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Republican Senator Leases Electric Car

Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, has signed lease papers for a new Nissan Leaf. Previously he had been driving another energy-efficient vehicle, a Toyota Prius. Senator Alexander said of his switch from a hybrid gas-electric car to an all-electric one, “…the single best way for our country to use less foreign oil is to use all electric cars and trucks. It will also give me the patriotic pleasure of not sending more money overseas to people who want to blow us up.” Source: (

He will be driving the Nissan Leaf in Washington, D.C. to and from his office. Leasing costs about $400 a month, for 39 months, though there are some start-up fees as well. The price to purchase a Leaf is $32,000, though there are various tax rebates, both at the federal and state levels. With the incentives, the price can be lowered to about $25,000.

Although it is true, having more electric vehicles in this country would reduce our oil consumption, and in part our dependence on foreign oil, the Nissan Leaf is still a Japanese car. Even if each one is entirely assembled in the United States, as they will be by next year near Nashville, the parent company is foreign. Why can’t we simply build our own electric vehicles, and reduce foreign oil dependence at the same time we are investing in our companies? Currently we seem to be partly dependent on foreign oil, and foreign vehicles. The Senator also said, “Our goal should be to electrify half our cars and trucks within 20 years, which could reduce our dependence on oil by about a third, from about 20 million to about 13 million barrels a day.” Source: (

I would hope the Senator, at some point, will look into leasing an American-made Tesla sedan, or purchasing one. Unfortunately, they do cost more, but hopefully the price will decrease as more are made. The Nissan Leaf is a very good car, I just wish we had made it first, instead of having to go through the SUV craze, and buy them from a foreign company. (Actually the GM EV-1 did come out much sooner, but it was recalled and many were crushed in an inexplicably bad case of decision-making.)

It is also possible to do home conversions of existing vehicles to electric power, but obviously it is work only for the mechanically inclined. These projects typically cost between five and ten thousand dollars. One man did his own conversion using old parts for about $1,000.

Somehow I doubt any Senators will get behind electric car conversions though.

Image Credit: Tennen-Gas

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5:07PM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

...even some Republicans can do something smart....ruins my theory that they are all brainless......

just passed a pretty Leaf on the highway today..........

my wife's electric-gas Volt has averaged 365 mpg (based only on gas use) since buying in 2011....and we live in MN where we have to deal with very cold and snowy conditions at times....better yet we pay extra for wind-power..........that would be another alternative although I know that not everyone can afford a Volt............or a Leaf ......or a Tesla.....

can't wait until the prices for the New EVs come down

3:27PM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

They all should do this.

7:24AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

Not all Republicans are stupid.

4:00AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

Great article, thanks for sharing.

11:38AM PDT on Jun 2, 2011

good for him

12:21PM PDT on May 31, 2011

It's nice to see a republican swet a good example. I juswt wonder how did he vote on oil subsidies.
I would also like to see car companies get serious about electric cars and build them and price them competitively with fossil fuel cars. Increase subsidies for rail and public transportation so that is would be cheaper than driving our cars.
Then and only then would I take the senator and people like him seriously

3:33AM PDT on Apr 6, 2011


8:48AM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Frances Bell, I have GRID tied solar with panels made in Tucson 100 miles from my home, I just bought a LEAF 100% electric and get 120-140 mile range . The new factory is in Smyrna TENN and will produce over 100K of them a year and the batteries.
We can also buy a Telsa made in CA 100K or 50K soon, a FORD foucus electric made in ILL in 2012 and many other real choices. Most are now or will be American made!

The charge locations for these vehicles at you home and in the public are made and put in by ECOtality. they also have contracts all over the world yet they are located in Phoenix AZ 25 miles from my home.
It's an American plugin revolution. It uses American electricity that gets dumped at night since they can't store it and can't turn down a COAL plant, Nuclear plant or even clean hydro, we sleep and hardly use any but our plugin cars can use it

11:47PM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

oh get over yourselves. If your country is lagging behind in moving away from oil (like mine) I say why not buy a foreign-made electric car and send your government a message.... if we can't get what we want here, we WILL go elsewhere.

4:08PM PDT on Mar 15, 2011

Good move by the Senator. Thank you sir, for your willingness to walk (or is it drive) the talk.

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