Some people talk the talk and some people walk the walk.
Now, Mayor Tom Roach is driving the drive.
Since taking office the mayor has made “the greening” of White Plains a priority, introducing bike lanes, pushing the use of re-usable, rather than plastic shopping bags, convincing ZipCar to set up shop at the City Center Garage and putting electric car charging stations at the TransCenter garage.
Recently, Roach brought the effort closer to home by leasing his own Nissan Leaf electric car that he’s been driving to and from his home and City Hall and on trips around the city during the day.
“I’m not really a car guy, but this is the most fun I’ve ever had in a car,” he said while showing off the bells and whistles. “I’ve always been interested in the technology.”
Roach said that while he plans to buy a more sophisticated charger, for the time being he plugs the car into a regular outlet in his garage, which takes three to four hours to fully charge, leaving him with enough power to drive up to 10 hours. He’s been impressed by how quiet the Leaf is and by how much power it has.
“This thing accelerates like a rocket,” he said. “It’s really zippy – when you hit the accelerator (not the gas) it jumps. It’s kind of like when you’re driving a golf car - there’s no hesitation at all.”
The mayor says he likes the fact that there’s no muffler and that the car doesn’t use oil.
“The only fluid in the car is windshield wiper fluid,” he said.
While the lack of charging facilities and the someone limited range of the car – it gets a maximum of 80 miles per charge – makes long road trips difficult without plenty of prior planning, Roach said he is mapping out a route to Albany to give it a try.
“We’re a two-car family, so we can always take the gas-powered car for long trips, but at some point, I’m definitely going to drive this to Albany,” he said. “So far, it’s working out fine.”