In March 2017 Forth launched an electric car-sharing pilot project at Hacienda Community Development Corporation in northeast Portland. Three all-electric Honda Fits were available for the community and Hacienda staff and two charging stations were installed next to Hacienda. Adriana Noesi, who is an Executive Assistant at Hacienda, was in the market for a new car and although not initially interested in an EV, eventually purchased a 2013 Nissan Leaf. Last fall Anne Ramzy, Program Associate at Forth, spoke with Adriana about her decision to go electric.
Anne Ramzy: Why did you choose to get a Leaf?
Adriana Noesi: Because it was inexpensive and on the newer side of things, so I could feel like it was reliable to drive my son and future baby.
AR: What is it used for?
AN: I primarily use it for work, and to run errands mostly in town. I don’t use it for long-distance travel.
AR: How was the transition to EV?
AN: I still have to learn how to drive it most efficiently. Learning what an EV mile is versus regular mile; using downhill to my advantage to recharge, how long I can go before charging and how public charging stations work for trips. There is a learning curve.
AR: How did you learn all this?
AN: The dealer did not help much, I felt like I knew more than him. At work, we have the electric fleet so I felt confident going into the dealership. I'm not an expert, but based on our project I felt confident enough to know what I wanted and what to ask for. I would not have bought an EV without our project. One of the reasons I felt comfortable buying was because we have a charger at work. My hope is that all future employers have charging options for employees.
AR: Do you think other people at Hacienda or outside of Hacienda are interested in buying an EV?
AN: At Hacienda we do have an amazing Resident Services coordinator that does great work with this project. My father-in- law was skeptical of our purchase, in his mind electricity is still expensive.
AR: What would you tell someone who is considering buying an EV, but still on the fence?
AN: Rent from TURO to try an EV for a day. I would talk about not being able to charge at work. I would also tell them about charging at places that only cost $25 for the month to get around, which is way less than what my husband pays for gas. My 2013 Leaf was $7500 and it has a warranty that is only $6 extra a month. For my family and me it financially made a lot of sense because it was cheap to purchase. I feel good that I don't contribute to emissions.