Our Lonely Pathfinder

by Doron Amiran, CCP  |  Jan. 5, 2016


Here in the
United States, we have a unique relationship with our cars. We write love songs
to them (Long May You Run, indeed),
write books and screenplays about them (I’m thinking of you, Christine), and
name them. I understand that this is unique to our big, broad nation of open
spaces and interstates, and maybe it’s slightly weird and even unhealthy.  

But I am still
worried about our Nissan Pathfinder. Until recently, she was our faithful favorite
car, and we drove her everywhere. Sure, she was a little bit of a lush for
gasoline, and we spent too much time and money supporting her habits, but she
was comfortable and useful. We drove her every day. She was running smoothly
and seemed content.

And then we
leased a Fiat 500e electric, thinking we would drive the small electric car on work
commutes and short errands. We expected to still rely on the trusty Pathfinder
for much of our driving. Boy, were we wrong. My wife and I both love driving
the electric car so much that we plan out our days so that we can make all our
trips in the Fiat. Drive to work? Electric car. Drive to the store? Electric
car. Dinner and a movie? Electric car, electric car, electric car.

You see, with
apologies to the old Pathfinder, driving her is just no fun anymore. Never mind
the fuel and the oil and the smell and the smoke. I am talking about the actual
driving experience. The old fossil-fuel burner feels lumbering and slow. And
what’s with all the lurching every time the automatic transmission shifts gears?
The electric car has no transmission. Step on the pedal and car just zips. Zero
to sixty? Zip! Passing on the freeway? Zip! Sliding through traffic? Zip zip

So now the old
Pathfinder sits there for days at a time, lonely and forsaken, gasoline
languishing in its tank, its engine cold. I am told we should use premium gas
now, because we add fuel so rarely that the gas will get stale in the tank.

Poor old
lonely Pathfinder: eventually, we’ll head out for another long road trip and
you can get out and stretch your tires. In the meantime, don’t take it
personally, it’s just that the electric car is cooler than you, cheaper to
drive than you, and so much more fun than you.

Would it make
you feel better if I told you it’s not you, it’s me?

Doron Amiran is the EV Program Manager for The Climate Center. 

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