Spokane, Washington – When Joel Breems and his wife moved to Spokane in 2016, the trusted family Subaru came with them. It had all-wheel drive and plenty of room for hiking and other outdoor gear – a perfect Spokane car.
Soon there was a need for a second car and Breems started looking at electric vehicles. And today electric vehicles (EVs) are all the family has in its garage.
“We didn’t necessarily approach this from a place where we were determined to go electric,” Breems said. “We talked about it a lot and this was in 2017 when the technology was very different. I was afraid of jumping in too fast.”
After much research, Breems leased an all-electric, first-generation Nissan Leaf.
“We still had the Subaru so this seemed like a good place to start,” Breems said. He quickly grew to appreciate that the electric vehicle warms and cools instantly – just by a push of a button.
“It may seem like a small thing but it was really big to be able to take our newborn straight to a warm car,” Breems said.
Around the same time, Breems began volunteering for the National Drive Electric event, which hosts electric vehicle events around the country.
Without even thinking about it Breems found that he picked the EV over the trusted Subaru pretty much any time he needed to drive anywhere.
He took advantage of an Avista incentive program to have an electric vehicle charger installed at home.
Breems said his family is big on camping and he started looking for a replacement compact SUV. The Tesla Model Y was an obvious choice, but he worried it didn’t have the range for camping trips outside Spokane.
“I wasn’t super hot on the Tesla because the range is just 320 miles,” Breems said. “But then we started mapping out camping trips and none of them were anywhere near 320 miles.”
The addition of Tesla just reinforced that the family can get its driving needs met by electric vehicles.
Breems said it is a solution that doesn’t work for everyone, but he’s been surprised how easily the transition went for him and his family.
Electric vehicle technology is changing all the time and Breems said it won’t be long before gas cars will be of a lower quality than mainstream EVs.
“It’s a good idea to start with a lease and see how you like it and how it fits your needs,” Breems said. “Let’s be honest, if we really look at it we all drive a lot less than we think.”