Building Community Through the Nissan LEAF


We were one of the first families in Washington to receive their Nissan LEAF. We recently celebrated our first year of ownership on January 19, 2012.

Owning our Nissan LEAF has been a life-changing experience for our family. We gleefully drive past gas stations. We are proud of reducing our emissions while getting where we need to go. And we love talking about the benefits of EV ownership with whoever will listen.

But one of the biggest changes was the community building we’ve experienced through the Nissan LEAF. These include:

  •  Met online communities through and Facebook, and exchanged information about all aspects of Nissan LEAF ownership.
  • Organized the first Seattle Nissan LEAF owners event at a local coffee shop. (February 2011)
  • Talked to elementary school kids about electric cars at a local school. (April 2011)
  • Planned the second Seattle Nissan LEAF owners event with the core group and a much larger crowd of prospective Nissan LEAF in a local Fourth of July parade with several other LEAF, Tesla and electric-vehicle owners. (July 2011)
  • Showcased the Nissan LEAF at a neighborhood social and answered dozens of questions about the car. (July 2011)
  • Attended the Northwest premier of Revenge of the Electric Car. (June 8, 2011 Seattle International Film Festival & met Chris Paine, the director.
  • Wrote a blog post for a national website about the steps for installing a charging station.
  • Attended several charging infrastructure ribbon-cutting events. The best ribbon cutting was the Blink Level 2 one at Qwest (now Century Link) Field, where I met Chris Paine (director of Revenge of the Electric Car). The mayor of Seattle was there as well. This was the first public Blink install in WA state.

I’ve also attended additional ribbon cuttings in Renton, WA (downtown city parking garage) that turned into a procession from the downtown location to a shopping mall, where another set of chargers was unveiled (again Blink). The only other major supplier here in the NW so far is Coulomb, and I have missed their events.

Caption: Seattle Nissan LEAF Owners Meet-Up

In short, owning the car has been like becoming part of an extended family. Best of all, we now see Nissan LEAFs nearly every day — and we always give a friendly wave.

– Patrick & Debbie Van Der Hyde

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