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USA: Recharging electric cars no big deal

When it comes to electric vehicles, Dennis Harkema is a true believer. Harkema lives in Estacada and owns Secret Gardens Plant Services, a company that sells plants to businesses and cares for them throughout Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington. Harkema can drive 200 or more miles a day, and he does it in an all-electric Nissan Leaf.

“It can carry all the plants and supplies I need and it doesn’t use any gas at all,” Harkema says.

His last car, a Dodge pickup, cost him about $2,500 a month, including gas at about eight miles per gallon. The Leaf is saving him around $1,500 a month, even with monthly payments and insurance.

“The savings really work for me, but the most important thing is the environmental benefits. I’m 60. I grew up during the hippie era and I’ve always been very conscious of saving the planet.”

And with the Portland area’s fast-growing network of public charging stations, Harkema has ample opportunities to recharge his battery on the road.


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