Steve Marsh lives in Kent and works at Taylor Shellfish near Shelton, so he has a daily commute trip of some 130 miles. And an economical model was definitely in his sights back in early 2011 when he was shopping for a new set of wheels.
Marsh became one of the first customers in Washington to take delivery of a Nissan LEAF, and said he made the decision to go electric primarily based on the car’s low cost of ownership.
Today, he was celebrated in a ceremony by politicos as the first Washingtonian to travel 100,000 all-electric miles, using no gasoline, creating no tailpipe emissions and, by his estimation, saving thousands of dollars.
“I’ve saved more than $9,000 compared to my old gas-powered car since I bought my LEAF,” said the professional financial analyst, who credits the state's strong charging infrastructure with helping to make the alternative fuel possible.
When Marsh bought his LEAF, he approached his employer to consider installing a charging unit for public use at the Taylor Shellfish office in Shelton. Management quickly agreed it was a good idea, especially since it aligns with the company’s environmental philosophies. Since then, they've added charging at its shellfish hatchery in Quilcene, along the Hood Canal highway.
To support residents like Marsh and speed the adoption of electric vehicles in the state, Washington developed one of the country’s most robust EV charging networks. The West Coast Electric Highway opened last year giving EV drivers range confidence that they can find easy and convenient charging along Interstate 5 and other roadways.
With a full charge in about 30 minutes, the fast charger at the Tumwater Shell station is a regular stop for Steve Marsh and his son Christopher, making it possible to carpool to work in the all-electric car.
More than 5,000 plug-in-electric cars are already registered in the state. Through November in 2013, Seattle-Tacoma is one of the top U.S. markets for total LEAF sales with an increase of more than 230 percent over the same period in 2012. Since the launch of Nissan LEAF in December 2010, Nissan has sold more than 40,000 all-electric LEAF cars in the United States and more than 92,000 globally.