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TechMamas.com Road Trip: Nissan Leaf Electric Car #EcoTech

Using technology that is resource and environmentally friendly (#ecotech) is important to me and one of the most prominent ecotech products is the electric car. These automobiles are run by a rechargeable battery with no gasoline engine or carbon emission pollution like their gas-powered brothers and sisters.  To learn how these cars work and how I could fit them into my busy life as a mom, I have started to review electric as well as hybrid cars for TechMamas.com.

 

TechMamas.com road trip: Nissan Leaf

 

The first car in my series is the Nissan Leaf.  I was happy to receive a press email offering a Nissan Leaf to evaluate for one week (disclosure). All I can say, is that it was very hard to return the car when the week ended. My minivan was still handy when driving my 3 boys and their friends around, while I enjoyed using the Nissan Leaf for two mini-vacations and trips around town. I most enjoyed going a whole week without filling up a gas tank.  I also learned all about the way the Nissan Leaf works.

 

TECHMAMAS.COM NISSAN LEAF ROAD TRIP VIDEO: Here is a video showing our road trips with the Nissan Leaf. My oldest son and cameraman filmed the footage using two GoPros synced up with the GoPro iphone app to recorded the audio. Here it is:
 


 
DETAILS:
 
2015 NISSAN LEAF®S features and specifications:

 

  • 107 Horsepower
  • 126/101 city/hwy MPGe*
  • 5 Seats / 4 Doors
  • 80 kW AC synchronous electric motor
  • Zero tailpipe emissions
  • Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start
  • Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • RearView Monitor

 

My Observations:

 

1. Ride: The ride felt comfortable and sturdy, not like smaller cars that feel as though they are going to blow over! We cozily fit all 5 of us (Mom, Dad, Teen and twin 11 year olds) for a one hour road trip to Santa Cruz.

 

Even room for three in the back seat!

 

Nissan Leaf TechMamas.com Road Trip

 

Plus a trunk area that can hold enough for a road trip.

 

Nissan Leaf TechMamas.com Road Trip

 

 

2. Controls: Getting used to the charging controls and routine was the biggest adjustment. All the basic car controls are similar to other cars so there really was not a learning curve. I was able to find the dashboard, steering and general controls I needed and using them was intuitive.

 

Nissan Leaf TechMamas.com Road Trip

 

 

3. Charging: The car’s screen displayed the amount of charge and indicated the remaining miles on the battery, which was very helpful. I was able to drive two long road trips, both around 40-45 miles, on one full charge with a little left over.

 

 

Nissan Leaf TechMamas.com Road Trip

 

 

I did notice that the calculations on mountains adjusted the amount of miles I had left down because the miles are calculated on conditions (i.e. uphill). Once I hit the top of the mountain and was coasting downhill, the vehicle recalculated the remaining mileage upward. Using the regenerative brakes also recharges the battery and increases total miles remaining. In my experience, just plugging the Leaf into a regular house charger for around 4-6 hours charged it up from 75-80%, which was fine for regular use. If I were going on a long trip, I would probably stop by one of the charging stations to make sure the car is either at 100% (the car conveniently lists the closest charging stations on the screen) or I would buy one of the Do-It-Yourself charging stations (AreoVironment is an example of one) to charge the battery more quickly. Along with not needing to buy or use gas, knowing that the Nissan Leaf is zero emissions made me feel I was also doing my part to support the environment.

 

 

Nissan Leaf TechMamas.com Road Trip

 

 

When I was just driving The Nissan Leaf on quick rides around town, the regenerative braking recharged the battery enough to avoid the need to plug in.It was a real treat to know that I did not need to visit a gas station and was not releasing any emissions.

 

I enjoyed driving the Nissan Leaf for a week and it especially made me realize (after NO visits to the gas station) how much gas I use while driving my minivan. Every visit to the gas station makes me want to buy an Electric car even more!

 
Click over to the Nissan Leaf website to find out more information, Facebook: www.facebook.com/thebetterride, @thebetterride and Instagram @thebetterride.

 

 

 

Disclosure: A Nissan Leaf was provided for a one week review. This is a review post.

 

 

 

 

 

First of April – My Favorite Things

Today is April 1st and here are my favorite links of the day:

Think Geek finally has a tee shirt about the computer overlords, edible gummy iPhone case, Angry Birds Pork Rinds and De-3D glasses. I know Cool Mom Tech agreed with the good finds at Think Geek.

Cool Mom Tech also covered Smart Starterz – learning language in the Womb (darn, why didn’t I do that?).

@JeffElder found a data dock that is also a toaster!

Finally – Google Motion (motion controlled email) is in beta and ready to goooo (as in jump around instead of typing).

And best yet, now my kids can pretend to wait in line at the Apple Store with the Playmobile Apple Store:

Happy April 1st!

 

Tech Is The New Green

In our family we talk regularly about ways we can go green (yes, I am even going to buy a compost bin). My husband is obsessed with eco tech – and I am just getting up to speed. Please share with me links to posts about eco tech that families can use.. Here are just two posts from today:

  1. Dell’s Green Machines on Forbes.com
  2. Amazon has a new green idea that is brown (as in packaging will be brown)
  3. NASA Electric Moon Rover  (for kids interested in eco-tech and space)
  4. Alltop’s Green section has tons of juicy eco-tidbits

Continue reading

 

Recycling Technology Gadgets

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Dory Devlin from Yahoo Tech posted with some information on the second life of unwanted gadgets. I found this very interesting because I am in the middle of preparing my current computer to pass on to my oldest son. And to further this "recycling trend", my new computer happens to be a re-furbished HP laptop from their business line. And to make things even more fun, we passed a really old keyboard to my son as a science experiment. He carefully took apart the keyboard and put on a show for his twin preschooler brothers on how a keyboard works.

I searched online for computer recycling centers and found a link to the green citizen that services San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Computer Recycling Center and a comprehensive post from BlogHer that discusses nonprofits and computer recycling.