In Pole Position, we interview EV drivers at the charging station. For this edition, we spoke with Edwin Glaser, the founder and president of the Nissan Electric Club and EV driver since 2010.
Edwin Glaser was an early adopter of electric driving and the first one to drive the Mitsubishi i-MiEV in the Netherlands. In 2012 he participated in The Big Turn On Competition and won a brand new Nissan LEAF. He has been driving different Nissan LEAF models ever since, making him quite the electric Nissan expert.
What do you like about the Nissan LEAF?
"Nissan LEAF is a true family car, it has loads of space in the back and is a very comfortable car. The LEAF driver is very different from the average Tesla driver. For example, one of the members of our Nissan Electric Club once had to decide between a Tesla Model 3 and a Nissan LEAF. He chose the LEAF because it provides more space in the back for a dog. Maybe that gives you an idea of the type of people that buy this car.”
"The LEAF driver is very different from the average Tesla driver"
You travelled a lot during a time that electric driving wasn’t that popular yet.
"I’ve been to Cornwall, Wales and also drove to Switzerland. It has become so much easier to travel long distances now. The charging infrastructure has improved a lot. If you are travelling to Switzerland and your journey starts in the Netherlands or Germany, you hardly ever have any problems finding chargers anymore."
What is the purpose of the Nissan Electric Club?
"We want to help out all Nissan EV drivers. We often hear that potential EV drivers search our forum, looking for information before they even buy an EV. Therefore, we inform and help each other, and we meet up now and then on our special club days.”
Do you have an example of how you helped out Nissan drivers?
"The earlier models had a few problems calculating the ‘distance to empty’ range. It was a known problem, and as you can imagine: this information is pretty vital for electric driving. Especially back in the day when charging stations weren’t everywhere yet. Therefore, we bought a lot of different types of OBD2 dongles; a device that reads vehicle diagnostic data and connects to your smartphone or laptop. We tested which ones worked best with the LeafSpy Pro app and then we sold them to our members at cost price. Fortunately, this problem is no longer present in the newer models.”
"We have used EVs to provide a DJ, a bouncing castle and a popcorn machine with electricity"
Could you explain a bit more about vehicle to grid?
"Vehicle to grid (or V2G) enables electricity from EVs to be fed back into an electricity network and could for example supply energy back to the grid during peak hours. It's an interesting way of looking at how to use energy. If you would live in a sustainable smart home, you could let the EV and your house communicate about how to use the available electricity. It's a rather new and exciting technology that we’re exploring amongst our club members.”
Do you have any other tips for EV drivers?
“Well, at the moment I’m working on a free app that would serve as a digital co-pilot for EV drivers. So stay tuned.”