Friday, June 24, 2016

Long Term Test: 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Limited Wrap-up

Update #6 (wrap-up)
Mileage: 44,650

A little earlier than expected, the Hyundai Sonata makes a departure from our long-term fleet. The one feature, or lack thereof, that did it in was memory seats. This is one of my biggest pet peeves in cars with electrically adjustable seats and with as many as four different drivers who driver the car with some semblance of regularity, it is important to make it easy for drivers to quickly find and adjust the seats and mirrors to their liking. Of course, aside from this one shortcoming, the car has actually proven to be quite the solid mid-size all-purpose car for the suburban needs of the modern family. However, it was also not totally a problem-free stay in our garage.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Long Term Test: 2014 Ford Focus Electric post #4

Update #4
Mileage: 11,533

Owning an electric car may require some sacrifices in terms of planning trips around the vehicle's range, but there are a number of real world incentives that can take some of the sting out of that extra effort. When we first got our Focus Electric, the first thing I did was spend a good amount of time researching the incentives that we qualified for and applying for all of the appropriate ones that would likely benefit us.

The most important one is of course the $2,500 electric vehicle rebate that the state of California supplies to EV buyers. While this benefit has changed, it still allows a large number of EV buyers to take between a $1,500 to $4,000 rebate for the purchase of an EV. The extra funds really helps to reduce the vehicle ownership cost. In some states, the rebates are large enough that it makes the ownership cost almost nothing. When we visited friends in Georgia during our cross-country road trip, we talked to them about their Nissan Leaf, which they said that between the federal incentive of $7,500 and the state incentive of $5,000, their lease costs them only a few dollars a month and the amount they saved on gas means that the car actually was a net positive for them.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Events: LA River Ride 2016

Yesterday marked the first time that both my wife and I would participate in the LA River Ride, something we learned about early on when we returned to LA nearly two years ago. It was from a woman who happened to be wearing one of the jerseys when she stopped in the grocery store to buy some stuff for her ride. As biking events go, this is one of more interesting ones because no roads are closed to hold the ride. Hosted by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, the ride is intended to give riders a taste of the cycling infrastructure (or lack thereof in some cases) that pervades the city and surrounding areas before connecting to the LA River Bikeway. Riders are encouraged to use their urban riding skills and follow traffic rules with ride marshalls helping to make sure people are riding courteously and safely. Given the potential for chaos when hundreds of cyclists take to the streets, the organization demonstrated for the event is downright impressive.

While the full route is just over 100 miles, I was only able to convince my wife to commit to the 50-mile route. That ride would take us from the Autry Center located on the grounds of Griffith Park in north LA all the way down to Dills Park in Paramount. A good portion of the ride was through the streets, but there were also long portions along the LA River, which varies from bland and unattractive concrete channel to lush green flora with accompanying fauna, depending on where you are.