Have you ever wondered what it was like to cruise around Hatteras Island in a brand new electric car? Well, wonder no more.
Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative (CHEC) is inviting the public to take their new and 100% electric 2019 Nissan Leaf out for a test drive.
Recently leased by CHEC, all Cooperative members in good standing can call or stop by the office, schedule a time to pick up the keys, and enjoy a free ride for up to two days around Dare County.
“Electric vehicles are slated to be the car of the future, and since we live far away from where you can test drive one, we thought this would be a great way for our members to get a feel for [electric vehicles],” said Laura Ertle, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for CHEC. “We’re hoping our members take advantage of this – it’s a cool car and it’s really fun to drive.”
The Nissan Leaf has an energy-dense 62-kWh battery that gives drivers a range of roughly 225 miles before they have to plug in. CHEC recently installed public charging stations at Hatteras Landing and in Waves, and there’s also a charging station located at the Inn on Pamlico Sound in Buxton, and at other spots around the county.
“Chances are that if you are just test driving it, you won’t need to charge,” said Ertle, “but the navigation system will notify you if you need to charge, and will also tell you where charging stations are available.”
Ertle initially drove the car to CHEC’s Hatteras Island home base from Elizabeth City, and noted that by the end of the trip, the Leaf still had 52% battery life remaining. “It was so fun to drive,” she added. “It’s so fast, too – it’s amazing.”
So how can you borrow CHEC’s car? There are a few prerequisites to keep in mind before you can grab the keys and go.
- Interested test drivers can call or stop by the CHEC office to request a time slot.
- Drivers must be CHEC members in good standing, and have a valid driver’s license, insurance, and be at least 21-years-old. A copy of your license and insurance should be brought to CHEC when picking up the keys.
- Drivers can borrow the car for up to two days, but must stay within Dare County. (AKA, no cross-country road trips.)
There is no fee to borrow the car, and folks are encouraged to take plenty of photos of their local expeditions and to share them with the hashtag #CapeHatterasPlugsIn.
“Hopefully we’ll get some good photo ops from it,” said Ertle.
The CHEC electric car has already made a few excursions around the island, and even paid a visit to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Now, members can launch their own energized adventures, and can enjoy a free and fun ride in the car of the future.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Ertle, “And we hope our members will take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy a really fun ride.”