Nissan. Photo by Erik Petersen.

Our Path After 3 Days

Our Path After 3 Days

First of all, I would like to apologize for not writing earlier. After each of the first two days, we were both very tired after lots of driving and visiting with folks along the way. Also, we didn’t have any connectivity the first night so I couldn’t post anyway.

Over 700 people have been regularly checking our live map at ZEroadtrip.com, along with 175 followers on our Facebook page and 76 followers on Twitter. I hope that the stuff we post is interesting to you all!

Starting last weekend, we drove the short 17 miles from the Canadian border in Lynden, WA to Bellingham, WA, near our home. Then, Monday morning, we left our home and resumed the journey south.

Three days into our journey, we’ve now traveled 466 miles (750 km). We have used 112.4 kWh of energy. Along the way we were greeted by about a dozen people at Magic Nissan of Everett, several staff and one local LEAF owner at Bill Korum’s Puyallup Nissan, long-time LEAF owner David Laur outside of Olympia, several LEAF owners at Electric Avenue in Portland, and a couple LEAF owners just outside of Albany, OR. It has been really great to see people along the way, to share our knowledge and also to learn from them.

One frequent question from other LEAF owners we encounter in person and via social media is for technical information on how the ZEroadtrip.com site works. I will write another blog post at a later date about this. I do hope to some day make this functionality available to everyone.

Sometimes we forget to post on Facebook & Twitter for a while, and as I noted we haven’t blogged much either. This trip is first and foremost our family vacation, so our personal priorities come first. We’re doing this trip for fun. We appreciate all of you who are following along with is and will continue to communicate, but just keep in mind that it may not be particularly frequent due to these facts.

Along the same lines, this morning we made a personal choice to change the plan for our trip. Instead of following Interstate 5 down to the California border, we are going to divert directly to the Oregon coast on Thursday. We’ve added a couple additional stops along the coast so that we end up going back up the coast on the same original timeline. The primary reason for this choice was that the weather forecast calls for temperatures in the mid 90s F (mid 30s C), which is warmer than either of us would be anywhere near comfortable. It will be about 20 degrees F (10 degrees C) cooler on the coast, so we’ll be much happier there. And a family vacation is much more fun if we’re happy.

Those of you who were expecting us in the areas of Grants Pass, Medford, and Ashland, we apologize for this change. Hopefully next time we come down it won’t be as hot and we’ll be able to come down and visit.

So we will be driving from Cottage Grove to Reedsport on Thursday. This isn’t a very long drive so we have no concerns. We’ll stay in a hotel in Reedsport Thursday night, then head down to Port Orford the next day, where we’ll spend two nights at Humbug Mountain State Park. We may travel further south during this time, possibly to the California border, but that’s still undetermined. After that we’ll head back up to Reedsport to resume our original plan.

*For Tyrel’s first InsideEVs post on the ZE Roadtrip, click here.

*For Tyrel’s second InsideEVs post on the ZE Roadtrip, click here.

*For a recap of Tyrel and Trish’s 2013 road trip, click here.

Campsite at Pine Meadows Campground, Cottage Grove, OR

Campsite at Pine Meadows Campground, Cottage Grove, OR

**Editor’s Note: Tyrel Haveman is President of the North Sound Electric Vehicle Association. The North Sound Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) is a chapter of the Electric Auto Association (EAA), a non-profit organization that has promoted electric vehicles since 1967. North Sound EVA was formed to enhance awareness of electric vehicles in Northwest Washington State, including the counties of Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan.

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4 responses to "1,500-Mile Nissan LEAF Zero-Emission Road Trip – Progress Update 1"

  1. Max says:

    Thanks for the update, Tyrel! 🙂

  2. James says:

    Kind of reminds me of those family stories of my great granddad and those adventurous road trips using the new “horseless carriage”! An adventure that requires special planning, meeting strangers – mid-route reroutes, unexpected surprises and all sorts of interesting, yet not confidence-inspiring stories.

    What we’re talking about here is basic transportation. These trips are fascinating to EV buffs, but I agree with a poster yesterday who said these kinds of tales just scare the bejeepers out of the common person looking for a car! I mean, jeez – nobody wants that kind of hassle to get off fossil fuel, or to help the environment.

    What I see is a great story about using a highly-limited commuter vehicle to do the job commonly associated with a gas vehicle that gets it’s fuel from any number of thousands of convenient filling stations located literally everywhere, having none of the limitations or trepidations connected to a trip like this one.

    So, like the commenter here said yesterday, while we EVérs find this entertaining and educational, people who are curious about going electric must just freak out with a blazing word – “HUUUGE HASSLE!” in mind while following these EV adventures!

    1. Hi James,
      Thanks for your comment. I wish to respond to a couple things you said.

      “requires special planning” — Picking out which campgrounds we want to stay at each night of our trip is something we would do no matter what. We like organization. Picking charging stations to stop at along the way is FAR less difficult than that part. I just look at the map on PlugShare and see which one to go to next. The fact that I put them all on our website ahead of time is for the purposes of visualization for people who are interested in our trip, and in particular those who are interested in meeting us at a charger. Many of the chargers we stopped at, we didn’t even charge, we just visited with the folks who were there to see us.

      “meeting strangers” — This is by no means a requirement. We like to talk to other EV owners and enthusiasts, so we invited them to meet up with us along the way.

      “mid-route reroutes, unexpected surprises” — This was because we, two humans and a dog, do not like 95 degree air. The fact that we are able to reroute is actually is testament to the decent charging infrastructure and range of our vehicle.

      I’m not sure what “huge hassle” you’re talking about. Stopping along our route to stretch our legs and walk the dog every now and then is something we’d do on any road trip. We get to charge while we’re doing it, which is a great benefit.

      While we’re at it, we get to save a bunch of money and energy by not using gas.

      The purpose of our trip is for us to have a fun vacation, and that is what’s happening. We decided to share it on our blog and web site because EV enthusiasts ask for details about our trips very often. InsideEVs is sharing our story because they think it’s interesting as well. EV enthusiasts, which is our target audience, thus see that a trip like this is very possible. Hopefully people who aren’t EV enthusiasts who run across our stuff see the same thing, and don’t see that it’s a hassle, because it is definitely not.

      1. Peter Armstrong says:

        I’ve been waiting year after year to see charging stations pop up near on the east side of Washington and we have basically nothing. All the infrastructure is on the west coast. Very disappointing. I think you would have much difficulty doing 1500 miles if you started from Spokane.