Abram, Diana, and daughters with the Leaf

Interview: Abram Isaacs of Minneapolis shares all about leasing an electric vehicle

If you are interested in electric vehicles (both plug-in or all electric), these are exciting times. Sales of electric vehicles have more than doubled in the U.S. during the first six months of 2013 compared to the same time period in 2012. Over 41,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been sold since January, with 36 percent of all of the all-electric vehicles (like the Nissan Leaf) being sold in the last six months.

Joel Haskard caught up with Minneapolis residents Abram Isaacs (husband of Metro CERT director Diana McKeown) to talk about their recent decision to lease a Nissan Leaf. Pictured to the upper right is Abram, Diana, and daughters with the Leaf.

Joel Haskard: What led you to lease a Nissan Leaf?

Abram Isaacs: Several factors. First was that it is electric. We have photovoltaic solar panels on our house and having an electric vehicle would allow us to have carbon neutral transportation. Second, it was available and highly rated. The model has been out for two years and has been thoroughly reviewed. It is safe, reliable and operates like a regular vehicle. Lastly, we leased instead of purchasing because of the affordability of the lease. With incentives from Nissan and Federal tax credits a two year lease made more sense than buying for us. Frankly we are waiting for the vehicle range of electric cars to increase before we purchase an electric car. The Leaf has an average range of 80 miles.

Joel: What were your first steps?

Abram: We first did some research about what was out there and what vehicles fit our lives best. Then, we just walked into a dealership. It was like leasing any other vehicle.

Joel: Do you have a special set up in your garage to charge the Leaf?

Abram: We have a regular outlet in our garage that works fine. We have decided to upgrade to a faster charging outlet called a level 2 charger.

Joel: What have you found interesting or unusual about driving the Leaf?

Abram: The vehicle does numerous calculations for you on energy consumption and drive range left on the batteries. I find it fascinating to learn what happens to the energy draw when you turn on the air conditioning or accelerate hard. By the same token, the car generates energy, thereby recharging the battery when you brake or coast, which is fun for passengers to watch.

Joel: If someone is on the fence about leasing or owning an electric car, what would you tell them?

Abram: I would tell them to check it out. If you are in the market for a new compact car this is a great car that is fun to drive and different. Before you write off an electric vehicle because you are afraid of running out of electricity in the batteries keep a journal for a month of all the trips you make and how many miles you drive daily. You will find that most days you stay well below the Leaf’s average range of 80 miles.

Interested in learning more from Minnesota electric vehicle owners? Check out the Minnesota Electric Auto Association or take a look at our most recent Minnesota Energy Story on electric vehicles, or take a look at the MN PEV Owners website which specifically focuses on electric vehicle ownership in Minnesota.

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