Posts Tagged ‘environmental’

Simi Valley man is passionate about environmental driving

Simi Valley man is passionate about environmental driving

Charles McCollister isn’t laughing all the way to the bank. He may not even be laughing all the way from the gas tank. But he is in a good mood, and he does feel he’s doing the right thing.The retired United Airlines flight attendant and Simi Valley resident is something of a trailblazer, having purchased an electric car — GM’s EV1 — back in 1996.Mattek-Sands has a Lady Gaga moment.
Since then, McCollister has owned another EV1, an electric Toyota Rav 4 and a Mini Cooper Mini E. His latest purchase is yet another in his self-professed love of environmental driving, the fully electric Nissan Leaf. He purchased it two weeks ago from First Nissan in Simi Valley.

McCollister has become something of an electric car celebrity. He appeared in the 1996 independent movie, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” and appeared that year on the CBS news, a clip of which showed McCollister driving around Los Angeles in his EV1 with a General Motors representative. He’s also featured in the 2010 film, “What Is the Electric Car?”
“Honestly, I bought them because I wanted to contribute to clean air,” he said. “It’s nothing more complicated than that. It really was an environmental decision.”

McCollister’s blue Nissan Leaf is a four-door car that looks simply like a compact car. It doesn’t have the radical aerodynamics of the Toyota Prius or the Honda Insight, which are hybrids and not entirely electric.”You do get some rebates including a $5,000 state rebate, but that runs out at the end of June,” McCollister said. “You also qualify for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits, so it does lower the price a bit.”

“You really can’t go many more than 80 miles without a charge,” McCollister said. “The literature tells you it can go up to 100, but it doesn’t always work that way.”The Leaf uses more electricity when faced with uphill climbs, so driving the Conejo Grade, for example, according to McCollister, burns up the car’s energy.”You can run the air conditioning pretty well without taking up too much electricity, but you really can’t run the heater in the winter time,” he said. “It uses up so much electricity that you really lower the amount of miles you can drive, so you need to wear a sweater or a jacket if you’re cold.”