Friday, September 28, 2012

Time to TH!NK expansion

I may need a new alias for the blog.

Instead of DG Leaf it may have to be Th!nk City DG Leaf. At the National Plugin Day my son and I had lots of test drives. One of the fun ones was the Th!nk City. 

It's a two seater hatchback similar to a Smart but a little more solid looking. ABS plastic - sort of a nordic IKEA looking design. Originally the Nordic design was bankrolled by Ford to the tune of 120 million. The DOE had loans in too. The company has been in and out of bankruptcy which is scary, but allows for a very interesting gamble. It's currently on again and the dealer and company are currently honoring warranties etc. They claim there will be a 2013 - the dealer says they have an order in.

The 2011 cars are being sold cheap to clear the decks. Assembled in Elkhart, IN with US made batteries ( Another company in and out of hock ) this 2 seater has the same size battery - 24kwh as the Leaf ! 

MSRP 36,145 ( tells you why they are having issues..)

$22,968 upfront - no MD tax, thats with 200 dealer prep and tag/title/registration.

$15,468 after Fed $7500 rebate - For a highway 80 mile, city 100 mile range car.
                 ( I'll report back as I real world test these. )

Electric ! A Leaf was $39K when you added in all the dealer crud. Better deals available today with electric model year changeover and slow down. The Leaf is quite a luxury electronics showroom vs plain Jane Th!nk.

But 15.5K???  I'm all in. Yes at some point in the future the EVA/DC club members that have been snapping them up, may be maintaining them like Delorean's after that company disappeared. That is in my opinion less of a challenge with an electric.

More to come! The new Glotfelty family one is red.

A couple videos:

In red:


Monday, September 24, 2012

National Plug In Day - Winners & Losers

National Plug In Day was yesterday. The one I went to in White Marsh is not to be seen as representative but I have some observations on it.

Mark Czakja - excellent organizer. Awards for the MTA's beautiful charging setup at White Marsh, great sponsor organizing, and prizes / test drives / fun.
The public that came - not as many as could have made it out, but lots of rides in supercars!
The EV owners - Giving nice folks rides. Networking and driving other cool cars - I tried 3.
The Think dealer - Eurocars, showing people cool Thinks at firesale pricing!
Kevin my son won a $100 Mom's Organic Gift card as a door prize!!!
Lots of other door prize winners too.
MTA folks - Putting in charging station in the perfect spots for public transit links.
Emergency Responders - They are training on all major EV's to take care of in accidents - awesome!
Baltimore County reps and many other guests.

The public that didn't make it - We'll keep trying - there is always hope next year.

Two EV Dealers. At least at White Marsh, Mark invited the local Nissan (Leaf) and Chevy (Volt) dealers just down the street. They didn't show. Sad - the one group that should be supporting all this for their own corporate goals - total no shows.

Fun day, great seeing Jill Sorenson from BEVI, lots of solar home reps, a Leaf owner who drove from NJ, Ford - although it was their hybrid vs the EV, and a ton of Volt owners. I had a ride in a very nice 'EcoBling' Volt the owner had tricked out with leds and cool accessories.  Mark also had snacks, T-Shirts for EVers and demo riders, and the vendors had refreshments.

Kevin got a passenger ride in the Fisker Karma supercar which was quite sporty. I got to take him for a test drive in the Think - the Eurocar dealer was cool about it and just let us two take off. It was quite nice for a very small car - kind of took me back to my young days with a two seater. Kevin dug it too.

Ah a day of optimism,


PS Here's a couple of son Kevin pics from the plugin day...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

National Plug In Day - This Sunday - September 23

National Plug In Day is Sunday!

Your friends with EV's, EV clubs, dealers of EV's will all be at 60+ locations all over the county to show you their Electric Vehicles.

Lately the press has been sharpening their knives - with big advertisers that have entrenched interests. Yet the owners have the highest satisfaction ratings out. While there are issues - the high heat issues for the Arizona desert owners are one serious problem, owners love their EVs.

Overall though, the 2013 domestic made Leaf is looking even more promising - Nissan CEO Ghosn has said their new battery upgrade will increase mileage by 25% - that is a tremendous improvement on top of the other improvements slated!

So come on out on Sunday and check out the new commuting vehicle that can change how a family spends on their motor vehicles, has a ton of fun driving, and leaves kids a cleaner sustainable planet.

Here's where Kevin and I will be Sunday morning in White Marsh MD:


Monday, September 10, 2012

Tesla buzz and awaiting Nissan's next move

The Tesla S is starting to make the rounds as the deliveries begin. Basically if you are in the upper income brackets or have a sizable nest egg for that one special item - I really don't see any competition. The EVA/DC website has links to a member drive test that just looks incredible. Good range, active battery protection, and next generation electronics - there really is nothing else like it. If you have got the loot and love high end cars - get in line for a Tesla S.

So the how about the company trying to make electrics for the upper middle class here? Nissan has had many reports of improvements - some unofficially from corporate insiders as I've noted before. Quite a few websites are reporting more improvements as well, but nothing yet seems official. Range and price are always the two biggest questions with faster charging a close third. The wait for details on the 2013 is a killer, as Nissan tries to sell down the 2012's. August monthly sales numbers were better - in the 600s, but still no breakthrough numbers. The 600's are happening due to very sweet sales and lease deals.  Basically if I could have held off I might have saved 5K easily but I must admit in this case I'll trade driving joy for the cash...

So we remain in a holding pattern for September awaiting developments! I will report on how National Plug In Day goes September 23rd.

National Plugin Day

National Plugin Day - September 23rd 9am - 1pm,

I'll be at the one above Baltimore at White Marsh in Central Maryland. Here's a link:

Should be fun - various electrics, dealers showing their models, information on coming EVs.

I'll get there early to pickup a charge, read for a while and be ready by 9am for the gathering. Bring a license and valid insurance information and drive an EV!