LIVE BLOG: Matt’s Attempt to Drive My $2000 Electric Car 11 Miles to Work In Doubt [UPDATE: Matt Refuses to Leave the Car]

    Hidden Secrets Revealed: A $2000 Nissan Leaf Takes on an 11 Mile Trip

    Ohboyohboyohboy. Matt, who is in town for the Autopian/Galpin car show (which you should come to!), is about to take a questionable risk. He’s about to try to drive from my apartment in Studio City to Galpin in Van Nuys — an 11 mile trek. This, to a normal car, would be the easiest task in history. But for a $2000 2011 Nissan Leaf with a severely-degraded battery, it’s going to be a challenge. Matt may end up stranded. Follow along here to find out!

    The truth is: As cheap as my new Nissan Leaf was, its utility is really limited. After 12 years of battery degradation, the thing is now only moderately more useful than a golf cart, offering a range of 15 miles on the highway — and that’s a figure I haven’t even tested. It’s just a guess.

    Today we find out if the range is at least 11 miles, as Matt is going to go for it. Come on, Leaf. You have to be somewhat useful, right? Surely you can handle my morning commute; it’s only 11 miles! You got this!

    Stay tuned here for mile-by-mile updates.

    [Miles: 0.0]: Ok, before we even get started, let’s just look at our starting point, which isn’t great:

    [Miles: 0.5]: Matt took a wrong turn in my parking garage, which seems impossible, but he did. That’s precious range lost, Matt! Get it together!

    [Miles: 0.5, Part II]:

    [Miles: 21.1]

    First, let me thank David for not only hosting me at his place but also for letting me borrow his excellent $2,000 car. This thing is great. I’m extremely tempted to buy the cheapest ass Leaf I can find in New York and then try to figure out where the hell I can charge it. Also, David was slightly nervous all morning about this so I’m glad I did it. You can’t cure anxiety through thought, only action.

    I’ll be honest, I drove around the parking lot for a few minutes trying to get the damn thing to get down to three miles so I could see the turtle. No turtle appeared. After driving another 1.5 miles it turns out I was adding range. I’ve given up. I might try to get back on the highway later.

    [Miles: 24.4]

    Matt here, I drove it some more.


    [Miles: 21.1]

    Whew. Now it’s back up to 7 miles.

    [Miles: 25.2]


    [Miles: 26.5]

    And I’m parked!— Matt

    Made it with no issues.

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