The Guy Who Actually Buys A Nissan Leaf And Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Not Who You'd Expect

Illustration for article titled The Guy Who Actually Buys A Nissan Leaf And Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Not Who You'd Expect
Photo: Drew

Imagine, if you will, the perfect four-vehicle garage for someone who likes to take road trips in the wilderness, needs to do occasional hauling, has to get to work, and enjoys the freedom of two wheels. What would that look like? I actually think this week’s featured EV owner, Drew, may have stumbled onto the perfect four-vehicle garage of the future, and his choices deeply intrigued me.

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Welcome to EV Ownership Stories! Every week, we’ll be posting an interview with an owner of an electric vehicle. We’re here to show that people have been living with EVs for longer than you’d think, in stranger places than you’d imagine. If you’d like to be featured, instructions are at the bottom of the article.

The first half of Drew’s garage consists of a Wrangler and an F-250 — good for road trips to the wilderness and hauling for sure, but not the focus of our EV corner, clearly. Today’s subjects are the other half of his garage: his Nissan Leaf and his Harley-Davidson LiveWire that he uses for his commuter and two-wheeled rocket, respectively. I was extremely intrigued by this lineup, and I had to know how a garage this diverse worked out for him.

Illustration for article titled The Guy Who Actually Buys A Nissan Leaf And Harley-Davidson LiveWire Is Not Who You'd Expect
Image: Drew

Drew explains the allure for the Leaf quite straightforwardly: “It is basically ‘a car.’ I’m not sure it is particularly special, but for in-town driving, it is just as good as any gas-powered vehicle. I like how it is extremely quiet, comfortable (at least compared to my Wrangler and F-250), and surprisingly quick. [...] It is great for my daily commute.”

He’s made the Leaf work for 20,000 miles in his two years of ownership without having Level 2 charging at home. He simply plugs it into a normal 120-volt outlet and still has never had to skip a trip.

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It was a relatively spur-of-the-moment decision to purchase the Leaf (the first purchase of his EV fleet). Drew explained it as follows:

Buying my Leaf was almost entirely a random decision, although I guess maybe my disinterest in current gas-powered vehicles was a bit of a factor. Given that almost all new gas-powered cars are good in 2021, I have a hard time finding one that stands out enough that I’m excited about owning it.

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This is an interesting perspective and one I hadn’t heard before, but it tracks given the current market. The extremely high bar for modern cars — and the relatively homogenous market that entails — leads to electric vehicles being the ones that stand out. And this wasn’t without an extra, unexpected upside after his purchase, either! As Drew put it, the car is more fun than he expected:

This might be heresy to car enthusiasts, but I actually enjoy driving my Leaf more than I enjoy driving traditional enthusiast vehicles. I like the challenge of driving an electric vehicle efficiently. Yes, I’d prefer to spend my day lapping an M3 at a track than hypermiling my Leaf in city traffic. However, I need to spend a lot of time commuting in city traffic, so I feel like I have maximized my total driving enjoyment by driving a Leaf. While EVs aren’t traditional enthusiast vehicles, they can be fun in their own way.

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But what about the motorcycle? Drew explained that this was actually part of a lifelong interest in Harleys (he has a Road King as well), but it wasn’t because it was a Harley he was drawn to it. I asked if the move bothered him at first. Did he need to be sold on the idea of the manufacturer of legendary gasoline V-Twins producing electric bikes? Not so much, as Drew explained:

I was never bothered by H-D making an electric bike. I see the LiveWire as a complementary product as opposed to a usurper or imposter. For me, the fact that the LiveWire is a Harley-Davidson branded bike didn’t strongly influence my purchase decision. I think I would have bought a Honda LiveWire or Suzuki LiveWire.

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This is something I have frequently wondered about as a relative outsider to Harleys, and it gives me hope the historic marque can stick around as it transitions to more electric bikes in the future.

And what gives me even more hope? Drew loves his LiveWire — it “far exceeds expectations.” The charging infrastructure in the rural routes he likes to ride for fun is on the weak side, but the ride itself? “It is simply the most fun motorcycle I’ve ever ridden. I hope H-D continues to make electric motorcycles and expands the range.” High praise from a lifelong fan.

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Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic electric collection, Drew! We’d love to hear from more readers about their EVs, modern or classic, factory or otherwise.

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We want:

  • Your name
  • What car do you own? (If you owned a car in the past, let us know what years!)
  • Where do you live with it?
  • How and where do you charge it?
  • How was buying it?
  • How long have you had it?
  • How has it lived up to your expectations?
  • A photo of your car

Collectrix of Vintage Hondas and High Priestess of the Church of Slam It On Wats. Freelancer at Jalopnik. she/her

DISCUSSION

engineerthefuture
engineerthefuture

Does this mean Toni will be gracing us with her presence on a weekly basis now?