Turning Over a New Leaf

One family's electric vehicle experiment

Kori Lester, a CX Mentor based in Idaho, says she’s the “greenie” in her family. Her husband Sam “would have a bumper sticker that says ‘I Love Big Oil’ on his suburban if he could,” she says.

Still, when a 2013 Nissan Leaf came up for auction online, the low price caught Sam’s eye (the electric vehicle had been accidentally dropped at the dealership and was considered salvage). A few repairs and a tax deduction later, the Lesters had gotten a great deal on a new car—and Sam soon joined his company’s electric car club.

Kori and Sam aren’t the only ones enjoying the Leaf. Their 16-year-old daughter Katie, Kori says, loves it so much that she sold her 2003 Volkswagen Beetle. “We like that because she can only go about 100 miles with one charge,” she says. (In the photo, that’s Katie, Brodey, and Lili, left to right, with Kori. Her other son, Duncan, took the picture.)

The small monthly payment on the Leaf, Kori says, is less than they used to spend on gas. And when Sam juices up the car at his work’s charging station, they spend even less. 

Next, Kori plans to join Sam at the electric car club’s meeting on portable solar rigs. Until someone finds a way to harness Lili and Brodey’s energy, she says, solar will have to do!

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