EV Driver Profile: Chris Young

Chris Young is surprised by how much he still likes his 2015 Nissan Leaf SV after driving it nearly 10 months.

Sedalia customer Chris Young drives a 2015 Nissan Leaf SV. When asked what he thinks will make people buy an EV, he smiled, “First they need to understand that it’s a real car, not a golf cart.”

Young is 6’3” tall, so interior size was a consideration. “The Leaf looks smaller than the Volt, but the interior actually has more room where I need it,” he said. 

A lot to like
“I’m surprised by how much I still like this car after nearly 10 months,” he said. “I expected the newness to wear off, but every time I get it in, I realize that I’m doing something that most others aren’t… yet.”

Chris bought a mid-range model with a lot of high-tech features.  “My wife Ann is jealous, and my oldest daughter is too.” But in all seriousness, he added that his daughter is learning to drive, and the Leaf’s ECO drive mode provides a smooth acceleration that helps a young driver. Its 360-degree camera is also helping her learn to parallel park. “It’s a great feature because you can see the cars ahead and behind and how close you are to the curb. No more guessing where the end of the car is.”

“I don’t define myself by my car,” he continued, “but I have to admit this one’s really cool.” It’s quiet. When you drive, you only hear the sound of the tires on the road and the air conditioner. In fact Nissan added a low speed whine to warn pedestrians you’re coming their way.

And Chris likes its environmental features. “We need to get away from fossil fuel. This is more energy efficient. I can charge it at night when excess energy is available on the grid, and charge it on the KCP&L Clean Charge Network as I travel.“

No adjustment period
“This is not the car for long-distance commuting.  But 90% of my travel is to and from work, school and church. With an 84-mile range, I don’t even have to recharge every day. And every time I pass a gas station, I smile,” said Chris. “No more pumping gas when it’s 100° or 10°.”

Clean Charge convenience
“I didn’t have to rethink my life to drive an EV, which surprised me,” he added. “For example, we took it to a Royals game in Kansas City, which was about 90 miles each way. I used my free phone app to find a KCP&L Clean Charge Network station with fast charge capacity. We had a quick lunch in Blue Springs and it was ready when we were─maybe 20 minutes later. Then we parked in the KCP&L Clean Charge Network area and recharged while we watched the game. The charging units are right between the stadiums at the sports complex, so you get a prime parking spot!” 

A regional asset
The Clean Charge Network is continually expanding as we add stations to support EV drivers across our service area.

“KCP&L has taken the lead in addressing the EV version of ‘which came first; the chicken or the egg?’ said Young. “Most of this country doesn’t yet have a regional charging system to support the growth of EVs. It’s a natural product line extension for KCP&L, and people have a greater comfort level buying an EV now that it’s supported by the charging network. I’m impressed by KCP&L’s leadership and investment in the supporting infrastructure.”

Would he recommend an EV to others?
“Yes.” No hesitation.

“Honestly, if you have even a little interest in EVs, go to a dealership or a show and sit in one.” he said, adding, “Talk to people about their real life experiences. Most of your concerns will immediately get shot down. There’s very little maintenance…no oil changes, for example. Unlike internal combustion engines, you can hit the accelerator and get the full torque immediately, which makes highway driving and passing safe and easy. And with the Clean Charge Network now in place, range is much less of a concern for most driving situations. The LEAF is the perfect second car for our family. I couldn’t more highly recommend that people consider the purchase of an EV.”