Red San Diego LEAF

The real world

We have yet to be able to try to reproduce the photo above, just because we haven’t had time. But it is still a goal of ours. (And first we have to actually find that location!)

One of our priorities once actually having purchased the LEAF was to apply to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) being managed by the independent non-profit California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). There is much “mis-confusion” about this program – as a friend of mine is wont to say. So we would like to take a moment to discuss it.

First of all – the rebate project is not a tax rebate. It has nothing to do with your tax situation in California – income tax, sales tax, or any other kind of tax. The CVRP is funded by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board (CARB) to promote the production and use of zero-emission vehicles (our emphasis). Vehicles currently eligible for the program include battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. Rebates are available to individuals and business owners for certain light-duty zero-emissions vehicles for amounts up to $5,000. More information about eligible vehicles (including electric motorcycles and scooters) can be found at the site. Certain heavy-duty commercial zero-emissions vehicles may also qualify for a separate program.

A quick look at the CARB website found this mission statement:

The Mission of the California Air Resources Board:

  • To promote and protect public health, welfare and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects on the economy of the state.

While on the home page of the CARB site while writing this article, we saw a prominently displayed link to Radiation data for your city. Radiation levels information is posted for 10 cities throughout Northern and Southern California as a result of the Japanese nuclear reactor incident following the earthquake/tsunami.

Now back to day four. One can apply for an application only on or after the day of lease or purchase of an eligible vehicle. Since the office was closed by the time we were done running around on Friday, we submitted our request online on Saturday. Since normal business hours for the center are Monday through Friday we expected to hear back some time this week. We did not expect to find a response in our inbox at 7:58 this morning before their office officially opened. Our application was received and $5,000 has been reserved for us based on supplying some additional documentation, which we plan on getting to them as soon as possible.

We’ve just run around doing errands primarily this weekend. We still have no second meter installed from SDG&E (probably sometime this week), so we are trickle charging at night and doing just fine. Some friends with a May delivery date stopped by on Sunday to take it out for a spin. John is 6’4″ tall and was able to ball his hand into a fist and place it between the top of his head and the roof of the car. It seems to have plenty of head room! With John and me in the front, and three young passengers in the back, I asked John to nail it going up a nearby onramp with a pretty good incline. It scooted along impressively, especially considering the load that it was carrying. Try that in a similarly sized internal combustion engine (ICE) compact car, and the response would be anemic. In my world – performance equals safety. The torque (acceleration) demonstrated in this real world application was impressive.

As luck would have it, after getting our LEAF, I am unable to drive it for the next few days due to some business travel. So Mrs. Ernie will be behind the wheel. Doing real world stuff. Perhaps we can coax her into writing a report for you from a woman’s perspective.

5 Comments

  1. I live in Colorado, but I can’t resist a puzzle. I looked at the picture and saw the San Diego Padres logo and wondered if the picture was taken near Petco Park. A little sleuthing with Google Maps (the 45 degree view and street view were most helpful) and I found it.

    That picture was taken in the parking lot across Park Blvd from Petco Park, looking towards 10th Avenue. The building in the center of the picture is labeled as “Park Terrace Hoa” by Google Maps. The one to the right has Lolitas “at the Park” Restaurant in it at street level. You can just barely see the red balconies of that building in the picture at the far right.

    By lining up the two palm trees at the far left (you can only see the trunk of this one) and far right of the photo (this one appears to be in a line with the red balcony and street lamp) you can come pretty close to determining the exact parking spot. The palm trees are on the island dividing Park Blvd, whereas the trees that appear just over the roof of the Leaf are on the other side of Park Blvd, right next to the street. The picture was obviously taken with a telephoto lens, since everything is very compressed, i.e. those buildings look a lot closer in the picture than they would to the naked eye.

    1. John – welcome to Living LEAF. And thank you very much for your efforts! 🙂

      I made the same assumptions that you did, and flew around Google Maps also, but just couldn’t get the right combo of buildings. It was late and I had been travelling all day, (and the dog ate my homework…). Once again, it’s late and I have my post to write today, so I won’t get to check it out this evening, but now I may be able to put this on my to-do list for this week-end. Place the car there and take the shot! Thanks again.

  2. Yo Ernie…….not fair that Mrs Ernie gets to scoot around in the Leaf while you’re out on a job, eh? Oh well, I’m sure you’ll catch up later.

    1. Neil – the reality is that my wife will put way more miles on the LEAF than I will. We bought it for our primary “around town” car, and she does the majority of that driving. Most of my driving is behind the wheel of a company car during the week, but I will drive the LEAF on the weekends. That is, when Mrs. Ernie let’s me… 😉

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